It was time to scratch that itch.
It is with great excitement that I announce a new chapter in my life and career: after ten years of pondering it, I have finally decided to go to law school. Beginning next week, I will be attending McGill University, where I will be enrolled in the school’s BCL / LLB programme. I’m thrilled to join a world-class department, to steep myself in both common and civil law, and to combine this new adventure with my continuing work in the field of international justice.
There are many reasons that I have decided to take on this new challenge in my career. As readers of JiC will know, I have studied and worked at the intersection of law and international criminal justice for the past ten years. However, I have always felt that there was something more that I could, and should, do. That something was to gain a greater understanding of the law and its practices, adding it to my career toolbox.
While I strongly believe this should not be the case, the reality is that even after years of working in international criminal justice, there are still some ‘rooms’ into which some of us are not invited or to which we do not have access, for the single reason that we are not lawyers. Law at various levels continues to exclude many people – including those whose rights it seeks to uphold. I remain frustrated and worried about the lack of fluency that exists among citizens around the world to the law and legal issues, often due to the fact that law often remains practiced through inaccessible jargon and verbiage. From the outset, this blog was an attempt to translate complex legal ideas and developments into an accessible format that wouldn’t require much, if any, expertise in international criminal law. Over the coming years at McGill, I hope to spend much of my time thinking about and working on how to continue translating key legal developments and subjects as well as working to decolonize international criminal justice.
I am particularly excited to gain a richer understanding of the fascinating and unique logic and forms of argumentation that exists within legal practice. At a time where the demand for global accountability far outweighs its supply, I want to look for creative ways to apply new skills and tools to issue areas of interest, including the linkages between transnational organized crimes and core international crimes and the nexus between migration and atrocity crimes. I would also like to explore the relationship between population flows, relevant laws, evidence collection, and global accountability efforts.
I sincerely hope that my decision does not suggest a belief that one cannot carve out a career in international criminal justice without a legal foundation. Let me stress: it is absolutely possible. My decision is not due to being ‘stuck’ and it does not represent a career-change. It instead reflects a desire to add new tools to a career in international justice and conflict resolution that I will continue in the coming years. My aim is to be fluent in both the politics of law as well as the law of politics.
This is just the beginning of a long journey, but rest assured that JiC will continue to publish the work of leading scholars and thinkers in global and transitional justice. In the next couple of weeks, the site will play host to a number of new articles as well as a symposium on Libya and international justice. Stay tuned! Continue reading