Sarah Devaney’s Article, “Justice for All? Impeding the Villainization of Human Trafficking Victims via the Expansion of Vacatur Laws,” Receives Honorable Award from Beverly Hills Bar Foundation
Pepperdine Caruso School of Law third-year student Sarah Devaney was awarded by the Beverly Hills Bar Foundation for her entry, “Justice for All? Impeding the Villainization of Human Trafficking Victims via the Expansion of Vacatur Laws”, in the Rule of Law Writing Competition. The competition accepts law students’ writings that analyze, define, criticize, or demonstrate the economic social or political effects of the law, awarding only three authors with a scholarship prize.
Sarah’s award will be presented at the “Celebrate Public Interest Law with the LA Superior Court” featuring Judge Eric C. Taylor, the LASC Presiding Judge. As part of the award, Sarah was invited to participate in a webinar with this year’s competition winners where each will present their articles. Further, Sarah’s article, “Justice for All?,” will be featured in the Beverly Hills Bar Foundation’s upcoming newsletter and on the Beverly Hills Bar Association website at BHBA.
In “Justice for All?,” Sarah explores how many human trafficking victims obtain a criminal record as a result of the very activities they were forced to engage in while trafficked, consequently hindering survivors from wholly reacclimating to society. Sarah critiques the current state of human trafficking laws, noting that the minimal relief available to survivors for alleviating their criminal records leaves them perpetually victimized by the United States criminal justice system. In the article, Sarah analyzes California’s existing vacatur law to propose an improved, comprehensive version. The article then calls for the implementation of a uniform federal vacatur law modeled after California’s newly expanded version to end the continued victimization of human trafficking survivors.
Sarah’s article was also selected for publication in the Pepperdine Law Review, Volume XLIX, Issue 1. Sarah, a Literary Citation Editor of the Pepperdine Law Review, Volume XLIX, notes that she is “happy to contribute, in a small way, to the advancement of justice for Human Trafficking Victims.”