RWI’s Take on Clinical Legal Education

Clinical Legal Education (CLE) is a legal teaching method that uses practical-oriented, studentcentred and problem-based interactive learning methods. This includes, but is not limited to, the practical work of students on real cases and social issues supervised by academics and professionals. RWI has been working with CLE since 2011, initially through its academic cooperation programme in Turkey, and since then also in countries including Belarus, Cambodia, Cuba, Zimbabwe and Sweden.

CLE developments during 2020

Significant developments in 2020 included the establishment of a new programme in Armenia that includes planned cooperation on CLE with Yerevan State University and the American University of Armenia.

Back in Sweden, the Lund Disability Human Rights Clinic established by RWI in 2018 achieved another milestone, with student participation now recognised as a credited course by Lund University, which has also agreed to fund the clinic in full. Sadly, our current cooperation on CLE in Belarus has ended.

Nevertheless, substantial results were achieved over the past six years, as documented in a major closing report on the
Experience of Legal Clinics in Belarus.

What is Clinical Legal Education?

CLE comes in many forms, ranging from ‘street law’ public awareness raising on relevant legal issues, through cooperating with civil society organisations on strategic litigation, to direct provision of legal advice to actual clients.

The Institute places a premium on exchange of information and experiences between Legal Clinics and other CLE-related initiatives within and beyond the countries where we work, creating spaces for clinicians to share good practices in this fast-evolving field.

“Our own programming encompasses all of these forms and more, with the RWI approach not focused on any one particular methodology. Instead, we put an emphasis on assessing needs and context in order to support CLE initiatives that will be most effective in developing the capacity of students, whilst also bringing about social change.”
Josh Ounsted, Head of the Thematic Area ‘Fair and Efficient Justice’

 

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