The United Nations has given special recognition to an affiliate of the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) for its efforts in religious liberty and human rights.
ACLJ leaders expressed their excitement after the U.N. Economic and Social Council unanimously granted special consultative status to the European Centre for Law and Justice (ECLJ). The Christian law firm believes that it will increase their reach in worldwide affairs in expanding religious freedom. Attorneys for the ACLJ already have influence in more than 35 countries.
"This special designation enhances our ability to shape the global debate on religious freedom and human rights and dignity," said Jay Sekulow, chief counsel of the ACLJ and ECLJ, in a statement. "With the special consultative status, the ECLJ will now be in the unique position to file legal briefs and memorandums with UN governing bodies on a wide range of global issues. This designation is the next logical step in the development of our global outreach and will empower the ECLJ in the ongoing struggle to influence the world's decision-makers to recognize the concept that freedom and liberty are universal, God-given and inalienable rights that must be protected."
The ACLJ, founded by Pat Robertson, first began about 20 years ago as a national organization to specialize in religious liberty in law. About 10 years after its start, it began to address international issues and launched both the ECLJ and the Slavic Centre for Law and Justice (SCLJ).
Through affiliations with the UN, the law firm expects to greatly increase effectiveness in dealing with foreign countries about religious freedom. ACLJ leaders are currently trying to add countries such as Russia, Israel, and Turkey, which would be helped by their position with the UN.
The purpose of the ACLJ is to engage in litigation and provide legal services and advice for individuals as well as help governmental agencies in terms of liberty issues and global freedom.
The law firm alongside their affiliate organizations also has a program to train law students from around the world in learning how to protect and support religious freedoms.
ACLJ's lead counsel, Sekulow, has argued several influential cases in the Supreme Court, protecting many defendants' rights to religion, namely Christianity.