Summer interview 2015 – Matt Pollard, Centre for the Independence of Judges and Lawyers - International Commission of Jurists

Matt Pollard is Senior Legal Adviser, UN Representative, Centre for the Independence of Judges and Lawyers - International Commission of Jurists

July 2015

What fragrance is associated in your mind with summer holidays?

I am originally from the west coast of Canada, so for me the scent of summer is the sweet smell of pine trees baking in the hot sun, blended with the salty ocean breeze. I won't get back to Canada this summer but will be enjoying forest scents around Geneva!

Your first holiday memories?

When I was young my family would rent a small cottage on the beach for several weeks each summer. At low tide in the large bay the sand extended out a kilometre from the shore, with hundreds of shallow seawater channels and tidal pools. The pools were full of sand dollars and small fish, endless fascination for a four or five year old with a shovel and pail!

Your best holiday memories?

Some years ago, my wife was working for the UN in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, while I was working for a non-governmental organisation in Geneva. We decided to meet for our holiday in Kenya. Near the end of the trip we stayed in a beautiful guest house on Lamu Island. One evening we went out to watch the sunset from a dhow on the water, with a delicious dinner of roast crab. A blissful moment.

Your worst holiday memories?

One Christmas, returning from visiting my family on Vancouver Island, Canada, the boat we were taking to Seattle was caught in a fierce winter storm on the open water. We were tossed around on waves taller than the boat, and everyone was gripping the armrests in white-knuckled terror, quite ill, truly frightened for our lives. It cut the holiday spirit a bit short! We have been spending our Christmases in Geneva since then, well away from the ocean...

A book you will take with you this summer?

I have a three-year old son, so most of the books we carry around involve: pirates; dragons; knights and castles; talking mice, cats, dogs and/or bears; or Barbapapa!

Anything you will NOT take with you?

I will try to leave my smartphone, if not at home, at least turned off in the baggage. 


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