The aim is to sustainably strengthen the competence, transfer and practice orientation as well as the interdisciplinarity and internationality of legal teaching at the University of Erfurt. To this end, the project is developing and testing a programme for "Clinical Education in Global Justice" in the Economics, Law and Social Sciences degree programmes. It enables students to develop legal content themselves through experiential and research-based learning and to apply it in real-life cases for the benefit of disadvantaged people seeking justice in the sense of service learning. By dealing with concrete injustices in an exemplary way, students learn that law is not neutral and become aware of their own privileges, prejudices and social responsibility. The project establishes a competence-oriented, three-semester clinic curriculum and institutionalises cooperation with practice partners. It integrates the training into global clinic networks and learning partnerships, in which Erfurt students learn together with students from the Global South in a practice-based way. As part of the programme, students should also acquire media and communication skills and contribute to social knowledge transfer.
On the background to the programme, Michael Riegner explains: "At the University of Erfurt, legal education is integrated into the Bachelor's and Master's programmes in Economics, Law and Social Sciences, International Relations and Public Policy, which teach legal, social and economic skills for a wide range of professional profiles. Despite this multidisciplinary and international integration, the teaching of law has so far been oriented towards the content and didactics of state examination programmes at law faculties. An alternative approach is the training format of 'clinical legal education', which originated in the USA, in which students learn from real practical cases and help the socially disadvantaged to obtain justice. We taught a first clinic seminar at the University of Erfurt in 2022 and have now developed this third-party funding application together with the students. This experience has shown that clinical training formats in Erfurt hold particular potential for innovation and encounter conducive framework conditions: Flexible, interdisciplinary study programmes, the broad interest and competence profile of students and teachers, as well as the international orientation make it possible to anchor the clinic format here and further develop it in an interdisciplinary way."
The project is supported by cooperation with partners from human rights and development practice, such as the European Centre for Constitutional and Human Rights in Berlin.
For more information, please visit the professorship's website.