It is an activity linked to the making of international treaties of International Organizations creators which through role-play technique among undergraduate students in law, in groups of five students, who should represent/advocate the foreign policy interests of one country. Three countries were mandatory included (USA, China and Iran), and the other two were chosen by the groups. Each group was free to choose the theme and related functions to the IOs that they have created. The dynamics of the activity was done without a formal presentation of the group in the classroom, and the final version of the work was delivered directly to the course professor, allowing students to organize themselves freely to the construction of the treaty text, not only in the classroom, but also in their time of interaction and study outside of the class.
- GENERAL GOALS: given that one of the course’s goals was to introduce students to the international reality in which they operate to International Organizations and dynamics of creation and running, the activity stands out for the possibility of real application of the principles and doctrinal bases presented in the module about the general theory of international organizations. The students had the opportunity to experience the difficulties of setting up a founding Letter, considering the particularities of the reality of international society and the interaction of its actors and the difficulty of writing international legal instruments.
- SPECIFIC GOALS: beyond the study and further development of the general theory of international organizations, students were challenged to deal with the general parameters of the reality of foreign policy of the countries that they represented, and still to search the chosen themes in depth to be object and functions of the IOs they have created. The interdisciplinary of activity tied not only the knowledge of international law but also the international politics and the development of the writing tool of legal instruments through the elaboration of the text of the founding Letter.
- DEVELOPED ABILITIES: one of the most required skills and expertise to the development of the activity was the argumentation capacity and negotiation, given that there were in all groups (especially the mandatory inclusion of countries with cultures and disparate international agendas) the conflicting of interests, whatever the theme chosen was to be the object of work. The legal writing capacity also corresponds to a skill required with accuracy and the ability to do it in groups, which means, that it is not restricted to isolated or individual construction of text, whereas if it was done, the final version of the treaty would entail inconsistencies irreconcilable. At all times, the students were encouraged to draw together all the text of the activity. Moreover, the creativity in the choice of theme and the preparation of the text by the students is a strong presence skill in conducting the activity.
- TEACHING METHOD: role-playing, in which students played representative role of certain countries to create international organizations.
- REQUIREMENTS: in relation to the students, they should have previous knowledge of the general theory of international organizations. Also, they should have dominion over the concept, functions, features, the legal regime and ways of creation of IOs proved to be crucial for the satisfactory conduction of the activity. While performing the activity, students should maintain the habit of constant research on the state of question that also would be addressed as well as the general parameters of the foreign policy agenda of the countries that they were representing. In relation to the professor, the activity does not require much advance preparation, because the themes would be from the topics proposed by students themselves of the activity that will be developed. The attention and the professor care focused primarily to the conduct of the activity - orientation of students with the choice of themes and intended approach - and in the final treaty text evaluation – to considerate all evaluation criteria properly (creativity, involvement of students in the activity, academic and intellectual maturity of the groups in the writing of the text, etc.)
- DEVELOPMENT OF THE DYNAMICS: The activity was developed as one of the semester evaluations of the Public International Law class at the UERJ law course. The activity was announced in the first class and passed an execution guide of implementation and elements required to be developed in the activities. It was given within 15 days for the students to form groups and choose the topics that would be the focus of activities of the International Organizations whose founders’ letters would be created by the groups. After the formation of groups and choice of topics, one class - after closed the presentation phase of the general theory content of international organizations during the classes - was used for the groups so they could make an initial planning of the text being drawn up (length of class: 90 minutes). During this class, the professor of the course spoke with all groups individually to evaluate the development of the activity up to that point and assist students in relation to the initial difficulties. At this point, the professor had to make some adjustments, such as the suggestion of the change of the chosen themes, in order to avoid: 1) repetition of themes by different groups; 2) themes that were not linked to the reality of international relations, in view of the involved countries; 3) themes that for its technical complexity would assume extreme difficulties for the group. Once this class of guidance was realized by the professor in charge of the activity, it was given a month to help students progressing autonomously in the writing of the work. After this time, it was held another orientation class that followed the same previous dynamic - orientation group to group, with counseling and supervision over the strategic points of the wording of the treaty report, lasting 90 minutes. The work deadline date was scheduled for one month after the completion of this second orientation session. After the correction the treaties, it was made a feedback to the groups about the failures and rights from their text elaboration with the consequent grading. The documents drawn up denote the areas of greatest interest of the students of the class, since most of the treaties dealt with issues related to the environment, issues related to protection of human rights of minorities and the issue of weapons, although the approaches of the groups often were very different from each other.
It could be observed great creativity of the students involved, who have striven to give their own perspective about the reality of international society.
The part where the groups should give their critical view of realization of the activity, the activity creators were surprised positively with the good receptivity of the students in relation to a dynamic evaluation that escapes from the usual parameters and with their own comments brought to this space. Many students assumed that they had great difficulty to start the activity and did not expect to be so hard the elaboration of a legal instrument. Thus, this comment denotes such a comment as we are still stuck to a legal education which does not provide the development of skills related to legal writing, an indispensable tool for the operator of Law in the practice field. In addition, others mentioned the satisfaction of freedom that they have to create and innovate on classroom teaching and legal doctrine. Furthermore, some of them commented that they enjoyed the trading experience and the interest defense connected to their own thoughts and also to be evaluated differently than university usually practice in undergraduate education in general.
Generally, to provide space for student evaluation about the activity reveals much about the activity and the dynamics of its conduction.
- ATTENTION IN THE CLASSROOM: the allocation defense of foreign policy agenda for the countries that were assigned to students did not occur in order to be an essential factor, but rather as a means to introduce points of friction in the negotiations of the treaty provisions. The intention was to include a factor of difficulty in the performance of the activity (otherwise the wording of the treaty could give overly simplistic and totally utopian in relation to the concrete reality of relations between the subjects of international law in international society way). At the time that happen the mandatory defenses of interests of countries like China, the US and Iran it was possible to "destabilize" the debate and provide compositional experience with conflicting interests. The monitoring of the chosen themes to be objects of treaties were important allowing some guidance to the difficulties of each theme and its main aspects, and also prevent the choice of too much simple content for the implementation of the proposed activity. It was included as a mandatory element at work, a section of general description of the addressed themes and also a maximum space of 300 words to expose the difficulties encountered in elaboration of the treaty. This element was of crucial importance for the evaluation of the success of the activity. In addition, some difficulties have emerged over the completion of the activity: plagiarism cases were diagnosed quite easily by the responsible professor for the activity. Thus, the conduction of the issue pointing out that the best way to handle the situation was to expose the problem to the group and ask the group to remake the work, which resulted productive in most cases. Moreover, a few groups insisted on delivering papers whose approach would be peeled from the real goal of the reality of international society, such as the "Constitutive International Treaty of the olccas - organization of free trade of cannabis sativa," or whose technical complexity hurts its development of the activity (Treaty of Establishment of Hospital Uranium International Inspection Agency). The greater the freedom of creation and action of students, the more likely this type of problem occurs, although, nevertheless, the excessive restriction of the freedom action of the groups can also be detrimental to the development of the activity and the persecuted purposes.
- FEEDBACK: Feedbacks were given to all groups, containing the strengths and weaknesses of the final writing report of the treaty. The flaws in the composition of the IO and the aspects that are no longer covered have also been elucidated for students in each group. Considering that each group chose different theme and the writing was free, there was no official feedback or only one answer to the activity. It was taken into account, how the group developed the chosen theme, the bodies created in the IO, the development of the functions of the international organization, the creativity in the choice of content, maturity and precision of legal writing and seriousness in the realization of the activity. The opinion with the evaluation was well received by students, who felt this way of evaluating more constructive and enlightening to improve the academic growth other than the mere granting of grades.
Several groups reported that the virtual meetings through social networks and video conference applications were very useful for better debate and deepening of the chosen themes. Finally, when the students are not restricted to discussion time in the classroom is beneficial on the wat that it allows more time for reflection and discussion on the text wording.
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