1112 International Law



Katia talks about getting an internship to work in international law.

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Todd: So Katia you were saying that you were working in Argentina as an internship. What type of internship was it?

Katia: It was called legal internship. You help lawyers to deal with cases or anything that they need you to do regarding the legal field.

Todd: OK. So what kind of legal field were you working in?

Katia: It's human rights, human rights in the inter-American system so cases that are related to human rights abuses in the American continent.

Todd: So what are some types of cases that often come up regarding human rights?

Katia: There are unfortunately many kinds of human rights abuses in Latin America. Some are from the dictatorship, for example disappearances. Many people disappeared during the seventies and they have not received justice so they are still looking for some kind of clarification. So for example a case like that would be brought before the Inter-American Commission and Court.

Todd: Anything else? Any other types of stuff that you would look into?

Katia: Yes, there are many kinds. For example looking at the military justice system which in many situations civilians are judged before a military justice system which it should not be. Also, extra-judicial killings. For example freedom of speech also. So there are many kinds of human rights abuses in Latin America that you get to see.

Todd: So if somebody has a problem, if they have some type of human rights abuse, how do they get in contact with a lawyer like you? How does it work?

Katia: Actually I'm not a lawyer but yes first before you contact somebody like this NGO, you need to try to find justice in your own country before you go into a highter system like the Inter-American Commission and Court. So first you go into your local lawyer and local courts and local judges and try to see if you can get justice from there. When you tried that and you did not receive what you're entitled to, then you go outside of your national system and try to find another way to get justice which would be contacting for example an NGO like this one and try to bring this case into the Inter-American Commission.

Todd: So usually when people have a case like this or some type of case and they go to an NGO or some legal entity for help, obviously they don't have resources usually, correct, so it's all done free?

Katia: Yes. Many of these people have already spent a lot of money to try to get some kind of justice in their systems or sometimes don't have enough resources, so entities like this NGO will be free of charge and try to help people to get some kind of justice.

Todd: Sounds good. Hopefully everybody gets the justice they deserve.

Katia: I hope so too.

Learn Vocabulary from the lesson

legal

It was called legal internship.

We use the word legal to discuss things about the subject of law. Notice the following:

  1. My sister's a legal assistant.
  2. The legal system is slow but it works; most of the time.

abuses

Many cases that are related to human rights abuses in the American continent.

We use the word abuse to talk about wrongdoing, usually against other people. Notice the following:

  1. Statistics for the year showed an increase in human rights abuses.
  2. The organization's job is to document human rights abuses throughout the region.

dictatorship

Some are from the dictatorship, for example disappearances.

A dictatorship describes a country that is led by an unelected ruler with complete power, most often maintained by force. Notice the following:

  1. His dictatorship ended in country wide celebration.
  2. It was a long and brutal dictatorship.

justice

They have not received justice so they are still looking for some kind of clarification.

Justice means fair treatment under the law. Notice the following:

  1. There was no justice under the dictatorship.
  2. The people cried out for justice.

look into

Any other types of stuff that you would look into?

When we look into something, that means we seek information about it. Notice the following:

  1. Don't worry, I'll look into it.
  2. Can you look into that for me?
Answer the following questions about the interview.

Keep Listening

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Vocabulary Challenge

Complete the sentences with the words below.
legal • abuses • dictatorship
justice • look into
  1. I have worked as a secretary for several years.
  2. The victim's family still feels that hasn't been served.
  3. The people suffered for two decades under an oppressive .
  4. He promised to my case.
  5. Their group provides free services for victims of human rights .