Meet Some CPJP Volunteers
My name is Pia Francesca Gonzalez and I have now completed a combined degree of Law and Business at UTS. I had the pleasure of volunteering for CPJP in July through to September 2020, from which I learnt and developed enormously. I have had a long standing interest in aiding social injustices through law which culminated in being the Vice President of Social Justice in the UTS Law Students Society. Having also just finished studying Refugee Law and Practise and Public International Law, when the opportunity to support CPJP was offered by my university I did not hesitate to apply. I aim to contribute to many different social justices causes. Education and imprisonment in particular have been very important for me. During my time at CPJP I was shocked not only that capital punishment still exists, but that it is much more prevalent than I could have ever imagined. I am sincerely grateful to have had the opportunity to support the eradication of the punishment that violates the most inherent and insurmountable human right; our right to life.
LLB (Hons); BA (International Relations); DipLang (Indonesian)
In 2019, Samira completed a placement with the then newly established Anti-Death Penalty Clinic at Monash University. Through the casework and advocacy work that the clinic involved all the students in, Samira felt that she could really contribute to achieving justice in a meaningful way. Since, she has stayed connected with Sara Kowal and continued to pursue opportunities to support the abolitionist movement from Australia. To Samira, working with CPJP is the ideal platform to do so. During 2019-2020, Samira contributed in a variety of ways from assisting Julian McMahon AC SC and Sara Kowal with strategic litigation, drafting publications and performing research. In 2020, Samira collaborated with Simone Abel and Sara Kowal to develop a reform project in conjunction with a young lawyers law reform body which is ongoing. In 2021, Samira hopes to continue working with CPJP where every colleague she has encountered have been genuinely committed to catalysing (if not achieving) both reform and progress in the anti-death penalty space globally. CPJP inspires Samira and deepens her commitment to this type of work particularly because of its broad network of volunteers/partners with similar objectives and desire to achieve tangible change whether policy or case related.
As a Juris Doctor student, I am continually looking for ways to expand my knowledge and improve my legal skills. Helping less privileged people and giving back to the community is my passion and human rights are very important to me. Therefore, upon reading about the CPJP mission, I was truly impressed by it and standing for a world without the death penalty aligns directly with my values. What attracted me to volunteer for CPJP is a wide variety of activities that CPJP conducts – from developing legal policy solutions that help save lives, to assisting various Human Rights NGOs worldwide. Volunteering for CPJP helped me understand the death penalty challenges in Southeast Asia and taught me how to approach difficult and often complex situations methodically and thoughtfully. I genuinely enjoy being part of a social change that fulfils a meaningful and high-quality outcome for its audience, so for me to be part of the CPJP is an enriching experience.
My name is Stephanie, and I am currently in my final year of a combined Law and Communications (Social and Political Sciences) Degree. I was lucky to be able to complete an internship with CPJP from July till September 2020. I have always been interested in social justice causes; especially how different types of social categorisations such as race, gender and class intersect to produce nuanced experiences of disadvantage and discrimination. My work with CPJP really increased my understanding of how intersectionality can lead to increased rates of capital punishment in certain groups of individuals – and how the existence of capital punishment truly does not address the root causes of the social issues it aims to solve. I feel so fortunate to have been able to make a small contribution to the amazing work that CPJP does, and I hope to one day see a world where organisations like CPJP are no longer needed.