Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Haiti’s First Law Clinic Soon Begins in Jeremie

For about 15 years, University of California Hastings law students have partnered with a law school in Jeremie, Haiti. Hastings law students visit about once a year to meet with government and non-governmental reps and Haitian law students and professors. At another point in the year, the Haitian students and professors go visit Hastings. This year, Hastings students will help launch Haiti’s very first law clinic, in Jeremie. Given the myriad difficulties the poor majority has in accessing justice in Haiti, the clinic is expected to be a key part of the community.

Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text.

Haiti Trip Marks Quake Anniversary, Launches Nation’s First Law Clinic

UC Hastings
January 8, 2015

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When she first visited Haiti after the earthquake in 2010, Professor Nicole Phillips remembers returning on a flight to Miami, shocked by the juxtaposition of what she had witnessed in a tent city in Port au Prince, and the manicured golf courses she could glimpse from her descending plane.

“At some point the contrast hits you, and you have to deal with it,” she said. “The suffering that was everywhere in the tent city is so unjust, but especially when you can just take a quick trip to Miami, with its resorts and amazing city planning, it’s a stark contrast.”

Eight students have been selected to visit Haiti during spring break this year as part of the Hastings to Haiti Partnership delegation. They are enrolled in Phillips’ Human Rights and the Rule of Law in Haiti seminar as preparation, and they will be making presentations to Haitian law students on human rights, the rule of law and advocacy skills. Phillips also teaches half the year at the Haitian law school founded by President Jean Bertrand Aristide (UNIFA), and is a staff attorney at the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti ( From her years of traveling between the two nations, she knows that the students will have a powerful experience that will require a lot of debriefing when they return.


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