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The Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL) in Buenos Aires: Perspectives from a Global Justice Fellow

August 05, 2019

By: Eduarda Lague L’21

This piece was originally published under the Pathways to the Profession series, https://www.law.upenn.edu/live/news/9285-pathways-to-the-profession-eduarda-lague-l21

This summer I am working at the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL) in Buenos Aires, Argentina. CEJIL is a non-profit, non-governmental organization with consultative status before the Organization of American States (OAS) and the United Nations. Its mission is to contribute to the full enjoyment of human rights in the Americas through the effective use of the tools of the Inter-American System and other International Human Rights Law protection mechanisms. CEJIL brings cases before the Inter-American Commission and Court of Human Rights when states violate or fail to protect human rights. The Buenos Aires office focuses on human rights issues pertaining to Chile, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Bolivia.

The work assignments and exposure could not be more rewarding. The office handles a variety of cases and client work ranging from indigenous rights, over criminalization of vulnerable communities, migration, use of force, and many more. The office is small, but it means that I get to work closely with the attorneys, and there is a lot of hands-on work. I have used my legal writing skills that I learned in my first-year writing class to research and write memos on human rights issues, such as regarding indigenous land rights and forced disappearances by state actors, that will be presented to the Inter-American Commission and Court as well as in compiling information and data for the GQUAL campaign that works on gender parity in international bodies. I have become very acquainted with the Inter-American System and navigating its different standards and complex legal issues. Additionally, I have had the opportunity to sit in on a variety of conference calls and client meetings, which has been an impactful experience to hear the intimate testimonies of families affected by these human rights violations.

This experience has built on what I learned in International Law as well as my undergraduate studies of Spanish and Latin American Studies. These projects will continue to contribute to the intersection of my passions for Latin America and Law as I pursue a Certificate of Study in Latin American and Latinx Studies during my 2L and 3L year. I am beyond thankful for the International Summer Human Rights Fellowship for providing me with the opportunity and funding to pursue my passions in the legal field.

The Global Justice Fellowship (GJF) helps support JD students interested in international public interest internships during summer break. The program is designed to immerse students in the law and legal culture of another part of the world and to work on the most pressing global issues facing the world today.

#globaljustice #internationallaw #argentina #buenosaires