Brief abstracts of conference sessions will be listed here once the final program has been confirmed.

Title: Clinical legal education as a mechanism for transformative changes

Lead Presenter: Biarozka, Dzianis

Co-Presenters:

  1. Rebitska, Kateryna

Session Abstract: Recently, the Belarusian legal clinics are faced with the problem of a shortage of qualified personnel. Today we are witnessing a change of generations of teachers of legal clinics. Those who started this activity 10-15 years ago, give way to young people. In this regard, there is an acute question of the continuity of knowledge and competencies of teachers and curators of legal clinics in the long term. We see that young people do not express much interest in remaining in a legal clinic. Of course, there are many different reasons for this. However, after talking with talented students (potential curators, heads of legal clinics), we found out that the existing forms of legal education are simply not interesting for students. Indeed, the forms of presenting legal information that have been established over the years become less effective over time. We understand that legal education should meet the needs of the current generation and become one of the mechanisms for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Legal clinics face a new challenge: promoting literacy of the population and the formation of a new way of thinking based on the priority of international standards of human rights and freedoms, using modern technologies. The solution to this problem is impossible without the support of the younger generation of legal clinical education. The goal of our project is to prepare highly qualified young people to work in a legal clinic using new forms of legal education. As a result, legal education will become more effective at all levels. To achieve the above goal, the Belarusian legal clinics concluded that it is necessary to develop a training manual for future curators of legal clinics. The manual will include two main elements of legal education: street law and advising citizens on legal issues. Each of the sections is a step-by-step guide for supervisors in the organization of work in a legal clinic. The manual is based on interdisciplinary approaches to learning. For example, in order to study issues of legal ethics, we plan to involve psychologists in the work. In addition, a specific case will be developed for the curators in which several human rights are violated. This will allow introducing into the activity of legal clinics new forms of legal education aimed at developing the skills of applying international standards of human rights and freedoms in the professional activities of future supervisors of legal clinics. A special place in the manual is given to the dissemination of legal information. The rapid development of technology requires a new form of legal education, with which legal information will be communicated promptly and interestingly with the help of social networks. After all, young people today receive 90% of the information from the Internet, preferring to perceive the material in short, bright fragments in a visual form. We are currently developing the idea of using social networks as a platform for covering the most important, relevant legal issues for a larger number of viewers.

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