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Nice Program 2011 – Week 1 – By Professor Tiefenbrun

July 7, 2011

Nice, France

I am delighted to report that we are having an excellent time in Nice. The students are all enjoying the four courses, the beach, the nightlife, the three and four-day weekends traveling to Rome, Spain, Florence, Dresden, Leipzig, and the beautiful French and Italian Riviera. We all loved seeing Christie Edwards, a really great alumna of TJSL who spoke to us about Women’s Human Rights in Morocco and how to get a job without really trying. French class was fun for all, and those who could not roll their “Rs” on their uvula finally learned how, despite themselves! We will try again tomorrow. The Day in French Court was amazingly informative, and we read in the newspapers the next day that both accuseds were condemned to jail and a fine: one for  l8 months in jail with a 17,500 Euro fine or a 1 year sentence and confiscation of his truck for the Tunisian who sold products and food on the beach without a permit. The speaker Judge Olivier Dutheillet de Lamothe was riveting in his description of the Burkha ban (ban on full veil) in France and the reasons why this ban, which flies in the face of one’s right to manifest one’s religion,) was passed without much objection  in France. The headscarf ban in public schools is admittedly much more difficult to justify, but he tried. Former Ambassador David Scheffer has now been lecturing in the International Human Rights course for two days, and the students find him fascinating and full of first-hand knowledge about the establishment of the ICTY, the ICTR, the ICC, and the ad hoc courts in Sierra Leone and in Lebanon and Cambodia. He actually wrote the Rome Statute setting up the ICC, which we signed (he signed it under Clinton’s regime and he was the lawyer for Madeleine Allbrighti and then unsigned under Bush. Fascinating man, fascinating subject.

Today David Scheffer is giving his public address on “The End of Impunity? The Impact of the War Crimes Tribunals on the Commission of Atrocity Crimes,” and I will whisk him away afterwards to give him a good tour of Nice and its environs. He is having a great time. And so are we.

Wish more of you were here. Professors Aaron Schwabach, Claire Wright and Bryan Wildenthal have all been actively engaged in contributing to the success of our first week in Nice. As usual, TJSL has a great team, and I am so proud to be a professor of TJSL. My husband, Dr. Jonathan Tiefenbrun, has been enjoying his tennis and swimming enormously, and he has been giving students and professors some medical advice when needed and when appropriate. He is the best!

Professor Susan Tiefenbrun