|Student Staff Member Courtney Hitchcock
My first few weeks on the CGJ staff have been eye-opening and invigorating to my understanding of the law and human rights.
This semester, I have the opportunity to work for the International Justice Mission (IJM). One of my primary tasks is to understand what gender-based violence (GBV) looks like in Uganda and how that compares to other East African countries. The goal of this research is to help us understand the problems individuals face in this country so IJM can better prosecute these cases and affect change in their lives moving forward.
As a first-year law student, my days are filled with the basics of the American system. I learn civil procedure, which grants rights to both plaintiffs and defendants to ensure a fair trial. I learn tort law and contracts, both of which have a rich history of ensuring a voice to each side of an issue. I also learn property law, a subject deeply rooted in our nation’s legal history.
It wasn’t until beginning work for the Center that I realized the importance of these doctrines and systems to the continuance of human rights. Without property law, there is no way of ensuring you get to keep your land aside from the use of brute force. Without tort law, there is no way for a victim to recover from her injuries. Civil procedure is an amazing system that ensures fairness at trial. Our courts are not infiltrated with corruption and deceit.
I had taken our legal system for granted.
While researching for the Center, I’ve come to understand how amazing the law is, and how not all people enjoy the same rights we do in the states. I now recognize that the topics which I once thought of as textbook material have a real impact on those whom God loves. This revelation has not only made American law more real to me but also increased my belief in the importance of the work I’m blessed to do at the Center. Although I’m just beginning to learn about the intricacies of human rights issues abroad, I’m so excited for the ways it has already opened my eyes to the importance of the law and its impact on humanity.
This post was written by a Center for Global Justice student staff member. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect those of Regent University, Regent Law School, or the Center for Global Justice.