Eurasia | Eastasia

Human Rights Watch[er]

  • Oct. 28th, 2008 at 12:13 PM
lu: (Justice)
A couple of weeks ago my Inter-American Moot Court study group presented the simulation of the case Almonacid Arellano vs. Chile at the Law Department auditorium. There was a surprisingly high turnout, and apparently people managed to enjoy themselves. I was proud of our work, and very tired at the end of the afternoon. I decided, however, to stay in college a little bit more to watch a lecture that would be given by my Human Rights professor and some other members of the Academy.

After some talk about crime, torture, and impunity (along with its obvious relation to Human Rights), the lecturers asked whether people had questions. It was already late, there were only a few students left at the auditorium, and so a nice, cozy, discussion started. Eventually I raised my hand and posed a question.

"Do you think that we cold say that, if it was considered that the tortures and extrajudicial killings perpetrated by policemen happened in a systematic way, an International Court could say these were crimes against humanity?"

There was a Criminal Law professor there whom I didn't know, and, after answering a few questions, he looked into my eyes, and said:

"You. Based on your question, I can see you have an extraordinary faith in International Law. I wish I had that faith. Because, for me, it's absurd. I cannot believe that waiting for an International Court to solve issues is a solution."

I know that he was probably being condescending, and rather patronizing. But the look my Human Rights professor gave me right then was worth anything. There was also a smirk on her face, full of complicity and understanding, like she was proud of me for some reason, and wanted to say "been that, heard that". On that day, I didn't lose my faith in International Law, but strengthened it.

I remembered this story yesterday, after my Human Rights class. Another professor had given the class that day, and, after class, she and I started discussing the theory she had presented. After some time, she tapped me on the shoulder and said: "You know, it's great that Human Rights defenders like you are actually taking an interest on this."

I'm pretty sure she didn't know she was the first person ever to call me that. And yet, it was the first time, and God, did I feel great. A Human Rights defender is what I want to be, even though it may seem eccentric, and a bit quaint. After all, that's not usually a kid's response when asked what they want to be when they grow up. And, however, every day I am more and more certain that's what I want to work with, that's the one thing I can be really good at.

And an 8.5 out of 10.0 on my Human Rights exam will not convince me otherwise.


[identity profile] wrote:
Nov. 2nd, 2008 12:21 pm (UTC)
Awww. It's good that you know what you want to do! :)

You like bowling, don't you, Montag?

If you don't want a man unhappy politically, don't give him two sides to a question to worry him; give him one. Better yet, give him none. If the government is inefficient, topheavy, and tax-mad, better it be all those than that people worry over it. Peace, Montag. Give the people contests they win by remembering the words to more popular songs or the names of state capitals or how much corn Iowa grew last year. Cram them full of noncombustible data, chock them so damned full of 'facts' they feel stuffed, but absolutely 'brilliant' with information. Then they'll feel like they're thinking, they'll get a sense of motion without moving. And they'll be happy, because facts of that sort don't change. Don't give them any slippery stuff like philosophy or sociology to tie things up with. That way lies melancholy.

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