GAJE’s 8th worldwide conference took place on the campus of Anadolu University in Eskişehir, Turkey, from 22 July through 28 July, 2015. The conference, which was organized in partnership with the 13th International Journal of Clinical Legal Education Conference, will consist of two parts: a General Conference consisting of plenaries and concurrent sessions (22-25 July) and a Training-of-Trainers (TOT) workshop (27-28 July). Over 300 delegates participated, representing 50 countries from all regions of the world. Click here to see the final List of Delegates.
About the organizer and host
GAJE is an ALLIANCE of persons committed to achieving JUSTICE through EDUCATION. Clinical education of law students is a key component of justice education, but GAJE also works to advance other forms of socially relevant legal education, which includes education of practicing lawyers, judges, non-governmental organizations and the lay public. To date, GAJE has organized seven international conferences in India (1999), South Africa (2001), Poland (2004), Argentina (2006), the Philippines (2008), Spain (2011), and again in India (2013).
The International Journal of Clinical Legal Education (IJCLE) is an international peer-reviewed, open-access journal devoted to the innovative field of clinical legal education. The journal is edited and staffed at Northumbria University (UK).
Anadolu University is a public university in Eskişehir, Turkey and the second largest university in the world by enrollment. Anadolu University was created in 1982 from the union of four existing higher education institutes in Eskişehir: the Academy of Economics and Commercial Sciences of Eskişehir, the State Academy of Architecture and Engineering, the Institute of Education, and a medical school. As the Academy of Economics and Commercial Sciences was founded earliest (in 1958), Anadolu University has adopted that year as their date of establishment.
Eskişehir is located in northwestern Turkey on the banks of the Porsuk River, where it overlooks the fertile Phrygian Valley. The city is 233 km (145 mi) to the west of Ankara, 330 km (205 mi) to the southeast of Istanbul, and 78 km (48 mi) to the northeast of Kütahya. (Click here for a map.) Further information about transportation to the conference site and available accommodations can be found in the box titled “Local Transportation and Accommodations” on the right side of this page.
About the conference
The main goal of the conference was to provide law teachers, law students, legal practitioners, jurists, and social activists from around the world the opportunity to acquire new ideas, models, and skills for the use of education to promote social justice. In a range of plenary, small-group, and workshop sessions, delegates explored Justice Education as a concept for presenting, discussing, and creating innovative ideas for promoting social justice through legal education, including new and existing university legal clinics. There were also organized site visits to local justice education projects and a social calendar.
The General Conference was structured to facilitate as much participation as possible by those attending. While there were a small number of plenary sessions, including a few keynote speeches, most of the conference consisted of small group sessions, interactive workshops, and other opportunities for sharing ideas, materials, etc. There was one stream of General Conference sessions with a larger number of paper presentations, overseen by the International Journal of Clinical Legal Education (IJCLE).
The Training-of-Trainers (TOT) workshop was a 2-day interactive teaching workshop designed for both relatively new teachers and teachers with more experience who would be going back to their institutions to use and share what they learned at the workshop. The TOT focused on active learning with an emphasis on experiential education. It was led by an international group of highly experienced justice educators.
Click here to see a schedule of the conference program.
General Conference thematic streams
The sessions during the General Conference addressed the conference topic – Justice Education for a Just Society – in eight streams, each with its own theme and one or more sub-themes. The streams and sub-themes are described briefly below; for more details on the various themes, click here.
STREAM 1: THE CONTENT OF SOCIAL JUSTICE EDUCATION
Stream Description: Justice education, including clinical legal education, contains a multitude of themes, programs, and initiatives. A central theme of sessions in this stream is the challenge of providing access to justice and legal assistance to all people, with a focus on understanding the roles and obligations of the legal profession to supporting low-income individuals and communities and vulnerable members of society.
1.1: Access to justice.
1.2: Themes related to particular vulnerable or marginalized groups and particular issues of discrimination and equality.
1.3: Legal ethics and professional responsibility.
STREAM 2: RESOURCES AND METHODOLOGIES FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE EDUCATION
Stream Description: Well-functioning justice education programs aim at achieving best academic practices and greater societal impact. Sessions in this stream focus on the types of resources and methodologies justice educators need to achieve these ends.
2.1: Using technology to advance justice education and social justice.
2.2: Legal literacy: Street law, legal awareness and citizen participation.
STREAM 3: HOW CAN A CLINIC BE SUSTAINABLE?
Stream Description: Sustainability of clinical programs is vital in ensuring continued best academic practices, promoting students’ pro bono mindedness and ethical development, as well as community empowerment and legal services to the community. Sessions in this stream examine a variety of factors and strategies necessary to assure the on-going success of clinical programs.
3.1. Sustainability, structural support, and expansion of clinical projects.
STREAM 4: OVERCOMING OBSTACLES TO PROMOTION OF HUMAN RIGHTS, SOCIAL JUSTICE, AND LEGAL EDUCATION REFORM
Stream Description: Justice educators often face obstacles in their efforts to promote human rights, social justice and legal education reform. Sessions in this stream identify some of the major obstacles to achieving the fundamental goals of justice education and explore means to overcome these challenges.
4.1: Overcoming impediments to the promotion of human rights and social justice in legal education.
4.2: Overcoming obstacles to legal education reform.
STREAM 5: REGIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL COLLABORATION
Stream Description: Regional and international collaborations have been key in assisting in the development, strengthening, and expansion of justice education around the world. Sessions in this stream will identify key justice education alliances and critically analyze many of the ways and means these linkages and partnerships can have a transformative, measurable impact on the justice education movement.
5.1: International and regional collaboration in advancing justice education.
5.2: Promoting social justice and human rights through scholarship, teaching, and other cooperative ventures.
STREAM 6: PRO BONO AND LEGAL CLINICS
Stream Description: The global clinical legal education and pro bono movements are interlinked through mutually-cooperative initiatives and a commonality of goals. Sessions in this stream explore how clinical programs can further assist by successfully developing future pro-bono-minded graduates equipped with the skills, knowledge, and strong sense of ethical obligation needed to achieve greater access to justice.
6.1: Using pro bono work by lawyers to assist in strengthening clinical law programs.
STREAM 7: NEW INITIATIVES AND INNOVATIONS IN JUSTICE EDUCATION
Stream Description: Sessions in this stream explore various innovations and new initiatives in clinical education that can help to ensure the vibrant strengthening and expansion of justice education globally.
7.1: New initiatives in justice education.
7.2: Innovative methodologies to enhance justice education.
STREAM 8: IJCLE SESSIONS
Stream Description: The International Journal on Clinical Legal Education (IJCLE) is a peer-reviewed academic journal concentrating on issues relevant to the global clinical movement. This stream explores the overall conference theme of Justice Education for a Just Society, through papers and presentations which provide critical and comparative perspectives on the design of education programs, the role of local conditions in shaping practice, and the ways in which we evaluate our impact.
8.1. The Map for Learning Law: clinic and curriculum design.
8.2. Collaborative Learning: comparative perspectives on clinic.
8.3. How do we know?: research, evidence and impact in clinical education.
The fees for the conference were $US 350 for the General Conference, $US 425 for both the General Conference and the Training-of-Trainers (TOT) workshop. Late fees were applied after June 1 ($US 425 for the General Conference and $US 500 for both the General Conference and the TOT workshop.)
Note on fee waivers, fee reductions, and travel and accommodations grants.
GAJE conferences promote the exchange of information and experience among people involved in Justice Education around the world. Having a broadly diverse set of delegates is a key goal of every GAJE conference. Accordingly, the budget for this conference included a limited amount of funds for fee waivers and reductions and for grants to help cover travel and accommodation expenses during the conference.
Process for review and granting of fee waivers, fee reductions, and grants
Applications for fee waivers, fee reductions, and grants were reviewed by GAJE’s Waiver and Grants Committee according to the following guidelines:
- Grant money will not be allocated without a fee reduction/waiver and, as a general rule, conference fees will not be waived entirely except for applicants also receiving a grant.
- All fee waivers/reductions and accommodation grants will be paid directly by GAJE.
- Travel grants will be paid by reimbursement only, upon the production of receipts.
- Delegates awarded a fee waiver/reduction or a grant are expected to attend the entire conference or, if they were awarded a fee waiver/reduction or grant for only a part of the conference, to attend the entire part for which they receive the fee waiver/reduction or grant.
- Delegates awarded accommodation grants are expected to stay in shared rooms or dormitory-style accommodations, if available.
- All applicants who meet the criteria for a grant will be given a fee reduction or waiver before being considered for grant money.
Criteria for fee waivers, fee reductions, and grants
All applicants must have shown a commitment to GAJE activities or have engaged in other activities consistent with the goals of GAJE. In addition:
- Applicants for a grant must be presenting at a conference session or be actively involved in the organization of the conference. NOTE, however, that this in itself does not guarantee the award of a grant. (Although not required, applicants for a fee waiver or reduction who are presenting at a conference session or actively involved in the organization of the conference will receive a preference.)
- The extent to which fees will be waived or reduced will depend on the applicant’s capacity to pay the fee from personal resources and funds available from sponsors. Generally, GAJE expects that when a delegate receives funding to attend the conference the funding includes the full conference fees for that delegate.
- The extent to which grants will be awarded will depend on the applicant’s capacity to cover travel and accommodation expenses from personal resources and funds available from sponsors. Moreover, applicants for grants are expected to have sought other sources of funding to attend the conference and applicants who have received partial support from other sources will be preferred. In no event will a GAJE grant cover all of a delegate’s travel and accommodation expenses.
- Applicants for a grant must be from a developing country; except in rare cases of demonstrated need, applicants for a fee waiver/reduction must also be from a developing country.
- In the interest of furthering GAJE’s mission to support the exchange of information and experiences among justice educators from around the world, the following will also be considered:
- The geographic spread of applicants. The Committee will aim to include as many applicants from different countries as possible. This may result in some applicants not receiving a fee waiver/reduction or grant if there are multiple applications from one location;
- The gender of the applicant, as GAJE endeavors to ensure regional representation of all genders at the conference;
- Representatives of new and emerging clinical programs, as GAJE values the opportunity to assist those locations and countries with new and developing clinical legal education programs.
Note on submission of proposals
Delegates who wished to submit a proposal for a General Conference session were asked to complete a special section of the registration form. Session proposals were reviewed by GAJE’s Program Committee. The main criteria for selection were drawn from the session proposal form, which asked for the title of the session; contact information for all presenters; a summary of the proposal in 500 words or less; a short statements of the session’s relevance to one more of the conference themes, the presentation’s objectives, and how interactive methods will be used; past GAJE conference or IJCLE participation; the time requested for the session; and presenters’ CV, resume, or bio. Geographic diversity among presenters as another important criterion in proposal review.
Accepted proposals were assigned to Stream Coordinators who worked with Lead Presenters on time allocation and possible merger or joinder of proposals on similar themes within conference time slots. By submitting a proposal, presenters agreed that the presentation may be scheduled on any of the four days of the General Conference (22-25 July).