Ever since 1549, when the first Jesuit priests voyaged to the New World, the Society of Jesus has played an active role in Latin America. This has been especially true in the field of education, where Jesuits have created a constructive process of humanistic education that has featured an international focus.
Hence, it is only natural that the Georgetown University Law Center, the oldest Jesuit university in the United States, should identify with this tradition. The newly renamed Center for the Advancement of the Rule of Law in the Americas (CAROLA) will seek to do that by promoting a better understanding of the region's laws and legal systems, as well as enhancing efforts on the part of Latin Americans to use the rule of law to help achieve economic development and social justice.
With its location in Washington, strong faculty and diverse student body, as well as with the upcoming completion of a new building dedicated to its international and comparative law programs, the Law Center stands poised to put together a top-quality program focusing specifically on issues relating to the quality and administration of justice in Latin America. A dedicated corps of alumni/ae working in both the public and private sectors throughout the hemisphere will serve as an additional resource for this initiative.
Why a Rule of Law Focus?
Formerly known as LawCasa, CAROLA has adopted as its leitmotif a preoccupation with the rule of law as an instrument for bringing about progressive change in Latin America. The types of law reform that thoughtful observers from both within and without the region have identified as being crucial include a climate of legal stability that will encourage the formation of private capital, transparency and integrity at all levels of the process of law-making and law application, respect for human rights, equal justice under law and access to justice for all citizens.
For the past two decades, strengthening the rule of law in Latin America has been a major goal for international institutions such as the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank, regional institutions such as the Organization of American States, and numerous private groups. The United States government has also made a significant commitment to rule-of law projects in the continent. Most Latin American nations have responded positively to these various initiatives, which have also sparked a vigorous debate about the proper definition and role of the rule of law, as well as the efficacy of the reforms that have been undertaken.
CAROLA seeks to contribute both by participating in studies and projects that focus on improving the administration of Latin American justice both qualitatively and functionally and by contributing to ongoing critiques of rule-of-law reform in Latin America.
A Mission for CAROLA
CAROLA will continue initiatives begun under LawCasa. These include:
working to recruit top students and young lawyers for the Law Center's LL.M. program;
developing opportunities for academics, judges and lawyers from Latin America to visit the Law Center to lecture, engage in research and meet with faculty sharing common interests;
developing opportunities for Law Center faculty members to teach in Latin America;
encouraging and assisting the activities of Law Center student organizations such as La Alianza del Derecho, Foreign Lawyers at Georgetown (FLAG), and the International Law Society;
helping Law Center students seek internships, training and professional opportunities in Latin American countries;
bringing speakers from Latin America to the Law Center to discuss contemporary legal, political and economic issues.
CAROLA will encourage the development of new courses and externships designed to give students a general overview and practical insight into Latin American issues. It will also help promote the Georgetown International Summer Internship Program to provide Law Center students with additional opportunities to work with practicing lawyers in law firms, corporations, and government organizations in Latin America. These externships and international internships will give students unique hands-on experience on both domestic and international issues to help further their understanding and appreciation of foreign legal systems.
The Georgetown Center for the Advancement of the Rule of Law in the Americas plans to build on the Law Center's strengths in areas such as alternative dispute resolution, clinical legal education, comparative constitutional law, comparative consumer protection law, environment law, jurisprudence, immigration law, international law, international trade, human rights law, egal ethics and taxation to energize interest and participation in efforts to promote the rule of law in Latin America.
For more information, you are cordially invited to contact Professor Joseph A. Page, Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Professor Page is the author of The Brazilians ; Perón: A Biography ; and The Revolution That Never Was: Northeast Brazil, 1955-1964 . He has also written numerous articles and book reviews dealing with Latin American issues.