About Hastings to Haiti Partnership

          Hastings to Haiti Group

          The Hastings-to-Haiti Partnership (HHP) is an annual delegation in which Hastings law students visit a sister law school the Ecole Superieure Catholique du Droit de Jeremie (ESCDROJ) in Jeremie Haiti. In Spring 2007, our annual Delegation spent three days in Port au Prince visiting various grassroots organizations and learning about the country's history. On the fourth day we traveled to Jeremie where we began our academic exchange with the students from ESCDROJ, which lasted five days.

          The purpose of the annual Delegation is to help strengthen the Rule of Law in Haiti through supporting legal education. The ESCDROJ is the only law school of its kind in Haiti. It promotes public service in the student's immediate community and for Haiti at-large, through rigorous and wide-ranging legal education, while welcoming students from all walks of life and differing political positions. By being politically neutral, the students are encouraged to work with each other for the common good.

          Who are the Haitian students? They are from various segments of the community. For example, full-time nurses, teachers, police officers, even local politicians, attend the law school. The classes are held at night, using the facilities of the local nursing school.

          What do we do in Haiti? We give presentations on various legal topics to the Haitians students, who in turn present lectures to us on topics like gender equality, prisoners' issues, right to life, treatment of minors, and applicability of international human rights in Haiti. As a whole, through this conference, we exchange legal perspectives and ideas through discussion and question and answer sessions following the presentations.

          This year, among other things, we hope to bring 15 laptop computers (made possible by generous donations from individuals) to the school to add to the computer lab we established there in 2005. The computer lab has allowed students to have better access to information and aided in their studies.