The Xavier University Center for Legal Assistance (XUCLA) opens its Clinical Legal Education Program with its first topic entitled “Libertas: Jail Decongestion Paralegal Training” this 11 and 15 September 2020. The year-long program, which features other areas of human rights and development, is open to both XUCLA interns and Xavier Ateneo Law students.
Focusing on access to justice and welfare of persons deprived of liberty, the first session is provided by the Humanitarian Legal Assistance Foundation, Inc. and supported by The Asia Foundation and the International Narcotics and Law Enforcement of the United States Department of State. The Asia Foundation is XUCLA’s partner in enhancing its legal aid services and clinical legal education programs.
As mentioned, this training features other topics such as women and children’s rights, labor practice and advocacy, Indigenous Peoples, trial practice, human rights in ASEAN, the environment, and alternative lawyering.
This year-long series aims to integrate theory, practice, and reflection within the context of legal empowerment for the basic sectors. Specifically, it seeks to deepen the students’ understanding of law as a tool for social development and empowerment. Ultimately, this hopes to provide the necessary framing and orientation to form “advocates for others.”
Aside from the partners mentioned, the program is also made possible with the long-term partnership with the Ateneo Human Rights Center (AHRC). AHRC also provides technical and logistical support to XUCLA. Moreover, alternative legal NGOs such as SALIGAN (Sentro ng Alternatibong Lingap Panligal) and Balaod Mindanaw would also share their insights and experience.
XUCLA is Xavier Ateneo Law’s legal aid clinic and human rights advocacy center catering to Northern Mindanao. Currently, it has 22 interns and 2 supervising lawyers with 5 working groups covering civil liberties, labor rights, property and business, family and children law, COVID-19 response, and criminal law. Due to the pandemic, all of its operations are conducted online thru the Tabang Legal Program.
The Center’s range of engagements cover Certification Level 1 of Rule 138-A otherwise known as the Law Student Practice Rule which includes online counseling, document and pleading preparation, rights-literacy, and local policy development.