William and Mary Law School

When Security Takes Over

This week, the Prime Minister of Iraq, Maliki was in DC for a series of very important meetings, and one of them happened to be at USIP. Unlike most of the events at USIP, this one involved a lot of diplomatic security. And when I say a lot, I mean a lot. So much, in fact, that the administration first told us we should plan to arrive at 8am at the latest in order to get into the building, or wait until after noon. Later, the director suggested that USIP personnel consider working from home. Working from home is not terribly unusual for a lot of the Program Officers, especially when they are writing articles and papers. After that suggestion, and with the prospect of frozen elevators, secret service, and roadblocks looming, my entire office packed their laptops and made a group decision to work from home the next day.

The event was VIP only, so staff wouldn't have been able to attend, and the event was being broadcast live on the website. We didn't miss much, I guess, except the circus of security.

After that, it was back to the office grind again. I was recruited to finalize draft Consolidated Responses for INPROL and was really happy that I could get them done ahead of schedule. Then I settled into my gender memo again. It's in the finishing stages, at last, and has been quite a learning experience. The topic is very broad, but hopefully I've managed to hone in on the important subjects and bring out the details. When I go back to school and start working with JoWL, I am hoping that the research I've been doing will help me write my note. It's definitely an interesting topic, and not one that has been overworked, so I would be glad to pursue it further.

For example, there are a lot of issues that the rule of law literature brings up that are still unsettled issues in the American legal system with regards to gender equality. The definitions of gender-based violence crimes are good examples. As 1Ls, we learned quickly that definitions are very important in the law, but we didn't ever really discuss them in terms of gender issues. Also interesting is the tangled relationship of gender equality initiatives and family values. I think gender issues, more than other human rights issues, become contentious no matter how developed a country is. That makes the area of study very interesting to me.

It's hard to believe I have only two more weeks left of work this summer!