End of the Semester Reflections

by mflash16

For this last blog post, I want to reflect on what I’ve learned over the course of this semester, and how I think I can apply it to my (hopefully) career as a lawyer. Walking into this class, I had no idea what public diplomacy meant, or that social media was something more than a way to share cute pictures and recipes. However, after seeing how the effective use of tools like Twitter and Facebook can be used to help start a revolution, spark discussion, and disseminate critical information, I find my self looking more and more for relevant blog posts and actually used twitter as a way to follow public opinion during the election. While I will never be a “twitterite,” I no longer think of social media as something that is outside the realm of my interest.
Furthermore, I realized just how much I had learnt in researching my final paper for this class, I was astounded to find just how little the legal community valued the use of social media as a tool of promoting justice and accountability. Perhaps because we spend so much time learning to carefully select each and every word, conscious of legal ramifications of a misspeak later on, that we miss opportunities to engage and argue our case in the twitter courtroom. Worse than the Department of State twitter approval chain of command is the complete ignorance and lack of interest present at the ICC today because it hampers the Court’s ability to refute criticisms, in part because they are completely unaware of the changing dynamics and interests groups who have a grouping power to effect social change, and limit or increase the Courts ability to function in conflict situations.
Law and Twitter might be an unlikely match, and just as I struggled to accept the seriousness of a tweet, twitter users will have to bare with us lawyers as we learn to turn 3 thousand page judgments in to 160 characters or less. But I think the end result will be worth it. International Justice for the crimes under the jurisdiction of the ICC is justice crimes that affect us all and there is a need to explain and demonstrate how the ICC helps bring accountability and end impunity for these crimes. The more communities and countries understand how the Court functions, the better it will be able to function as a forum for truth and justice.