Man in the Chamber; At The Hague

Staircase at the ICC in Hague

Often these things we hear or see on the international media leave alone happening to you in real time. This time it’s a reel.

Am seated in a silent chamber, doting my khaki suit always reserved for class presentations, minding my own business to avoid those unnecessary intellectual chit chats. It’s atThe International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) at the Hague, The Netherlands.

At the chamber is a wanted war criminal, being prosecuted for his role in the 1990 war in the Balkans. I can see his face, not to mention his name, but it’s a surreal moment for my experience in the legal world. My imagination wanders to the idyllic valleys of the Blakans and the struggles for identity of the people.

The momentary glances to my trip mates reassures me that yes, I am an active participant in the delivery of justice to the people of the Balkans whose lives took diverse turns as a result of this man and many others.

Did he look remorseful? only his God or his shadow could know. I am perturbed by the whole process, the stories delivered at the court’s floor, Paying attention to chatter and scuffling of the feet while the scale of the room is so dominating; what a moment to experience.

All theories,stories, staged mock ups lived through theoretically in lecture halls are witnessed on the court floor and diverse languages by men and women wearing designer perfumes arousing our intellectual taste buds. Besides visiting the Hague and its many courts, Palaces and corridors of justice, this one moment of the man in the chamber lives with me. Truly this is a timeless experience that I  treasure in my practice and travel memories. 

It’s indeed a timeless experience.


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