Posted by: trinkets | December 17, 2012

Center for Constitutional Rights

Well, I thought this would be a good time to introduce myself, now that I’m well into the swing of things.

I’m Ellyse and I’m spending 3 months at the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York City. I’m a month into the internship now and things have really started heating up. I’ve been placed in the International Human Rights Docket and I’m working on so many interesting cases. I’ve been collating a database of clergymen who’ve been accused/charged/convicted of possession/production of child pornography for the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests in the case of SNAP v The Pope et al. I’ve also been developing a list of the collaborators/witnesses with the Abu Ghraib  prisoner abuse scandal in Al-Shimari v. CACI. I’ve been researching the American constitution and the First Amendment right to free exercise of religion and how that might limit tortious claims against the church for child abuse cases or against Scott Lively for his campaign against the GLBT community in Uganda from the case of SMUG v. Lively.  I have also begun researching and drafting a submission to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights regarding the impact of the American invasion and occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan on gender rights in those countries.

If that sounds like a lot of work, well, it doesn’t feel like work when you are loving what you are doing.

Apart from work, I would also note that it is interesting and heartbreaking to be in America just after another gun related massacre, this time in a school in Connecticut. While the cases and causes that I’m working towards are internationally focussed, you can’t help but feel the sombre mood the shooting has placed over this whole country. Driving around upstate New York this weekend all the flags were flown at half-mast. I can’t help but hope (though it seems unlikely) that this might be a turning point for America and that perhaps they will demand a change to their gun-control laws, to their metal health system and to their culture so that this will be the last incident.

I suppose that unfortunately, I will leave you on that note, to mull over the events of Friday and perhaps to go over to the CCR website to learn about their great work.

Until next time,

Ellyse


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