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Protecting Trafficking Victims Right to Their Day in Court

Post written by Joshua Orobia

My name is Joshua Orobia and I am a first-year law student at Regent University School of Law. I have been given the wonderful opportunity to serve alongside other students as staff members for the Center for Global Justice.

My team and I are working with the International Justice Mission, which aims to legally derail and eradicate human trafficking across a multitude of Countries.

Access to Legal Infrastructures

Our specific task is to provide Ghana’s law system with statistics and data on continuous trials across the world so that they may implement these trials in order to provide their citizens the right to a fair and timely trial. Assisting Ghana in the restructuring of their legal system will provide the victims with greater access to legal infrastructures that are erected to protect their humanity.

Around the world, the right to a timely and fair trial is oftentimes neglected by mere failure to adhere to the legal standards at the time. This failure to timely address criminal cases results in backlogging within the court system and often resulting in the failure of the system to preserve and protect their citizen’s rights to justice. Countries have undertaken their own approaches to this phenomena, with America adopting the Speedy Trial Act of 1974. However, this attempt to streamline the criminal litigation process within the States has been very segmented and divided, with the empirical evidence reflecting a wide variety of positive and negative aspects of the act. As a result, it has received much scrutiny since its birth in 1974 and has continued to endure many scrupulous remarks even after it’s amendment in 1979.

The Continuous Trial Method

One reason why the speedy trial act has received negative attention is due to the fact that each state is allowed to create their own statute or version of the act. This leads to a disoriented and disorganized approach and this same lack of uniformity will most likely result if Ghana were to implement this tactic. However on September 1st, 2017, The Philippines revised the guidelines for Continuous Trial of Criminal Cases. Before these trials were implemented, only 2% of all criminal cases finished within 180 days. However, as of 2019 the compliance rate grew to 30%. This increase shows that continuous trials do in fact aid in the streamlining of criminal cases. The continuous trial method, as seen in the Philippines and Thailand, provides countries with a uniform standard that seeks to aid in the betterment of citizens and puts less strain on the legal system; therefore, Ghana should consider this approach.

Through this experience, I have been fascinated with just the impact that I am making in the research and writing that I’m doing. As a 1L, I would’ve never expected being able to make such an impact on the rights of citizens across the globe. However through the Center and the work that we do, I have been able to learn that serving others in law isn’t limited to passing the bar, but I can make a difference as a law student right now. Being able to receive the legal preparation that I need to pass the bar exam while also being able to serve others in the legal arena is one of the many ways that Regent Law is preparing it’s students not only to succeed as attorneys, but ultimately serving others.

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.