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Clinical Legal Education in Bangladesh

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There is no doubt that common people face enormous obstacles to get their legal rights and remedies known and fulfilled due to a great lack of informal initiative as well as favourable way to solve their basic problems. Where to go or file complaint or what the procedure is- people are still being very ignorant of these information as there is no common understanding grown or system developed throughout the nation so far by which common people will know these.

Clinical legal education encourages young people to serve the needs of their community. It helps future lawyers in the spirit of public service within their respective community. And these legal advocates can play an active role in the advancement of justice. If one have the opportunity of gathering the best knowledge of law, so their duties should also be to spread it to the common people.

Meaning:                                                  

  • As per Griffith Law school of Australia:

Clinical legal education involves the students to take the responsibility for legal and related work in collaboration with a supervisor by making up a team. And the law school provides them all the legal instruments whatever they need.

Students take the opportunity to reflect on matters including their interactions with the client, their colleagues and their supervisor as well as the ethical aspects and impact of the law and legal processes.

  • As per Mizanur Rahman, Professor of Law:

Clinical legal education give the students’ knowledge about the lawyering process and skills of advocacy.And also give them sense of societal responsibility in professional work; to make one aware of the limits of legal system and appreciate alternative lawyering skills including exposition to alternative dispute resolution and to develop a sense of professional ethics.

  • As per Richard Lewis:

A learning environment where students identify, research and apply knowledge in a setting which replicates, at least in part, the world where it is practiced. It is mainly creating a learning environment where students can identify, research and apply Knowledge’s in the legal arena.

By this system, students get the experience of acting like a lawyer. They are given practical legal training through moot-court, mock-trial, participation of the students in alternative dispute resolution and in public legal education i.e. mass legal awareness programme, chamber practice with the lawyers, counselling, participating in the conduct of life cases, appearing in the courts. With this methodology students find inspiration to gather knowledge by practicing, dealing and researching in a setting of various aspects.

Teaching methodology:

According to Mr. Anthony G. Amsterdam, there are six key features of teaching the lawyering skill:-

  • Student must be confronted with problem situation of the sort that lawyers encounter in practice.
  • The problems situations are concrete, complex, and unrefined.
  • The students deal with the problem role playing and they do not examine them from the standpoint of uninvolved observers but from the standpoint of lawyers with the responsibility to perform.
  • The students are required to interact with people. They must workout their relationship among legal analysis, communications, and interpersonal dynamics.
  • Students’ performance of each activity is subject to intensive, subjective and critical review. This review includes every step of the student’s analysis, planning, discussion, every aspect of the student in the role thinking, behavior and interaction with people.
  • This critical review focuses upon the development of models of analysis for understanding past experience and for prediction and planning further conduct.

Ways to set up:

In various ways Clinical Legal Education programme may be exercised. According to Professor M. Shah Alam the objectives of Clinical Legal Education may be gained by the massive works in the following areas:

  1. 1. Developing lawyering skills
  2. 2. Legal Aid
  3. 3. Pubic Legal Education
  4. 4. Law Reforms
  5. 5. Professional Ethics

Importance of introducing Clinical Legal Education in Bangladesh:

These situations indicate that only good legislation and law enforcing agency can not accomplish the objectives of law in the society. To overcome from the problem, the faculties and students of law of public universities, private universities and law colleges can play a vital role. This clinical education process connects people with law so it must be introduced in our legal education curriculum. One of the strengths of experimental education is that it gives students opportunities to practice solving problems and to receive feedback on the quality of their efforts. The following calculations show the effectiveness of various methods of teaching as well as learning:

  • If lectures are used- Learners remember 5%.
  • If Learners read for themselves- they remember 10%.
  • If audiovisual methods are used- learners remembered 20%.
  • If Learners discuss issues in small groups- they will remember 50%.
  • If learners are shown a demonstration and then required to practice it- they will remember 75%.
  • If Learners teach others- they will remember 90%.

Here it is a recommendation that the new system must not be the replacement of the traditional system but the supplementary to fulfil the lacking of the old one as it is the combination of both theoretical and practical educational knowledge.

Recommendations:

  • Every University and College should establish a legal clinic for community development by spreading basic legal consciousness among the So, activities of clinics should be designed in a way to prepare all students for public service.
  • For this, concerned institution should become more responsible to supervise the activities conducting in the legal educational institution.
  • Faculties of the universities and colleges should be properly trained up so that they can teach and supervise the students in a clinical way under their complete supervision.
  • People should be inspired to come in legal clinic and steps should be taken to let people know about the establishment and functions of law clinic.
  • Every legal professionals i.e. lawyers, judges, academicians, legal advisors should come to enhance the legal education programme in their own community with the help of law clinic established by any university or college.

Conclusion:

Clinical Legal Education program should be introduced as a mandatory course as soon as possible to develop our legal education and to meet the emerging challenges of society and legal fields. To create commitments and responsibilities among the young learners of law to the society and the expansion of access to justice in Bangladesh, no other way of teaching methodology can be as suitable and effective as clinical legal education.

Writer: Suriya Aklima Taspi, Student, Department of Law, BGC Trust University Bangladesh. 

References: – 
  1. Law commission Final Report (2006). Review of Legal Education in Bangladesh. Available at: lawcommissionbangladesh.org/reports.htm/.
  2. Law School Clinic: Legal Education in the Interests of Justice”. Faculty Scholarship Series. Paper 1843. Available at: http://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/fss_papers/1843/nationalprobono.org.au/ssl/…/How-does-PBSA-fit-with-CLE-in-Australia/.
  3. Rahman, M. (1996) Clinical Legal Education in Bangladesh: Establishing a new Philosophy.
  4. Chittagong University Studies Law, Vol. 1, p1-11, Available at: http://www.law.monash.edu.au/about-us/legal/cle.html/.
  5. Kaur, “Legal Education and Social Transformation”, Available at: http://alsonline.amity.edu/Docs/alwjlegkk/.
  6. Richard Lewis, Professor of Law, “Clinical Legal Education Revisited” Cardiff University, Wales, United Kingdom, P.- 5, Available at: http://www.law.cf.ac.uk/research/pubs/repository/21/.
  7. Alam, M Shah, (2001) Manual for Clinical Legal Education, “Clinical Legal Education: The concept and its Practical Implementation” Chittagong, P-5.
  8. Law Commission Report, Bangladesh, Revised Background Paper on the Review of Legal Education in Bangladesh for Discussion in Dhaka, Chittagang and Rajshahi, Available at: http://www.lawcommissionbangladesh.org/reports/report_84/background_papers/Revised%20Background%20Paper%20on%20the%20Review%20of%20Legal%20Education%20in%20Bangladesh/.
  9. Hoque, Ridwanul. (2012) Teaching Law for Development? Legal Education: Needs Major Overhaul, Available at: http://www.thedailystar.net/law/2012/05/01/index.htm/.
  10. Wizner, Stephen, (2002), “The Law School Clinic: Legal Education in the Interests of Justice”. Faculty Scholarship Series. Paper 1843. Available at: http://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/fss_papers/1853/.
  11. Alam, M.Shah, (2006) “Reviewing Our Legal Education”. Available at- http://www.dailystar.net/law/2006/12/01/index.htm/.
  12. Stefan H. Krieger, (2008) THE EFFECT OF CLINICAL EDUCATION ON LAW STUDENT REASONING: AN EMPIRICAL STUDY, Available at: wmitchell.edu/lawreview/volume35/documents/krieger/.
  13. Bruce A. Lasky, Michael A. Otto & Wendy Morrish, (2010) Teaching Methodologies Community Legal Education Course Manual (Draft Copy) Bridges Across Borders Southeast Asia Community Legal Education Initiative. Available at: https://wordpress.babseacle.org/…/BABSEA_CLE_Teaching_Methods_Manual-7-Sep-2010/.
  14. “Introduction to Local Government: Bangladesh Perspective”.

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