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Program for Law and Development in Cambodia

The Law School's Program for Law and Development in Cambodia, directed by Prof. Nick Rine, provides financial and logistics support to students interested in public service internships in a developing country. A summer internship in Cambodia offers the opportunity to see and participate in the rebuilding of a society from the ground up. A number of organizations which are at work on various aspects of this re-building process are in a position to accept students to work with them as interns.

 

 Prof. Nick Rine, Director of the Program for Law and Development in Cambodia

With the final demise of the Khmer Rouge guerrilla movement and a stable (if not fully democratic) government, the country is enjoying real peace for the first time in three decades. The first-of-its-kind court bringing together Cambodian and international judges has begun trials of the leadership of that Khmer Rouge regime. But while Cambodia needs to come to grips with its past, it is also straining to establish a foundation for a stable future. Its recent history left the country with a largely dysfunctional legal and social infrastructure.

Over the past 15 years, dozens of Michigan Law students have worked on a number of aspects of that process in a wide variety of organizations in Cambodia. These include legal services organizations, health organizations, the United Nations Human Rights Commission, UNDP, ILO, World Bank, UNICEF, Cambodian government agencies and private human rights and other non-governmental organizations—both local and international—with a wide variety of concerns like women's justice issues, juvenile law, land rights, health care access and economic development. The program has also periodically taken on legal research projects which are carried out by students in the U.S.

In addition to offering opportunities to American JD students, the program has also brought a number of Cambodian law graduates to Michigan as research scholars. As a result, Michigan now has a large group of friends in the Cambodian legal world.

For more information on the program, contact Prof. Nick Rine at nickrine@umich.edu.
 
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