On March 30th, 2015 BABSEACLE together with our regional partners, helped to organise a Southeast Asia Clinical Legal Education Association (SEACLEA) meeting attended by regional SEACLEA representatives. The meeting was hosted by Thaksin Univesity in Songkhla, Thailand and focused on a specific plan for the events of the upcoming year and further developing the SEACLEA mission for years to follow. SEACLEA is a Southeast Asia network of persons and institutions committed to improving the quality of legal educationand achieving justice, in-part, through the use of Clinical Legal Education (CLE). It aims to bring together persons from different countries, who will exchange perspectives and work collaboratively from a variety of legal, educational and organisational settings in order to increase the quality of law teaching and improve justice through CLE.
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Panarairat Srichaiyarat, the Thailand SEACLEA Steering Committee Representative, at the SEACLEA meeting
At the meeting, a new BABSEACLE supported SEACLEA coordinator was announced. For further information, enquiries and coordination, you may now contact Miss Suphamat Phonphra (Bee) from the BABSEACLE team, who will now be the ‘go-to’ person, ([email protected]) Congratulations Bee on your new position.
The SEACLEA meeting was a great success and was attended by approximately 40 participants from the various universities in the region, including representatives from Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam. The outcomes from the active participation by all who attended the meeting were many. One included the plan for BABSEACLE to continue to help the steady establishment of the Association, as well as guide the steering committee in achieving the CLE goals, the first two being: legal education programs for students at universities, that help to develop ‘knowledge, values and skills’; and to provide legal assistance and develop better teaching strategies. BABSEACLE will remain the guide, but will not lead the committee, SEACLEA will eventually become an entity on its own and BABSEACLE will help it to get on its feet. BABSEACLE has also agreed to help establish a website, and also will provide the initial network to the right minded people, such as those in attendance at the meeting in order to steer SEACLEA in the right direction.
In furtherance of this year’s plans there are a number of upcoming events for 2015. One of which includes BABSEACLE, with the co-support of SEACLEA, organising a Regional CLE Summer School in Chiang Mai which is set to take place in June. Others include bringing students and lecturers out for exchange programs with support by universities in the region; the 4th Annual Asia Pro Bono Conference and Legal Ethics Forum (Mandalay, Myanmar Sept 3-6) and a hopeful regional Mock Trial event which will be an event to bring students together to create an opportunity for them to be exposed to each other and different ideas. Finally, it was discussed that SEACLEA should be focusing on providing monitoring and evaluation of CLE programs throughout the region as a means to help ensure quality as well as use this information to receive both national and regional support for these vitally important justice education initiatives.
BABSEACLE is proud to be a part of this network that will see cooperation and collaboration between CLE programs in the region and will further strengthen the CLE movement throughout Southeast Asia and ASIA overall.
How does one become a member of SEACLEA you may ask? The eligibility is that you have to have been involved in CLE work in Southeast Asia. You may be a person or an institution to get involved.
The BABSEACLE team is looking forward to working with the SEACLEA members and meeting again at upcoming events and conferences.
By: Tracey Atkinson, Asia CLE Training Support (Intern)
SEACLEA meeting held in Songkhla, Thailand, March 2015