To Condemn or to Condone? Criminal Justice Work Abroad

Tyler Holmes
My purpose is to improve rights compliance, but my memorandum of understanding with the police highlights the importance of confidentiality.

My purpose is to improve rights compliance, but my memorandum of understanding with the police highlights the importance of confidentiality.

allanswart via iStock

I work in what is amorphously called “human rights.” In practice, I am an observer, an advocate, and an administrator.

I am an attorney navigating layered ethical responsibilities to my project, Irish Rule of Law International’s Malawi Access to Justice Programme, as well as public donors, the Malawi Police Service, and detained individuals. As noted by Professor Sandra L. Babcock, decisions made in environments like Malawi involve a lot of gut thinking, consideration of and following relevant actors’ requests, and, hopefully, lots of transparency. As a Kansas-trained attorney, in the back of my mind, I often consider the Kansas Rules of Professional Responsibility.

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