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Clinical Legal Education Centres for Human Rights and Social Responsibility

The Clinical Legal Education Centres (CLECs) for Human Rights and Social Responsibility were established  by the Faculty of Law at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in order to provide high quality legal aid, free of charge to underprivileged individuals and groups, and at the same time to educate the future generation of the Israeli legal elite in social responsibility as part of their legal training. 

Society gains twice: disadvantaged people get valuable legal aid and are empowered while the legal community is enriched with knowledge, sensitivity and comprehension of the unique skills necessary to protect and further human rights.

A great advantage of the Clinics is that it avoids all bureaucracy, often a characteristic of organizations which offer help to the underprivileged. The students and lawyers provide their clients legal assistance throughout the process; from the first consultation until the final outcome. Emphasis is placed on providing a high quality service to those of limited means in order to give them equal opportunities in relation to those who can afford the high prices of good legal services.

One third of the student body of the Law Faculty is active in the Law Clinics. In addition to six hours per week of practical work, students participate in weekly classes where they are taught the essential legal knowledge and tools necessary for clinical work in the field.  These classes also provide a platform to discuss the social, cultural and ethical aspects of their work.  In addition, the students gain further insights into their work through cooperation with professionals from other disciplines, such as community activists, social workers and physicians. The students are closely supervised by an experienced team of lawyers who operate the various clinics.

In the current academic year the LCSR operates 13 programs with 140 enrolled students.

The Youth Representation Program: The Clinic provides legal aid and therapeutic treatment to at-risk youth ranging from basic legal assistance to school dropouts to legal representation in various legal forums. 

 

The Law and Immigration Program: A community based clinic dealing with immigration to Israel, mostly from Africa (Ethiopia). An interdisciplinary program, that integrates in its work approaches from the world of social work.

 

The Program for Legal Aid in Conflict Areas: Sderot: As a result of the reality of Sderot in recent years and the problems stemming from the security situation, this Clinic was established to provide an immediate answer to the legal issues facing the residents of this area living in these unusual circumstances. 

 

The Program for the Protection of Women's Rights in the Workplace: Provides legal advice and aid for women who have suffered discrimination in the workplace.

 

The Program for Women Empowerment by Knowledge: Empowering workshops for disempowered women from minority groups. The women-students partnership aims to make these women agents for social change in their surroundings.  .

The “Street Law” Program:  Provides legal education workshops on the subject of rights and obligations to at-risk teens being treated in various institutions.

The Legal Empowerment for Youth Program in the Arab Sector:  An innovative project which provides culturally sensitive legal assistance and education to youth in the Arab neighborhoods of East Jerusalem.

 

The Criminal Justice Program: Provides legal assistance and representation to criminal defendants who cannot afford legal representation. The program focuses on a holistic, culture-sensitive approach to representation.

 

The Distributive Justice Program: Students are exposed to the world of building and planning, within the context of the weaker sections of the population (e.g. East Jerusalem, Ultra-Orthodox and others).  The Clinic offers alternatives to the current reality. 

 

The Program for the Protection of the Environment:  Environmental advocacy including the social aspect (e.g. asbestos hazards near a school in an underprivileged neighborhood).  The Clinic also engages in policy-making in the field.

 

The Community Lawyering Program: Facilitates accessibility to the courts and protects the rights of individuals and groups in deprived communities in Jerusalem, including underprivileged neighborhoods, the elderly and the ultra-orthodox community.

 

The Program for a Quality Government: (in conjunction with the Movement for a Quality Government):  Exposes law students to the corruption and unethical behavior prevalent in the public sector. The Clinic gives students an opportunity to use their acquired legal skills to promote active involvement in civic causes.

 

The Program for Empowerment of Human Rights Organizations in Israel: Integrates students into the various human rights organizations in Israel where they are involved.

 

 

If you would like to know further information about how to support the Clinical Legal Education Centres for Human Rights and Social Responsibility, please speak to one of our friendly staff at the BFHU offices on 020-8349-5757

 

 

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