In Pakistan, quality of curriculum and teaching standards in legal education are managed and supervised by Pakistan Bar Council, Higher Education Commission and Universities. It has long been observed that the curriculum and teaching standards are in-adequate, outdated and never up to the mark. This is more reflective in the level of professional skills, which a newly passed out graduate lacks when he enters the legal profession, be that Bar, Bench, prosecution or any other service relating to rule of law and administration of justice. Current three years LLB degree courses so offered until this year do not include provision of practical skills or moral trainings which are essentially important for the cause of promotion of justice and human rights. The recent reform in legal education, wherein the duration of graduate program in law has been enhanced from three to five years, has taken care of these deficiencies. It must also be mentioned here that after the insertion of Article 10-A in the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, fair trial has been granted as a fundamental right in Pakistan. It implies grant of legal aid in suitable cases as a fundamental duty by the State of Pakistan. These developments necessitate thorough reforms and improvements in the professional skills of the legal professionals.
Open Society Foundation Pakistan introduced the concept of clinical legal education (CLE) in Pakistan. It invited the teaching faculties of different law schools to Lahore in 2011 and introduced them to the concept of clinical legal education. Proposals (technical and financial) were also sought and approved for establishing law clinics as well as training of law teachers in the theory and practice of CLE. Trainers and academics from advanced jurisdictions provided these trainings. Pakistan Bar Council was also involved in this process for inclusion of the courses on CLE in the five years LLB program. Since then quite a few law teachers have been trained however a lot more needs to be done in this regard.
It is in this context CPDI will be holding the policy dialogue on 30th March, 2017 in Marriott Hotel, Islamabad.
Through this activity we intend to engage the Pakistan Bar Council in a policy dialogue wherein the LLB curriculum (5 Years Program) to include clinical legal education as a recognized course and having a credit towards the examinations.
Contact Person with Cell # Ambreen Kanwal.