Student, professor traveling to Netherlands for international human rights meeting
A Central Michigan University student and associate professor will travel to The Hague, Netherlands to meet with law students from Duke University and University of North Carolina.
Monroe senior Sarah Wills and Hope May, an associate philosophy and religion professor, will represent the CMU chapter of the International Criminal Court Student Network while meeting with ICCSN members from Duke and UNC, the other two active U.S. chapters.
The students will visit the International Criminal Court as well as the Coalition for the International Criminal Court, a group of non-government organizations who do advocacy work for the ICC. They will also visit the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia.
“We are going to be watching court proceedings, visiting the ICC and the ICJ and learning the court process,” said Wills, a world religions major and anthropology minor.
Aside from Wills and May, the other seven ICCSN members going are law students at Duke and UNC.
“There’s two things we’re trying to get out of this; one of them is trying to connect with other chapters,” said Matthew Rogier, a first-year Duke law student going on the trip and an Indiana native. “Kind of our second goal of this trip is to gain a better understanding of how these institutions work and gain a better perspective.”
The three U.S. chapters of the ICCSN, an international group of students who learn and educate about the ICC and international human rights law, will meet for a “working dinner” in a hotel in the neighboring town of Leiden, funded by the CMU College of Humanities and Social and Behavioral Sciences.
“(CHSBS) Dean (Pamela) Gates supported this, because all the students are staying in a youth hostel, and there are really no facilities there, so we rented a room in the hotel I’m staying in, in Leiden,” May said.
May is also going to The Hague to prepare for several summer programs. She will be working with the Jurisdiction, Cooperation and Complementarity Division of the ICC’s office of the prosecutor this summer.
She will also be teaching PHL 397: Netherlands Human Rights, Theory and Practice as a study abroad course for CMU students at the Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies at Leiden University.
“I’m meeting with them (at the Grotius Centre), going through the facilities and securing housing for myself,” May said.
The International Criminal Court is a human rights court that prosecutes individuals for war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity. 114 countries are members of the court, but the U.S. is not. They began their first trial, against Thomas Lubanga, a Congolese militia leader, in 2009.
“This court is so new it has not finished its first case yet,” May said.
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