William and Mary Law School
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Michael Poe

United States Institute of Peace (Washington D. C.)

Background

The U.S. Institute of Peace is a non-partisan, congressionally-funded institution created with a broad mandate to contribute to the prevention and resolution of violent international conflicts, as well as to help foster stability and development in post-conflict areas. Within the Institute of Peace, my internship will involve performing research for Vivienne O'Connor, a USIP specialist on rule of law training and criminal justice reform in post-conflict countries. Over the summer, we will focus on developing rule of law training programs for use in post-conflict situations. In areas wrecked by violent conflict, the re-establishment of the rule of law is of vital importance to that country's citizens, surrounding communities, and society as a whole. However, these countries are often ill-equipped to initiate the level of legal reform necessary in order to restore order and retain public trust. In attempting to help post-conflict countries meet such challenges, the rule of law training project draws upon lessons learned from past legal reform efforts in other post-conflict areas.