Following up on the great success of the law students’ visit to the European institutions last year, the Law and Politics Department of Middlesex University (London and Dubai Campuses) organised on 22nd to 25th May 2017 the second annual study trip to Strasbourg, France, for undergraduate and postgraduate law, politics and criminology students of the two Campuses. The purpose of the trip was to visit various European institutions and meet with Judges of the European Court of Human Rights and other senior officials of the Council of Europe. The trip was coordinated by Dr Tenia Kyriazi, Senior Lecturer in Law an Campus Programme Coordinator for Law and Politics Programmes, and Dr Daphne Demetriou, Lecturer in Law, from our Campus, as well as Dr Alice Donald, Senior Lecturer in Law from the London Campus.
Students and faculty visited the European Court of Human Rights and attended a Chamber hearing of Sharxhi and Other v. Albania, a case concerning a complain in relation to alleged human rights violations in the course of expropriations undertaken by Albanian authorities. Students had the opportunity to see in practice the procedures followed by the Court and hear the parties’ oral submissions. Students also had the honour to meet three of the European Court of Human Rights’ Judges, namely Judge Linos-Alexandre Sicilianos (Vice-President of the Court, Judge elected in repsect of Greece), Judge Paulo Pinto De Albuquerque (Judge elected in respect of Portugal) and Judge Tim Eicke (Judge elected in respect of the United Kingdom). The Judges shared their views and experiences, discussed the everyday workings of the Court, as well as the main challenges currently faced by the Court. The meetings sparked great interest amongst the students, who posed many questions to the Judges and engaged in a thought-provoking debate relating to the various rights arising from the European Convention on Human Rights.
Students also attended a meeting at the Palais de l’Europe with Mr Christian Mommers, adviser to the High Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe, who spoke to them about the mandate of the Commissioner and his priorities for the coming years. Additionally, students had the opportunity to visit the Chamber of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly. Moreover, a tour of the European Parliament was organised, during which students had the opportunity to visit the institution, and sit in the hemicycle, where the plenary sessions of the European Parliament are held, and hear about the workings of this vital EU institution.
Students thoroughly enjoyed this unique study visit. Banazir Kassam, Y2 LLB said: "As a co-founder of an NGO and a student of the Human Rights Law module, the visit to the European Court of Human Rights was nothing short of a dream to me. Being able to experience a case hearing and visiting Parliament provided greater clarity and insight to all the knowledge gained over the year from the EU Law and Human Rights modules - an engaging and thought-provoking experience. My biggest concern has always been that of what my future career would entail in this field, and having the opportunity to speak with the judges at the Court not only encouraged tenacity and determination but also the open-mindedness required to achieve this, of which I am so grateful. I am honoured to have been part of such a stimulating experience with Middlesex University."
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