5/20/15

Student Staff Spring 2015 Semester Summary

To provide Regent Law students with practical experience in the legal protection of human rights, students volunteer with the center each semester for a minimum of 5 hours/week. Here is an overview of the projects that our 28 student staff members worked on this past semester:

Jerusalem Institute for Justice*

Students drafted a 20-page detailed legal memorandum answering whether (1) under international law, non-state/quasi-state actors like Hamas are subject to international human rights law and (2) the legal consequences that follow under international law if a designated terrorist organization becomes a recognized State.On March 25th, Calev Meyers, JIJ’s founder and Executive Director, used the Center’s memo for a presentation at the United Nations conference, “Terrorism and Human Rights” sponsored by The International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists.

International Justice Mission, Rwanda**

  • Students created a PowerPoint training presentation for Rwandan judges, prosecutors, and law enforcement outlining Rwandan law relating to sexual violence against children—both underlying offenses and evidentiary law—and human trafficking.
  • Students also provided legal research from various states and countries regarding when and under what conditions children can testify in court.
  

International Justice Mission, Thailand

Students created legal checklists for the five different paths to citizenship for the Hill Tribe people in N. Thailand (the Hill Tribe people are stateless, but have rights to citizenship under Thai law; the law is extremely complicated, so IJM helps these people obtain citizenship).

Shared Hope and the Virginia Kids Are not For Sale Coalition

  • Oregon Bill seeking to establish hearsay exception in trafficking cases:  Students provided extensive legal research and short legal memorandum on requirements of the federal confrontation clause and the Oregon confrontation clause as it relates to hearsay law; our research was used by the Shared Hope representative who testified before the Oregon legislature.
  • Virginia Sex Trafficking Bill:  Governor McAuliffe recently signed VA’s first-ever sex trafficking law. Our students researched laws of other states relating to pimps soliciting girls to serve as prostitutes and recommend language to include in bill.  We also provided legal research relating to Virginia law on various questions that were brought up during legislative hearings.  We traveled to Richmond to meet with Senators to discuss the bill.
  • Survey Charts:  As part of the Protected Innocence Initiative, which surveys the laws of the 50 states relating to the sex trafficking of children, our students updated several survey charts; to do this, students had to analyze past statutes and see if any changes were made in the following year.

Alliance Defending Freedom, Vienna***


  • Students reviewed every new case before the European Court of Human rights and summarized the cases in which ADF might want to intervene.
  • Students drafted a number of case summaries of ECHR cases relating to religious freedom; will be used by ADF to create  mini-Westlaw for their work
  • Students helped draft and conduct research for an ADF amicus brief advocating for greater protection of pregnant mothers based on the inherent value of the unborn life.  

Tiny Hands

Students drafted 20-page legal memorandum outlining various ways—as recorded in Federal and state cases—women and children are trafficked in the United States; Tiny Hands will use the memo to see if it can expand its work from Nepal to the US.  Regent Law alum Kirk Schweitzer ('13) was Tiny Hands' first full-time attorney.

Freedom Firm ****

Students provided an overview of various state law as it relates to child victims in court (witness protections, hearsay exceptions, etc.) to help Freedom Firm change the law relating to the Indian Child Welfare Committees.  Regent Law alum Evan Henck ('07) is the director of the Western Region at Freedom Firm.

Hampton Roads Coalition Against Trafficking

Students drafted legal memorandum on federal and state case law as it relates to regulation of massage parlors and sexually-oriented businesses. Regent Law alumnus Patrick McKenna ('89) founded the Coalition.

M1:Zero

Students drafted legal memorandum relating to Florida’s Public Records Law to help M1:Zero determine whether its technology is subject to disclosure in discovery. Regent Law student Samuel Curet ('15) co-founded M1:Zero. 

Land and Equity Movement, Uganda*****

Students edited and provided research for two papers on land policy that were submitted to international conferences and/or the Ugandan government.


_______________________________________
* Regent Law student Ryan Dobs interns with JIJ this summer.
** Regent Law student Pam Dodge  interns with IJM Mumbai this summer.
*** Regent Law student Natasha Delille interns with ADF, Vienna this summer.
**** Regent Law student Natasha Delille interns with Freedom Firm this summer.
****** Regent Law student Chelsea Mack interns with LEMU this summer.

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