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International Human Rights Tribunals

*Course details are still being finalized. Dates, itinerary, and program fee are subject to change.

Field Course Title: International Human Rights Tribunals
Location: Amsterdam and the Hague (Netherlands), Strasbourg (France)
Faculty: Flavio Risech (Critical Social Inquiry)
Course Number: SS - 182S
Dates (tentative): May 22-June 5, 2014
Program Fee: $2,750 + airfare (see information about additional expenses and financial aid below)

**Course info session with faculty director: Friday, Feb. 7 | 1:30-2:30 p.m. | FPH 107**

Read what students from the 2012 course had to say about their experiences!

Course Summary:
An exploration of the international legal institutions established at The Hague will engage in research visits to the International Criminal Court; the Special Court for Sierra Leone; the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (www.ICTY.org); the International Court of Justice, the UN’s high court for resolution of disputes between States. We will meet with court personnel, prosecutors, defense attorneys, and members of NGOs concerned with international criminal jurisprudence and human rights litigation. Observation of actual court proceedings and trials will be the central activity. The course will also include a visit to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France.

HOW TO APPLY

Application Deadline: Thursday, March 6, 2014.

All short-term applications are due to the global education office by 4:30 p.m. on the application deadline. Applications can be found in the global education office or can be downloaded from this page. A non-refundable deposit of $500 (credited to the program fee) will be due March 28 to the GEO for those approved to join the course.  

Financial Aid:
Students who receive need-based financial aid from Hampshire College are eligible to apply for financial assistance through the global education office to offset the program fee. Students are expected to cover all additional expenses, including airfare. Awards vary from year to year and are dependent on the number of applicants and the amount of aid available. Eligibility for financial assistance does not guarantee that aid will be awarded. Please indicate your eligibility and desire to apply on your application form.

FULL COURSE DESCRIPTION

Associate Professor of Law Flavio Risech will lead a group of Hampshire and Five College students on this exciting exploration of the international legal institutions established at The Hague and museums and WWII historical sites in Amsterdam. The group will engage in research visits to the International Criminal Court; the Special Court for Sierra Leone, the venue for the atrocities trial of Liberia’s deposed leader Charles Taylor and others; the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, site of the ongoing trials of those accused of war crimes in Bosnia, Kosovo, Croatia and Serbia in the 1990s; the International Court of Justice, the UN’s high court for resolution of disputes between States. We will meet with court personnel, prosecutors, defense attorneys, and members of NGOs concerned with international criminal jurisprudence. Observation of actual court proceedings and trials will be the central activity. There will be ample opportunities to discuss issues and ask questions. In addition, we will visit some key historical human rights sites in the Netherlands, including the Anne Frank House, the Netherlands Holocaust memorial, the Jewish Historical Museum, the Museum of the Dutch Resistance, and the Homo-Monument, one of the world’s only official monuments to the struggle for lesbian and gay rights.

Evaluation Expectation for Students:
Before travel, students will be expected to complete several background readings and begin an internet-based research project involving one of the trials expected to be in session during the time of the field visit. Students will research the historical background of the cases, read the indictments against the accused and other pleadings of record, and research the international law applicable to the case to produce a preliminary case statement summarizing their research to that point. This statement will be due upon arrival in Europe. Students should be prepared to present an informal oral summary of their case report to the rest of the group at that time. During the field visit students will observe the hearings in that case (and others) and keep a field notes journal. Finally, students will be expected to develop an essay critically analyzing the case, using their preliminary report and additional primary and secondary materials and field notes. This essay will be due one week after conclusion of the on-site portion of the course. Evaluations will be based upon the written work and the student’s attendance and participation in activities, meetings, and discussions.

Prerequisites or registration requirements:
Preference for those enrolled in or who have completed a human rights, legal studies, or international relations course. No language requirement, though French speakers may choose to research and observe court proceedings entirely in French.

Housing Arrangements:
Group accommodations will be provided in modern and comfortable youth hostels. All accommodations are located in central locations convenient to public transport and sites of interest to the group as well as restaurants, museums and other services.

Travel Plans:
Students are expected to make their own air travel arrangements to the starting point at Amsterdam-Schiphol Airport and either onward travel in Europe or a flight home at the conclusion of the course. Please note that the course ends in Strasbourg, France.

Program Fee Includes:
Approximately $2,750 includes tuition, accommodation, in-country transportation, most meals, and escorted visits/program activities.

Additional Expenses (costs not included in the program costs):
Approximately $1,100-$1,500 to include airfare, U.S. transportation to and from airport, passport fees, and personal expenses.  

Questions:
Questions about the application process or financial aid should be directed to Heather St. Germaine in the global education office at hstgermaine@hampshire.edu or 413.559.5542.  

Questions regarding the academic content or itinerary should be directed to Flavio Risech at frisech@hampshire.edu.

Student Comments From 2011 Course:

*This course was amazing. It was unique in that it included academic work on the legal and international law and human rights subjects, as well as historical and social readings about the Netherlands and the communities where the courts have charged leaders with crimes. It also included hands-on experience observing the court trials and meeting and speaking with individuals who work day after day in the courts or with the courts on a regular basis. I appreciated the time that was allowed for students to explore the cities on their own, visiting museums that gave a greater context for the courts and the country and its history and culture. I would recommend this course to anyone interested in human rights, law, society, and international relations, plus many other diverse backgrounds as well.

*I found this course to be fun and interesting, and I’d say I learned a lot about legal proceedings, international law and the courts. I felt that the set-up for the course was extremely successful: I liked how we had time to adjust to the Netherlands and bond as a group [before] we started attending cases. I think that our visits to different museums about WWII and its effect on Holland helped kick-start the course, and I truly enjoyed being able to attend most museums with the museum pass we received. Even though we were studying the human rights tribunals, we also had the opportunity to experience other aspects of Holland, which is what helped make the trip an enjoyable experience. I liked how we were given independence in many things we did. I also appreciated the nights when we all went out to eat, as that further solidified our group.

*It was a unique and amazing course, where I learned a lot about myself, other cultures, and the international justice in The Hague. I would recommend it to anyone even mildly interested in the subject area.

 
 

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