Over the years, The Protection Project has worked incessantly to advance clinical legal education in academic institutions around the world. To achieve this goal, The Protection Project has partnered with legal institutions in the United States, Egypt, Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Qatar, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Iraq, and others to broaden the expertise in clinical legal education and assist in the establishment of clinical programs for law students to assist vulnerable members of society, including victims of human trafficking, victims of domestic violence, migrant workers, and victims of labor exploitation.
Understanding that the concept of clinical legal education including instruction in small group classes, practical and skills-based teaching methods, and the exposure of students to real-life cases is still fairly new in countries of the Middle East, The Protection Project convenes experts on clinical legal education in conferences, workshops, and seminars to exchange best practices and lessons learned and advance the establishment and operation of legal clinics worldwide.
To this end, The Protection Project organized the “First Middle East Regional Colloquium on Clinical Legal Education: Developing Clinical Programs and Expanding Access to Justice” at the Dead Sea, Jordan on May 27-28, 2012 in cooperation with the Global Alliance for Justice Education (GAJE). Participants from 11 countries discussed philosophy, foundations, and aims of clinical legal education, clinical legal education and transitions to democracy, the advocacy role of legal clinics, ethics and professional responsibility, and the future of clinical legal education in the Middle East. A follow-up to the event took place on March 16-17, 2013 when representatives of The Protection Project Expert Group on Clinical Legal Education and members of the Arab Network of Legal Clinics convened for the “Second Middle East Regional Colloquium on Clinical Legal Education: Developing Clinical Programs and Expanding Access to Justice” in Doha, Qatar.
In June 2013, The Protection Project in cooperation with Kuwait International Law School organized a competition on “Best Draft Model Law” for the professors and students of the law clinics at Kuwait International Law School, Qatar University College of Law, and Sultan Qaboos University College of Law. During the Spring semester 2013, the legal clinics had worked on drafting domestic work model laws and model contracts. A panel of judges analyzed these model laws on rights of domestic workers presented by each law clinic based on the following points: a. Compliance of the model law with the ILO Convention 189 on Decent Work for Domestic Workers; b. Elements of the model law on the rights of domestic workers; c. Balance between the rights of domestic workers and the rights of employers; d. Coverage of domestic work as a form of human trafficking; e. Reliance of the model law on related domestic laws especially labor law and the law on combating human trafficking; f. The saving clause; g. Complaint mechanisms; h. Drafting techniques. Based on a thorough assessment, the students of Sultan Qaboos University Law Clinic were recognized as having drafted the best model law.
The Protection Project is proud of its longstanding partnership with Alexandria University Faculty of Law which established the first legal clinic in Egypt in 2010. Students in the legal clinic receive small group instruction on practical cases and provide legal aid by assisting pro-bono lawyers in the Alexandria community to victims of domestic violence and human trafficking. Students are also engaged in legislative drafting, including model laws on legal aid and the rights of domestic workers, and other policy-oriented projects, including research on the rights of Egyptian migrant workers abroad and access to justice for women. TPP supported this process by assisting with the development of the clinical legal education course taught at Alexandria University, by conducting several trainings for the legal clinic staff in Alexandria to which TPP also invited international experts on clinical legal education, and by hosting professors and students of the legal clinic during two week-long study tours to institutions of clinical legal education in Washington, DC and New York City, NY. Based on the successful Alexandria model, five additional Egyptian law faculties have established legal clinics and two are in the process of doing so by the fall semester 2013. The most recent clinical training conducted by The Protection Project took place in Alexandria, Egypt on May 18-19, 2013. The workshop “Legal Aid for Victims of Human Trafficking” was attended by representatives from all Egyptian legal clinics. During the fall semester 2013, the clinics will conduct a project on combating human trafficking in Egypt by liaising with NGOs and researching the most pressing issues of human trafficking, including child labor, street children, child begging, domestic workers, temporary marriages and child marriage, and Egyptians working abroad.
Please click on the following links to view the agenda and participants of our events on clinical legal education:
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