Past the Halfway Point

I looked at the calendar the other day and realized that my time at IDEA was more than half gone. I can still remember my wide-eyed self walking into the office two months ago, excited about the job, even the little things like my (temporary) IDEA email. But, interesting work always speeds up the passage of time.

I have a pair of new assignments. First, I am performing the initial research for a project on African jurisprudence. Right now, the research is simple, but interesting. I find cases from the top judicial body in various African nations or regional organizations where the court engages in particularly high quality legal reasoning or stands up to a strong-arm attempt by the executive. I started with the top judicial bodies of three regional organizations: the Economic Community of West African States Community Court of Justice, the Southern African Development Community Tribunal, and the East African Court of Justice. Soon, I will move on to the top judicial bodies of individuals countries, likely sometime next week. The final product of my research and IDEA’s work will be a resource for judges in Africa to examine the best case law of other African nations.

I am also writing an outline for an article on constitutional environmental protections. Many nations have explicit constitutional provisions protecting the right of the people to live in a clean and health environment, some nations even provide nature or ecosystems with rights and place an affirmative duty on the government to enforce such rights. Hopefully, I will be able to write a short paper that describes these rights, compares them, and provides some recommendation on how to implement them. My supervisor has been giving me great feedback and I am pleased with my progress so far.