Rule of Law Activity in Georgia

    Project: Research project

    Project Details


    Northwestern will assist EWMI in expanding and improving clinical legal education in Georgia. Northwestern is a recognized leader in clinical legal education within the U.S. With roots reaching back to 1910, Northwestern’s Bluhm Legal Clinic currently has more than thirty clinical faculty teaching more than 200 students each year in subject-specific clinics that address human rights, criminal justice, child rights, poverty law, environmental law, immigration law, and entrepreneurship law. Clinic faculty in Northwestern’s Center for International Human Rights have extensive experience working internationally to support the development, expansion and improvement of law clinics in countries where clinical legal education is at an early stage, including in Georgia. Northwestern, through its Center for International Human Rights, has worked since 2015 to support human rights education and training in Georgia as part of EWMI’s USAID-funded Promoting Rule of Law in Georgia initiative. Northwestern faculty have provided human rights trainings to Georgian lawyers, law faculty and civil society activists, have taught Georgian law students in specialized courses on constitutional and human rights, and have delivered joint public lectures together with Georgian law faculty on a variety of human rights topics. Notably, since December 2017 Northwestern has provided ongoing support and mentoring to assist in the development, launch, and ongoing operation of a very successful new human rights law clinic at Ilya State University School of Law. During the clinic’s initial planning phase, Northwestern provided a training on operational and administrative best practices in the establishment of a new clinic, and held periodic meetings with Ilya clinic leadership to provide advice on clinic design, pedagogy and client representation and to discuss progress and challenges during the nearly year-long planning process. After each of the Ilya clinic’s first two semesters in operation, Northwestern met with clinic leadership to assess the clinic’s performance, reinforce what was working well and offer suggestions for addressing challenges that had arisen. For the past year, Northwestern has held biweekly virtual meetings with the Ilia clinic team (including faculty, fellows, and some students) to hear reports and discuss strategy on current and potential clinic cases. Ilia State now has a successful, sustainable human rights clinic that has focused on cases involving various forms of discrimination: religion, gender, ethnicity, disability, age, sexual orientation and social class. The clinic has served the pedagogical and social justice goals that underlie clinical legal education, by simultaneously providing excellent training to law students and much-needed representation to vulnerable populations. Going forward, Northwestern will assist EWMI in building upon the success of the Ilya State human rights clinic. Mentoring support will continue to be provided to the Ilya State clinic, including to encourage the bringing of more cases before the courts. To date, the clinic has brought most of its cases before domestic administrative and other non-judicial complaint mechanisms, due to the greater likelihood of success in those fora as well as the expense and long delays associated with court litigation; the drawback is that those fora lack the power to issue binding decisions. Bringing well-briefed and well-argued cases before the courts will contribute to an improvement in the performance of the judiciary or, failing that, position the Ily
    Effective start/end date1/1/2212/31/26


    • East-West Management Institute Inc. (G-1977-22-100-3047-20//72011422CA00001)
    • Agency for International Development (G-1977-22-100-3047-20//72011422CA00001)


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