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“Clinique du Droit” joins EU legal clinic programme

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Published on Tuesday, 07 November 2017

The “Clinique du Droit” (Consumer Law Clinic) at the University of Luxembourg has joined an EU-wide cooperation to enhance legal clinics in the European Union, with a launch conference scheduled for 24 November.

The STARS programme (Skills Transfers in Academia: A Renewed Strategy Enhancing Legal Clinics in the European Union) is co-funded by Erasmus+ and brings the Università degli Studi di Brescia and Università degli Studi Roma Tre, Palacký University in Olomouc, Czech Republic, and the Romanian-American University in Bucharest under the coordination of Prof. Elise Poillot who introduced the “Clinique du Droit” at the University of Luxembourg in 2015.

Legal clinics not only allow students to gain practical experience during their studies by exposing them to real-life cases and clients but they also offer a service to the community as they allow members of the public to use the clinic as a service offering assistance in legal matters.

The University of Luxembourg clinic specialises in consumer law and is tied to the Master in European Private Law. Members of the public can register their dispute online to receive free advice on how to proceed, provided the case falls under Luxembourg law and involves claims below €5,000. Students are assisted in their work by teaching staff as well as professionals from the Luxembourg bar association. They also receive coaching in how to deal with customers.

Innovation and outreach

Now in its third year, the project has been a success and Prof. Poillot has presented the clinic as far afield as Japan. It has established the Master in European Private Law as one of the premier programmes in this field in continental Europe. “The success of the ‘Clinique du Droit’ has been overwhelming,” explained Prof. Poillot. “We have launched a new programme visiting schools in Luxembourg to teach young people there about their rights. We have hosted information sessions for staff at the University. STARS will allow us to share our experiences with other universities and work together to build a stronger network of legal clinics in Europe.”

With funding for a period of three years, the objectives of the STARS programme are:

  • To renew teaching strategies and stimulate innovative practices in legal teaching.
  • To formalize existing clinical legal teaching methods through the development of digital tools and the establishment of evaluation criteria of legal clinical teaching.
  • To create a new Consumer Law Clinic at the Romanian-American University.
  • To promote the development of innovative research in the field of law, on teaching methodologies and fundamental research.
  • To improve the employability of law graduates through a renewed approach to legal education.

The conference on 24 November 2017 will mark the starting point of the project, which foresees annual summer schools hosted at the partner universities until 2020, when the project is expected to come to a close.