For testimonials relating to the Legal Studies International Student Externship Clinic run by BABSEACLE, please click here.
Testimonial from Professor George Edwards
“I am a law professor at Indiana University McKinney School of Law in the United States, and I am faculty director of our school’s Program in International Human Rights Law. Since 1997 our program has been sending Indiana law students to work as interns at human rights organizations around the globe. We have had close to 200 internship placements in over 55 countries.
I am very pleased that over the years we have been able to send many Indiana law students to work with our Bridges Across Borders Southeast Asia – Continuing Legal Education (BABSEACLE). The students gained valuable legal experience working on the wide range of pro bono and other legal projects that BABSEACLE is involved in. Our students learned a great deal about law, the practice of law, professional responsibility, and collegiality in a professional workplace. Furthermore, our law students provide great service to the marginalized, vulnerable constituents served by BABSEACLE throughout Southeast Asia. Our students have worked on many projects, including related to human trafficking, human rights education, minority rights, discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and rights of refugees and asylum seekers.
I have been fortunate to have been able to visit and participate in BABSEACLE efforts in various cities and countries in the region, including in Thailand, Laos and Vietnam. I have given presentations with BABSEA in these countries, participated in teacher trainings, witnessed BABSEACLE service work, and paid supervisory visits to Indiana students working on site there. BABSEACLE also works in Malaysia and Cambodia, and has made great contributions there as well.
BABSEACLE is headed by co-founder Bruce Lasky, who holds law degrees from the U.S. (Juris Doctor) and Hungary (Master of Laws – LL.M.), and has extensive work experience in international human rights law grassroots work. He, his colleague Wendy Morrish, and other BABSEACLE staff strenuously work to benefit and empower the otherwise undefended, teachers who teach human rights, and others in the region.
BABSEACLE has great impact in the countries where they work. They also have great impact elsewhere, particularly through the global human rights organizations they are associated with. For example, Bruce and Wendy actively participate at conferences of the Global Alliance for Justice Education (GAJE), at academic conferences around the globe, and at United Nations bodies.
BABSEA’s ties have physically reached Indiana! Bruce and Wendy have visited our Program in International Human Rights Law at Indiana, where they lectured in two classes and attended a de-briefing for Indiana interns who had worked at BABSEACLE and other placements around the globe. BABSEACLE former interns have visited Indiana, including Will Hotham from the UK who became a Fellow of our Indiana Program.
BABSEA has been a great example for CLE work at law schools in Asia and in other regions. Clinical leaders routinely turn to BABSEA for guidance and tutoring on successfully creating and running legal clinics at law schools.
My support for BABSEACLE and the work BABSEACLE does is solid. Congratulations on all that BABSEACLE is able to accomplish!”
-Professor George Edwards,
The C.M. Gray Professor of Law and
Director (Founding), Center for International Human Rights Law and
Executive Chair (Inaugural / Former), Graduate Law Programs and
Faculty Director (Founding / Former), Master of Laws (LL.M.) Track in International Human Rights Law
(Human Rights LL.M. Faculty Director Until Spring 2011) and
Affiliated Faculty Member, Center for the Study of Global Change, Indiana University, Bloomington
Testimonial from Annette Bain
“Since 2003, BABSEACLE has tirelessly advocated for the development of justice education and clinical legal education in the Southeast Asia region and worldwide. The impact of this work on future generations is incalculable. BABSEACLE helps to build and strengthen clinical legal education programs within universities that promote a social justice ethic, and develops this ethic among local law students and their communities. Through these programs, valuable legal aid is given to marginalized communities that might not otherwise be able to access justice. The students who participate in justice education programs supported by BABSEACLE will go on to become lawyers, legislators, business and leaders – all carrying within them this social justice ethic and the ideal of using the law as a force for positive social change.
Herbert Smith Freehills and BABSEACLE have worked together on a number of projects taking an inclusive, developmental approach to access to justice education, including the following:
• providing funding to a CLE clinic at the University of Economics and Law in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam enabling the employment of a post-graduate student as its coordinator. Similarly we support the clinic at the National University of Laos, in Vientiane.
• co-presenting legal seminars in Vientiane, Laos and in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
• advising on the establishment of BABSEACLE Australia which was launched early in 2013.
• collaboration on the inaugural South East Asian Pro Bono Conference which took place in Vientiane, Laos in 2012, and continuing this participation for the 2nd South East Asia Pro Bono Conference which is to be held in October 2013 in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
• together with BABSEACLE and DLA Piper, jointly developing a culturally relevant Pro Bono, Ethics and Professional Responsibility curriculum project.”
-Annette Bain, Head of Pro Bono and Community
Herbert Smith Freehills
Testimonial from Aj. Withoon Taloodkum
“BABSEACLE, Bridges Across Borders Southeast Asia Community Legal Education Initiative, is a well known organization where holding mainly activities increasing a legal empowerment and access to justice by clinical legal education (CLE). I have known BABSEACLE when the first time joining a Conference at Chiang Mai University hold by BABSEACLE collaborative work with CMU Law Clinic, Faculty of Law, Chiang Mai University in last 2010. Since 2010 until now, Bruce A Lasky and Wendy Morrish, Co-director who surprisingly granted an experiences about clinical/community legal education to me and my colleague at University of Phayao.
In 2011, School of Law, University of Phayao funded and hold training for a trainer for University Professors, Clinic Staffs, law students and community leaders. There was a starting point where I work with law students to understanding and giving a clinical legal education with others in Phayao’s Communities. Our law school and the Dean, especially the President of University of Phayao granting a valuable supports our activities to established a law clinic where to lean and help communities.
Our activities in Phayao, mainly works with law student and communities on stateless, nationality law, family law, immigration and access to public service. We also hold a law camping work with BABSEACLE to support our law student to lean with international law students such as from Queensland University of Technology, Australia, and many counties such as Laos, Malaysia, Indonesia, Viet Nam, United State of America, England, Canada and etc,. We have a lot of clinical activities on mobile clinic and community teaching. Our law students start to lean on how to teach law to communities and what they gain from their teaching is legal knowledge and value of social justice. Especially, legal professional and professional ethics are importantly legal skills that increased from Clinical Legal Education in Community.
We are looking forward to implemented a clinical/community legal education in our law degree curriculum as coming soon by the consents of the school.”
-Withoon Taloodkum, Lecturer, School of Law, University of Phayao, Thaiald., LL.B. (1st Hons), LL.M. (Good Thesis), Thai Lawyer License, WIPO-WTO Intellectual Property Teacher Certificate, Co-Director of Intellectual Property Law Research and Development Center (IPLRDC)
Testimonial from Prof. Lisa Bliss
Coming to Thailand to work with BABSEACLE for an extended placement in the summer of 2012 was a life-changing experience that I suspect will keep me coming back to this region to work with the organization and its many partners for many years to come. BABSEACLE offers a dynamic learning environment in which students, professors, lawyers and the community come together to strengthen social justice through both clinical legal education and community education. I have worked as a BABSEACLE Clinician in Resident for extended periods of time with the internship program in Chiang Mai, as well as with some of its university partners, including Mae Fah Luang, Phayao, and Chiang Mai universities in Thailand, and University of Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. Through these experiences, I have seen how the organization successfully mentors people at all levels. One cannot walk away from having worked with BABSEACLE without being inspired to continue working for social justice in some capacity. An added bonus was the expansion of my own skills as a teacher, mentor and advocate for social justice. A unique cooperative and collaborative spirit is the foundation for all of the organization’s initiatives. It is this philosophy that attracts talented, committed people to work with the organization. Once people become part of the BABSEACLE team, they are not only team members, but lifelong friends.
-Lisa Radtke Bliss, Associate Clinical Professor, Co-Director of HeLP Legal Services Clinic
Testimonial from Colin James
In early 2011 I decided to combine a holiday with visiting my BABSEACLE friends in Southeast Asia. Before long I had a packed program of legal clinic and law school visits, but it was still one of the best holidays I‟ve had.In Ho Chi Minh City, I visited the impressive Vietnamese University of Business and Law where I met Professor Huyen Pham and we discussed strategies for clinical legal education. Then I saw the Legal Aid Centre at the HCMC Law University, apparently the largest law school in Viet Nam and met Professor Dang Tat Dung.Later, at Can Tho University, I met Dr Le Thi N Gueyet Chau and was fortunate to be able to sit in on a student mock trial involving two men charged with murder, based on a recent real case. The auditorium was completely full of fascinated law students.
That was so interesting!
In Hue in central Vietnam, I met up with Bruce Lasky and the BABSEACLE team, who were preparing to run clinical initiation seminars with the Hue University Law School with the help of their Vietnamese partners. We met Assistant Dean, Foreign Affairs, Mr Ho Nhan, and law lecturer Ms Nguyen Hong Trinh.
BABSEACLE’s Vietnamese legal trainers conducted a very active seminar with about 60 law students about community legal education in a clinical law school model. I was invited to present on the methods of my legal clinic at the Newcastle Law School, Australia.
Later we met up again at Chiang Mai and drove to Udanthani in northeast Thailand. There we met with the Dean and other staff at the College of Politics and Governance at Payap University and talked about the benefits of clinical legal education. My thanks to Bruce, Wendy and the team for showing me how BABSEACLE works so well and giving me these great experiences.
– My Reflection: My BABSEACLE Trip, Colin James, Solicitor at the University of Newcastle Legal Centre and Senior Lecturer at the Newcastle Law School, Australia