Our work in Liberia comes on the heels of LWOB's completion of a large scale project meeting a need identified in its assessment three years ago for a cumulative index to the entirety of Liberian case law. Having worked with over 100 lawyers at Linklaters indexing all Liberian case law LWOB was well positioned to incorporate Liberian case law into its programming. Lawyers at White & Case contributed to LWOB's preparation of the teaching materials for evidence and special challenges modules that were created for the training.
Two trial advocacy trainings in Liberia are now complete (2010, 2013). Those trainings taught standard basics in trial advocacy in a custom, created for and by LWOB, mock trial scenario based upon a trafficking in persons prosecution. LWOB adapts its own version of the NITA "learning by doing™" approach in the trial advocacy modules which involve taping, reviewing and critiquing lawyers direct and cross examination, opening statements and closing arguments. NITA supports the LWOB Liberia programming with the donation of its Modern Trial Advocacy text books.
In 2010, LWOB partnered with the Avon Center for Women and Justice at Cornell Law School to develop and deliver trafficking-specific modules which included an overview of Trafficking and the role and use of international conventions and obligations in a trial. LWOB modeled this portion of the program using the UNODC Toolkit as a resource and guide. LWOB materials were created to support and compliment the UNODC Toolkit as well.
LWOB integrated its own signature special challenges modules on substantive and evidentiary issues using avatar technology donated to LWOB by Oddcast.com. That portion of the program included evidentiary demonstrations and programming designed to illustrate "best practices" in victim pre-trial interview and witness preparation as well as actual Liberian cases illustrating rules governing such issues as witness voir dire and the child as witnesses.
The program was supplemented with community oriented materials created by lawyers at Linklaters LLP who worked with LWOB's graphic artist to create two illustrated publications featuring best practices for the practitioner working on TIPS issues and educating citizens to recognize trafficking situations and rights and resources for the person victimized by trafficking. Click here to view the illustrated publication "Understanding Human Trafficking" created for the Liberian Bar: Human Trafficking - Liberia - Illustrated graphic novel . A second publication has been completed and distributed to lawyers and judges throughout the country that focuses on the lawyer/judge interaction with victims of human trafficking that come before them.
In 2013, LWOB's training included, for the first time, 20 law enforcement personnel and connected their important role in the investigatory stage to successful prosecutions in Court. LWOB's work in Liberia for the next three years is funded by a grant from the JTIP department of the United States Department of State. Interim police trainings will continue throughout the year. Two additional large-scale trainings are scheduled for Spring 2014 and 2015.
Current pro bono partners working on materials for those trainings notably include the lawyers from Linklaters, who now enter their third year of work on human trafficking in Liberia and McDermott Will & Emery's London office which will be completing its first human trafficking publication for LWOB that creates educational material targeting potential youth victims of trafficking in Liberia. Lawyers from Pfizer, Jones Day and Shearman & Sterling will round out our training teams. They will be accompanied by several Federal Judges, led by Hon. Virgina Kendall, well recognized internationally for her work in human trafficking.