June 20, 2005
South African Clinic Combats Anti-Immigrant Policing Campaigns
The University of the Witwatersrand Law Clinic is in the South African news this morning. According to today's online edition of the Star, Wits Law Clinic and the Wits Forced Migration Studies Programme are actively fighting the unlawful detention of immigrants in South Africa. Immigrants who are detained are often subject to violence and extortion by police and immigration officials.
The Wits Law Clinic has been in operation for almost twenty years. It is renowned for its work, particularly in areas of public interest law and claims against the State as a result of police brutality. You can read the Star article or select the learn more about the Wits Law Clinic.
As described on the Clinic's website:
"It started as a small advice office with the assistance of students who participated on a voluntary basis. In 1989 the course Practical Legal Studies became a compulsory course for all final year law students. With increased student numbers, the Clinic was able to provide legal advice and assistance to more people than before. During 1993 the Attorney’s Act was amended to enable candidate attorneys to serve their articles of clerkship at a properly constituted and accredited law clinic. Many candidate attorneys have since entered the Attorneys profession having been trained at the Clinic. During 1994 the Wits Law Clinic entered into a partnership agreement with the Legal Aid Board in terms of which the Clinic is operated in conjunction with Legal Aid Board. Today, the Wits Law Clinic is one of the biggest law clinics of its kind in South Africa, and is renowned for its work, particularly in areas of public interest law and claims against the State as a result of police brutality.
"The Clinic has a twofold purpose: Firstly, the Clinic acts as a teaching institution, where final year law students are taught the practise of law. Secondly, the Clinic renders legal services to the poor and marginalised communities of greater Johannesburg.
"The Clinic is currently staffed by eight practising attorneys, eight to thirteen candidate attorneys, an office manager, a bookkeeper, three secretaries, two filing clerks and a receptionist."
June 20, 2005 | Permalink
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