Authors: Alex, Dajana and Emily
After battling our way through the rain, wind and sleet we finally made it to the Peace Palace, which houses the International Court of Justice. Walking towards this magnificent palace and entering its doors we immediately felt a sense of the importance and grandeur of the Court. We were met by Boris, from the Press Office for the ICJ who took us into the heart of the palace where the Court sits. The courtroom itself was impressive and we were surprised to see such an expansive bench with room for fifteen judges.
Boris began the presentation with a quiz on what we already knew about the Court and we were relieved that we managed to impress him with our knowledge, which saw us rewarded with an informative DVD. He stressed the importance that this Court is one of the superior organs of the United Nations; a fact which is often neglected. He started by providing us with the technical aspects of the Court, such as by explaining how States can bring other states to the court. He then moved from the theory to the practical issues involved regarding political and diplomatic influences on the legal process. Boris’ passion and knowledge of the ICJ certainly brought the subject alive and this was one of the highlights of our court visits in The Hague. His entire presentation left Cornelia suggesting that he become a stand up comedian. Tip for next years group: be sure to ask him about the carpet!
After an exhausting and amazing two weeks, we are looking forward to the final dinner followed by a quiz night organised by our Quizmeister, Joel. Tomorrow everyone goes their separate ways. Some are returning to Adelaide whilst others are continuing their travels around Europe. Some great friendships have been made and we are all looking forward to seeing each other again back home.
The International Court of Justice, The Hague.