Students from the Law Programmes at St Mary’s University, Twickenham recently visited the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT) in The Netherlands.
The trip to The Hague is part of a series of visits St Mary’s law students are making to courts and organisations to provide them with practical experiences of the concepts studied during their degree being applied in real life.
The group enjoyed a guided tour and talks from staff at the ICC, which deals with cases including war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. They also discussed the challenges faced by the court in bringing political and military leaders to justice for atrocities.
The following day they visited the MICT and learned about the task of completing residual cases from the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda while they also got to sit in on a real life retrial. The barrister of the trial, Iain Edwards, gave time to the students during a break in proceedings to provide them with a fascinating insight about life working in the field of international criminal justice.
Lecturer in Law at St Mary’s Mark Mackarel, who co-ordinated the trip, commented, “While the students will gain an excellent knowledge and understanding of the framework for prosecuting international crimes during their classes, talking to lawyers involved in the cases and watching trials underway provides a deeper understanding of what it is to work with the law in this field.
“A number of students have commented on how they have been inspired to pursue careers in this field in the future as result of the trip.”