SUSTLAW 2018 Graduation Ceremony

Datum: 11 mei 2018

Inleiding: On the 4th of May the students of the International Training Programme SUSTLAW were lauded at the closing ceremony. A retrospect of 3 months.

The May 4 graduation ceremony for the 13 SUSTLAW ITP students marked the end of 12 weeks of  intensive academic work and their brief introduction to life in Flanders. Also, in attendance were University of Antwerp SUSTLAW students; including Masters in Law students, Erasmus students, among others, who came together to mark the end of the SUSTLAW Programme and learn which groups had excelled during the “Project Week” exercise.

The ceremony included two guest lectures; the first, entitled “Rhinos and Trophy Hunting: Dehorning the Myth” delivered by Prof. Werner Scholtz (University of the Western Cape, South Africa) followed by Prof. Daniel Mathew (National Law University, Delhi, India) on “Locating Human Rights in the Investor State Dispute Paradigm: the Indian Experience” The graduation capped off a packed two weeks of interactive Project Week sessions during which the 65 SUSTLAW students employed the knowledge acquired during the 4 SUSTLAW courses and honed their advocacy skills in moot court style exercises.

This 3rd edition of the SUSTLAW Programme again benefitted from funding from VLIR-UOS which allowed for the participation of the 13 ITP students from Asia (Cambodia), Africa (Cameroon, Ethiopia,  Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe), the Middle East (Palestine) and Latin America (Bolivia).

SUSLAW 2018 included field trips to Brussels to learn about the functioning of the European Commission and to the village of Doel, to shed light on how economic development issues are addressed in Belgium.

In addition, all students had the opportunity to engage with and learn from more than a dozen international guest lecturers including Dr. Marina Durano (Open Society Foundation, NYC) who spoke on Gender and Financing Development,  Prof. Patrick Patrick Vrancken (Nelson Mandela University, South Africa) who lectured on Law of the Sea and the Environment, Prof. Celine Tan (Warwick University, UK) who lectured on International Investment Law and Global Inequality, Prof. Carolien Jacobs, (Van Vollenhoven Institute for Law, Governance and Society, Leiden University, the Netherlands) who lectured on Access to Justice in the DR Congo and Dr. Josh Curtis (University of Liverpool, UK) who lectured on the Extraterritorial Human Rights Obligations of Companies and International Financial Institutions. In addition, SUSTLAW again welcomed Prof. Amita Punj (NLU Delhi, India) who delivered several lectures including a faculty lecture on the future of legal studies entitled “Law Swims in the Social Sea with Everything Else”.

Belgian based academics’ contributions included that of Prof. Petra Foubert from Hasselt University’s Law Faculty on Child Marriage in Mozambique and Prof. Stephan Parmentier from KU Leuven who lectured on Conflict and Post-Conflict State-Building and Transitional Justice; as well as extensive input during Project Week on the participants’ legal reasoning and debating skills from Prof. Eva Brems (Gent University) and Stefaan Smis (VUB). Students also benefitted from the expertise of numerous Law and Development Research Group members including Dr. Qerim Qerimi who lectured and led interactive sessions on self-determination, Dr. Micha Wiebusch who lectured on the African Union, Vincent Bellinkx who lectured on Human Rights and Environmental Sustainability and Pascal Sundi Mbambi (Université Kongo) and Dr. Rachel Hammonds who introduced their research on Localizing Human Rights in the Bas Congo region of the DR Congo.