The Community Health Law Partnership Clinic at the University of Georgia School of Law and four other law school clinics have published a lengthy practice advisory intended to assist immigrants currently or previously held at Irwin County Detention Center in Georgia.
Taking part in this effort at the Georgia Law were Jason A. Cade, Associate Dean for Clinical Programs & Experiential Learning, J. Alton Hosch Professor of Law, and Director of the Community HeLP Clinic, Staff Attorney Kristen Shepherd, and 3L Frederick King.
Joining them were the Boston University School of Law Immigrants’ Rights & Human Trafficking Program, Columbia Law School Immigrants’ Rights Clinic, Harvard Law School Immigration & Refugee Clinical Program, Texas A&M School of Law Immigrant Rights Clinic, and National Immigration Project of the National Lawyer’s Guild. These and other entities have been collaborating on behalf of the Irwin detainees, including in ongoing litigation in Oldaker v. Giles, a consolidated habeas petition and class action complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia.
Pleased today to welcome a contribution from Jonathan Peters, an associate professor who has faculty appointments in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication and the School of Law at the University of Georgia. (prior posts) Professor Peters teaches and researches in the area of media law and policy, and his post here discusses his participation April 19in an online training event hosted in Uzbekistan.
One purpose of the project, called the “Rule of Law Partnership in Uzbekistan,” is to strengthen public access to the nation’s judicial system as well as public trust in it. And a key priority has been to grow citizen knowledge of the courts and to improve the society’s legal culture and the population’s overall legal literacy.
To those ends, I shared an American perspective on how U.S. judges and courts—at the federal and state levels—use social media. Courts often use Twitter and Facebook to share information, and judges often use them to humanize themselves and to discuss matters of trial and appellate practice with other members of the legal profession. Over 42 percent of court public information officers reported in a recent survey that using social media is essential for courts to communicate with the public. As one put it:
There is an emerging recognition among courts that in order to fulfill the requirement that courts are transparent and understandable to the public in the new media age we are in, courts will have to play an active role in facilitating access to information and perform many of the same functions that traditionally have been performed by the now dwindling traditional media.
Judicial ethics codes even encourage judges to engage with their communities in various ways. For example, Canon 4 of the Code of Conduct for United States Judges says that a “judge may … speak, write, lecture, and teach on both law-related and nonlegal subjects.” The associated commentary says that “[c]omplete separation of a judge from extrajudicial activities is neither possible nor wise; a judge should not become isolated from the society in which the judge lives.”
But judges must be careful on social media not to run afoul of certain limits on their extrajudicial speech, namely those on ex parte communications and their ability to comment on cases pending before them. They also must avoid activities that would reflect adversely on their impartiality or independence. As I told the judges in Uzbekistan, recognizing the risks posed by specific types of content will enable them to create and maintain a social-media presence that is effective and productive—and respectful of the unique responsibilities of a judge.
The earliest work with the client was undertaken by the Jane W. Wilson Family Justice Clinic, as at that time the client was facing severe domestic abuse. Working under the supervision of Clinical Assistant Professor Christine M. Scartz, then-student Eric Abney, a member of the Georgia Law Class of 2020, secured a 12-month family violence protective order and successfully negotiated a resolution that gave the client exclusive possession of the marital residence and a vehicle, sole child custody, and child support.
After the client had gained this measure of safety and stability, the client then was referred to Georgia Law’s Community Health Law Partnership Clinic for further advocacy. Working under the supervision of Jason A. Cade, Associate Dean for Clinical Programs & Experiential Learning, Amy Buice and Carter A. Thomas, members of the Classes of 2019 and 2020, respectively, used the Violence Against Women Act to ensure the client retained permanent residency without having to rely on her abusive former-partner. Subsequently, 3L Ansley Whiten helped the client file an application for naturalization, while 2L Luis Gomez prepared her for the naturalization interview; both were supervised primarily by Kristen Shepherd, the Community HeLP Clinic’s Staff Attorney.
The client became a U.S. citizen in April 2021, on her birthday.
Harlan Cohen, the Gabriel M. Wilner/UGA Foundation Professor in International Law and Faculty Co-Director of the Dean Rusk International Law Center here at the University of Georgia School of Law, presented on “The Sociology of WTO Precedent” last month as part of a 2-day Behavioural Approaches in International Law Workshop.
Walter Hellerstein, Distinguished Research Professor & Shackelford Distinguished Professor in Taxation Law Emeritus here at the University of Georgia School of Law, recently participated in numerous events related to tax:
He was a member of a panel on “Taxable Persons and Related Issues in VAT Law,” at a conference entitled “Court of Justice of the European Union: Recent VAT Case Law,” sponsored by Austria’s Vienna University of Economics and Business.
Professor Amann spoke on “Nuremberg Women as Shapers of International Criminal Justice,” as part of a panel entitled “Hidden Figures in International Courts and Tribunals.” She joined Howard University Professor J. Jarpa Dawuni, Director of the Institute for African Women in Law, and University of Baltimore Law Professor Nienke Grossman, Co-Director of the Center for International and Comparative Law. One of the seminar series’ organizers, Nina Pineau, moderated, while her co-organizer, Rita Guerreiro Texeira, gave opening remarks. Both are doctoral researchers at the Belgium-based Leuven Centre, with which our own Center partnered, pre-pandemic, on our Global Governance Summer School.
Scheduled to run throughout the 2021 spring and fall terms, the Women in International Law seminar commemorates 100 years since the first arrival of women law students at KU Leuven, one of the premier institutions of higher education in Europe. Details on and registration for subsequent sessions, at which experts who work in in Amsterdam, Istanbul, Lisbon, London, Geneva, The Hague, and Rome, on issues including international organizations, international fair trials, and law of the sea, here.
Ringhand, whose courses have included Constitutional Law, Elections Law, and Comparative Constitutional Law, is among Georgia Law’s most highly regarded instructors. Associate Dean for Academic Affairs from 2015 to 2018, she has twice received the law school’s highest teaching honor, the C. Ronald Ellington Award for Excellence in Teaching, as well as the John C. O’Byrne Memorial Award for Significant Contributions Furthering Student-Faculty Relations.
In Spring 2019, as a Fulbright Distinguished Chair, Ringhand was Visiting Professor at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, and delivered a Gresham College Fulbright Lecture in London (prior posts). She recently received a Stanton Foundation grant to develop and teach an undergraduate course, “Democracy and the Constitution.”
Melissa J. “MJ” Durkee, the Allen Post Professor here at the University of Georgia School of Law, has published an essay in the most recent volume of proceedings from an annual meeting of the American Society of International Law.
What role should non-state actors have in the work of international organizations? It is particularly fitting that this panel is titled “between participation and capture,” because the phrase calls up the conflicting values that animate this question. When we think of non-state actors “participating” in the work of international organizations, we think about open, transparent organizations that are receiving the benefit of diverse perspectives and expertise. We may associate this phrase with process, access, and legitimacy in governance. On the other hand, when we think about non-state actors “capturing” the agenda of international organizations, we have a conflicting set of mental images: we imagine corruption, mission-drift, and the erosion of legitimacy in global governance. Openness is both valuable and dangerous.
The clinics’ project confronted abuse of immigrant women while in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) at the Irwin Detention Center, a privately run facility in south Georgia. As previously posted, the women there were subjected to nonconsensual, medically unindicated, or invasive gynecological procedures. Those who spoke out about abuses faced accelerated deportation proceedings, solitary confinement, and other acts of retaliation. The project has pursued several administrative, judicial, and advocacy avenues, including ongoing litigation of Oldaker v. Giles, a consolidated habeas petition and class action complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia.
The Project’s efforts have resulted in the release of nearly all 80 women in ICDC, as well as over 200 men, and stays of deportation for most of the Oldaker plaintiffs.