Caribbean law schools governed by the Council of Legal Education, aim to "facilitate the development of competent legal practitioners for the region", who, among other things, 'are inspired in the promotion of social justice'. Towards this end, students are required to attend a legal aid clinic in their final year of law school, where they are exposed to unequaled experiences in working with low income members of the community to address a variety of concerns. This paper explores through tutor and student experience, whether the social justice component of the Council's mission is being realized in the current structure of its curriculum. Students and staff from legal aid clinics at three (3) law schools in the Caribbean were interviewed. Findings revealed that many final year law students were unaware of the Council's mission and many failed to discover the link that exists between the roles that the law and the legal profession play (or not) in addressing the social justice issues faced by members of the community. This paper highlights the fact that greater effort must be taken to ensure that the mission of the Council is shared by all stakeholders as a fundamental doctrine; that there is need for the enhancement of the curriculum that would foster a greater appreciation for, consideration of and dedication to, social justice and that there is need for greater institutional support for clinical legal education programs.
Petronilla Ruth Sylvester, Hugh Wooding Law School, Trinidad
Stream: Education: social justice and social change
This paper is part of the ACEID2016 Conference Proceedings (View)
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