WG Comparative Studies of Legal Professions
Chair: Rosemary Auchmuty
Cecilia Blengino | Università degli Studi di Torino (Italy)
Silvia Mondino | Università degli Studi di Torino (Italy)
The role played by the clinical movement converting legal education into justice education: clinical legal education’s transformative power
The paper explores the present season of Clinical Legal Education (CLE) focusing on the role played by current legal clinical movement improving a bottom up transformation process both of legal education systems and concrete actions of implementation of human rights.
Theoretically founded on the proposal of American realism to overcome the dogmatic approach adopted by traditional legal education systems, the “learning by doing” method introduced by CLE originated from the idea to provide future lawyers the awareness about breaks and gaps that separate law in action from law in the books, integrating social science methodologies and legal practice. After being considered in the ‘70s a crucial tool for critical legal studies to polemicize against the reproduction of hierarchy by the traditional legal education systems, legal clinics have been progressively absorbed in US law school curricula, partially losing its critical dimension in favor of professionalizing goals.
Nevertheless – due to the globalization process and the crisis both of justice and educational systems – the rise of a global clinical movement seems to get this method to learning law back to its original aims. The innovative wave of a new clinical movement aimed to transform legal education into justice education is spreading all over the world, involving today also EU civil law educational systems, that had been impermeable before. Spreading of CLE mainly takes shape as a “bottom up” process, thati is progressing thanks to very peculiar epistemic community of “legal clinicians”. It emerged through a five year long participant observation in the meetings, workshops and trainings for trainers where “legal clinicians” meet to share competences, methodologies and experiences, both at international, regional and local levels. Far from the rigidity of academic roles, law professors, lawyers, ONG, activists consider themselves as a part of this community, linked by the common aim to use reflective practice methods as ways to fill the gaps in the justice systems. and with the goal of training a new model of legal experts focused on human rights protection with an intersectional approach to the problems.
Richard Collier | Newcastle University, UK
Surviving or Thriving? Wellbeing and Mental Health in the Legal Community - Making the Connections Between Legal Practice and Law Schools
This paper interrogates recent developments around wellbeing and mental health in the UK at the interface of the academic discipline of law, legal professional practice and legal education and training, and considers why this has become an issue of growing concern across the legal community in recent years. Drawing on research projects funded by the Leverhulme Trust (‘Wellbeing, Law and Society: Politics, Policy and Practice – A Socio-Legal Study’) (2017-18) and the charity Anxiety UK (2018), it begins by setting the legal community’s ‘wellbeing turn’ within a wider social, political and economic context. The paper proceeds to overview recent developments and initiatives and the key concerns emerging within the growing international literature on the topic. Conclusions consider, drawing on my work as a member of the Legal Profession Wellbeing Taskforce, what connections may exist across the legal community with regard to the wellbeing of lawyers, law students and legal academics alike; and whether, more specifically, as has been claimed, it is the case that many people working in law are, in the theme of the 2017 Mental Health Awareness Week in the UK, ‘surviving but not thriving’. Underscoring these wellbeing debates, the paper suggests, are issues that cannot be confined to the field of, say, corporate legal practice but which include the discussions about wellbeing now taking place within many university law schools and across socio-legal studies more generally within an international frame.
José Querino Tavares Neto | Universidade Federal de Goiás e Pontifícia Universidade Católica de Goiás
Cinthia Obladem de Almendra Freitas | Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Paraná
Applying the Bourdieusian Theory to Technology as a Scientific Field and Social Domination
Bourdieusian theory is applied in order to construct a critique of technology, since it can be considered as a means for validation and legitimation of knowledge, or used as an instrument of social domination in its most varied dimensions, strategies, gears, structures, whether in a macro dimension, as is the case of the Internet, or in a micro dimension, as the data itself. The paper establishes an epistemological assumption of analysis, based on a reference of reality, such as the Internet and Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), in order to provide the possibilities of forming an understood of the social reality of ICTs taking into account the information as a legal asset to world society.