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Human Rights in the Hague

Human Rights in the HagueThis semester, Seton Hall Law offered a new course, “Human Rights in The Hague” taught by Professor Jonathan Hafetz. The one-credit course offered over spring break took advantage of the unique attributes of The Hague in the Netherlands to explore issues in international criminal justice and human rights by examining the operation of tribunals such as the International Criminal Court, the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, and the Permanent Court of Justice. Students examined due process guarantees, the right of access to justice, and other ways in which human rights affect the operation of international proceedings. Professor Hafetz opined, "The class presents a unique and invaluable opportunity for students to see how international criminal law operates in practice by visiting tribunals, meeting with attorneys and other legal professionals, and experiencing The Hague.”


Human Rights in the HagueIn addition to reviewing recent international criminal law cases to examine the relationship between human rights and accountability for atrocities, students had the opportunity to meet with practitioners and experts in international justice. “Meeting and getting to participate in a private Q&A with Mohamedou Slahi, author of the Guantanamo Diary and the main character of the movie The Mauritanian, was a moment I will never forget,” said Gineen Abuali, ’24. “One of the questions I asked Mr. Slahi was what he hopes we, as future lawyers reading his book, will get out of it. He said the lawyers who represented him were pariahs in the legal community because they defended him, and he was not sure how many people would do what they did,” continued Abuali. “Those words impacted me a lot, and I hope that I become the type of attorney who continues to stand up for notions of justice that we learn about in law school, even when it is unpopular to do so.”


Human Rights in the Hague“I would absolutely recommend students to take this class or other Seton Hall Law classes with a study abroad component in the future. Being able to apply our legal skills to an order of a higher magnitude abroad is unique. This trip allowed us to get out of our comfort zone and really delve deep into the material for a subject that is of massive global importance,” said Antonio DiMeglio ‘24.


Human Rights in the HagueThe course provided a balanced mix of learning with enjoyable experiences. “Outside of the meetings for the class, we had time to explore The Hague and other parts of The Netherlands, which was so fun,” said Amber Joy Wiens ’24.  And aside from the memorable experience of the course, the purpose of the curriculum resonated with the students. She continued, “The meetings for the class were great because they brought to life the things that I had been learning in other international law courses. Since I want to practice in the international field, this class helped me think about my career goals and ways that I can look for jobs. It also reminded me why I want to practice in this field and made me excited for what’s possible after I graduate.” 


Interested in this course or one like it? Reach out to your academic advisor today.

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  • Seton Hall Law School