Below is a letter from Professor Ogilvy introducing all of you to the CUA-Haiti Initiative. Please read and consider if and how you, either individually or within your student organizations or other affiliations, would like to help with this important project.
The Catholic University of America, through its CUA-Haiti Initiative, is committed to supporting both long- and short-term initiatives at the École Supérieure Catholique de Droit de Jérémie, including the development of a mentoring program, an adequate legal library, and a model Criminal Justice Clinic to serve the Jérémie and Rosseaux regions of Haiti. Going forward, the CUA-Haiti Initiative is reaching out to the greater community at The Catholic University of America and enlisting the support and creativity of its students who may contribute much needed resources to the people in Haiti. We welcome your assistance in identifying potential funding sources to bring these projects to fruition.
The Columbus School of Law, a pioneer in clinical education programs for over thirty years, is currently working with ESCDROJ to establish the first law school affiliated Criminal Justice Clinic in Haiti. The Clinic will increase access to quality legal representation for indigent defendants, provide for private mediation to resolve disputes before they ripen into criminal charges, inform the citizenry about their rights and responsibilities under the rule of law, and train and deploy a new class of lawyers dedicated to social justice. Once fully operational, the Clinic will help to reduce significantly the overcrowding of the jail in Jérémie, where nearly 80% of inmates are pre-trial detainees or persons confined beyond their sentences. Furthermore, we believe that the Clinic can serve as a model that can be replicated in other law schools of Haiti to increase high quality legal representation for those charged with crimes who currently are unrepresented, and often forgotten, in Haiti's criminal justice system.
The Columbus School of Law and The Catholic Law School of Jérémie are working together to strengthen the rule of law in Haiti through their shared commitment to the Catholic legal tradition of service. We ask that you review our proposal and forward it to any entity or individual you believe may want to become involved.
James P. Ogilvy
Professor of Law