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Dates to be announced

International Justice Delegation



To be announced

Program Description

The “International Justice Delegation” brings together young people from around the world for a unique and intensive 10-day program exploring international justice, human rights, peace, and international law. Rather than study these subjects only through textbooks, participants experience real-life cases of international justice coming to life in The Hague, Netherlands, also known as the international capital of peace and justice.


Guided by a seasoned legal practitioner and professor, delegates get a unique opportunity to experience in person and first-hand the international courts, institutions confronting global challenges, and interact with an international judge, courtroom practitioners, advocates, and senior officials, and engage in interactive dialogues.


The Hague (also known as Den Haag or ‘s-Gravenhage) is an incredible summer school location and the Netherland’s most popular beach town. The Hague hosted the peace conferences and Conventions of 1899 and 1907, the first multilateral treaties addressing the law of armed conflict. The Hague remains the preeminent venue for international actors and civil society to deal with a wide range of global issues, such as post-conflict transitional justice, humanitarian law, peace agreements and arbitrations, treaty negotiations, regional and national reconciliation, social issues, development, the environment, and mechanisms to punish violations of human rights and international law.


The Hague hosts, among others, the International Court of Justice, the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, and a long list of international bodies and courts, including the International Criminal Court, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (now succeeded by its residual mechanism, the “IRMCT”), and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. Participants in the International Justice Delegation delve intensely into international justice, human rights, peace, and international law, in preparation for daily visits to these leading institutions. A field trip to a former Nazi concentration camp punctuates the first week, and illustrates the cascade of international criminal justice since Nuremberg.


Delegates see first-hand the movement of the wheels of international justice, and come to understand the politics and mechanics behind the scenes. They meet with key actors.


Participation in the International Justice Delegation also serves as an excellent primer for graduate or other further study in international relations/law/justice, human rights, politics or peace studies. Students and young professionals gain, in a very short time span, unique insight into international justice, human rights, peace, and international law.

Learning outcomes: 


By attending this course, delegates will be able to:

· Understand and explain fundamental principles and doctrinal basics of international criminal justice and the Rule of Law, especially as it applies in post-conflict contexts;

· Use this theoretical knowledge [or “toolkit”] to apply to present cases and future cases;

· Identify international criminal fora and their legal and organizational frameworks;

· Critically reflect on the relationship between national mechanisms and international (and hybrid) justice mechanisms (including truth commissions, fact-finding missions, vetting processes, and judicial bodies, etc.), and;

· Identify the key challenges that hinder the universal implementation of international criminal law, the political contexts, and how these challenges are interrelated.

Thereby this course will enable students to:

· Think critically and independently, and to express their views sensitively and effectively;

· Use legal argumentation and terms of art in coursework and class to explain issues clearly and concisely;

· Develop curiosity for contemporary legal problems that require a practical resolution; respect the opinions of others; and develop transferable key skills (for example, issue spotting and legal communication) that delegates could use in international careers.




About the Director:

Gregory Townsend began his legal career as a deputy public defender in Los Angeles. In 1998, he joined the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and clerked for a Slovenian supreme court judge before joining the prosecution, spending more than seven years working on Rwandan genocide cases.  He later became a prosecutor for both the UN peacekeeping mission in Kosovo and the UN International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. He then served as Head of Office for the Special Court for Sierra Leone in The Hague on the trial of Liberian President Charles Taylor.  He joined the Special Tribunal for Lebanon in 2010 as chief legal advisor to the Prosecutor. From 2014 to 2018, he was chief of the Registry’s Court Services Section at the ICTY and UN International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals, where he oversaw witness protection, legal aid and court operations. He has been based in The Hague since 2007 and presently works as a lecturer in law. He is on the list of counsel to represent victims before several international criminal courts, and was elected in 2019 to a three-year term on the ICC’s Advisory Committee on Legal Texts.


Gregory Townsend, JD, MA  I  Bio

DATES:  To be announced

AGES: 18-35


(partial scholarships available)



Program fee includes housing, instruction, local transportation in The Hague, entrance fees, some meals.


Excludes airfare.

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