Ana Qazi

It helps if you understand society when you are applying the law

For second-year Global Law student Anas A. Qazi, international law is his ‘true calling’. He explains how classes are enriched by the Tilburg Education Profile (TEP). “Anyone can read a law book, but that does not make you a good lawyer. It is about developing personal skills and social responsibility, learning to work together as well as to work independently, to communicate, and to foster leadership skills. Tilburg University has provided for that with TEP.”

By Melinde Bussemaker

Anas is a true international student. He was born in Berlin and then lived in various places all over the world. He always went to international schools. For the past three years and six months, Anas has studied in the Netherlands, where he started with a Law program at the Hague University of Applied Sciences. Next, he opted for Global Law at Tilburg University. “The program sounded interesting and the university has a good reputation. As a result of globalization, the world is developing at an amazing rate and life is getting increasingly complex.

Worldwide there are hundreds of different legal systems. If you want to be successful in international law, you have to be able to navigate different systems. I find that fascinating.

If you provide assistance to someone from, say, Somalia, you need to have the skills as well as the knowledge to help that client. That is what I learn at Tilburg University.”

Not black-and-white

The law is about right and wrong. Anas explains:

You would think it is black and white: the law may be on the books, but the law in action is quite a different matter.

“There is always room for interpretation, depending on the context in which something happens. Therefore it is the courts that apply the law. If that weren’t the case, there would be no point in going to law school; you might just as well just read the books. But the whole context is important. Law touches on everything. There are laws on animal rights and laws that apply in space. There are connections with economics, philosophy, and healthcare. It helps if you understand society when you are applying the law.”

Serious discussions

“When you make the connections between all those areas in society, you see the importance of TEP,” Anas continues. “We look at the historical perspective: how has the law developed historically to what it is now? We learn about authority: who is competent, and why? And is it right? We have serious discussions based on the facts of these topics. There are always real-life cases to put issues into perspective. For instance, you buy something, but you are not satisfied with the product. What are your rights? You get beaten up on the street: what action can you take?”

Morally correct

A Philosophy course is part of every Tilburg University Bachelor’s program. How is it applied within Global Law? Anas: “We learn critical thinking skills. How are climate laws designed? And does that actually benefit the climate? We look at morality. Is it true that your actions are morally right if you comply with the law? For instance, if you reported your Jewish neighbor during the war, you were obeying the law. But would you be doing the right thing?”

According to philosophers, the law must meet certain conditions to be considered ethical. Those are the topics of our discussions.

Study association ELSA

Besides his studies, Anas is a very active member of study association ELSA. “When I first came to Tilburg University, I was a shy boy. During a moot court at ELSA, I discovered the fun of arguing a case. I experienced a fine, sociable community with a worldwide network. It is like a loving family that offers support, inspires, and motivates you and nudges you into developing your own potential.

I became a member and I can truly say that I have grown a lot thanks to ELSA.

I have developed tremendously as regards my skills and character. I feel full of confidence now, thanks to the local and international experiences at ELSA. It is important to get out of your comfort zone and develop in the field of communication and leadership. That will take your career further. The sooner you acquire the relevant skills, the better. I can certainly recommend other students to undertake extra-curricular activities.”

Stimulating the dialogue

This year, Anas is ELSA’s chairman. “It felt like the obvious thing to do for me, to give back to the association that has brought me so much. We have mainly worked to further build the community, to improve the connection; we invite guest speakers from the field to talk about their experiences so we get a firsthand look of what’s cooking in the world of law. And we have worked on understanding and empathy.”

We want to stimulate the dialogue, in a good, constructive way. So that we understand and respect each other’s opinions, even when we disagree. We do not shy away from controversy in doing so, either.

International Criminal Court

In addition to his studies and chairmanship, Anas is currently doing an internship at the Institute on Statelessness and Inclusion. “The focus on human rights and migration is very interesting to me. What rights do you have if you are stateless? My dream is to ultimately become a lawyer at the International Criminal Court in The Hague,” he concludes. “I want to do a Master’s in International Criminal Law and gain experience in England. But I’m keeping my options open: you never know what may come your way.”