University of Toronto Faculty of Law
United Nations International Human Rights Program Internship
Name: Benjamin Perrin, J.D. (2005)
International Dates of Internship: 9 May 2005 – 8 August 2005
for the Former Organization: International Criminal Tribunal for the
Yugoslavia former Yugoslavia
International pour Section of Tribunal: Chambers, Trial Chamber II
Supervisor: Susanne Malmstrom
A) Description of Work Completed During Internship
During my internship, I assisted the judges and legal officers of
Trial Chamber II in several pre-trial matters and one of the trials.
In addition to conducting research on a range of legal questions,
I drafted several decisions on provisional release, protective
measures for victims and witnesses, and other pre-trial issues.
I was also able to work extensively with Judge Albertus Swart and members of the Prosecutor v.
Hadzihasanovic and Kubura Chambers team on legal and evidentiary research projects for the
purposes of preparing for deliberations in this trial, and drafting the Trial Judgement.
B) Benefits of Internship
Completing this internship at the ICTY has been a wonderful
experience that has helped me gain practical insights into
international criminal law, and confirmed my interest in
continuing to research and work in this field.
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It has been enlightening to see the process that the judges of our Trial Chamber go through in
coming to their decisions, especially given the international composition of the court. The pre-trial
cases that I assisted with involved a great deal of responsibility and for that reason were very
rewarding. My research abilities, analytical skills, and understanding of ICTY jurisprudence has
developed through the assignments that I have undertaken.
The skills and insights that I have obtained during my internship experience will assist me in my
thesis research for my Master of Laws at the McGill University, Faculty of Law (2005-6), which
concerns international criminal law. My exposure to the work of a few of the judges at the ICTY
will also assist me in my clerkship at the Supreme Court of Canada for the Honourable Madam
Justice Marie Deschamps (2006-7).
C) Appraisal of Internship Experience
I have been very impressed with all of the people that I have worked with at the ICTY during my
internship, and found them to be very dedicated. At the same time, there was always a lot of
encouragement and support available. I found our Trial Chamber to be very collegial and upbeat.
The legal officers that I worked with made a genuine effort to involve me in the substantive work of
The highlights of my internship included drafting
several pre-trial decisions from scratch and then
working on the draft with my supervisor, often after we
received comments from the judges. Seeing the
decisions finally get filed was very rewarding and made
me feel like I was able to make an important
contribution. Also, working one-on-one with Judge
Swart on several research projects was a definite
highlight. It was a little intimidating at first, working
directly with a judge, but my confidence grew and
found that we got along quite well.
My internship at the ICTY exceeded my expectations. I have already recommended that several
other law students who are interested in international criminal law apply for an internship at the
ICTY next year. The level of responsibility, challenging and interesting nature of the work, as well
as meaningful contact with judges and legal officers of the Trial Chamber are the reasons for my
enthusiasm. Being a part of this historical effort to bring persons allegedly responsible for serious
violations of international humanitarian law to justice has been a humbling and rewarding