Electronic Magazine

2012-11-17

Magazine - November 2012

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 Al-Quds Human Rights Clinic

Arab World’s First Clinical Legal Education Program

"Towards a generation of advocates that believes in human rights and is equipped with the skills to defend them."
 
The Al-Quds University Human Rights Clinic
 
The Al Quds Human Rights Clinic “AQHRC” is an independent unit within Al-Quds University Law School that provides clinical legal education in human rights to undergraduate students. It was established in the fall of 2006 as the first clinical legal education program in Palestine and the first accredited program of its kind in the Arab world.
 
AQHRC provides quality education and hands-on training in human rights and international humanitarian law whereby students learn by practicing with lawyers and human rights organizations and get evaluated by them as well as by AQHRC staff. Students enroll in a year long program of lectures, workshops, seminars, and training sessions and participate in actual monitoring, reporting, and advocacy work.  Through its local and international networks and partnerships AQHRC exposes students to a range of career prospects and opportunities and provide them with support to pursue them.
 
Vision
Educating and empowering students through practical training, and enabling them to gain a well-rounded understanding of law towards promoting awareness of international human rights and humanitarian law among the wider Palestinian society.  AQHRC believes that students are vessels of knowledge and effective agents of change at university, at their homes, and in their future work.  It is vital that students are equipped with a firm understanding of the legal nature of their living situation and how it is placed within international law. This serves to decrease the feeling of powerlessness amongst the Palestinians and work to prevent a brain-drain in Palestine.  
 
Practical Work
Training for students is provided by AQHRC professional staff and partner organizations. After completing the required training students use their acquired knowledge and skills to provide legal services and monitoring and reporting of human rights violations through human rights organizations in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt). Students also carry out human rights awareness raising and education activities among members of the community. At AQHRC students are required to assume a great deal of responsibility and are encouraged to take initiative.
 
Beneficiaries
  • Al-Quds University students who are provided the AQHRC program.
  • Low-income members of Palestinian society who are able to receive free legal services provided by AQHRC.
  • Palestinian faculties of law who can gain from the experience, expertise, and consul from AQHRC in clinical legal education.
  • Human rights organizations in Palestine, who are able to recruit skilled and knowledgeable graduates.
 
Projects
Monitoring, Documentation and Reporting project
This is the central unit at AQHRC program. Students who enroll in this project are provided with hands-on trainings in documenting human rights violations including drafting legal affidavits. Students are provided with tasks that include monitoring, documenting, and reporting on human rights violations in the oPt according to internationally set standards and mechanisms. Students are trained and qualified to overcome the absence of remedies within the military regime and utilize international human rights defense mechanisms and particularly the Special Procedures of the UN Human Rights Council. Students are taught how to use professional documentation and reporting as a tool for human rights advocacy in the oPt.
 
Campaigns project
AQHRC provides students training on campaigning skills and allows for them to plan, build, and implement campaigns to advocate human rights in oPt.  Students are equipped with lobbying, advocacy and awareness raising tools and are then provided with frameworks where they could put them into practice.  Previous campaigns included the right to education, right to housing, gender equality, and international justice.
  
Street Law project
AQHRC launched the street law program in 2008. The 'know your rights' project aims at training law students to teach teenagers and high school students about their human rights under the military regime in the oPt. The awareness-raising program focuses on the rights of detainees, especially minors, as well as general children and family laws.
Our Street Law Program is distinguishable from other similar programs in the world in that it engages with the unique environment of military occupation. Teenagers who benefit from the program are made aware of the legal regime imposed by the occupying army and how to deal with it in order to protect their rights as much as possible.  
 
Legal Internship program
AQHRC offers annual internships during the summer for two international students. Intern positions are available for both undergraduate and postgraduate law students. Selected interns will assist the AQHRC in developing academic papers and research on key legal topics of both local and international relevance. For registration and further information please visit our website.
 
Resource Center
The Clinic maintains and develops a resource center students can use for their work and research. The Resource Center contains a computer lab and holds a collection of professional and updated legal and human rights resources inclduing books, references, and journals. The collection includes a range of publications and reports from many of the major local and international human rights organizations as well as multi-media and audio-visual materials. 
 
Partners and contributors to our program:

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