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Center for Global Justice

Center for Renewal Studies

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Student Staff Projects

Rule of Law

The Center’s rule of law initiative is largely focused on East Africa, particularly Uganda.
In Uganda, the Center works with International Justice Mission (IJM), an organization dedicated to protecting the poor in the developing world from violence. In Uganda, IJM works on two key issues: property grabbing and domestic violence. At the core of both of these human rights abuses is an absence of the rule of law. IJM is committed not just to rescuing victims of these crimes, but to stopping the violence before it starts by promoting the rule of law. The Center Student Staff have drafted a number of legal memos on various topics for IJM, including a summary of all land grabbing cases in Uganda, an overview of the Domestic Violence Act and its applicability to land grabbing, and the current state of the law in Uganda regarding res judicata. 

The Center has also done projects to promote the rule of law in Kenya. For example, the Center Student Staff have completed 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.

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Human Trafficking

The Center combats human trafficking primarily in the United States and India.
In the U.S., the Center works with Shared Hope International, a Christian NGO dedicated to combating sex trafficking in the U.S. and around the globe.

Student Staff members assist Shared Hope by completing research projects, drafting legal memos, and assisting with the Protected Innocence Challenge, an effort to combat domestic minor sex trafficking.

The Center also partners with the Virginia Beach Justice Initiative and the Hampton Roads Coalition Against Trafficking (HRCAT), 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 relating to legislative proposals for VBJI and HRCAT. For example, the Student Staff completed a number of legal research projects to help aid in the passage of Virginia’s first ever sex trafficking statute in 2015.

In India, the Center works with Justice Ventures International to combat sex trafficking and forced labor trafficking. JVI secures freedom, justice, and restoration for the poor and oppressed by strengthening ventures that promote justice.

The Center Student Staff have also completed legal projects for a number of other organizations that are combating human trafficking all over the world, including International Justice Mission (Thailand), Freedom Firm (India), the Indonesian Christian Legal Society (Indonesia), Tiny Hands International (Nepal), and others.

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Protection of Children

Beyond combating child sex trafficking with Shared Hope, 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.

Since then, the Center student staff have done a number of legal projects for KCM, including drafting legal letters to prosecutors to amend charges and researching various cases.

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International Religious Freedom

The Center's projects involving religious freedom are centered primarily in Turkey and Mongolia.

Turkey, a predominantly Muslim nation that is constitutionally committed to secularism, stands at a crossroads. The current government is making a number of radical changes that seriously threaten the secular state, religious freedom, and the rule of law. The Center is working with key partners in Turkey to educate Turkish nationals on what Turkish law actually says about religious freedom and secularism.

In Mongolia, the Center is partnering with its sister law school, Handong International, to advance religious freedom and the rule of law.  Handong has established key relationships with government officials, law schools, and even a parliamentarian. Student staff members have drafted legal memos on various topics involving religious freedom, including the illegality of Mongolia’s anti-proselytization law under the Mongolian Constitution and international human rights law.

Beyond Turkey and Mongolia, the Center also assists Alliance Defending Freedom’s Vienna office in protecting religious freedom in Europe. 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.

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