Global Justice Summit: What the Heck is it, Even?
By Edgar Ivan Aguilasocho
J.D. Candidate 2012, UCI Law
At some point over the last month, you may have read the words “Global Justice Summit” in an email heading or on a Facebook post. If you are a 1L, you may have also heard your international law professor mention it in passing. When you read or heard those words, this thought may have entered your mind: “Global Justice Summit? What the heck is it, even?” Here is the poorly worded answer to that poorly worded question.
In late December, I was working on a bunch of super pragmatic stuff. I was finishing some work for the Immigrant Rights Clinic, Bluebooking for Law Review, and for a few minutes, I was even studying for finals. Somewhere in that flurry of paperwork, it occurred to me that we do not do nearly enough utopian thinking in law school. Law schools traditionally do not make any room for it. So, in the great tradition of UCI Law, I went ahead and made room for it. I sent a bunch of emails around (specifically, to Jessica Hodgkins, Carly Edelstein, and a bunch of professors), and presto! We have the Global Justice Summit.
Basically, the idea was to have a large-scale, short-term, and high-energy counterpart to the old school co-curriculars of law review, moot court, and mock trial. But, rather than being yet another avenue for practicing legal writing or oral advocacy in a competitive setting, this would be an opportunity to practice diplomacy and negotiation in a collaborative setting. And, rather than focusing on domestic law or legislation, this would focus on international law and constitution drafting. And (perhaps most importantly), rather than feeling like work, this would feel like a game.
This is what we came up with: Students will be divided into two teams. Each team represents a fictional nation, with its own set of background facts and key interests. Members of each team will be divided out evenly across eight committees. Each committee is in charge of doing basic research on separate components of a new constitution. Emphasis on basic. Then, on March 17th, we will all come together for the Global Justice Summit. We will arrive early in the morning and leave early in the evening. Throughout the day, we will meet as a general assembly and divide out into groups as needed until we have finished drafting the basic frameworks of a new constitution for one the two fictional nations. The final document will then be sent out to a set of judges who will choose winners based on, both, collaborative and competitive criteria.
So, that is the idea. We are hosting three training sessions this month tailored to the Summit but open to all law students. The Summit is coming up next month, so we are working feverishly to prepare all the rules and details. And, lastly, we really want as many students to participate and student organizations to co-sponsor as possible. We hope that this will be a rewarding experience for everyone involved. Please, be involved: http://www.globaljusticesummit.org.