Legal Clinic

Profile of Avicenna University Legal Clinic

Avicenna Legal Clinic has two components:

  1. Academic and Training Programs; the main goal of this component is addressing challenges and shortages of the legal learning system in Afghanistan. The most important challenges and shortages on legal learning system in Afghanistan are:
    1. Legal contents and text are presented to students theoretically in Afghanistan unlike other countries while legal knowledge like medical science has two dimensions of theory and practice. Because of this reason, both of these dimensions should be considered in transferring legal knowledge. As Afghanistan higher education centers are focusing only to the theoretical dimension of the legal knowledge, legal students face the following challenges:
      1. First, Students problems in their future employment; students only learning theoretical knowledge and can work as prosecutors, judges, defense lawyer, legal advisor and can’t implement their knowledge for management of legal files and disputes so they need to take up practical knowledge in addition to the theoretical knowledge. Successful lawyer, good teacher, talented student, good judge, skilled prosecutor and a good legal advisor is the person who is the one who has command on theoretical legal knowledge but also practically know how to use of the knowledge.
      2. Second, a comprehensive understanding of the legal knowledge requires both theoretical and practical knowledge. Normally, students who have only command on theoretical knowledge is not enough to understand the legal issues completely and comprehensively. Understanding the theories are the bases which need to accompany with the practical “know how” of the theories and when it is accompanied with the practical “know how”, then it will be understood comprehensively and remain in the minds forever.

For addressing these two shortages and challenges, there are six courses assigned for legal clinics as following:

  1. Defense Techniques
  2. Legal Counseling Techniques
  3. Writing different instruments
  4. Judicial Internships
  5. Registration of legal documents
  6. Research methods where legal investigations are thought and research is the key for legal discussions.

In these subjects students are introduced with different scientific techniques and approaches for defense, legal counseling, writing different documents, preparation and arrangement of legal documents and scientific approaches of judgements, provision of indictment and methods of collecting evidences.

In summary, all the practical skills required for this field are thought to students in legal clinic. In legal clinic, students are learning by practices which are golden opportunity for them. The second challenge for learning legal knowledge at the country’s higher educational centers are assuming the documents and legal cases instead of practically working on the cases and documents. Lecturers are giving imaginary examples not real cases and Dosia (Files) for students during their lectures because they don’t have access to real documents and cases. Even documents and real cases are considered confidential at the judicial system. In reality, imaginary law is used in the classes at the universities and they are strange with the real cases of the country.

In other countries, especially countries having complete legal system, these challenges are not available because in those countries, lecturers are using real cases provided by the court as examples. In fact, real laws are used in the lectures in the class. In these kinds of approaches, students’ knowledge gets deepened and also getting interested as well as students gets into the application of the law. Subject of “evaluation and assessment of real judicial cases” are provided in legal clinics to address these problems. In this subject, important legal cases and documents are reviewed.

The third problem of the country’s educational legal system is that legal reasoning methods are not being thought for students. Because of this problem, we can see legal reasoning weakness in all the defense statement, prosecutors’ indictment provisions and judge decision statements. These weaknesses are not because of the low level of education; because these weaknesses are prevalent even in the writings of those who are highly educated in the judiciary system.

Todays in all the academic discourses especially in the discussion related to law, nobody accept claims without reasons and evidences. Prosecutors’ indictment, judge’s decision, defense statement and legal advisors’ advices are just and acceptable to the public only if both parties think that they are reasonable and accompanied by the evidences. Familiarity with legal reasoning and its academic methods and techniques is dependent on its legal reasoning and is one of the important fields of legal clinic.

  1. The second component of legal clinic is provision of legal counseling for those who have civil or criminal cases in the courts. There are two purposes behind this component:
    1. Justice expansion and ensuring legal intact in society through provision of legal services to legal and natural persons to achieve main goal of legal education.
    2. Provision of legal counseling by the legal academicians and experts. One of the problems of today’s legal spheres in the society is holding legal counseling and defenses are given to those who are not experts in law and do not have enough legal knowledge. It is evident that lecturers of law have command on assessment and analysis of laws is the best people to provide legal counseling, solve public’s legal problems. Law faculty is the best center and reference for those who need legal counseling.

Legal Clinic’s Course Unit

Legal clinic’s course units have two components:

  1. Pre-clinic units are being thoughts for students as introduction of practical techniques and are presented as theory. These units are providing context to the technical practical lessons.
  2. Practical units which is the main component of legal clinic. Legal clinic course units are part of the units which are being thought in to bachelor degree of law which is accommodated in the curriculum as compulsory and optional units. Students of law are required to take up of these units in the bachelor degree and gain acceptable score. Based on the curriculum, there are 14 credits being thought through legal clinic. The scores of these units are recorded as other units of the bachelor degree and its certificate (legal clinics) are being issued to students in addition to its degree certificate.