|Natasha (L) and Chelsea (R) with their Coach, Regent Law Professor Jim Davids
Third-year law students Chelsea Mack and Natasha Delille, both former CGJ interns and student staff members, took first place at the Third Annual Ukrainian Student Summit in Dnepopetrovsk, Ukraine.
This year the competition consisted of 22 teams from Ukraine, Poland, Romania, and the U.S., and the topic was The Challenge to Democracy in Increasing Globalization.
The purpose of the ІІІ International Student Summit is raising the level of education of applicants of Higher Education on topical issues of modern state processes law-making and law enforcement in Ukraine; increasing positive image of the legal profession; gaining the practical experience during the communication with scientists, politicians, practicing lawyers, representatives of state and local governments; improving legal education in Ukraine; further development of the institution of the national idea as the driving force of national progress in Ukraine etc.
Chelsea and Natasha presented on judicial reform in Ukraine and used examples from NYC and Uganda to show practical steps that Ukraine can take to become a greater democratic nation in the age of globalization.
Here is what Chelsea had to say about the competition:
A few weeks ago I, along with fellow classmate and friend, Natasha Delille, were given the opportunity to travel with Professor Jim Davids to Ukraine to compete in an international student summit hosted at Dnipropetrovsk State University of Internal Affairs. The summit was co-organized by the Ukrainian Lawyers Association. The purpose of the summit was to propose ideas for encouraging the development and sustainability of democracy in Ukraine. Thus, we were tasked with researching the current political and legal climate within Ukraine in order to pinpoint areas that are essential in promoting democratic tendencies including the legal system and the police department.
Prior to traveling to Ukraine, we were unfamiliar with the country and its culture. During the few weeks of research for our presentation leading up to the trip, we learned so much about the challenges that the Ukrainian government and the citizens are facing. We were able to speak with a few Ukrainians to gain a better understanding of life in Ukraine and obstacles that citizens encounter when working towards creating a better life for themselves. These conversations were enlightening because we were introduced to the culture and the government through the eyes of the people rather than through a filtered perspective found on the internet or social media. We decided to focus our presentation on certain concepts that seemed to continually resurface in our conversations. We wanted to emphasize the positive aspects of society that we learned about while still pointing towards strategies that would catapult Ukraine into the democratic society that the nation longs to become. Therefore, the title of our presentation was “Repairing a Broken Society Without Reinventing the Wheel” and we were able to pull examples from Brooklyn, New York and Uganda to demonstrate how other societies that faced or are facing similar issues, mainly corruption, realigned their internal systems to build a more secure, corrupt-free society.
Aside from the research and presentation, we spent a few days traveling to various law schools throughout the country with Professor Davids and a professor from Liberty University School of Law to observe their lectures on Christian influences in a democratic system of law and in international human rights. What amazed me during these lectures is the response of the students to these lectures. Many students were fascinated that Christian principles could be intertwined into a national system of law and structure. It was refreshing to see this type of response and eagerness to learn more about the topics from the students, because I think that sometimes it is easy to forget the type of impact these principles can have within a society if you are used to learning in an environment, such as Regent, where open discussions about Christianity is the norm and expectation. I was reminded during this trip that there are nations, including developed nations, who are in the midst of searching for a secure foundation to base their legal and political systems upon. It’s exciting to think that some of the future leaders in Ukraine were sitting in the lectures and the summit will enter their respective roles with some of this knowledge.
Overall, the Ukraine trip was awesome. I would definitely love to be able to return one day and witness more of the development that is taking place. We met some wonderful people that we will miss dearly and hope to remain in contact with for years to come.