William and Mary Law School

Week 2

Week 2 in Switzerland has been going great! Last week was a bit hectic, as IBJ put on a large fundraiser held in Bern, about 2 hours north of Geneva. It was a successful event! What was most exciting is that six of our fellows, from Cambodia, India, Rwanda, Burundi, and Zimbabwe, all made the trip over to attend the Gala, as well as a week long Summit. The Summit is an intensive training session. This is the first year IBJ has done this in Geneva, and it has been fascinating talking to and listening to all of the fellows reports on the conditions and status of criminal justice in their countries. Yesterday's session concluded with a brainstorming session on how to better improve the systems in their respective countries. While they all come from very different parts of the world, it was interesting to hear the suggestions they gave one another, as many of the problems (torture, co-erced confessions, lack of funding, lack of popular support/interest for careers in criminal law) cut across cultures. 

A few of the IBJ staff is going to Rwanda an Burundi to conduct training sessions there next week, so things may be quiet around the office. I have my grant proposal research project to keep me busy, as well as starting to prepare for the Zimbabwe training which will take place in the fall. I am attending a meeting tomorrow with Innocent, our Zimbabwean fellow, to brainstorm about the training. It should be interesting.

Geneva itself is lovely- summer here is glorious, so I have been keeping myself busy in my off time, hiking and exploring. After the Gala on Saturday, the IBJ staff and fellows went to Gruyere, where we relaxed and overdosed on cheese fondue- it was great fun! A fellow intern and I also hiked up La Seleve, about 20 minutes away by bus. While a scary 20 minute detour (the paths here aren't perfectly marked!) delayed the climb a bit, we reached the top in about 2 and a half hours and had an amazing view of the city. 

Hope everyone is having a great summer!