Supervising the Amsterdam International Law Clinic Student Team
Published in  
September 29, 2022

Supervising the Amsterdam International Law Clinic Student Team

In December 2021, I received and e-mail from the director of the Amsterdam Law Clinics with the request if I would be willing (and available) to supervise a group of Master students of the University of Amsterdam who enrolled in the Amsterdam International Law Clinic. This is a unique opportunity for students to work on real legal cases and/or projects for a client during a semester. I am very enthusiastic about this programme and I therefore immediately said "yes"! 

Amsterdam Law Clinics

The Amsterdam Law Clinics (ALC) are part of the Experimental Learning program of the Amsterdam Law Practice. The ALC is designed for law master's students who will provide pro-bono legal advice to various community organizations. Students therefore learn how to work effectively with clients and fellow students on projects of public interest. After finalising their bachelor and working on their master, the ALC provides an opportunity to students to apply their theoretical knowledge to real cases. The University of Amsterdam is one of the leaders in 'clinical legal education' in the Netherlands and I am proud to be part of this.

The Clinic Team

I supervised a group of 5 students who formed the Amsterdam International Law Clinics team between February and July 2022. They helped our client document instances of human rights violations and discrimination against persecuted minorities in South Asia. More specifically, students had to examine these evidence on incidents and allegations in light of relevant international law (both international human rights law and international criminal law). We also advised how the client could raise awareness of the crimes and the failures of domestic remedies and answered the question whether they could be brought before certain UN treaty bodies or other international accountability regimes and mechanisms to hold perpetrators to account.  

Learning by Doing

The students didn't know each other when the AILC started as they were enrolled in different master programmes, but they worked very well together as a team. The students were very ambitious, hard-working and showed a real commitments to justice for victims of violence. At times it was also quite 'tough' for the students as some of the human rights violations that they had to document were quite severe. I was happy to read in the reflection papers of the students that they valued that  I was there when they needed me as their supervisor. The students learned a lot in terms of skills in communication, research and drafting reports that will be useful throughout their future careers.

Amsterdam Law Clinics Alumni Event

The 29th of September 2022, the Amsterdam Law Clinics Alumni Event took place to celebrate two decades of clinical work at the University of Amsterdam. The Dean of Faculty of Law opened the event, who is also the founder of the ALC. There was also an interesting panel discussion and a spoken word artist (BLESZ) who gave an amazing tracks. During this event, I also had the chance to meet our client in person. It was great to see each other - after so many online calls over the past months - and I was humbled to receive a hard-copy of the report that the students contributed to.

Overall, this has been a very rewarding experience and I look forward to supervise another team of students next year.