International Conference on Global Legal Education and Inauguration of Hebron University Law School

The College of Law and Legal Clinic of Hebron University, supported by UNDP Rule of Law and Access to Justice Program and USAID Palestinian Justice Enhancement Program, organized a three-day international conference on “Global Legal Education Approaches: Experiences for Palestine” from 1 to 3 October 2013. Law experts from the United States, the UK, France, South Africa, Jordan, Lebanon, and various Palestinian universities (Hebron, Arab American, Al-Quds, An-Najah, Palestine Ahlia universities) Spoke at the event. Some 400 professors, public officials, judges, lawyers, prosecutors, parliament members, police, and law students from various countries around the world and from different Palestinian districts attended the conference.

 

The conference coincided with the inauguration of the Hebron University Law School, with its three departments: Department of Public Law, Department of Private Law and Department of Law & Jurisprudence. The inauguration statements were delivered by Dr. Nabil Jabari, Chairman of Hebron University Board of Trustees; Prof. Ahmad Atawneh, President of Hebron University; Mr. Farid Jallad, Palestinian Chief Justice; Mr. Abed Al-Ghani Ewiwi, Attorney General of Palestine; Mr. Khalil Rifai, Deputy Minister of Justice; Dr. Ali Khashan, Former Minister of Justice; and Dr. Mutaz Qafisheh, Dean of the Hebron University College of Law.

The purpose of this conference was to analyze the state of the current legal education system in Palestine and to suggest ways to advance it in light of modern developments at the global level. In particular, the conference aims to focus on the experimental legal pedagogy and the possibility of turning law schools into laboratories in which law students would be able to practice law upon graduation and, through clinical education, to contribute to the social justice in their local communities and to the world.

The conference was followed by two training sessions. The first session was delivered by Prof. David McQuoid Mason of the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa on “Street Law: Moving Law from Campus to Community”. And the second was led by Prof. Frank Bloch, Executive Secritary of the Global Alliance for Justice Education on “Clinical Supervision: Professor-Student Relations in Legal Clinics”. The training targeted law students and law faculty, using interactive methods and role-play.

Papers presented at of the conference related to the following topics: Continental and common law systems; practical legal vs. theoretical education; clinical and experimental legal education; teaching of Islamic law the curricula of law schools; thematic issues, including teaching international law, constitutional law, administrative law, criminal law, commercial law, legal writing, legal ethics; human rights education; reforming legal education management (government, bar associations, universities and schools of law administrations); relations between law schools and justice stakeholders, lawyers, judges, prosecutors and parliaments, civil society and international institutions.

Selected papers of the conference will be refereed and published in a collective book. The last year’s Legal Clinic conference papers, on “Palestine Membership in the United Nations” (2013), were published in a book by Cambridge Scholars Publishing, UK.

Speakers at the conference were:

1. Frank Bloch, Executive Secretary, Global Alliance for Justice Education, and Professor of Law Emeritus, Vanderbilt University, United States: “Global Legal Education: The Role of Clinics in Legal Education Reform”.

2. Othman Takruri, Al-Quds University, Palestine, and Judge at the Palestinian Supreme Court: “Past, Present and the Future of Legal Education in Palestine: Evaluation of the Programs of Eleven Palestinian Law Schools”.

3. Amin Dawwas, American Arab University, Jenin, Palestine: “Methodologies of Teaching at Palestinian Law Schools between the Continental Law and the Common Law”.

4. David McQuoid Mason, Center for Socio-Legal Studies, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa: “Teaching Social Justice through Clinical Legal Education and Community Service: The South African Experience”.

5. Mutaz Qafisheh, Dean, College of Law, Hebron University: “Clinical Legal Education in Palestine: Current Situation and Future Projection”

6. James Apple, Founder and Chairman, Board of Directors, International Judicial Academy, Washington DC: “Old and New Dimensions and Directions for a Court Education Institution”.

7. Sulaiman Jaradat, Advisor to the Hebron District Governor: “Security Forces Collaboration with Law Schools: The Case of Hebron University Legal Clinic”.

8. Deena Hurwitz, Director of International Human Rights Clinic, University of Virginia, US: “Applying a Human Rights Based Approach in Legal Education: A Case Study of Gender Justice in Palestine”.

9. Katarzyna Gromek-Broc, Postgraduate Admissions Manager and Senior Lecturer, York Law School, UK; & Richard Hedlund, Researcher, York University: “Problem-Based Learning in Theory and Practice: Experiences from York Law School” (joint paper).

10. Sanford Silverburg, Catawba College, US: “Pedagogy for a Globalized International Legal World: The Case of Palestine”.

11. Maen Edees, Legal Researcher, Independent Human Rights Commission, Ramallah: “The Role of National Human Rights Institutions in Legal Education”.

12. Husain Tartouri, Dean, College of Islamic Law, Hebron University: “Teaching the Foundations of Jurisprudence at Law Schools: Rationale and Methods”.

13. Daniel Breger, International Legal Fellow, International Legal Foundation, New York: “Criminal Law Clinic in Afghanistan: Can the Afghani Experience be Extended to Palestine?”

14. Ghassan Abdallah, Director, Palestinian Human Rights Organization, Beirut, Lebanon: “The Role of Non-governmental Organizations in Human Rights Education: The Case of Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon”.


15. Shadi Alshdaifat, Isra University, Jordan: “Teaching Legal Ethics to Legal Advisors”.

16. Dr. Ribhi Jakoub, Jerash University, Jordan: “Legal Clinics in Jordan: The Model of Jerash University Legal Clinic Course Syllabus”.

17. Hicham Chabaita, Lawyer, Darna – The Popular Committee to Protect the Right to Land and Housing in Jaffa; and Neta Ziv, Fellow, Center for Law and Ethics, University of Fordham, United States: “Urban Renewal in Jaffa Amidst National Divides: Can Housing Development (Partially) Correct Past Injustice?: The Housing Legal Clinic” (joint paper).

18. Amin Ghnimat, Lecturer, College of Law, Hebron University: “The Problematic of Teaching the ‘Introduction of to the Study of Law’ Course in Palestine: An Analogy with Jordan”.

19. Ayman Jwilis, Hebron University: “Impact of Teaching Islamic Law on Law Reform: Result of Field Research (Questionnaire)”.

20. Abdallah Osaili, Hebron University: “The Juridical Nature of Islamic Law and the Impact of its Teaching in Law Schools”.

21. Nisreen Mahasneh, Yarmouk University, Jordan; & George Critchlow, Professor of Law, Gonzaga University School of Law, US: “A Dialogue on Jordanian Legal Education: An Analogy with the United States” (joint paper).

22. Bassam Qawasmeh, Hebron University: The Authority, the State, and Law Schools: The Dilemma of Teaching Constitutional Law in Palestinian Universities”.