Between March 5 and 14, 2010, Professor Charles C. Jalloh accompanied 11 students from his International Criminal Law Seminar on a visit to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). The ICTR, which sits in Arusha, Tanzania, was established by the United Nations Security Council to try those responsible for the 1994 Rwandan genocide in which up to a million people were killed.
In an unprecedented program, the first of its kind to ever be provided for a U.S. law school, Pitt Law students were welcomed and lectured by top officials from the various organs of the ICTR. These included Justice Hassan B. Jallow, the Chief Prosecutor; Mr. Richard Karegyesa, the Acting Chief of Prosecutions; Dr. Alex Obote-Odora, the Chief of the Appeals and Legal Advisory Division of the Office of the Prosecutor; Ms. Ayodeji Fadugba, Chief, Information and Evidence Support Section, Office of the Prosecutor; Mr. Dunstain Mwaungulu, Chief of the Defence Counsel and Detention Management Section and Mr. Chile Eboe-Osuji, Chief of Chambers.
Two Rwandan prosecutors (Ms. Jane Mukangira and Ms. Betty Mbabazi) provided unique perspectives on the benefit of Rwandese participation in the justice process before the ICTR. They also addressed questions from the students regarding local perceptions of justice and the treatment of gender crimes.
The special assistants to the ICTR President (Ms. Helge Zeitler) and the Registrar (Mr. Mandiaye Niang), both experienced attorneys, shared valuable insights with the visiting Pitt Law students regarding the current work and challenges facing the ICTR.
In various formal as well as informal meetings, numerous current and former ICTR interns and lawyers gave tips to the Pitt students on how to gain meaningful legal experience from internships. They also noted such opportunities were the gateways from unpaid to paid legal jobs in the international tribunals.
In addition to a tour of the specialized ICTR library, the students also had the opportunity to observe the trial of Prosecutor v. Jean-Baptiste Gatete, who stands charged with, inter alia, genocide and crimes against humanity. They saw the Defence examination-in-chief of a witness as well as the Prosecution cross-examination.
During the last day of the official visit, the students were hosted by some of the other regional institutions which famously led then-President Bill Clinton to dub Arusha “the Geneva of Africa”. Among these, they attended lectures by Ms. Geraldine Umugwaneza, the Deputy Registrar of the East African Court of Justice and Ms. Alice Nayebare, the Acting President of the East African Law Society.
On their own initiative, the students also visited some of the infamous nature and wildlife sites in the Arusha area. These included the Ngorongoro Crater, the eight UNESCO wonder of the world, as well as a visit to a local Masai village.
This innovative educational trip to the ICTR was an optional independent study component developed by Professor Jalloh. It was supported by the Center for International Legal Education, which also provided a fellowship for all the participating students. Pitt LL.M. alum Ms. Evelyn Kamau, who currently works as Appeals Counsel in the Office of the Prosecutor, provided excellent on the ground support.