Professor David McQuoid-Mason of UKZN’s Centre for Socio-Legal Studies has just returned from Moscow. He received a Special Award for his clinical legal education work in Russia, Central and Eastern Europe, Central Asia and elsewhere in the world at the 10th nation-wide Conference of Russian Law Clinics hosted by the Law Faculty of Lomonosov, Moscow State University (MSU), the Russian Centre for the Development of Law Clinics and Indiana State University, at MSU.
McQuoid-Mason presented two papers at the Conference – one on Supervision of Law Clinics and another on Overcoming challenges when Establishing and Managing University-based Live Client Clinics – Lessons from South Africa. He also co-presented at a roundtable on How to Organize a Street Law Programme at a University and a training workshop on Role-Playing as an Educational Method, and answered questions on best international practice at a number of the other sessions dealing with live client Law clinics and Street Law programmes.
Three weeks prior to his trip to Russia McQuoid-Mason taught interactive teaching skills classes for postgraduate students in Clinical Law programmes at Edinburgh University, and Strathclyde University in Scotland.
The week before the trip McQuoid-Mason hosted a delegation from Kenya’s Legal Aid Board. He gave the participants a guided tour of Constitutional Hill in Braamfontein, Johannesburg, and then took them on study visits to the provincial Legal Aid Office in Pinetown, the Durban and Verulam Legal Aid Offices, the Law Clinic and Street Law programmes at Howard College, the Centre for Community Justice and Development in Pietermaritzburg, and the Legal Resources Centre in Durban.
‘After the fall of the Berlin Wall in Germany, I was privileged to participate in a Street Law empowerment programme for 16 former Soviet Union and Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asian countries.
Together with three American Street Law colleagues I worked with Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Education officials, and with Law teachers and school teachers from Albania, Belarus, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Macedonia, Moldova, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Ukraine and Uzbekistan, to produce 45 Street Law manuals for use in their schools.
‘This was the beginning of my large-scale international Street Law work that has allowed me to work with a total of 45 countries and my live client law work which I have done with 60 countries. It was for this work that I was rewarded,’ said McQuoid-Mason.
Words: Lungile Ngubelanga