Open Society Justice Initiative Organizes Southeast Asia Clinical Legal Education Conference
BUDAPEST—The Open Society Justice Initiative and the Pannasastra University of Cambodia Faculty of Law and Public Affairs Clinical Legal Education Program will organize the Southeast Asia Clinical Legal Education Conference in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, November 27-29, 2005. The conference will present the first university legal clinic in Cambodia and will provide a forum to discuss opportunities and challenges for creating clinical legal education programs at Southeast Asian universities and the role of clinical legal education in promoting access to justice and a culture of pro bono service within the bar.
The conference will be attended by representatives from universities, the legal community, and civil society in Southeast Asia as well as regional and international experts on clinical legal education and access to justice. The conference aims to foster an environment in which participants can exchange ideas for promoting clinical legal education programs in the diverse and unique Southeast Asian legal landscape. Participants will address issues to consider when establishing and operating university-based clinical legal education programs and will explore existing opportunities and needs for effective clinical legal education program cooperation and capacity-building in Southeast Asia.
Since 2003, the Justice Initiative has been working with the Pannasastra University of Cambodia on the first pilot clinical legal education program in the country. The Pannasastra University of Cambodia legal clinic operates two sections: a criminal law clinic in partnership with the Cambodia Defenders Project and a community legal education section which provides civic education and community empowerment trainings to Cambodian high schools, nongovernmental organizations, and grass-roots Cambodian societies.