IG’s Peace Blog

Peace and its many aspects

Justice education

I just came across this link for the Global Alliance for Justice Education.  As the home page explains:

“Clinical education of law students is a key component of justice education, but this organization also works to advance other forms of socially relevant legal education, which includes education of practicing lawyers, judges, non-governmental organizations and the lay public.”

This seems to me to be  much needed and very important for all us.  As you might have noticed or experienced, while in many countries the term justice is often used to  indicate legal process, in reality the link between these two is problematic, not so say often nonexistent.  The proliferation of lawyer jokes also reflects (at least to some extent) the problem (my favorite:  “How many lawyer jokes are there?  Three…the rest are true stories!”).  Someone once told me about a first year law professor at a prominent mid-Western (I think) university in the U.S. who, when he met his students for the first time told them to go outside, look at the front of the building and then come back and report on what they say.  They all came back and said:  “Well the front of the building says XXXX School of Law”.  The prof would then reply:  “That’s right, it doesn’t say a d*** thing about justice!”.

This is sad, and beyond that destructive.  A society will fall apart if it is not perceived by its members as just.  In fact, justice and unity are almost synonymous:  hard to see how you can have one without the other over time.

Along these lines the GAJE has something called the “Justice Education Initiative”:

“The JEI is a three year project. Its goal is to develop accessible and practical resources for use in producing lawyers who are both competent and committed to work for justice in every setting where lawyers are found. The central strategy to achieve this goal is to focus on the institutions and processes that prepare persons to be lawyers, judges and legally-trained civic leaders and public officials. Underpinning this strategy is the recognition that law students and lawyers in training can themselves be valuable workers for justice during their time of preparation. In addition, law schools and other programs to prepare students for legal careers can also be resource centers for education of the community, for support of efforts by non-governmental organizations, for development of public policy, for law reform, and for continuing education of lawyers, judges, and public officials. GAJE will particularly encourage legal education institutions to partner with organizations that are based in and serve communities in particular need of justice education.”

IGbarb says:  “This is the future: a justice more concerned about Justice.  Makes sense to me!”

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November 20, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , ,

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