Ioana Bala- Third Year Redress (London, UK) This past summer, I spent 12 weeks as an intern at REDRESS, a small human rights advocacy organization located in London, England. REDRESS is staffed by a small team of dedicated lawyers, and its mandate is to promote remedies for torture and the rights of torture victims under domestic and international laws. I learned about this organization through another law student with whom I worked in one of the human rights working groups at school. With her assistance, I was able to liaise with them, and ultimately arrange an internship, becoming REDRESS' second U of T Law summer intern! REDRESS actively engages in all facets of human rights advocacy. First of all, REDRESS' lawyers, although not representing clients directly, work on providing support and documentation for cases that are crucial to enforcing the prohibition of torture and promoting remedies for victims. Most recently, REDRESS was involved in a series of cases in the United Kingdom that challenged the norm of state immunity from liability in cases involving torture. Working with other advocacy organizations, REDRESS strives to ensure that as these cases unfold, the perspective of victims and their entitlement to an adequate legal remedy comes to the fore. Second, REDRESS also engages in advocacy at the international level, particularly at the International Criminal Court, where REDRESS staff have been successful in spearheading a series of initiatives aimed at ensuring that victims' rights are included in the ICC's mandate as it develops. Third, REDRESS also pursues extensive capacity-building and awareness-raising through its detailed research and publications whose topics range from country-specific reports on, for example, Zimbabwe, Georgia and the Sudan, to topic- specific reports on the process of bringing a complaint on behalf of torture survivors, implementing effective legislation on the prohibition of torture, and implementing the appropriate police standards in order to prevent and remedy torture. These publications are very practically-oriented, and hence are invaluable not only as a source of information on international legal standards for similarly-minded NGOs, but can also have an impact on policy-makers and state agents that are called upon to implement these standards. In response to these publications, which are disseminated to advocacy organizations and government offices world-wide, REDRESS staff have been invited to hold training and information sessions for both NGO workers, as well as police personnel and legislators. My own work at REDRESS was focused mainly on this third part of REDRESS' work. I did a lot of research and writing in support of several publications, working mainly on two projects: documenting the extent of state obligations stemming from the prohibition of torture under international law and doing preliminary research for a project focused on the human rights obligations of non-state actors. Although the legal research training infrastructure at a small human rights organization is probably considerably less developed than it would be at a law firm or government office, as there are fewer resources and much less time available for staff to invest in training, I was ultimately able to learn a lot. This was due in no small part to the detailed feedback and discussion that my supervisor gave to my work. These discussions were invaluable in helping me to better understand not only the theoretical dimensions of my research, but also to learn to think in a much more practical way than I had gotten accustomed to in class. Perhaps most valuably, I learned to assess international human rights standards from the perspective of their practical effectiveness for victims. I learned to consider not only the norms that they set out, but the way in which cases and other types of initiatives can be brought on behalf of victims, either domestically or internationally, the way in which these play out, and most importantly, their practical outcome in terms of bettering victims' lives. From this perspective, I came to understand international human rights law as a much more complex and multi-dimensional field, whose outcomes are often unpredictable, incomplete, and, many times, frustrating. Indeed, some of REDRESS' lawyers expressed concern that in many cases where they had contributed, or even personally represented clients and won judgments for them, they were ultimately unable to secure the material enforcement of these judgments. Yet, for this reason, I was also extremely inspired by their level of motivation and dedication. Indeed, interning at REDRESS showed me what a tremendous intellectual and practical challenge human rights advocacy can be. For this reason, I was thoroughly impressed with the kind of work that the lawyers in the office did on a daily basis. I learned that human rights work requires a lot of personal initiative and creativity, and takes unwavering dedication in the face of often discouraging outcomes. Furthermore, while the process may not be perfect, I was also particularly impressed that the staff seemed to have an immediate relationship with those seeking their help, as well as with other human rights advocates. They seemed to be always open to new claims and new initiatives, always available for discussion and ready to offer their services, where it would be helpful and appropriate. Finally, I also enjoyed the multi-faceted nature of the work. In addition to research in the office, I also got to attend a conference on the enforcement of human rights judgments (another initiative reflecting REDRESS' primary concern with practical outcomes) organized by REDRESS in association with a big London law firm. The conference hosted a diverse group of practitioners from both international and domestic bodies, who discussed the obstacles and possibilities of enforcing international human rights judgments in domestic courts. Another interesting part of the conference was the discussion of the ways in which private law firms can collaborate in human rights cases, particularly in assisting to secure compensation for human rights victims. A second very interesting event that REDRESS organized in the summer was an art exhibition featuring the photographs and stories of victims of torture. The exhibit was successful as an awareness-raising exercise, helping to highlight the importance of the work done by organizations like REDRESS to those without a specific knowledge of international human rights law. The exhibit was challenging, as many of its participants found it difficult to share their stories (indeed, some did not speak directly to their experiences). But overall, the interaction and effect on the audience seemed to be positive and fruitful, despite the deeply troubling nature of the subject matter. Finally, I also got to participate in various other events – such as observing a press conference on the issue of torture victims in Iraq, attending various talks by human rights advocates, as well as observing a ground-breaking criminal trial that resulted in a conviction under the UK's universal jurisdiction torture laws. Overall, the experience was very trying and challenging, but also fruitful and rewarding. I learned a lot, both about the field of human rights, methods of advocacy and the representation of victims, as well as the rigorous professional demands of this field. I am definitely interested in continuing to pursue this kind of work in the future.