For several years, the lawyer of the international Marina Aksenov has already managed to work around the world – from Georgia to Cambodia. In our interview, she tells why the Dutch consider themselves ducks, recalls the most difficult moments in work in Cambodia and their personal example proves that a lawyer is really a travel profession.
– Why starts your career path and, accordingly, your travels?
– I studied at the International University in Moscow at the Faculty of Civil Law. When I finished, it seemed to me that it was early to start working work, and I went to study at the University of Amsterdam to the Master of International European Law. From this point on, I started international legal activities. At the end of study, I applied to the International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, which is located in the Hague. I spent two years in the Tribunal: first intern, then with the defenders of the lawyer’s assistant.
– In what cases did you participate?
– One team represented the interests of the defendants in the case of silver, and the other – the former Prime Minister of Kosovo. We went to Kosovo several times with this team, examined the seats of crimes, interviewed witnesses – that is, travel began already then.
– What happened then?
– After that, I worked for two years in the international law firm WHITE & Case and engaged in international investment arbitration. My biggest thing in which we represented Georgia is international arbitration against the Russian company. I drove a few times in Tbilisi, where we also met with various witnesses, took the testimony. Then I realized that I want to deal with criminal law and academic activities. Therefore, I went for a year to study in Oxford to the degree in criminology. At the end of study, I entered the graduate school in Florence to the International European Institute.
– How long have you lived in Florence?
– Four years. In addition, during the postgraduate, I spent three months in Cambodia in the Tribunal on Red Khermam. At the moment I have been scientific activities at the University of Copenhagen at the post-window position.
– How do you adapt to the difference of mentalities? You all the time surrounded people of different crops, to everyone you need to enjoy.
– I always worked with people from different cultures. But in general, I can say that it all depends on the team. In the Yugoslav Tribunal, for example, we had a team of six people, a very family atmosphere, we even worked from the apartment in the Hague, and not in the building of the Tribunal himself. That is, as a result, adapt to other people simply because you work in a small team. As for the UN itself, the flexibility in relation to different cultures is primarily valued: it is necessary to comply with the rules of courtesy, it must be remembered that people may have a different understanding of cultural and non-cultural, acceptable and unacceptable, and consider it in communication. Be sure to follow a decent tone in the correspondence. In general, the tolerance is appreciated.
– What features you noticed in communication with the Italians?
– For example, everything is solved by phone or at a personal meeting, the correspondence is not always effective. It is believed that if you have any problems, it is better to call or meet for coffee. In Italy, flexibility is very valued: the main thing is to be subjectively and verbally to explain its problem, and then you will be helped. And of course, a representativeness is appreciated: at important meetings it is necessary to look suitable, and it is necessary to come to the court in a suit and express a very complex archaic Italian language – specifically to emphasize the status of a lawyer. And in Holland, for example, less formal and people less pay attention to the external. Everything happens very measured. There are quite formally relate to resolving some problems: each problem must be properly and redirected by a specialist. The Dutch does not like to rush and force the events – the thinking is valued.
– there were difficulties in work due to cultural differences?
– One of the most interesting experiences for me was Cambodia. The goal was to judge the perpetrators in the commission of crimes during the board of the floor of Pot. It was decided that the UN will work with Cambodian staff. Cambodian staff was separated enough from international personnel, and the work went parallel – it often had a feeling that there are no points of contact of two worlds. In addition, the court must be independent, but many Cambodian representatives felt their relationship with the government, so their motivation may not always coincide with our goals.
I was shocked by the suffering of this country. I cried every day. I was really very sad. I am also struck by poverty in Cambodia. Average salary there – $ 60 per month. Of course, coming there, you feel uncomfortable.
– You mentioned Kosovo. Tell me about your work there.
– I was there in 2007, during the UN Tectorator. It seemed to me that the streets reigned some degree of distrust and tensions, there were many UN and OSCE cars. To us, as to the staff of the defense of the former prime minister, treated very well. In Kosovo, very active nightlife: these are the Balkans, people there love to meet, talk, drink Rakia, and it was a positive part of our trip. Of course, there is still very beautiful nature. But the city of Pristina himself, in which I worked, does not represent serious cultural interest. Many parts of the city were destroyed during the war in the 1990s and are now actively rebuilt.
– How to change your views on life over the years of work?
– I realized that there are advantages and cons in order to travel at work. Pluses are that you see a lot of unusual, you open new horizons for yourself. At the same time, you lose some of your identity. When you live in one place and just go somewhere to rest, you just get new impressions, but at the same time you return to your usual environment – to Routine, family, a circle of friends. And if you are constantly moving from place to place, you give part of yourself to each place. You insert into it as if it is yours. But you also take a lot from the surrounding cultural environment. At the moment when you need to go further, you realize that this exchange did not lead to complete integration, but on the contrary – you got something and gave and go on. One lay on another, and it can lead to a feeling of cut-off from its roots.