Students interested in furthering their legal education while enjoying a trip abroad ought to seek out Gerald Uelmen.
For the last five years, the professor at Santa Clara University School of Law has taken students — and not just those from his own school — to Europe for a couple of weeks to take in some court action.
This year, Uelmen took 19 students — half from Santa Clara and the rest other schools — to The Hague, the seat of government for The Netherlands, to watch a war crimes trial at the International Crime Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.
They were there from May 27 to June 8.
Radovan Karadzic, a former Bosnian Serb president, was being tried for war crimes committed against Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats during the siege of Sarajevo from April 5, 1992, to Feb. 29, 1996. He is also accused of the July 1995 Srebrenica Genocide, in which more than 8,000 men and boys were massacred.
“Most of the students have just finished there first year of law school,” Uelmen said today, “so for many of them this is their first exposure to an international tribunal or the European system of civil justice. So it’s quite an eye-opener to them.”
Adding to the interest, Uelmen said, was the fact that Alan Tieger and Peter McCloskey, both Santa Clara grads, were prosecuting the case. Karadzic, who is representing himself, was being advised by Santa Rosa criminal defense lawyer Peter Robinson.
“And they’re doing a pretty good job,” Uelmen said of Robinson and Karadzic. Uelmen’s annual trip is open to any student from a law school accredited by the American Bar Association.