Clinical Legal Education and Human Rights Values: A Universal Pro Forma for Law Clinics

Omar Madhloom, Irene Antonopoulos

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This article explores the theoretical foundations for a social justice–centric global law clinic movement. Our starting position is that law clinics, a type of clinical legal education (CLE), are in a unique position to engage in, and potentially promote, social justice issues outside their immediate communities and jurisdictions. To achieve this aim, it is necessary for law clinics to adopt a universal pro forma underpinned by the key concepts of CLE, namely social justice education and promoting access to justice through law reform. We argue that the main features of CLE are aligned with those of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) on issues such as human dignity and social justice. Incorporating UDHR values into CLE serves three purposes. First, it acts as a universal pro forma, which facilitates communication between clinics across jurisdictions, irrespective of their cultural or legal background. Second, it allows clinics to identify sources of global injustices and to share resources and expertise to collectively address injustices. Third, the theoretical approach advocated in this article argues that clinics have a Kantian moral right to engage in transnational law reform.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAsian Journal of Legal Education
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 26 Oct 2021

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