Moving Towards Clinical Legal Education Clinics in Zimbabwe

The Institute recently organised an introductory workshop to clinical legal education in Zimbabwe in cooperation with the Herbert Chitepo School of Law and the International Commission of Jurist’s Zimbabwe programme

The objective of the workshop was to contribute to knowledge and skills needed by university teachers to provide clinical legal education to students. This includes how to teach students practical legal skills in relation to a social justice setting, primarily how to provide client legal advice and assistance to legal aid clinics, and how to contribute to legal literacy or street law–type clinics.

Participants were drawn from the Herbert Chitepo Law School at the University of Great Zimbabwe, the Institute for Peace, Leadership and Governance at Africa University, the faculties of law at Midlands State University, University of Zimbabwe and Ezekiel Guti University, as well as from the Council for Legal Education.

The workshop was facilitated by Professor David McQuoid-Mason from the
Centre for Socio-Legal Studies at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, in South Africa and Dr. Alex Conte from Faculty of Law at the University of Sussex, United Kingdom.

During the workshop, which was carried out in an interactive format constantly engaging the participants in discussions and role plays, the participants learned how to develop a clinical legal education curriculum, clinical/interactive teaching methods and how to develop lesson plans for live client or street law clinic teaching. A session was also devoted to issues related to establishment and management of legal clinics.

The workshop formed part of the Raoul Wallenberg Institute’s Zimbabwe Human Rights Capacity Development Programme 2016-2018, which is funded by Swedish Development Cooperation and is a collaborative programme between Raoul Wallenberg Institute, the Institute for Peace, Leadership and Governance at Africa University, the Faculty of Law at Midlands State University, and the Centre for Applied Legal Research in Harare.

The overall objective of the programme is to contribute to enhanced enjoyment of constitutional rights in Zimbabwe, through legislation, policies, practices and decision-making being increasingly informed by international human rights standards and principles. The workshop on clinical legal education falls under the academic component of the programme and aims at contributing to the strengthened human rights education at academic institution in Zimbabwe.

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