Claudia Newman-Martin, Internship: Open Society Justice Initiative (New York, NY)

An Overview of this PCJ Summer Internship

August 28, 2013

During the summer of 2013 Claudia interned with the Open Society Justice Initiative (OSJI) which sits within the Soros Foundations. She assisted OSJI with litigation, advocacy, research, and technical assistance aimed at promoting human rights and building legal capacity for open societies. This internship was based in New York, and Claudia looked forward to being exposed to the full range of law reform work OSJI conducts.

Claudia's Report

Over the summer I had the opportunity to intern at the Open Society Justice Initiative (OSJI)in New York. During this time I performed a variety of research tasks, primarily focusing on creating a complaints resolution mechanism for minority students facing discrimination in German schools (particularly Roma children). I was also exposed to OSJI work in a number of other fields, including:

  • The Rios Montt trial:In May, Rios Montt was found guilty of conducting genocide and sentenced to 80 years imprisonment. His conviction was overturned 10 days later. OSJI was working on the appeal, focusing on the legal and evidentiary basis for the conviction;
  • Sierra Leone paralegal program:Open Society Foundations funds the training and placement of university students in police stations throughout Sierra Leone. Given that Sierra Leone has one of the lowest lawyer to citizen ratios in the world, OSJI is interested in measuring the impact of the paralegal program. In particular, OSJI is interested in determining whether the frequency and length of pre-trial detention can be reduced;
  • Inclusion of the rule of law as a Millennium Development Goal (MDG);
  • Using econometrics to measure impact and identify countries of concern.

It was interesting being exposed not only to justice policy work but also to the challenges that philanthropic foundations confront in determining what to fund and how to measure the impact of their funding. Interestingly, these questions are similar to those considered by PCJ’s indicators for development project and emerge from a field of research and thought that continues to develop.

I was incredibly privileged to be able to undertake this internship, and it would not have been possible without the financial and professional support of PCJ. Without this support, I would not have had the opportunity to see the practical application of many of the skills and principles I have learnt about throughout my law degree and MPP. I am thoroughly grateful to PCJ and would highly recommend that any students considering internship opportunities in the criminal justice space contact PCJ early in the process to benefit from the immense wisdom housed within PCJ’s staff.

About Claudia Newman-Martin

Claudia is a candidate for the Master of Public Policy(MPP) at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) and a Sir John Monash Foundation Scholar.

Claudia holds an Arts degree (majoring in politics) and First Class Honors Law degree from the Australian National University (ANU). During her time at ANU, Claudia served as Student President of the university. She also represented ANU in national and international legal and debating competitions and was ranked as best female speaker in the world in 2010. Her love of debate led her to undertake capacity-building projects with teachers and students in Jordan, Bangladesh, Bulgaria, and Bosnia. Claudia has worked for a variety of not-for-profit legal organizations, including an indigenous legal service in Melbourne and a human rights NGO in India. In 2011 she worked as the Research Director to the Chief Justice of New South Wales. This role allowed her to experience first-hand the policy challenges faced by courts; it also allowed her to contribute to law reform proposals and local access to justice initiatives.

Additionally, Claudia was the PCJ Academic Year Fellow from 2012-2013.

Learn More

Learn more about student opportunities with the Program in Criminal Justice Policy and Management (PCJ) at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS).

Claudia Newman-Martin

"It was interesting being exposed not only to justice policy work but also to the challenges that philanthropic foundations confront in determining what to fund and how to measure the impact of their funding." - Claudia Newman-Martin, MPP candidate

Claudia Newman-Martin

"I have come across a huge number of inspiring and interesting colleagues. In short, I wake up excited to go to work each day!" - Claudia Newman-Martin