After eight months of working with BABSEACLE, based in Chiang Mai, Thailand, I have gained a deep understanding and appreciation for Clinical Legal Education (CLE) values, skills and methods, and have applied this knowledge, in support of our Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam and Thailand programs. This October 2015, I will bring my CLE experience to a new country, Indonesia, in order to help to strengthen their legal aid programs through a BABSEACLE secondment. .
In Jakarta, while continuing my role of working for BABSEACLE, I will collaborate with the Open Society Foundations and lawyers, researchers and advocates of the Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI), to strengthen case management, information sharing, monitoring and evaluation. YLBHI is the umbrella organization for 14 different legal aid offices, which are located throughout the country, and they provide legal advice and representation to approximately 3,000 cases per year.
The collection and sharing of important legal aid information should tremendously improve the services of those legal aid offices, and bolster the advocacy for increased support from government and other partners. As CLE is all about collaborative and active engagement to build capacity, I will share my BABSEACLE experience and knowledge of creative and absorbing methods, with YLBHI staff, in order to develop systems for collecting such legal aid data. CLE methodology is crucial for interacting with individual legal aid offices, through workshops and other means, in order to promote the adoption of best practices, in case management.
Aside from working with YLBHI, I will be wearing other hats, while in Indonesia. After the success of the 4th Asia Pro Bono Conference & Legal Ethics Forum, in Mandalay, the Asia Pro Bono and Legal Ethics Week such event will be held, in Bali. I am excited to work with our partners in Indonesia, the region and around the globe, and to help ensure that this next Conference & Forum is an even bigger success.
By Max Abbott, CLE/Legal Support Officer, Bridges Across Borders Southeast Asia Community Legal Education Initiative (BABSEACLE)