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Legal clinics in Europe: for a commitment of higher education in social justice


This publication (formally an article, de facto a book) is a wide inquiry on legal clinical education in Europe. It was sponsored by and presented in European Parliament (ARDI intergroup). In the first chapter over a hundred clinical legal programs, spread in all the Union territories, are fully monitored and examined. The second chapter presents a qualitative analysis through the interviews with some protagonists of the “movement” of legal clinical education. In fact, since the comprehensive vision of this phenomenon, we can conclude that it is a “movement” because we are not simply in the presence of a proliferation of isolated experience. There is an emergence of a new trend in academia characterized by different way of teaching the law, an alternative view of the law itself and a different role of academia in the relationship with society. The legal clinical education is a perfect example of the so-called “social accountability of universities” or, in other terms: the “third mission”. The emergence of such a movement could influence the professional culture of European jurists. The Chapter III investigates the law clinics’ contribution to achieve some important goals set by European legislation. In particular we analysed the potential remarkable impact of clinical legal education on: Bologna process; access to justice; egalitarian policies in contrast to all forms of discrimination; advancement of legislation and jurisprudence on human rights. Supporting scholars and universities willing to take this path with funds and recognition, may generate virtuous circles from which all come out as winners.