Christine Tremblay, lecturer at The Hague University of Applied Sciences, is starting a weekly reading discussion group exploring diversity and inclusion. Diversity and inclusion is an important and vibrant subject for THUAS students, and discussing it can provide interesting avenues for further exploration. Christine’s personal interest in this project comes from her background in diversity and inclusion itself. “I have been teaching the course of Gender & Law in the LAW program for the past three years, and I would like to broaden the discussion to other themes within diversity and discuss the intersectionality between those themes. I am also curious to know how the younger generation reflects on those themes.”

Before becoming a lecturer at The Hague University of Applied Sciences, Christine received her double law degree at McGill University in Canada in Canadian Civil and Common Law. Although this degree was in domestic law, international law, particularly human rights and international criminal law, was always an interest. During summer breaks, Christine went to Burkina Faso and Palestine working with human rights NGO’s, finding challenging and rewarding experiences. She also interned at a legal clinic in Canada working to end discrimination against people with HIV+ and AIDs, providing legal advice and drafting for courts. “That was an enriching experience, because the discrimination people felt was so complicated during that time.”

These experiences culminated to inspire Christine’s interest in public international law and working within human rights spaces. This led her to intern at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, working on the Omarska camp trial in The Hague, working on the case of an accused rapist. “This was where I started to get an interest in sexual violence and gender-based crimes, because one of the accused was a rapist, and this was in a sense quite difficult to work emotionally. But at the same time, it was really rewarding, with complicated dynamics.”

Christine’s work at the Tribunal sparked her interest in gender-based violence and feminism. “I was really fascinated by this. International Criminal Law was just starting in the 1990s again, with Rwanda and Former Yugoslavia’ s conflicts and the creation of the ad hoc tribunals.” Besides being a current lecturer on Public International Law, Christine has been working on her PhD at Leiden University on the impact of feminist scholarship on International Criminal Law. With all of this accomplished experience, Christine is interested in mediating a student discussion group on diversity and inclusion.

At the Hague University of Applied Sciences, Christine teaches Gender and Law for the International and European Law program. “The conversations in this class are always interesting. Diversity is a complicated subject when it is touched upon, because the meaning can be understood differently.” This is why Christine decided to initiate a reading and discussion group on Diversity with students. The group offers a new platform for students to discuss, deliberate and question these themes more broadly. “If you say racial diversity, gender diversity, disability and diversity then it’s clear. But if you say diversity more broadly, it removes the limitation of talking about gender. Because you are not only a woman, but it also intersects with other identities. It’s limiting to look at it from only a gender perspective, and that’s why it is interesting to use the term diversity, which also has limitations. And maybe in the reading group we will be able to come up with some sort of definition to what diversity means.”

The Diversity Reading Group runs every Tuesday at 18.00. Please click here to find out more information: Launch of the Student Reading Group on Diversity this January

Interview by Georgia Delgado