“My internship at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, France, has been going great. The city is small but very beautiful (a kind of cross between French and German architecture, culture and food). There are a number of other interns here from different European countries so it’s also been a fantastic opportunity to meet with people from different backgrounds who share similar interests.
The work so far has been extremely interesting. I’ve been focusing primarily on two resolutions that the Parliamentary Assembly is planning on introducing and their accompanying explanatory reports: one on the independence of the European Court of Human Rights and the other on the accountability of international organizations for human rights violations. I’ve been doing research (including from academic journals, previous reports prepared by the Council, other international organizations and NGOs and from speaking to people with experience on the Court) and have been working on refining my writing to suit what is at its core a political document. My supervisor is extremely knowledgeable with more than 20 years of experience at the Council and has been great at providing for time for lunches with the interns to discuss our work, receive feedback as well as discuss our future plans etc.
The most interesting experience I’ve had here so far was probably the sitting of the Parliamentary Assembly last week. The week was quite chaotic, given the need for the assembly to sit, as well as for meetings of the various parliamentary committees (including the Committee of Legal Affairs and Human Rights which I’m working for) and of political groupings, as well as side meetings with NGOs etc. I got the chance to sit in on a number of committee meetings on a range of often controversial issues, including human rights in Morocco, the situation of Russian lawyers in the North Caucasus (a session that included testimony from a number of the lawyers themselves) and the treatment of whistleblowers.
Beyond work I’ve also had the chance to do some travelling in the area, including to Luxembourg, Paris, Geneva and this weekend to the South of France to see family.”
Dean is one of 23 HLS students working this summer in 18 countries under the auspices of the Chayes International Public Service Fellowship. Please visit our Chayes Fellowship page to learn more!