Internship at the International Criminal Court

Travel Scholar, 2015
Sara Hassan 

My experience at the International Criminal Court (ICC) was an eye-opening experience that really affected both my academic and non-academic perspectives. First, I should explain that I have been seeking this opportunity to join the ICC for two years. Finally, I have had the opportunity to be an intern at the Appeals Chamber for three month. This Internship was of paramount important for two reasons; first, my PhD thesis is closely related to the work of the ICC, specially the command and superior responsibility for crimes against humanity before the ICC. Therefore, being at the heart of the work of the Court and being a part of the operating system would be  of tremendous benefit for my PhD thesis. Second, since I am a criminal law lecturer it is very important for me to explore other areas of law including international law and international criminal law. In addition, being at the court not only would allow me to explore other areas of law, but also would show a practical side of both teaching and learning law.

I traveled to the Hague, the heart of international law with high expectations and passion to join the ICC. The first minute I arrived at the Court and I started to conduct the required tasks recommended by the legal officers, I was more than excited to be a part of the global justice. I was proud to assist at prosecuting the international criminals in the world. Although three months is a very limited period to work in many cases at the court, I can say that I learned a lot and I had a good experience about how the court functions.

The internship added a lot to my legal research skills as well as legal writing. In addition, it profoundly provides me with a practical side of work of the court from a different perspective. To illustrate, I gone through the shift from the square of an academic writer seeks writing a good article to the square of assisting the judges to having the justice applied on ground, which enriches my perspectives as wells as adds a major boost to my professional development.

In addition, the internship allowed me the opportunity to keep a good contact in the area of international law and international criminal law. Furthermore, being at the heart of a multicultural environment such as the ICC facilitates a culture integration, which I learned a lot from and allowed deepening my perception of the other.

Despite my passion and zeal to attend this internship and all benefits that I gained, they could stay only dreams if I had no adequate funding for the internship, because I do have a constrained budget would not allow me to cover the accommodation fees of the internship. Therefore, I owe all these non-forgettable experience to the Lutfia Rabbani Foundation, which enabled me to make my dream true.

Finally, the ICC was fruitful environment for deepening my appreciation of international law in action and further develops my understanding of the humanitarian project.