Global Alliance for Justice Education (GAJE)
9th Worldwide Conference

“Breaking Down Walls: The Transformative Power of Justice Education”
(“Derribando muros: el poder transformador de la educación en la justicia”)

Puebla and Tlaxcala, Mexico    5-12 December 2017

GAJE’s 9th worldwide conference will take place in Mexico from the 5th through the 12th of December 2017 on the campuses of Instituto Tecnológico de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey in Puebla and Universidad Autónoma of Tlaxcala in Tlaxcala.

The conference will consist of two parts:

  1. a General Conference with plenaries and concurrent sessions on various themes and topics (5-9 December in Puebla) and
  2. a Training-of-Trainers (TOT) workshop on practical aspects for implementing justice education, including clinical teaching methods (11-12 December in Tlaxcala).

Puebla and Tlaxcala are located approximately 125 kilometers southeast of the Mexico City International Airport.  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.

To access the online registration form, click here.  BUT NOTE: The deadlines for requesting travel/accommodation grants, for requesting a fee waiver or reduction, and for submitting session proposals have all passed.  General registration remains open until 15 November; however, “early bird” fees are available only until 30 September.  Beginning 1 October, higher late fees will apply (for details, see the section below on “REGISTRATION, FEES, AND GRANTS”).

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.  GAJE has held eight worldwide conferences leading up to this ninth conference in Mexico (1999 in India, 2001 in South Africa, 2004 in Poland, 2006 in Argentina, 2008 in the Philippines, 2011 in Spain, 2013 again in India, and 2015 in Turkey), some of which were organized in cooperation with the International Journal of Clinical Legal Education.  GAJE has also sponsored or co-sponsored a number of regional conferences and workshops

This ninth worldwide conference will be hosted by the Mexico Clinics Network: justice legal education (Red Clínicas México: educación legal para la justicia), an informal network of professors and legal clinic coordinators throughout Mexico.

ABOUT THE CONFERENCE

Justice Education has demonstrated its potential to provide social justice worldwide in many different ways, both directly and through its emphasis on socially relevant legal education. This transformative power of justice education is needed now more than ever, in these times of constant social battles that societies worldwide are facing. Consistent with GAJE’s mission, this conference will once again be an important meeting point for critical reflection about the power and role of legal education to transform societies and to defend the values of justice. It will inspire justice educators and provide new ways of educating communities and students.

The main goal of GAJE worldwide conferences is 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 will explore 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 will also be organized site visits to local justice education projects and a social calendar.

The General Conference is structured to facilitate as much participation as possible by those attending.  While there will be a small number of plenary sessions, including a few keynote speeches, most of the conference will consist of small group sessions providing opportunities delegates to share ideas, experience, and teaching materials. The General Conference structure is intended to favor sessions using interactive methods.  The Training-of-Trainers workshop consists primarily of small-group, “hands on” training sessions on clinical teaching methods and clinical program development aimed at improving the effectiveness and coherence of justice education worldwide.

GAJE worldwide conferences also offer the opportunity to highlight Justice Education in the host country and region. Clinical legal education in Mexico started only 13 years ago. Today there are 23 functioning university clinics and at least three other clinical programs led by organizations that work with law students in public interest initiatives. As is the case worldwide, social need for legal aid in Mexico is centered on groups that face specific vulnerability given their condition or circumstance, including migrants, children, persons with disabilities, and victims of gender violence. General human rights issues such as corruption, victim protection, and access to justice must also be addressed.  Because relatively few private law firms in Mexico offer support for litigation on a  pro bono basis and a small number of local NGOs can only do what they can on legal reform and public policy change, Justice Education is relevant not only from an educational standpoint but from a social perspective as well. The conference will take place at a time when the Justice Education movement in Mexico has the potential of breaking a number of walls, not only by setting innovative legal precedents and expanding access to justice, but also through modeling legal education innovations, proposing law and regulatory reform, and opening opportunities for trans-disciplinary, regional and international collaboration.

GENERAL CONFERENCE THEMATIC STREAMS

The General Conference sessions will address the central topic of the conference—Breaking Down Walls: The Transformative Power of Justice Education—in eight streams with the following themes:

STREAM 1: How Social Justice Education Advances Human Rights and Social Change
Justice Education, including clinical legal education, includes a variety of programs and initiatives aimed at advancing human rights and social change. Sessions in this stream will address 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 support persons in vulnerable situations.

STREAM 2: Resources and Methodologies for Justice Education
Well-functioning Justice Education programs aim at achieving best academic practices and greater societal impact. Sessions in this stream will focus on the types of resources and methodologies justice educators need to achieve these ends.

STREAM 3: How Can A Law Clinic Be Sustainable?
Sustainability of clinical legal education programs is vital in ensuring continued best academic practices and promoting students’ pro bono mindedness and ethical development, as well as supporting community empowerment and providing legal services to the community. Sessions in this stream will examine a variety of factors and strategies necessary to assure the on-going success of clinical programs.

STREAM 4: Overcoming “Walls” And Barriers to Promotion of Human Rights, Social Justice, and Legal Education Reform
Justice educators often face barriers in their efforts to promote human rights, social justice, and legal education reform. Sessions in this stream will identify some of the major obstacles to achieving the fundamental goals of Justice Education and explore means to overcome challenges. They will also address the role that the regulation of legal education and its relation to the rules for legal professionals plays to this end.

STREAM 5: Regional, Transnational, and International Collaboration
Regional, transnational, 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 alliances and critically analyze many of the ways and means these linkages and partnerships—particularly “south-south” and “north-south” collaborations—can have a transformative, measurable impact on the global clinical movement.

STREAM 6: Pro Bono and Legal Clinics
The global clinical legal education and pro bono movements are interlinked through mutually-cooperative initiatives and a commonality of goals. Sessions in this stream will 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.

STREAM 7: New Initiatives and Innovations in Justice Education
Sessions in this stream will explore various innovations and new initiatives in clinical legal education (such as, for example, multidisciplinary clinical programs, public legal education, student-run justice education initiatives, etc.) that can help to ensure the vibrant strengthening and expansion of Justice Education globally.

STREAM 8: Public Interest Law Initiatives Meet Clinical Legal Education Programs
Public interest law initiatives worldwide often work together with clinical legal education programs. Sessions in this stream will explore how clinical programs can further initiate, support, and develop public interest law initiatives (such as legal reform initiatives, strategic litigation, etc.) that can play an important role in the transformation of our societies and the promotion of social justice.

 

REGISTRATION, FEES, AND GRANTS

Registration form

Delegates must register for the conference using an online registration form.   One can register either for only the first part (the General Conference) or for both the General Conference and the Training-of-Trainers Workshop; registration for only the TOT Workshop is not possible.

The registration form includes sections for requesting a fee waiver or reduction, applying for a travel and accommodations grant, and submitting a proposal to present at a conference session.  Delegates applying for a fee waiver or reduction and/or applying for a travel and accommodations grant, and those submitting a session proposal, will be prompted to relevant additional fields to complete their application or proposal.  (See below for further explanations of fee waivers and reductions, travel and accommodations grants, and session proposals.)

PLEASE NOTE: The entire form must be completed at once, except for payment.  Delegates paying the fee may choose to pay when submitting the form or at a later date; however, registration will not be confirmed until payment is received.  For delegates requesting a fee waiver or reduction, registration will be confirmed only if and when a fee waiver has been granted (or, if a reduction is granted, payment of the portion due is received).  BUT NOTE: The deadlines for a fee waiver or reduction has passed.

The final deadline for registration is 15 November 2017.  

BUT NOTE: Conference attendance may be capped at 350 due to space limitations at the conference venue and therefore GAJE cannot guarantee that there delegate slots will still be available at later dates.

(Click here to access the form.)

 

FEES

NOTE: “Early bird” fees ($US 350 for the General Conference and $US 425 for both the General Conference and the Training-of-Trainers (TOT) workshop) expired on 30 September 2017 and are no longer available without a written exception from the conference organizers. 

Effective 1 October 2017 the following late fees will apply:

$US 425 for the General Conference,

$US 500 for both the General Conference and the TOT workshop.

 

NOTE REGARDING PAYMENT OF FEES:

The payment section at the end of the registration form offers the following options, together with instructions for each type of payment:

PLEASE NOTE: Payment with a PayPal account or a credit card is the preferred method of payment (payments made with a PayPal account is free for GAJE; with a credit card payment GAJE incurs a small transaction fee); Payment by wire transfer or ETF may include substantial fees.

  • Pay with PayPal or credit card. Delegates paying at the time they register will receive immediate confirmation of their registration.  Delegates may choose to indicate that they will pay later; however, their registration will not be confirmed until payment is received.  (To pay after having registered, click here to return to the Payment Page and complete payment.)
  • Pay by check. Checks must be in US dollars. Registration will not be confirmed until a check is received.
  • Pay with wire transfer or ETF. Registration will not be confirmed until the funds are received.  NOTE: Payment by wire transfer or ETF may include substantial fees.
  • Payment will be made directly by sponsoring organization. Registration will not be confirmed until the payment is received.
  • Requested fee waiver or reduction. Registration will not be confirmed until a waiver has been granted by the GAJE Waiver and Grants Committee, or, if a fee reduction is granted, until the appropriate reduced fee is paid.

 

FEE WAIVERS & REDUCTIONS AND TRAVEL & ACCOMMODATION GRANTS

As noted above, persons who cannot pay the full conference fee can request a fee waiver or a fee reduction by completing a special section of the registration form.  GAJE also provides a limited number of grants for travel and accommodations.

BUT NOTE: The deadlines for requesting a grant and/or a fee waiver or reduction have passed.

Further information on the process and criteria for awarding waivers and grants can be found immediately below (“Notes on applications for fee waivers, fee reductions, and travel and accommodations grants”).

 

NOTES ON APPLICATIONS FOR 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 at the conferences is a key goal of every GAJE conference.  Accordingly, the budget for this conference includes a limited amount of funds for fee waivers and reductions and for grants to help cover travel and accommodation expenses during the conference.   These grants are intended to enable participation of justice educators who are unable to find funding to attend and every effort will be made to use grant funds to realize and advance GAJE’s mission.

If you wish to request a fee waiver or reduction and/or a request a grant, you may so indicate on the registration form and you will then be directed to special sections of the form to complete your request.  These requests must be completed at the time you fill out the registration form.

Process for review and granting of fee waivers, fee reductions, and grants

Applications for fee waivers, fee reductions, and grants are reviewed by GAJE’s Waiver and Grants Committee, which will apply the criteria listed below.  HOWEVER, the deadlines for requesting a grant and/or a fee waiver or reduction have passed.  (Applications for grants, including those for both fee waiver and a grant, had to be made on or before 1 June 2017; applications for only a fee waiver or reduction could have been made up to 15 September 2017.)

Fee waivers, fee reductions, and grants will be administered according to the following guidelines:

  • All applicants who meet the criteria for a grant will be considered for a fee reduction or waiver before being considered for grant funds. In other words, successful grant applicants will receive grant funds only where their total award is more than the value of a fee waiver.
  • GAJE travel grants will cover only a portion of the grantees travel and accommodation expenses; all travel grants will be paid by reimbursement only, upon the production of receipts.
  • Accommodation grants will be paid directly by GAJE.
  • Delegates awarded a fee waiver/reduction or a grant are expected to attend throughout the conference, including the TOT Workshop (for those grantees who registered for both the General Conference and the TOT Workshop).
  • Delegates awarded accommodation grants are expected to stay in shared rooms or dormitory style accommodations, if available.

Criteria for fee waivers, fee reduction, 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 when delegates receive outside funding to attend the conference that 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 exchange information and experiences from people from around the world, the following will also be considered:
    • The geographical 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 where new clinical legal education.

 

NOTE ON SUBMISSION OF PROPOSALS

If you wish to submit a proposal for a General Conference session, you may so indicate on the registration form and you will then be asked to complete a special section of the form.  Session proposals are reviewed by GAJE’s Program Committee, which will apply the criteria listed below.

BUT NOTE: The deadline for submitting a session proposal has passed.  (Registration forms that include session proposals had to be submitted by 1 June 2017.)

NOTE: Individuals are limited to being listed as presenters (either lead or otherwise) on two proposals.

Lead Presenters: Where there is more than one presenter, GAJE requires that a “Lead Presenter” submit the Proposal Submission form.  That person, unless changed, becomes the point of contact for the presentation throughout the stage of proposal review, decision, scheduling, and questions and logistical information for the conference.  Accepted proposals are assigned to Stream Coordinators who work with Lead Presenters on time allocation and possible merger of joinder or proposals on similar themes within conference time slots.  NOTE:  Individuals are limited to being listed as presenters (either lead or otherwise) on two proposals.

Selection criteria: The proposal submission form asks for the title of the presentation, contact information for all presenters, a summary of 500 words or less, and a short statement of relevance to one more conference themes.  The form also asks a number of questions that reflect the criteria for selection: the presentation’s objectives, how interactive methods will be used, presenters’ past GAJE conference participation, time requested, and presenters’ CV or resume.

NOTE: Geographic diversity among presenters is an important criterion in proposal review.  In the past, the solicitation of international co-presenters on the GAJE listserv has been effective.

 

QUESTIONS OR CLARIFICATIONS

If you have any questions about the registration process or seek clarification of any of the policies and instructions set out above, you may send an email to [email protected].