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Post written by May-Lee Melki Constantine – “Rethinking International Law”

European Center for Law and Justice

Going into my 2L year I was grateful to have had the opportunity to intern with the European Center for Law and Justice (albeit remotely) by a scholarship that was made possible through the Center for Global Justice for the summer of 2021.

Soon after, my fall semester gave me a newfound perspective on international law after I completed a legal internship with the World Bank Group and was exposed to the need for highly qualified ethical lawyers to facilitate and secure development efforts around the world.

The Need For Christian’s as International Human Rights Lawyers

As a Christian who is observing the blatant human rights violations taking place in areas of conflict, I believe that international human rights lawyers who are passionate about Jesus and His teachings are needed more than ever.

When I chose to come to Regent, I was drawn to its mission to raise leaders that would change the world, but when I sat at chapel recently listening to Mr. Jonathan Ellis speak about the importance of being an excellent professional who sows seeds for the Kingdom because of the influence that one can have in certain professional industries, I started thinking of the ways in which I wanted to shape a future career in international law.

Center for Global Justice: Legal Education in Practice

Through the Center for Global Justice, I can put my legal education to practice in simple ways such as serving as a Clerk and leading the efforts of drafting a memo on child marriage in India for Justice Ventures International. This small project provides an excellent opportunity to submit real professional work product that will make us better sowers for the Kingdom in any field of law.

Mr. Ellis spoke about the importance of being excellent at what we do as a way to show how Christ has set us apart for great work that glorifies Him, regardless of whether or not the work is done in a Christian faith-based setting or not. This perspective shift is crucial for future international lawyers who will be called to help the most vulnerable seek earthly justice. In many ways, the uniqueness of being a voice for the voiceless outside the realm of the traditional legal system, requires a heightened commitment to modeling Christ through excellence in difficult environments.

For example, ten years ago, the Syrian refugee crisis was the largest humanitarian crisis since World War II, and today “more than 2 million people have fled Ukraine into neighboring nations, marking the largest mass migration in Europe since World War II” according to the World Bank.

“The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees expects the [Ukrainian] refugee numbers to climb to 4 million not before long,” writes the Vice President for Equitable Growth, Finance and Institutions at the World Bank.

What we see today is a bizarre reality of watching a war unfold by following social media accounts and other informal news outlets. While access to information has become easier, the response of lawyers, and Christian lawyers in particular, should also match up to that speed. I am thankful to belong to a school like Regent, that continues to shed light on violations of human rights by training us to practice law with a Biblical perspective and excellent written and oral legal skills that empower us to advocate for justice, mercy, and the right to life.

This post was written by a Center for Global Justice Law Clerk. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect those of Regent University, Regent Law School. Or the Center for Global Justice.