Patti McGill Peterson Center for International and Intercultural Studies
Unlike most students who study international justice, I was fortunate to visit the International Criminal Court. During my visit I attended three presentations: the first being a general overview of the court, the second being facilitated by the Judicial Division, and the third being facilitated by the Office of the Prosecutor.
Interestingly the ICC is a young court, being founded on 1 July 2002 when the Rome Statue received enough signatories to enter force. The Court is responsible for investigating and trying those accused of committing genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes. It is divided into four main offices: the Presidency, the Judicial Divisions, the Office of the Prosecutor, and the Registry-all of which work in unison to uphold common law and international justice.
After listening to these three very informative presentations, we were quickly ushered through the ICC to the Gallery of Courtroom II where a defense attorney was arguing that the court should strike certain documents since they were not in his litigant's native language. The justices quickly decided against granting the request. However, it was an amazing experience to listen and observe this exchange.I also went to the International Court of Justice, which is also known as the Peace Palace. Unlike the ICC, the ICJ has a more prominent history. Its roots extend to the end of World War II and the Nuremberg Trials. Although I did not have the opportunity to tour the actual building, sit on an informational session, or attend a hearing, I was fortunate enough to walk around the historical area.
The museum that most influenced me is called Humanity House. This museum is funded by the International Committee of the Red Cross and tells countless stories of humanitarian aid and peace missions. This museum was the sole inspiration for my senior honor's thesis.
Studying abroad, and more specifically visiting The Hague, has forever changed my life. Like I said, it has motivated me to write a senior thesis exploring international humanitarian intervention in a sovereign state. It has also propelled me to apply for Master's Programs focusing on International Affairs. Because of these things, I am forever thankful for receiving a travel enrichment grant.