Another long day, but thankfully not as long as it could have been. Today we were suppose to have a huge beach party, but unfortunately the weather in the Hague was too bad… so instead it is postponed until tomorrow (and I’ll be sure to write all about it!)
So instead today, we had the three hours of morning lectures, followed by a book launch by a former ICJ Judge based off of his lectures last year before the Academy. He only spoke French, but because I really wanted his signature I ended up buying the book and having him sign it 😅 Good incentive to learn French right?
Afterwards, my flatmates and I went on a tour of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. Its actually really lucky we are touring it now – in 6months the mandate of the Tribunal is complete and it will be shut down and all the work still underneath the tribunal will be transferred to a new court – the MICT (Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals) which has taken over the work of the Tribunal for Rwanda and other tribunals which have seen their mandates end already. It is also taking over the buidling of the ICTY, so you could say we just got a super early preview of the MICT?
Afterwards, I decided to attend a seminar by Professor Brown Weiss (from Georgetown University). It was on accountability of UN Peacekeeping Missions, with a semi-unintentional focus on the Cholera outbreak in Haiti caused by Pakistani peacekeepers after the earthquake in 2010. Now, being the nerd I am, I have actually written a Model UN Background Guide on this exact topic, so needless to say – I was pretty happy. My bigggest complaint though: international lawyers (Brown Weiss included) focus far too much on the legal responsibilities, without considering the pragmatic diplomatic realities that make many legal responsiblities simply wishful dreams of optomists. And that one PhD student who thought peacekeeping missions are solely for nearly failed states – they arent (there are multiple forms of PKOs, some for environmental reasons, some for political reasons, some for post-conflict regions, and some for election monitoring. And not all are actually through the UN. If you want more info, I’ll be happy to elaborate later!) And didn’t realize that states are often the ones to ask the Security Council to create a peacekeeping mission within the state’s borders.
Afterwards I also had a chance to approach Brown Weiss regarding her inclusion of contentious scientific topics within her Kaleidoscope theory. It actually was really good – I ended up getting a chance to tell her about my work with MY World and about recent papers on the science theories she talks about. And I was absolutely SHOCKED when she asked me to email her more information about both. But again – this is an academy for sharing information about important international law concepts, so it should have been expected right? Still… super cool and unexpected.
P.S. Dad – I keep realizing how much random knowledge I have. And how other people don’t have random knowledge. Because I am too nerdy for my own good🤓. And also I’m still alive.