The aim of Clinical Programmes is to bridge the gap between what law promises to offer and the actual reality of law. It follows the model of good governance through citizen participation, which believes that good governance will come about only when citizens at all levels of democracy effectively participate. Since 2009, the members of the society have actively participated and organized various events to promote awareness and have engaged effectively with rural communities.
The Clinical Legal Aid Society has been a part of JGLS since its inception in 2009. The society exists with the sole aim of bridging the gap between what law promises to offer and the actual reality of law. It follows the model of good governance through citizen participation, which believes that good governance will come about only when citizens at all levels of our democracy effectively participate. The clinical legal education seeks to impart practical knowledge of law to students. The aim of starting the society was not only to bring future lawyers face to face with the harsh realities of law, but also by giving ourselves the opportunity to use and implement the law even before entering the professional world. Since 2009, the members of the society have actively participated/organized various awareness creating events and engaged effectively with the rural communities. This is done by building a rapport with the communities, by understanding their concerns, after which they are connected to the district authorities, through the processes of law. This process engages communities on a weekly basis, organizing conferences, conclaves, interventions within our surroundings and unique creative methods (Eg: theatre performances).
- Acquire legal, transferable and personal skills;
- Develop knowledge of legal rules and procedures in a real world setting;
- Engage with a range of ethical and professional practical considerations;
- Have the opportunity to apply acquired theoretical knowledge in an integrated way in a working context;
- Develop self-confidence; and
- Are sensitized to the plight of the indigent, creating awareness of broader societal issues and their relation to legal problems.
Work by the society so far
- Village adoption Program: – Five villages around the campus have been adopted. Each village has a group of five to six students working in it, with a group leader. The issues, which have been looked at, are, right to food, right to health, right to education, sanitation, employment etc. Letters have been written to various Government departments, villagers have been made to attend legal literacy camps with legal literacy materials being provided and meetings have been held with the Sarpanch of the village. The society is now expanding the activities within the villages well. Currently, most of the members working in these five villages have been successful in bringing a positive impact in these villages.
- Labor Colony Project: There was a disturbing incident at our campus where children from the labor colony were seen begging outside the convenience store. This is yet another glaring example of the harsh realities of the society we live in. We took it upon ourselves to admit them in the nearby school at Jagdishpur village. The members of our society formed a team of ten, visited the labor colony, fixing up a meeting with all residents the very next morning. We convinced the parents, about the importance of education, and they agreed to get their children admitted to the nearby school. We then spoke to the principal of the school; she refused to get them admitted. So, we met the district authorities, got a written approval from them, and got the names of the children registered in the Jagdishpur School. All of this was accomplished over one weekend.
- Collaborative efforts – With Navjyoti India Foundation and Institute of Rural Research and Development- Wide participation from members- The ‘Good governance through citizen Participation’ model is being implemented in many villages of Mewat with the help of the efforts of IRRAD in Mewat and has been instigated in the Abhaypur and neighboring villages, with the help of Navjyoti India Foundation. JGLS has collaborated with both these NGO’s to effectively work in the training sessions, being organized, for villagers on a weekly basis in all these villages. Recently, a legal literacy camp was organized in Mewat, wherein members of the society, visited this camp, actively participated in the event and submitted a report. It is pertinent to note that, the initiative by JGLS and IRRAD , in Mewat began with five villages and today, it has reached more than two hundred villages, within Mewat. Similarly, the much recent initiative by Navjyoti and JGLS has its presence in five villages with active participation by our members.
- A Case Study of the Citizen Participation Clinic conducted jointly by Cornell International Human Rights Clinic and Jindal Good Rural Governance and Citizen Participation Clinic – This report seeks to encourage the development of robust clinical legal education programs in India. This report was a joint class taught by videoconference at Jindal Global Law School in Sonipat, India and Cornell Law School in Ithaca, N.Y. from January to April 2012. This class was called the Cross-National Rural Governance and Human Rights Clinic and was a joint project between the Citizen Participation Clinic at Jindal Global Law School and the International Human Rights Clinic at Cornell Law School. It was drafted by students who participated in a unique collaboration between the Human Rights Clinic at Cornell Law School and the Citizen Participation Clinic at Jindal.
- First International Conference on Good rural Governance through citizen participation, collaborative effort of Jindal Global Law School and Institute of Rural Research and Development.
- Second International conference on Good Rural Governance through citizen participation -Organized by formation of a student organizing committee.
- V.M. Salgaocar college of Law, Goa: This College organized a conference in Goa, within its campus, on the study of practices followed by law school based legal clinics, in collaboration with UNDP. It released the report prepared by it titled, ‘law school based legal clinics.
- NLU, Jodhpur: Jindal Global Law School along with the Institute for Rural Research and Development organized four regional conferences in law schools across the nation, in a span of one year, on the topic of good governance through citizen participation.
- Conclave of Law Professors and Law Students: it was the First JGLS Conclave of Law Professors and Law students. The conclave marked the release of the report titled, ‘Cross-National Human rights clinic and Rural Governance Clinic’. This report was released after an extensive field survey and field visits over a period of four months. This report highlights the visits to the Navjyoti India foundation every Sunday, for four months. Two reports were submitted on Right to Food and Right to Education to the Food Commissioner of the Supreme Court and the Member- Secretary of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights respectively. This conclave saw active participation law professors, lawyers, and people from NGO’s and students from other law schools as well.
Other programs taken up by the society
- Training sessions within the campus for more than 100 women participants from Kurukshetra.
- Organizing the annual conference by Global Alliance for Justice Education
- Organizing an event on Gandhi Jayanti, within campus, ‘Revisiting the Gandhian Era’.
- Shadow Liberation- Theatre Group- Performances. We formed the organizing committee, and successfully organized the event.
Achievements by the society
- GAJE, shortlisted it among the top three entries, for its award for clinics.
- V.M. Salgaocar College Along with UNDP has recognized it as the best model being followed by any law school in India.
- Best innovation award by a Private University, World Education Summit, 2012.
- Awarded by the South Asian Association of Law Teachers.
- Most accomplished society of JGU, 2013
- Most accomplished society of JGU, 2012
- Best student in Clinics, 2011 (Sharad)
- Best student in public interest, 2012 (Shireen)
- Best student for Clinics, 2011 (Shireen)
Future Initiatives/Ongoing Projects
- Community adoption program.
- Research and publications about social issues in India.