It’s the middle of summer and the Academy is in full swing! The past three weeks, the Library was visited by students from all over the world who quickly made the Reading Room their home. We've asked five Academy students to share with us their experience of what turns out to have been an exciting and eventful time for all of them. Here’s what they had to say.
Maite Lisa Nicolas, University of Ottawa, Canada and Carmen Schreib, Christian Albrechts Universität in Kiel, Germany
On Monday July 7th, we made our way to the Hague Academy of International Law. The first thing that caught our eyes was the stunning and absolutely magnificent appearance of the Peace Palace. We felt very honoured knowing that this setting would be our daily pleasure for the next three weeks. The group composed of 350 participants coming from over 90 countries had a warm welcome by Mr Yves Daudet, The Secretary General of the Academy as well as a reception given in our honour by the city hall.
During our stay at the Academy, we had the privilege of having some of the best international law lecturers coming from different parts of the world and forming the core of the educational part of our stay. Speakers from the ICJ, the PCA, Cambridge University, and The World Bank gave us an inside view of their daily work and challenges. Moreover, thanks to the Association of Attendees and Alumni of The Hague Academy of International Law (AAA), we had the opportunity to visit different institutions like the OPCW, the ICC and of course, to take a tour of the Peace Palace including the PCA and the ICJ. It was also possible to attend hearings at different tribunal such as the ICTY and the STL and to learn more about their mission. The Peace Palace Library is also a remarkable building with an impressive collection of international law literature and welcomed every participant who wished to expand their knowledge or to deepen the topics of the early morning lectures. Social activities of course did not come too short, and the evening highlight most certainly was the Beach Party in Scheveningen.
Nevertheless, all the activities and celebrations did not make us forget about the current mournful situations in the world and being so close to the symbol of peace and justice made us even more aware of all the wrongful things that happen all over the world.
Being together with so many people from different countries and cultures promoted an exchange of views and experiences related not only to the ordinary life, but also too many conflicts worldwide. In order to put ourselves more into the position of the United Nations Security Council, the AAA organized the first Model United Nations, simulating a session of the Security Council, drafting a resolution on the issue of ¨Drones and International Law¨, which was a tremendous success and yet another element to add to our uncountable and unforgettable memories of the summer course. Having been a part of The Hague Academy for International Law was both a great honour and a significant pleasure and broadened our horizon not only in international law, but also in terms of promoting the understanding of other nations, their concerns and needs for peace through justice. If you do have the opportunity to participate in one of the courses offered at the Academy of international law, you will meet wonderful people from all over the world and different backgrounds, united by one common point: their passion for international law. The memories that we have shared for the last three weeks will stay with us for life. The Hague is not only a place with an amazing cultural and artistic history, and magnificent architecture, but the city of international justice.
Nina-Jasmin Schröder from Berlin, Germany
"It is difficult to understand what universality and justice really mean, but it seems to me, that one of the prerequisites is being able to comprehend different perspectives on (not only) legal issues. Therefore, I find it very important to be emphatic and to appreciate others’ opinions, whether one agrees with them or not. The Hague Academy has provided me with plenty of opportunities to challenge myself in this regard. I have enjoyed so many discussions and exchanges of views with the many interesting students at the Academy from countries all over the world from New Zealand to Serbia to Ethiopia, just to name a few. We see the world through different lenses and by taking a glimpse through someone else’s, we become more aware of the shape and curve of our own lens. So, a better understanding of my lens is one of the valuable things that I will take with me when I return to my research as a PhD student at the Free University of Berlin."
Kombou Colins Leprince de Yaoundé, Cameroon
Je suis Kombou Colins Leprince, Magistrat, et inscrit en thèse de droit international de l'environnement a l'Université de Yaoundé 2-Soa au Cameroun. Je suis heureux d'avoir été sélectionné pour le cours d'été en droit international public de l'Académie de droit international de La Haye et d'avoir ainsi, pu rencontrer des hommes et femmes extraordinaires venant de tous les horizons, pour converger en ce lieu magnifique qu'est le Palais de la Paix, le temps d'une formation. Pouvoir mener en parallèle des recherches à la Bibliothèque du Palais de la paix a assurément été une plus-value. Cet endroit a été pour moi une véritable surprise, au regard du nombre et de la diversité des livres et des ressources numériques dont il dispose. Le personnel était par ailleurs avenant, prévenant et extrêmement dévoué. Mon Seul regret est l'inexistence d'une telle structure au Cameroun. Puisse le Directeur de ce joyau, permettre, au gré de la session extérieure de formation de l'Académie, qui aura lieu au Cameroun en fin d'année 2014 dans l'une des institutions académiques les plus réputées de ce pays, le transfert à la bibliothèque de ladite institution, de quelques ouvrages et articles sous forme numérique. Bien cordialement.
Lahyerou Ag Aly from Mali, PhD Candidate at the Faculty of Law and Political Sciences, Gaston Berger University of Saint-Louis, Senegal
My topic focuses on the principal “Uti Possidetis” in theory in practice of the international law of Africa. It is my second time to attend the summer courses of the public international law. The courses (conferences and seminars) are delivered by the reputed professors in international law, who share their experiences with the audience, mainly their practical experiences.
In addition to that, we have access to the famous Peace Palace Library, which is considered the best in the world as regards to the international law, with a professional staff very helpful for researchers. Therefore, I can say that these conditions permit to researchers to make a fruitful research.
Finally, I would like to thank those who initiated this noble idea, and to encourage also those ones who are improving positively this magnanimous idea.