Project Code: STATE-USA-CSO-19

International Law:Creating Legal Frameworks for Defectors and Detainees from Non-State Armed Groups

Project Title International Law:Creating Legal Frameworks for Defectors and Detainees from Non-State Armed Groups
Project Summary Conduct legal research and analysis in determining the necessary international and national legal frameworks for designing defection/DDR (Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration) programs to encourage fighters in non-state armed groups to exit violent conflict and return to civilian life
Country United States
Agency Department of State
DoS Office CSO/OP1
Post N/A
Section N/A
Number of Interns 1
Project Description

The State Department’s Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations (CSO) is seeking a self-motivated law student to research and report on the legal aspects of conducting programs designed to encourage fighters to leave the battlefield and assist them in reintegrating into civilian life. Such interventions must comply with international and host country laws that set the legal framework in a country. The Bureau is developing a legal framework to guide planners and practitioners in assessing a country’s capacity to implement a defection/disengaged fighters program. The applicant will assist in building this legal knowledge base to assist U.S. government officials and embassies abroad. What legal constraints most often stymie efforts to build an effective defections program? What can the U.S. Government do to help a country that does not have a strong legal framework to process defectors? Governments have offered amnesty decrees to manage former fighters; what international agreements/treaties would constrain what an amnesty law could do? The research would include case studies comparing national amnesty programs to determine which programs have proven effective and why.

Required Skills or Interests
Analytical writing
Data analysis
Political Analysis
Additional Information

- Applicants must be currently enrolled in a Law School pursuing a J.D. or L.L.M, in 2nd year or higher
- outstanding legal research, writing and analysis skills
- ability to work independently while maintaining contact with his/her supervisor to provide status updates
- coursework in International Humanitarian Law, International Human Rights Law, Comparative Law, and/or Criminal Law preferred
- No additional language requirements other than English is required, though research tasks would include researching host country laws
- Undergraduates should not apply
- The supervisor is available to discuss the project and its timeframe by telephone
- Must have computer with Microsoft Office (including Word, Outlook, and Excel)