The International Journal of Clinical Legal Education (IJCLE) – Association Canadienne pour l’enseignement Clinique du droit (ACCLE) Conference was held from 10-12th July 2016 at the University of Toronto, Canada
Two board directors of Bridges Across Borders Southeast Asia Community Legal Education Initiative (BABSEACLE), Bruce Lasky and Wendy Morrish, together with Nattakan Chomputhong (Ann), who is a legal trainer and I participated at the conference.
On behalf of BABSEACLE I am honored to have been involved in presenting a session on “The Synergies of Legal Ethics, Pro Bono, Justice Education and Legal Aid as a Means to Achieve Greater Access to Justice”. The session was presented using interactive CLE methods which included; demonstrations, small group discussions, and question and answer sessions. For the demonstration activity, we handed out bandages and vitamins to participants and asked them to explain their advantages and then asked the participants why the bandages and vitamins were relevant to the session. Afterwards, we put the participants into six groups to represent either Legal aid, Pro Bono Lawyers, Ministry of Education, Government, CLE Clinic and Legal ethics lecturers . They were asked to reflect on the topic of the conference from the point of view of each group. We then read some of the statements from each group and asked them if they had ever heard these statements before. Some statements included; “Legal ethics is just a theory”, “Why do we need to pay for legal aid if we have university legal clinics”, and “Legal aid lawyers are lazy”. Many participants agreed they had heard these statements before and were often common expressions by some.
The purpose of this activity was to prove that solidarity and collaboration is needed in order to encourage greater access to justice. All the participants understood this and I felt extremely proud of the team’s input and collaboration.
By Suphamat Phonphra, A2J & Initiative coordinator, BABSEACLE