PROLAW Graduates Report
I am a South African attorney currently working for an international organization called Natural Justice based in Cape Town. I've been with Natural Justice since May 2012 after completing the PROLAW program. My work involves working with indigenous and local communities around their relationship with natural resources. Natural Justice uses the international environmental law context to protect and advocate for the rights of these communities. I am responsible for implementing Natural Justice's work in the Southern Africa region which includes Namibia; South Africa and Botswana.
I was also recently appointed to the position of Expert Member to the African Commission's Working Group on Indigenous Populations/Communities (ACHPR). This Working Group is a Special Mechanism of the ACHPR and works around the indigenous peoples question in Africa. This mechanism have done mission visits to several African countries: released seminal work around resolving the indigenous peoples question in Africa; and they also conduct seminars and workshops with key bodies within the region. You can find more information on the ACHPR's Working Group here:
My recent appointment to the ACHPR'S Working Group on Indigenous Populations/Communities will require of me to understand how to analyze the complexities of discrimination the indigenous peoples within their respective countries goes through. This work will further involve identifying opportunities and challenges within a particular country that would assist indigenous people to overcome structural marginalization.
PROLAW through its different classes gave me confidence to access any part of Africa notwithstanding its legal system. PROLAW showed me how to understand the context and to approach a solution. With my training and the wealth of resources I received in the Program, I know how to navigate through any situation that I have to face through my work.
Adolfo Elim Luviano Heredia
International Cooperation Director
The Government of Mexico is undertaking a complete overhaul of its criminal justice system, replacing closed-door procedures and written arguments with an adversarial system based on public, oral trials. This change entails a systemic, structural, and cultural shift and spurred the creation of an institution designed to assist and support the implementation of the reform, The Technical Secretariat of the Coordination Council for the Implementation of the Criminal Justice System (SETEC). SETEC works with local and federal authorities to support this renewal process in the design and implementation of policies, strategies and coordination actions aimed at strengthening the functioning and efficiency of the operations of affected institutions effective throughout the country.
Before attending PROLAW I served in SETEC as an assistant secretary to the head of the agency. After returning from the Program I was appointed as Director of International Cooperation. The training acquired in the PROLAW program allowed me return to my agency to a position with greater responsibilities. The program’s content and design provided me with more openness and a global perspective which I feel is necessary for efficient and transparent public administration. I am glad to have participated in the first generation of PROLAW, being part of a program that goes beyond the content of a regular LLM, due to its emphasis on actual practical which is in turn based upon an understanding of development theory and the collective experience of rule of law promotion around the world. The cultural diversity of the participants was another added value.