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Study Tour: Day 7 – Utrecht University, Netherlands

28/11/12 Authored by Sammy Cheang and Victoria Montandon.

Today was definitely an achievement for all of us, as we successfully survived 6 hours of lecture in the top university of the Netherlands, the Utrecht University. This is a partner university of the University of Adelaide, where it is possible to undertake a postgraduate masters program in various legal research areas. The day started with an early morning train/tram/bus rush as Corinne and John were navigating through the Netherland’s transport system. During the bus ride to the Utrecht University, an almost unbelievably random encounter occurred whereby we luckily bumped into a Supreme Court Judge on his way to a meeting. After we got off the bus, the first thing that everyone noticed was not how beautiful Utrecht was, it was the number of people riding on a bike that amused us all, and for the first time, we feel highly threatened by bicycle riders as they came from all directions at thunderbolt speed.

Greeted by the Utrecht University representative, we immediately proceeded to our first lecture on the Law of the Sea, most of us find this topic very interesting as this is not something that would normally be taught in the Adelaide university. The second lecture focussed on conflict and security law. This was a fascinating introduction into the world of international and nuclear warfare and was punctuated with an unexpected reference to the cult classic film, ‘Team America’. After a break for morning tea, we were taken on a tour of the Utrecht campus and the surrounding city. We were fortunate enough to be able to observe a PhD defence presentation via a live video link from the chamber and were suitably impressed by the grandiose surrounds and academic dress.

The Utrecht University campus was reminiscent of a Harry Potter movie set, and the city boasted a historic gothic church, imposing clock tower, cobbled streets and quaint canals. Following a delicious lunch kindly provided by Utrecht University, we were treated to another engaging lecture on the topic of comparative criminal legal system and witness protection. This provided for much discussion before the last lecture on the topic of the European human rights law. Despite the length of the days’ teaching, everybody found the presentations to be stimulating and informative.

The day ended with social drinks and nibbles hosted by the Utrecht Law School Student Society (equivalent of the AULSS) This provided a great opportunity for us to mingle with the (admittedly, very attractive) Dutch law students and compare our university experiences from across the globe. We finally made it back to The Hague, where we all relaxed in preparation for another packed “suit up” day tomorrow.

More updates and photos to come in the next few days..

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