TRIAL International is strongly committed to building up capacity among legal practitioners, including very young ones. Since March, the NGO has conducted a law clinic with students from the Geneva Human Rights Project on sub-regional African institutions.
Over the last months, TRIAL International has worked with four law students on the East African Court of Justice and the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice. The purpose of their research was to assess the feasibility and efficiency of human rights litigation before these institutions. The students produced a practical guide covering of their structure, functioning and human rights jurisprudence that TRIAL International will use in its future work.
“Working on the guide pushed me to think things from a different perspective”, said one student. “It pushed me to think practically and creatively, instead of stopping at formal solutions.” TRIAL International believes in the value of such hands-on projects to train the next generation of lawyers: “Student can better grasp the reality of our NGO and its peculiar mandate of fighting impunity. The law clinic highlights the mutual enriching of academic research and legal practice in the area of human rights”, said Pamela Capizzi, one of the project’s coordinators at TRIAL International.
With the end of the academic year, the law clinic came to a close last month. This trial run has been highly successful both from TRIAL International’s and the students’ perspectives, and will no doubt open the way to other similar collaborations in the near future.
We warmly thank Alfredo Crosato Neumann, Amélie Oppliger, Vera Piovesan and Maria-Rosa Rinne, and their coordinator Ben Shea for their outstanding work.