Law student gets the summons to Geneva big league

FOR the next four months, Kristine Tay will be living out of a suitcase in Geneva.

The 24-year-old is one of nine high-flying Monash law students who will be undertaking internships at legal institutions across the world.

She will complete her internship at the International Commission of Jurists in Geneva, Switzerland. The organisation is known for its work in promoting human rights.

"It's a pretty interesting organisation in that it really does have global reach, which I think a lot of other organisations lack," Ms Tay says.

The internships are part of the 2013 Castan Centre global internship program, which gives Monash law students the chance to travel to world human rights organisations to gain experience.

"It sounds cliched but I'm honoured to be chosen by Monash and the Castan Centre, because I really respect the work they do. It's a great opportunity too, because Geneva, of all places to intern, is where human rights are at."

For seven years, the Castan Centre of Human Rights Law at Monash University has been funding students to go overseas and study with leading human rights organisations.

Ms Tay says she would not be able to go to Geneva without the support of the Castan Centre.

"To intern there, you have to be privileged enough to have funding from someone. So to get the opportunity from Monash is great because it's not something I could have done by myself independently."

She will spend four months in Geneva in the Commission's economic, social and cultural rights division. These rights have traditionally been seen as difficult to implement and adjudicate.

"The reason people struggle with these rights is that they are seen as expensive and also relative to the wealth of the country that you're in." During her four-month stay, she may contribute to a manual that will be distributed to lawyers.

After she finishes law school, Ms Tay hopes to work at a grassroots level. "That's where I get the most meaning out of the work that I do.

"I like being able to have that face to face contact.

"When you work one on one with someone and see a change that you can make to that person's life."

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