Monday, April 20, 2015

President of International Justice Mission's TED Talk on The Locust Effect

Listen to Gary Haugen, founder and President of International Justice Mission, give a TED talk on his new book, The Locust Effect. In this talk, Gary challenges the world to rethink the way in which we combat poverty. In short, Gary effectively and persuasively argues that the rule of law is the antidote to poverty.  




For more information about the book, visit http://www.thelocusteffect.com.

Learn more about the Center for Global Justice's work with IJM >

Center for Global Justice Hosts International Roundtable Discussion

On April 16, 2015, Regent Law’s Center for Global Justice was honored to host an international roundtable discussion on the rule of law.

The Center partnered with Open World Host Committee of Norfolk Sister Cities Association to bring together judges, professors, and lawyers from the countries of Georgia, Japan, and the United States. Members included the Honorable Judge Morgan from the Eastern District of Virginia; the Honorable Judge Nakayama from Japan; Prof. Zedelashvili of Georgia’s Free University of Tbilisi’s School of Law; Mr. Meskhoradze, an Agent of the Government of Georgia to the European Court of Human Rights; and Regent Law Dean Jeffrey Brauch.  Regent Law professor Craig Stern, who serves as Executive Director for the Center of Global Justice, moderated the discussion.

After a tour of Regent’s courtrooms and library, the group discussed the development of Georgia’s legal system while transitioning from a former Soviet state to being an independent democratic country. After the fall of communism, Georgia faced a unique double challenge. They had to create a new governmental structure to fill in the power vacuum, while at the same time restrain that new government to protect individual liberty.

The Center was excited to facilitate the discussion and looks forward to continuing the international dialogue on the rule of law.

Learn more about Regent Law's Center for Global Justice >

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Center for Global Justice Hosts Second Annual Guardian Ad Litem CLE

Regent University law students hail from all around the country seeking to change the world. The Center for Global Justice, Human Rights, and the Rule of Law takes that charisma and channels it to four focus areas. Among those areas is the protection of children. The Center recognizes that there is nothing more important than protecting those who cannot protect themselves.  

“Helping our students and local attorneys to become a Guardian Ad Litem fits directly with our mission,” said Ernie Walton, administrative director for the Center for Global Justice. “GALs do incredibly important work. They ensure that a child’s best interests are vigorously represented in cases in which children might otherwise be treated as a means to an end, a mere piece of property to be fought over instead of cared for.”

On Friday, March 20, 2015, Virginia Continuing Legal Education (Virginia CLE) and Regent University’s Center for Global Justice, Human Rights, and the Rule of Law partnered together to bring an amazing opportunity to those seeking to become  Guardians Ad Litem (GAL) in the state of Virginia. GALs in Virginia are bar certified Virginia attorneys appointed by courts to represent children or incompetent adults in a variety of court proceedings. Although certification procedures for each category of guardians are different, one of the major requirements for certifying as a GAL for children is to take the seven credit “Representing Children as a Guardian ad Litem” CLE/Certification course offered jointly by Virginia CLE and the Office of the Executive Secretary of the Supreme Court of Virginia.

Regent Law students and attorneys alike attended the Representation of Children as a Guardian Ad Litem training program. Among those in attendance were sixteen third-year law students, nine outside attorneys, and four students observing for educational purposes.

The CLE program featured five video lectures of qualified experts who outlined the court and filing procedures, qualifications for becoming a certified GAL in the state of Virginia, and the roles and responsibilities of a GAL. Attendees learned that a GAL is just one part of the entire process from the filing of a case to the closing of an appeal. In one lecture, the Honorable Thomas P. Sotelo, a former certified GAL, advised participants on what the Court wants from their GALs: diligence in their investigations and passionate representation for the child's best interests. 

After the program, one attendee commented that this CLE program required her to have a moment of introspection. She realized that being a GAL requires an attorney to go the extra mile and have greater accountability to those they serve.

Third-year law students who plan to take the Virginia bar exam this summer or in February 2016 will have two years to complete the GAL certification process. Upon passing the bar, those students will send in their attendance certification forms to the Virginia Supreme Court and State Bar and be one step closer to changing the lives of children in Virginia. 

By Sarah Jane Norris,
Graduate Assistant, Center for Global Justice, Human Rights and Rule of Law
Regent Law Class of 2016

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Press Conference to Announce Virginia's First Sex Trafficking Law

Ernie Walton, Administrative Director of the Center for Global Justice, attended a press conference this morning in Richmond where the enactment of Virginia's first standalone sex trafficking law was officially announced.  Read more details about the law below:

Arlington, VA— On Wednesday, April 15 at 9:00 am EST, Delegate Tim Hugo and Senator Mark Obenshain are holding a joint press conference in Richmond with the Kids Are Not For Sale Coalition in Virginia to officially announce the enactment of Virginia's first standalone sex trafficking law. Companion bills HB 1964 and SB 1188 were signed into law on March 27 by Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe.

Press Conference:
When: April 15, 2015 | 9:00 am EST
Where: General Assembly Building, House Briefing Room | 201 North 9th Street, Richmond, VA 23219
Speakers:
  1. Delegate Timothy Hugo
  2. Senator Mark Obenshain
  3. Detective Bill Woolf, Fairfax County Police Department
  4. Michael Feinmel, Henrico County Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney
  5. Tabatha Mansfield, Kids Are Not For Sale in VA Coalition Coordinator

This legislation was championed by Chief Patron Delegate Timothy Hugo (HB 1964) and Chief Patron Senator Mark Obenshain (SB 1188) and supported by the Kids Are Not For Sale in VA Coalition. Shared Hope International implemented the Kids Are Not For Sale campaign to advocate for the enactment of a strong sex trafficking law in Virginia. The Coalition consists of Virginia law enforcement, prosecutors, service providers, advocacy groups, schools, and hospitals who joined together to advocate for this landmark legislation.

This law:
  • Clearly defines and establishes the offense of sex trafficking.
  • Establishes penalties that reflect the seriousness of the offense.
  • Specifically criminalizes child sex trafficking as a Class 3 felony without requiring prosecutors prove that force, intimidation or deception was used to cause the minor to engage in commercial sexual conduct given that traffickers recruit minors by preying on their vulnerability and trust.
  • Assists in protecting and properly identifying sex trafficking victims.
  • Closes a loophole in Virginia’s existing laws by criminalizing the recruitment of minors and adults for commercial sex—conduct which was not criminalized under Virginia law.

Media Contact
Tabatha Mansfield
Coalition Coordinator, Kids Are Not For Sale in Virginia
804-937-4001
tab@mansfieldconsulting.net


ABOUT THE KIDS ARE NOT FOR SALE IN VA COALTION: The coalition was formed to advocate for the passage and enactment of a sex trafficking statute in Virginia in 2015. In addition to Virginia law enforcement and prosecutors, members include: Shared Hope International, Richmond Justice Initiative, Virginia Beach Justice Initiative, Regent School of Law Center for Global Justice, Anastasis International Mission, Northern Virginia Human Trafficking Initiative, Central Virginia Justice Initiative, Courtney's House, Vessels of Mercy International, The Gray Haven, Virginia Catholic Conference, Bon Secours Virginia Health Systems, Release Me International, Virginia Trucking Association, The Family Foundation, Straight Street, Youth for Tomorrow, Children’s Advocacy Centers of Virginia, and AAUW Virginia Beach.

Friday, April 3, 2015

2015 Symposium Videos Now Available

On Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015, Regent University's Center for Global Justice, Human Rights, and the Rule of Law along with the Regent Journal of Global Justice and Public Policy, hosted the fourth annual Global Justice Symposium: Human Rights and the Sexualization of Culture.

The videos from this exciting event are now available on our YouTube channel.


Panel 1: Foundation of Human Rights





Panel 2: Sex as a Business




Luncheon Featuring Benjamin Nolot





Panel 3: Children as Property





Symposium Banquet Featuring Benjamin Nolot




Monday, March 30, 2015

IJM's First Rescue Operation in Ghana Frees 10 Children from Slavery

Breaking news about the first rescue of International Justice Mission's new Ghana office!
Dear  Friend,
This week we worked with officials in Ghana to rescue 10 boys from slavery in the fishing industry.
Ghana boat
Throughout the weekend, we were receiving ongoing reports from the frontlines. On the first morning our team found and rescued one boy named Gideon,* who our investigators first met in 2013.
Significant obstacles beyond our control set us back, and unfortunately it was too late to search for more children. So we consulted with the police and other officials, and decided that together we would go back the next day.
The next day our team set out at 3:00 AM and targeted a cove with several wooden fishing boats. Children as young as 5 were hard at work, pulling in nets with their tiny but strong arms. We helped police rescue them and bring them to safety.
The boys were initially exhausted, hungry and afraid. But throughout the weekend, the boys eventually became energetic, laughing and constantly asking to play soccer.
Our supporters and friends have made this beautiful beginning of freedom possible.
This is our first rescue operation in Ghana, but it won’t be the last. We are so grateful you’re in this journey with us.
Gratefully,
Sean Litton
Senior Vice President of Justice Operations 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Journal of Global Justice and Public Policy Publishes First Edition

Thanks to Aaron Lindquist, Editor-in-Chief of the Regent Journal of Global Justice & Public Policy, for an update on the first edition of the journal:
The Journal of Global Justice and Public Policy has released its very first issue. The Journal was established in 2014, as the result of the merger between the Regent Journal of International Law and the Regent Journal of Law and Public Policy. The Journal serves to fill the void in the global justice field by publishing articles, notes, comments, and book reviews by practitioners, professors, and students from a Christian perspective.
The Journal’s first issue is an eclectic mix of articles, student notes, and symposium transcripts. Regent University School of Law Dean Jeffrey Brauch introduces the Journal and talks about its importance, its unique mission, and the aspirations for the Journal. The articles address the effect of asylum’s nexus clause on individuals seeking asylum in the United States on persecution grounds and the politicization of Cameroon’s judicial system. The student notes address the effects sex-selective abortion in India has on girls and the need for self-regulation within the Indian medical profession; and why governments across the globe do not need to promulgate further regulations to effectively regulate Bitcoin. The symposium transcripts contain remarks from the Center for Global Justice, Human Rights, and the Rule of Law’s ® 3rd Annual Symposium on Advancing the Rule of Law in East Africa. The transcripts address overcoming barriers in advancing the rule of law and lessons learned from African law and culture.
As the Editor-in-Chief of a new journal, it is exciting to see the hard work everyone has put into getting the Journal off the ground come to fruition in the form of our first publication. It has been a challenging, and sometimes frustrating, task to move a brand new journal in the right direction. However, the hard work of my excellent staff has made that possible. I am excited at the thought of future issues contributing to the global justice field by speaking “up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.” Proverbs 31:8. By addressing topics from a Christian worldview, the Journal adds a unique perspective to the world of legal academic scholarship regarding global justice. 
The Journal is affiliated with the Center for Global Justice. It is exciting to work with such a similarly minded organization. The Journal co-sponsored the Center’s 4th Annual Symposium on Human Rights and the Sexualization of Culture on February 21, 2015. Additionally, the Journal will be publishing transcripts of the Center’s symposia going forward. The Center has also provided material for the Journal’s blog and will be a consistent contributor to the Journal’s print publication and online presence. The opportunity to draw on the strengths of each organization ensures that both will better accomplish their missions and objectives. I look forward to seeing how this affiliation allows each organization to do great things in the Global Justice field!

 Click here to learn more about the Journal of Global Justice and Public Policy