In December 2022, student attorneys from the International Human Rights Clinic at USC Gould School of Law traveled to The Hague to raise awareness of serious human rights atrocities in Ukraine, Armenia and Cameroon and to advocate for prevention of genocide and prosecution of international crimes against humanity.
Professor Hannah Garry, founding director of the IHRC, and Kelsey McGregor (JD 2015), serving as senior supervising attorney in the clinic through the WilmerHale Pickering Fellowship, planned the trip to coincide with the 21st Session of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. The IHRC and the State of Luxembourg also worked in partnership with the law firms Foley Hoag and Pels Rijken to sponsor a panel on the duty to prevent genocide under international law in Ukraine, Armenia and Cameroon. Professor Garry was a panelist along with former U.S. Ambassador on War Crimes Todd Buchwald and Judge Mykola Gnatovskyy, Ukraine’s Judge at the European Court of Human Rights.
“It was very important for me to take students to The Hague, and I think it was an incredibly meaningful experience for them, not only from an educational perspective but also for actually having an impact and doing advocacy,” Garry said.
Student attorneys met with representatives in the International Criminal Court (ICC) Office of the Prosecutor to discuss a 2022 submission by the clinic addressing the Anglophone crisis in Cameroon, giving students an opportunity to present findings and make updates to the submission. The students, Garry and McGregor also attended a reception hosted by a Dutch law firm that provided networking opportunities.
McGregor, who previously worked in The Hague after her time as an IHRC student attorney, said the opportunity enriched her Gould experience and still affects her today as counsel at WilmerHale.
“It is hard to understate the impact of participating in these international justice mechanisms in person,” said McGregor. “It is incredibly energizing and humbling to connect directly with so many passionate and skilled advocates from around the world, and to witness directly the processes that strive to provide justice and accountability for some of the most egregious crimes, such as genocide and crimes against humanity.”
BY USC Gould