"I wanted to give you a brief update from Burundi, at least from my perspective.
This is obviously an extraordinarily ambitious program. You are educating people about international law, you are getting them to think about how to apply principles underlying that body of law in their own countries to specific legal problems, and how to do that strategically.
The trainers you've chosen -- all African -- are terrific. Knowledgeable, experienced, and totally committed to this work....The skills part of the training has been useful on several levels. It has made people think about the practicalities of doing this work: When working with communities, how do legal issues get defined, how does the lawyer avoid letting his or her own biases define the work as opposed to the people he's representing, who is the client when dealing with groups of people, how do you create trust with your clients to facilitate disclosure of the facts you need to litigate, how can the work be done in such a way that empowers the client. These are not necessarily issues and skills people think about as they train to become lawyers, and then practice law but really are important whether you are doing divorces or large impact cases.
|Steven Goldberg at the Strategic Litigation workshop|
...Now being home, the impact of this experience on me has been significant -- apart from the training and cases. The participants in the workshop were amazing people: so committed, bright, willing to take significant risks challenging their various governments in cases challenging human rights violations.
I left Africa this time with a sense of perspective that change takes time. I also have optimism about the future given the amazing people I met.
Thanks so much for this experience."
- Steven Goldberg, Attorney at Law
I am glad to know that our USAID-funded program is helping to build lasting legal skills that will have long-term impact on strengthening participation in rule of law. Click here to read more about our strategic litigation workshop.
Posted by Susan M. Farnsworth