Law Students Work on International Legal Defense Network
Judge Dunstan Mlambo speaking on strengthening access to legal aid at a side session of the CCPCJ.
Simultaneously the class also worked on the creation of a website that could serve as a model for the global network described in the resolution. Led by Karen Jacobsen, a website was created where public defenders and legal aid providers can join and search for participating colleagues around the world. The network is called the Mutual International Legal Defense Network ("MILDN") and the website recently went public at www.mildn.org. As an example of how the website works, a public defender in France may want to raise a cultural defense for a client from Afghanistan, but does not have the resources to obtain informational resources about Afghan's cultural norms. MILDN.ORG would allow this French public defender to find and connect with an Afghan public defender who can provide the information or aid in locating the needed information for the defense.
The resolution drafted by the Practicum was circulated and independently proposed by the United States for consideration at the CCPCJ. Alexander Miltenberger and Professor Speedy Rice attended the Twenty-fifth Session of the CCPCJ to advocate for the adoption of the resolution and to promote the launch and concept of MILDN. On May 27, 2016 the resolution was adopted by the CCPCJ. The adoption of the resolution represented the culmination of a semester of hard work for the Practicum, and was the result of many hours of international cooperation.