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St Mary’s students visit International Courts in The Hague

Law students from St Mary’s University, Twickenham travelled to the Netherlands to visit the International Criminal Court and the International Court of Justice in the spring. The students, accompanied by law lecturers, Mark Mackarel and Lloyd Gash, travelled to the capital city of international law, The Hague. Their visit allowed them to witness how the remarkable courts handle cases involving individual criminality and disputes between states.

The group enjoyed a talk from officials at the International Criminal Court which has been in operation since 2002. The court is renowned for investigating some of the most disturbing crimes in international history, including genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. During the visit students watched proceedings in the Gbagbo and Ble Goude case, with the defendants accused of crimes against humanity committed in Cote d’Ivoire.

The group also visited the International Court of Justice which began work in 1946 and is based in the famous Peace Palace. The group was given a presentation on the work of the Court which hears around twelve cases a year and was honoured to be given a tour of the judges robing and deliberation rooms.

The organiser of the trip, Mark Mackarel, said that ‘this trip provided an international addition to the series of study visits to British based legal institutions. It provides students with an opportunity to contextualise what they learn. Students on the trip are better able to understand the issues faced in the processes of international justice. I think students and staff have all found this to be an exciting learning experience.”

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