Regent School of Law's Center for Global Justice Student Staff
To provide Regent law students with practical experience in the legal protection of human rights, and to serve and support those in the field, the Center has created the Student Staff. Student Staff members work on legal projects, including writing articles and reports, drafting amicus briefs, and conducting research, throughout the school year. Staff members are required to work an average of 5 hours per week, report to the Administrative Director or project leader at least once per week, and attend all Center for Global Justice meetings and events. Students also have the opportunity to do an externship with the Center for Global Justice and receive credit for the work they do on the Student Staff.
The Center works with Shared Hope International, a Christian NGO dedicated to combatting sex trafficking in the U.S. and around the globe. Student Staff members assist Shared Hope in various ways, including by completing research projects, drafting reports, and assisting with the Protected Innocence Challenge, an effort to combat domestic minor sex trafficking.
Student Staff members also complete legal projects on behalf of M1:Zero, a LLC co-founded by Regent Law student Samuel Curet that is revolutionizing the human trafficking search and rescue process by implementing groundbreaking technology. Student Staff members provide M1:Zero legal research and analysis on various legal issues M1:Zero faces in running its business.
The Center also partners with the Hampton Roads Coalition Against Trafficking, a group of various professionals working to combat human trafficking in a comprehensive way right here in Hampton Roads. Student Staff members complete legal research projects and draft legislative proposals for HRCAT. The Center helped found HRCAT in 2012 through the Model City Summit.
Finally, the Center also completes various legal projects to support International Justice Mission in its fight against human trafficking in Southeast Asia.
International Religious Freedom
The Center's projects involving religious freedom are centered in Europe and South America. In Europe, the Center is assisting Alliance Defending Freedom’s Vienna office. Student Staff members monitor all cases before the European Court of Human Rights to determine in which cases the Center and ADF may want to be involved. Student Staff members then often provide legal research to ADF on cases in which it decides to intervene.
In South America, the Center is assisting Christian Solidarity Worldwide with legal analysis relating to church registration laws. For example, under Bolivia’s new church registration law, Law 351, all religious organizations must reregister with the government to maintain their legal personality (and the attendant benefits that come with legal personality; e.g., tax exemption). Dangerously, the law defines a “religious organization” as an organization that conducts its worship and belief practices for the spiritual and religious development of “the horizon of Living Well.” “Living Well” is an animistic worldview of the indigenous Andean people that believes everything is connected and living, that we must live in harmony and balance with mother earth, and that humans are part of mother earth. Thus, any church that registers with the government must agree that it carries out its religious practices for the development /advancement of this pagan worldview. Students are providing legal analysis on the law to CSW and are ready to assist as the case progresses through the Bolivia court system.
Rule of Law
The Center’s rule of law initiative is largely focused on East Africa. First, the Center has ongoing projects relating to South Sudan. After years of British and Egyptian colonial rule, Sudan became a fully independent nation in 1956. Shortly after gaining independence, however, civil war broke out between the predominantly Muslim north and Animist/Christian south. Almost fifty years later, and after millions of lives were lost, Sudan and South Sudan entered into a comprehensive peace agreement in 2005. Pursuant to its terms, in January 2011, the people of South Sudan overwhelmingly voted to become an independent nation, the world’s youngest. Shortly after the vote of independence, South Sudan decided to shed sharia (or Islamic law) and return to the common law, the legal system operating in Sudan before the 1956 independence and transition to Islamic rule.
The Center for Global Justice is dedicated to assisting South Sudan effectively make the transition away from sharia and into common law. As part of this broader goal, student staff members are drafting a report on South Sudan. The report outlines South Sudan’s history, culture, and legal system, among other things, and will ultimately make several recommendations on how South Sudan can effectively make the transition from sharia to common law.
The Center also works to promote the rule of law in Kenya. The Center completes legal projects on behalf of International Justice Mission Kenya to support IJM’s work reforming the Kenyan justice system and protecting the poor from police abuse of power.
Protection of Children
The Center’s student staff work related to the protection of children currently focuses on the issue of child sacrifice in Uganda. In the summer of 2013, the Center sent rising 3L Heather Pate to work with Kyampisi Child Care Ministries, a Christian NGO dedicated to protecting Ugandan children. As KCM’s first legal intern, Heather provided KCM much needed legal guidance. Through her research and investigative work, Heather discovered that there were various gaps in Uganda’s laws relating to child sacrifice. She also discovered that over 60 cases of child sacrifice had been inexplicably dismissed from the Ugandan court system.
The Center intends to tackle the issue of child sacrifice through conducting research, submitting amicus briefs, and working closely with KCM and Christian attorneys to create a comprehensive legislative framework for combatting child sacrifice.
Students interested in applying for a position on the Student Staff must complete the online application form and submit a cover letter, resume, and transcript to the Center for Global Justice. (Submissions must be made electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org.)