My name is Taras Leshkovych and I am from Western Ukraine, from the beautiful city of Lviv. I have dreamt about getting to the Peace Palace for nearly 10 years, since my graduate studies in Ukraine. And not merely as a visitor but in some form of professional capacity. I even have had a picture of the Palace on my work desk since that time as an inspiration and a constant reminder of my professional goals.
In 2014, I was admitted to PhD program in public international law at Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland. My Doctoral thesis focuses on the jurisdiction of international courts over the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. Due to the area of my academic interests, my motivation for getting to The Hague became even stronger.
In September 2018, I started my second Master’s program in Human Rights at the Central European University in Budapest, Hungary. Shortly after, I was awarded special prize for best academic performance covering a visit to any foreign academic institution to conduct thesis related research on the right of minorities to education. Naturally, I selected the Peace Palace Library as the destination point and spent three wonderful weeks there in March 2019.
The Library turned out to be everything I expected and more. It possesses outstanding collections of international law books and journals and provides access to virtually all international law databases. The staff was most pleasant and helpful and it was a pure joy working at the Library with the view over the Peace Palace garden. It was an amazing opportunity to advance both my Master’s and Doctoral theses and, hopefully, I will return to this place many times in the future.