Legal Aid Clinic Spreads Its Wings

Stephan van der Merwe, senior attorney at the Stellenbosch Legal Aid Clinic, has been invited to visit a number of University Law Clinics in the United  Kingdom during November 2017. He will spend time at the Coventry Law School in England to engage in talks and research aimed at setting up a Clinical Legal Education (CLE) Online International Learning program. During his time there, he will be the keynote speaker at a CLE mini conference arranged by the Coventry Law School.  In London, he will also visit the Law Clinics of several prestigious Universities, including King’s College, Queen Mary’s University and London South Bank University.

Stephan will also visit the Glasgow Caledonian and Strathclyde University Law Clinics in Glasgow, Scotland, before spending time at the University of Aberdeen where he will present a guest lecture entitled “Changing lives and (occasionally) changing the law: An illustration of the work of University Law Clinics” (https://www.abdn.ac.uk/law/seminars/12006/).  This talk will focus on the work of the Stellenbosch Legal Aid Clinic in changing South Africa’s legal debt-collection landscape in the wake of the Constitutional Court’s decision in University of Stellenbosch Legal Aid Clinic & others v Minister of Justice and Correctional Services & Others; Association of Debt Recovery Agents NPC v Clinic & Others; Mavava Trading 279 (Pty) Ltd & Others v Clinic & Others [2016] ZACC 32.

The Legal Aid Clinic is very enthusiastic about the opportunities that this project offers to enrich existing international relationships and create new networks for the Clinic, Faculty of Law and University of Stellenbosch.  It will enable the Clinic to strengthen its image and reputation as a serious role-player in the international CLE environment.  This collaboration will also enhance students’ international and intercultural awareness and transferable employability skills in a global context and raise their online communicative competence in academic and professional settings.

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