Promoting gender justice within the clinical curriculum: evaluating student participation in the 16 days of activism against gender-based violence campaign

Speed, Ana and Richardson, Kayliegh (2018) Promoting gender justice within the clinical curriculum: evaluating student participation in the 16 days of activism against gender-based violence campaign. In: Directions in Legal Education 2018 Conference, 1st - 2nd June 2018, Hong Kong.

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The 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence is an international campaign which runs annually from 25 November (The International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women) to 10 December (Human Rights Day). The campaign aims to raise awareness of and stimulate action to end violence against women and girls globally. The issue of gender violence has gained worldwide prominence in the last few decades with the emergence of legislative frameworks including the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women and the Istanbul Convention . The recent public disquiet regarding sexual harassment, as exemplified by the ‘#Me too’ and ‘Times Up’ movements, demonstrate that gender-based violence remains an everyday reality for many women and girls. In England and Wales, there has been an increase in applications to the Family Court for domestic abuse protection however this has come at a time where cuts to the availability of legal aid have led to concerns about the ability of survivors to seek access to justice.

During the 2017-2018 academic year the authors designed and implemented a range of teaching activities for clinical students studying family law as part of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence campaign. The aims were to increase student engagement with issues of gender justice, develop student understanding of the different forms of gender violence, the domestic and international framework for protecting victims and the roles that different organisations play in achieving this, and in doing so, to prepare students for the realities of family practice in England and Wales. This article will discuss the teaching materials that were designed and will present the students’ experiences of participating in the campaign. It will address how their participation went some way to meeting the objectives set out above in that students demonstrated increased knowledge of substantive civil and criminal law relating to GBV, developed their critical lawyering skills and competency in working with vulnerable clients and contributed to wider efforts to advance gender justice. Further the article will draw on the wider ancillary advantages of participating in the campaign, including improved client outcomes and reputational benefit. The limitations of the 16 Days campaign will also be acknowledged along with ideas for developing the programme in the future.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: M900 Other in Law
X300 Academic studies in Education
Department: Faculties > Business and Law > Northumbria Law School
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Paul Burns
Date Deposited: 21 Jun 2018 14:32
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2019 15:01

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