10 year Anniversary of our Essex Law and Human Rights Centre Clinics
On 25 February 2019 the Essex Law Clinic and Human Rights Centre Clinics celebrated their 10 year anniversary with a special event. Honorary guests were; President of the Law Society, Christina Blacklaws, and UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of religion or belief and Co-Deputy Director of the Human Rights Centre, Dr Ahmed Shaheed. Head of School, Karen Hulme, and the Directors of the Clinics, Dr Patricia Palacios Zuloaga and Professor Donald Nicolson OBE also spoke about the importance of the Clinics and their impact. The main message that came through was that the Clinics wouldn’t be what they are today without the commitment of our students, staff and the support from local law firms.
We hope that everyone who attended had a great evening!
The Law Clinic has been fortunate enough to partner with Colne Radio, to start work on an exciting new project called Bitesize Law. A group of 5 Law Clinic volunteers have been working alongside a representative for Colne Radio, Heather Purdey, to learn how to interview interesting people, edit the interviews and create actual radio pieces that will be aired on Colne Radio soon!
In our training with Heather, we have learnt interviewing techniques, especially concentrating on how to have a natural conversation
for radio, and learning how to edit the interviews into final radio playable products. The interviewing practice and training was something we all managed to do well; our problems came when we had to edit the interviews as the software was difficult to comprehend. However, with Heather’s guidance and a great deal of group perseverance, we all managed to learn how to edit properly. Subsequently, we have all undertaken a practice interview and are currently doing proper interviews now, before the
end of this term, which will eventually be aired on the radio! It’s been a real learning process as we have had to consider what we think the public would like to learn about the law, which differs from having to find legal solutions in the Clinic greatly. We’re all very excited at the prospect of being able to hear ourselves on the radio and we cannot wait to have Bitesize Law broadcast. More details to follow about when broadcasting will start!
Update by Isabella Milne.
Public Legal Education Project
A public legal education project supporting vulnerable women in society is just one of the groups developing within the Law Clinic. Our group of six students aims to protect vulnerable women, for example victims of sexual or domestic abuse, by providing information sessions on their legal rights, the legal process, and how to handle courts, for example with self-representation guides and maps of how the court system works. Currently we are partnered with CARA (Centre for Action on Rape and Abuse) who work with victims and survivors of sexual violence and child sexual abuse, and aim to provide independent, specialist support to promote and respect their rights and needs.
After having a meeting with them and identifying the gaps in their services we could help fill, we are now in the process of developing information to address the associated issues experienced by victims of sexual violence, such as employment issues and childcare or housing issues. We aim to provide this information in easily understandable leaflets and documents that will be distributed to the CARA staff and then handed down to those who they feel would benefit from it. We eventually intend to create a variety of information expanding on the areas mentioned above whilst developing our contacts over time, and in the right environment provide information workshops to groups of women who would benefit from them. Update by Ellisha Gilbert.
Lee Hansen (Deputy Director of the Clinic) and Vinnosh Jay Kumur attended a peer support session of Metro charity in Chelmsford on Friday 1 March. Metro is a charity supporting people living with HIV.
We consulted with the group about their legal needs and raised the profile of the Essex Law Clinic and its services. The group were particularly interested in issues of disclosure and the protection of private and confidential information. A small group of students and staff have now formed to develop a Street Law session on these topics and will return on a future occasion to deliver it.