UKZN’s Acting Director of the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, Professor David McQuoidMason, recently held Street Law workshops for law academics and client officers at Fiji’s University of the South Pacific in Suva, Fiji National University and the Fiji Legal Aid Commission.
The training involved McQuoid-Mason educating participants about the use of Street Lawtype interactive teaching methods such as:
- Different interactive teaching methods, including question and answer papers, to introduce participants to how the law touches people’s daily lives
- Brainstorming to elicit a list of interactive teaching methods from the participants
- A game to illustrate to participants why there is a need for laws in society andwhat kind of laws are found in democratic constitutions and relating them to the 2103 Fiji Constitution
- Getting participants to construct a logical argument on a controversial issue or to persuade others
- A role play session on domestic violence and how it is reported.
he participants were also introduced to the elements of a good public legal awareness lesson which included law, policy, conflicting values, interactive strategy and practical advice. McQuoid-Mason said such workshops were important as law practitioners needed to keep abreast of developments in street law and the benefits of using interactive learning method
‘The workshops are designed to strengthen access to justice in Fiji by training law teachers and legal aid employees to use the most effective way of educating the public about the law and human rights. Such education strengthens the rule of law and confidence in the legal system in Fiji by demonstrating how poor and marginalised people can access free legal assistance when they need it,’ he said.
The participants were also introduced to the elements of a good public legal awareness lesson which included law, policy, conflicting values, interactive strategy and practical advice. Afterwards they were shown how to draw up a lesson plan for an interactive public legal awareness lesson consisting of the topic, the objectives, the content, the interactive strategies, the resources required and checking questions.
Participants were then divided into six teams which prepared and presented a 30-minute interactive lesson to the other participants, which was then critiqued by the participants and McQuoid-Mason.
Thandiwe Jumo and Professor David McQuoid-Mason