For two days, Ukrainian legal clinics discussed work results of legal clinics movement, relevant topics of its operation, and participation in social processes.
On 13-14 March 2020, the Association of Legal Clinics of Ukraine All-Ukrainian Forum 2020: Responsible Business and Human Rights took place in Kryvyi Rih. During it, the elections of the Association Board as well as voting for affiliation of new legal clinics to the Association were held. Besides mentioned, Ukrainian & foreign experts conducted masterclasses on responsible doing business with a respect to human rights.
Coordinator of the Forum Kateryna Datsko stated:
“Association of Legal Clinics of Ukraine All-Ukrainian Forum 2020: Responsible Business and Human Rights had following goals: to elect a new Head of the Board of the ALCU, to summarize legal clinics experience upon rights protection of consumers of financial services, to create a strategy of development of a new thematic direction of the ALCU – Responsible Business and Human Rights. All goals we have successfully reached as we already have accomplishments that will be a basis for a new project. I am confident that all the Forum participants received a portion of the inspiration for further improvement of high legal education and rights protection of the Ukrainians”.
Head of the Association of Legal Clinics of Ukraine Andrii Halai presented developments of the Association gained since 2018. The most significant were:
- Legal clinics today are the ideologists of common projects with our partners.
- Projects of the Association, or received thanks to it, united 29 of 50 legal clinics.
- Series of successful network events was conducted without financing from donors.
- Board and Board+ conducting dozens of meetings online, whilst its quantity is only due to the needs and ideas.
- Collegial decisions and operation decisions of a management team were delineated (board or board+). There is an appeal mechanism regarding operation decisions. Hundreds of decisions made annually.
The Association of Legal Clinics of Ukraine Convention
During the first day elections of Head of the Board of the Association and a new legal clinics affiliation as members of the Association. The Board of the Association consists of 7 persons, and the Head of the Association is a part of the Board due to post.
According to voting results, Yuliia Lomzhets was chosen as a Head of the Association of Legal Clinics of Ukraine from the legal clinic of the Admiral Makarov National University of Shipbuilding.
Her program included 3 major priorities:
- Development and strengthening legal clinics regional leadership
- regional legal clinics involvement to the Association joint projects
- support of the legal clinics’ local initiatives
- advocacy of the legal clinics’ interests before universities management, local stakeholders
- involvement of new partners and finance
- Further development of the Association stable partnership with state authorities (Ministry of Education of Ukraine, Ministry of Justice of Ukraine), donor organizations, non-governmental networks, other stakeholders on principles of partnership, and promotion of legal clinics movement.
- Expanding the Association of Legal Clinics of Ukraine international cooperation through joint projects together with friendly legal clinics networks (Poland, Georgia), involvement world’s legal clinics movement leading representatives to the Association projects & events, as well as establishing new cooperation models with foreign partners (online platforms, international conferences, internships, scientific publications).
Newly elected Head of the Association Yuliia Lomzhets highlighted:
“First of all, I would like to thank all participants of the Association for support and trust. The ALCU is a dynamically growing community. I believe that legal clinics are providers of modern educational trends in the Ukrainian legal education sphere. This is why my major goal as Head of the Association is to support the growth of the network.”
До складу нового Правління Асоціації юридичних клінік України обрано:
- The elected members of the Board of the Association of Legal Clinics of Ukraine are:
- Andrii Halai, legal clinic “LIBERTA” of the Ternopil National Economic University
- Kateryna Datsko, legal clinic of the Kryvyi Rih Economic Institute of the Vadym Hetman Kyiv National Economic University
- Khrystyna Kovtsun, legal clinic of the Ukrainian Catholic University Law School
- Olha Nastina, legal clinic “Law and Practice” of the Bila Tserkva National Agrarian University
- Mariia Tsypiaschuk, legal clinic “Pro bono” of the National University of Ostroh Academy
- Tetiana Sholkova, Scientific-practical laboratory “Legal Clinic” of the University of the State Fiscal Service of Ukraine
The result of the voting at the Forum was the affiliation of 8 new members of the Association:
- Legal clinic of the Polissia National Agroecological University
- Legal clinic of the Odessa State University of Internal Affairs
- Legal clinic of the “Legal Protection” Donetsk Law Institute of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine
- Legal clinic of the Sloviansk Educational-Scientific Institute of the University of the State Fiscal Service of Ukraine
- Legal clinic of the Sumy State University
- Legal clinic of the I. Vernadsky Taurida National University
- Legal clinic of the Alfred Nobel University (Dnipro, Ukraine)
- Legal clinic of the Kherson State University.
Legal clinic of the M. Zhukovskyi National Aerocosmic University obtained the candidate status of candidate to the members of the Association.
Legal clinics initiatives in the USAID Financial Sector Transformation Project (FST)
The second block of the Forum included discussion of legal clinics’ initiatives in the USAID Financial Sector Transformation Project (FST). In particular, Head of the FST USAID Project Tetiana Hryschenko described the relevant issues of consumer crediting.
Tetiana Burak, Financial Consumer Protection Advisor at the USAID Financial Sector Transformation Project (FST) shared information about possible ways of dispute resolution in the finance market. According to the speaker’s words, financial services consumers can address their complaints to the finance market regulators, the office of insurance conciliator, and courts. New competency of the regulators includes:
- consumers rights protection – 19.01.2020
- appeals review
- control of compliance with the legislation on the advertisement
- bringing to justice for violations
- financial literacy
New perspectives for legal clinics in the Association project “Legal clinics consultations for the financial services consumers” were described by Yuliia Lomzhets and Mariia Tsypiaschuk. Thus, in the frame of the project 5 legal clinics were selected for realization of a counseling vector and 10 for legal awareness vector (10 legal clinics).
The project’s main goals are:
- Improving financial literacy level among financial products & services consumers that will lead to financial stability and welfare.
- Prevention of fraud through raising awareness among the population on instruments and mechanisms of fraud resistance in the financial sphere.
- Expansion of possibilities for financial services consumers, especially low-income categories of people, to access qualified free legal assistance.
- Strengthening the role of legal clinics education in the sphere of law education and access to justice.
- Helping students to entrench theory and acquire practical skills in law (interviewing, materials analysis, counseling), increasing level of legal culture, including financial sphere.
Olha Lobach, Candidate of Juridical Sciences, docent, professor & curator of the legal clinic of the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy with her presentation spoke on the topic: “Money pit” or a court? Legal regulation of individuals’ bankruptcy”.
Krystyna Kovtsun, Head of the legal clinic of Ukrainian Catholic University Law School shared her experience on what to do if a person addressing the issue of having 60 online credits to a legal clinic.
Responsible Business and Human Rights
The second day of the Forum went off not less dynamically: participants could gain knowledge and practice it during masterclasses and online workshops. Additionally, for legal clinics, there was an excursion prepared to the ArcelorMittal University in Ukraine – education center of the PJSC “ArcelorMittal Kryvyi Rih”.
Head of the Center “CSR Development”, Sustainability Expert Maryna Saprykina held the online workshop “Doing Business in a Human Rights aspect”. At the Forum Maryna conducted the online session during which participants had expended their understanding of human rights principles by business and process of its including to the circle of topics of corporative social responsibility. Presented information became a basis for further work on development strategy under the concept “responsible business and human rights in the ALCU” during the session “Integration of a topic “Responsible Business and Human Rights” in legal clinics practice”, conducted by Khrystyna Datsko and Mariia Tsypiaschuk using the experience of the Northumbria University (Newcastle, UK).
Professor of Law of the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin (Poland) Director of the Center for Advancing Legal Skills Dr. Delaine Swenson have also провів online workshop for the theme “Improving a consumer rights Street Law program in a clinic” Using as an example financial services consumers protection topic, trainees could present 6 methodological materials to the Street Law course for its using in legal clinics activities.
According to Delaine’s words, Street Law provides for 2 goals: to teach students law and share experience of teaching others as well as target groups. The most important elements here are the following:
- to teach in a frame of the exact branch of law according to program;
- to show how to be interactive teachers (trainers);
- together with students to design lesson programs for students;
- to allow practicing and improving students sessions;
- to demonstrate, assess, and improve lesson content (essence).
At the Forum participants also acquainted with the operation of the public joint-stock company “ArcelorMittal Kryvyi Rih” – a responsible business example in Kryvyi Rih. Thus, the participants visited the ArcelorMittal University in Ukraine – the education center of the PJSC “ArcelorMittal Kryvyi Rih”, where employees are granted the opportunity to obtain knowledge, improve their skills, and share a professional experience.
Program of the corporative University is split into different functional Academies (occupational health, metallurgy, mining, finance, risk management, personnel management, internal audit, information technology, supply, research and development, sales and marketing, law). There are 10 functional Academies and the Working Professions Education Center included in the University structure. Besides that, the University offers adaptation programs, career advancement, and management skills formation courses.
At the end of the Forum, Mariia Tsypiaschuk and Kateryna Datsko together with participants conducted a strategic session “Integration of a topic “Responsible Business and Human Rights” in legal clinics practice”. Experience of the Northumbria University (Newcastle, UK)”. The session was based on an analysis of the United Kingdom legal clinics’ experience through the video message of Head of the Legal Education and Professional Skills Research Group (LEAPs) of the Northumbria University (Newcastle) Victoria Roper.
This publication prepared with the support of the U.S. Agency for International Development according to the agreement with the Association of Legal Clinics of Ukraine in the frame of a grant provided by the USAID Financial Sector Transformation Project (FST).