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Student Staff Update: Anton Sorkin

By May 19, 2015ADF, Student Staff
My involvement with the Center for Global Justice began in the spring semester of my 2L year. I remember being interviewed by Ernie the December prior to and badgering him incessantly to let me focus my involvement exclusively in the area of religious liberty. Ever since that semester, I’ve been able to focus my efforts on the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR or Court) with the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF).

Most weeks, the ECtHR releases new judgments and communicated cases (on HUDOC) indicating past and future decisions, respectively. My task was to read through those judgments and cases and compile a full database flagging those cases I considered relevant in the stated mission of ADF (usually Articles 8, 9, 11, 12, 14). The purpose of this was to give ADF attorneys in Vienna an opportunity to intervene by filing amicus briefs before the Court (assuming application was accepted). These briefs were meant to ensure that the Court protected basic human rights consistent with a Christian worldview. Most recently, I was given an opportunity to research and write a portion of a brief filed in the case of Shioshvili v. Russia where a pregnant mother was subjected to inhuman treatment by the Russian authorities and in the process lost her unborn child. Our hope in filing this brief was for the Court to acknowledge the inherent value of unborn life and the serious impact of the loss of this life on the mother. 

Along with monitoring HUDOC every week, I was also involved in the work of creating an International Library compiling all relevant international cases that may prove useful to ADF. I spent time over fall break researching the various international tribunals (e.g. Court of Justice of the European Union, Inter-American Court of Human Rights) where lower case decisions are typically brought for “final appeal.” This proved fruitful in my own education having now spent time looking at the sophisticated (or not) online databases for these various tribunals and being stunned at how much more advanced and efficient the American and European systems seem to be.

My work with the Center has helped lay a strong foundation for my religious liberties concentration on an international level. This work has given me an opportunity to develop numerous relationships with experts in the field as well as securing internships with major religious liberty organizations. I am truly grateful for the opportunity and for the Center, and my hope is that the University continues to invest resources in developing the program for future students.

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