Two TJSL students, Amelia Mattis and Brad Sorrentino, both 3Ls, are interning in The Hague, Netherlands this summer at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY).
“I was excited when I got the internship because as one of the first international courts of its kind, the ICTY has already handed down several landmark decisions affecting human rights, so I am excited to become a part of this historical process,” said Mattis. “As a female law student, I am particularly interested in how the ICTY has advanced women's international human rights, such as recognizing rape as a war crime.”
“I am very excited for this incredible opportunity not only for the international legal experience, but also for the chance to soak in a new culture,” said Sorrentino. “The Hague is a beautiful city filled with forward thinking people. I hope to get the chance to do a bit of traveling to neighboring countries while I'm there as well.”
According to ICTY’s official website, “The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) is a United Nations court of law dealing with war crimes that took place during the conflicts in the Balkans in the 1990’s. Since its establishment in 1993 it has irreversibly changed the landscape of international humanitarian law and provided victims an opportunity to voice the horrors they witnessed and experienced.
“In its precedent-setting decisions on genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, the Tribunal has shown that an individual’s senior position can no longer protect them from prosecution.”
According to Sorrentino, the students will likely be working on the defense team of Radovan Karadzic, the former President of Republika Srpska, who faces charges in connection with the Bosnian War.
For both students, the ICTY internship was the result of a combination of strong interest and networking here at TJSL.
“As for the internship itself, I came to law school with an interest in human rights in general, but particularly on an international level, said Mattis. “After talking to fellow student Susy Prochazka she suggested I apply for the internship because her interest lies in the same field and she was an intern there last summer. “
“I learned of the internship through my involvement with the International Law Society,” said Sorrentino. “Professor (Bill) Slomanson put both of us in contact with a friend of his there.”
Mattis and Sorrentino are continuing the relationship between TJSL and The Hague. Several TJSL students have interned at ICTY and Professor Linda Keller was a Visiting Professional at the International Criminal Court (ICC), while Professor Ken Vandevelde once served as a representative of the U.S. State Department, to the ICC.