We love partnering with countries and organizations to maximize their capacity to make change happen. Check out some of the things we are working on right now. If you are interested in hearing more, giving to these programs, or joining us on a trip, scroll down for links to engage in these things.
Over the years, our work in Uganda has expanded significantly. We have led initiatives related to anti-human trafficking, alternative dispute resolution, and women in leadership, but the majority of our resources are currently directed toward plea bargaining and the creation of Uganda's very first Public Defender's Office.
For several reasons, including a lack of judicial resources, many developing countries face a significant issue with case backlog in their courts. Plea bargaining is one solution to this issue. It brings clarity and closure to both the victims and the accused, and it saves the courts significant resources, allowing others who maintain their innocence to receive quicker access to justice.
We have spent over a decade partnering with the Ugandan Judiciary to implement plea bargaining and to train key stakeholders around the country on its use. Our team travels to Uganda several times a year, bringing along attorneys and Pepperdine Caruso Law students, to represent accused individuals in Uganda's prisons in plea bargaining negotiations. We believe with a strong conviction that, when used correctly, it is an essential component of an equitable justice system.
PUBLIC DEFENDER OFFICE
Providing accused individuals with the right to an attorney is perhaps the most crucial element of a fair justice system. Unfortunately, millions of people all around the world do not have that right. We do not think that is okay, so we are passionately working to change that one country at a time. In 2019, the Ugandan government gave us permission to start a Public Defender Pilot Project, where we are working toward the goal of establishing Uganda's very first Public Defender's Office.
As the success of the Uganda program has grown, so too have opportunities to expand our work into other countries. In 2018, we began a partnership with the Ghanaian government. Alongside several key partners in Ghana, we are in the process of implementing plea bargaining legislation as well as other legal aid related projects. Similar to our program in Uganda, we place Pepperdine Caruso Law students in summer internships with the Ghanaian Supreme Court, and we will soon begin representing individuals in plea bargaining negotiations all across the country.