Clinical Legal Education (CLE) has been one of CSHL’s core training program embedded in ELBBL curriculum as one of its elective courses since 2015. The CLE program was created with the mission to develop practical lawyer skills for law students and to raise awareness of the importance of the roles of the legal profession in supporting legal aid services and access to justice in Cambodia. Under the supervision of CSHL’s researcher (Hing Vandanet), 12 law students were recruited through an open and competitive process to take an intensive legal training course called Professional Legal Skills (PLS), an integral part of the CLE program. The course was conducted by CSHL’s researcher with Cambodian lawyers and prosecutors from RWI ToT members invited to share their working experience in legal aid and provide practical techniques, particularly client interview. The course consisted of 10 sessions of 30 hours with the focus on practical lawyering skills in the context of the Cambodian legal system and practice such as legal ethics, legal analysis and problem-solving skills as well as communication skills and interview techniques. These set skills are indispensable for law students to develop their legal professions in serving the best interest of their clients from various backgrounds, especially impoverished and vulnerable clients. More importantly, the students understand the important roles and responsibilities of legal professionals in contributing to strengthening social justice and rule of law in Cambodia. This year 7 students from the CLE program were selected to prepare their own training modules on a number of human rights related topics under the supervision of the CLE’s supervisor. The goal is to train them to become a trainer in the future and give them the opportunity to conduct training to the community. As a result, a workshop on “Legal Clinic Education –Service Component: Legal Rights Information Sharing” was, initiated and funded by RWI with a collaboration between USEA and CSHL, held from 1-2 November 2019 at USEA in Siem Reap. The workshop was opened by the CLE’s supervisor who explained the benefits of CLE program. In her own words, she mentioned, “this seminar is very significant for all law students. At the end of the seminar, all of you will acquire experiences and knowledge based on legal, including strategy of interview and consultation with perpetrators, legal teaching methodology, and legal communication.” In addition, the 7 selected students were given the opportunity to travel with the CLE’s supervisor and RULE human rights lecturer to Siem Reap to contribute to this workshop on the following topics:
-The right to public health care: the CLE students used a video screening to present on the National Social Security Fund: how people obtain it and use it for free health care;
-The right to access information: the CLE students used their leaflet called the smart reading materials to explain how commune budget should be best used for community development and social welfare; and
-The roles and functions of civil society: the CLE students discussed benefits and challenges of civil society law. From 2-3 March 2019, with the generous support of RWI the CLE’s supervisor, students attended the “Street Law in Asia” workshop organized by University of Hong Kong. The two-day intensive program offered various and extensive training of street law training methodologies and its best practice. The interactive and participatory learning approach was extensively used by the trainers from different jurisdictions, background and practice. The CLE’s supervisor observed the new knowledge and experiences from the workshop, which would be helpful to incorporate some into the CLE program in the future. The CLE program also aims to promote the role of academics to contribute legal education to the community by empowering the CLE students to make a practical and immediate impact while learning. This will give the CLE students not only lawyering skills, but also a sense of social responsibility for the community. Funded and organized by RWI, the Center’s CLE supervisor attended a CLE workshop at Lund University, Sweden, on 21-23 May 2019. This workshop aimed to gather all the participants who lead CLE programs in their respective countries to share their experiences on how CLE programs in each country are designed and implemented. Moreover, teaching methodology, program management and the process and operation of CLE were discussed at length to compare best practices and explore ways forward.
Working results of CLE’s students
The Rights of Prisoners: Those behinds the bars have rights too!
Access to Public Health in Cambodia