Ezequiel Jimenez Martinez ’13 gained knowledge of global law during a semester in the Netherlands.
The temperatures are low, the people are nice, and a vibrant Somalian community lives there. Although Ezequiel Jimenez Martinez ’13 (Salta, Argentina) noticed these similarities to Minnesota, his semester in the Netherlands differed in many ways from his time at Macalester. Here’s how:
1) He had class in coffeehouses (as well as in bookstores, courts, at the University of Maastricht, etc.).
The Perspectives on Globalization program began with a one-month seminar in The Hague with Ahmed Samatar, James Wallace Professor of International Studies. The nine Mac students met for four to six hours a day on the second floor of The American Bookstore, owned by a Mac alumnus. They also visited the Somali community in The Hague, the Moroccan community in Amsterdam, and the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICC).
The second part of the semester took place at the University of Maastricht, where the Mac students studied globalization through the lens of development, law, and environmental politics and met other students from around the world. (In future years, participants in this program will remain in The Hague and study at Leiden University College.)
2) He wrote a paper for an academic publication.
The students’ experience-based classes contributed to their independent research papers, which will be compiled into a book published by Mac’s Institute for Global Citizenship. The program’s biggest challenge, says Jimenez Martinez, was deciding on a research topic worthy of an academic paper. He He decided to address the relationship between the ICC, the U.N. Security Council, and rising nations such as India, Brazil, Russia, and China. “The experience of conducting major research has been amazing,” says Jimenez Martinez.
3) He came within a few feet of some of the world’s most-wanted war criminals.
Jimenez Martinez conducted most of his research in courts and thus was present at the closing of the case against Thomas Lubanga, convicted of conscripting children for his Congolese army. He also observed a case at the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and came within a few feet of Radovan Karadžić, a former Bosnian Serb politician indicted for war crimes against Bosnian Muslims and Croats, as well as Karadžić’s defense lawyer, Peter Robinson ’75.
Jimenez Martinez later met with Robinson, who gave him insider knowledge about how international tribunals function. He also learned more about the ICC by meeting with Theo van Boven, the former head of the Dutch delegation to the drafting of the ICC who is now an emeritus professor of international law at the University of Maastricht.
Jimenez Martinez’s interest in international law is what drove him to enroll in the Perspectives on Globalization program. A double major in international studies and political science, he studied the ICC in Professor Jim Von Geldern’s international studies classes and international law in classes taught by James Wallace Professor of Political Science David Blaney. Thanks to a Chuck Green fellowship, he also worked at the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota, an experience that gave him a more “practical sense of how international law works.” Finally, Jimenez Martinez was inspired by Mac’s 2010 International Roundtable, where he met international law scholar Philip Alston, who advised him to study in The Hague.
Jimenez Martinez plans to get a master’s degree in international law and international affairs after graduation, which he hopes will be followed by a career at the ICC, the foreign ministry, the U.N., or in the diplomatic corps. Whatever the path, he says, “I see myself out in the world because I believe that international law is one way to figure out what can be fixed in our world.”
Jimenez Martinez is part of Macalester's Davis United World College Scholars.