Learning Through Clinical Legal Education

The innocence project model has been adapted to be used with the English criminal justice system where individuals have their convictions found unsafe, unlike in the USA where individuals are exonerated.

 

Working on the IPL, students deconstruct the criminal cases, analyse the evidence that led to conviction, develop legal theories that could reopen the case and search for factual evidence of innocence.  Globally, the deconstruction of a conviction to support a claim of innocence operates at the end of the criminal justice system, unlike clinical legal education in its traditional form.  Deconstructing a case to identify the evidence that convicted the client and searching for gaps in the evidence provides a significant opportunity to develop reflective practice, alongside creative problem solving.

The IPL provides students with a unique opportunity to critically reflect on how the criminal justice system has worked, and how it might work differently and more effectively. The learning pedagogy that has been developed combines experiential or practical learning as a result of direct involvement with a case, with elements of work -based learning to create an employer/ employee environment for students. The learning activities students experience are the same as that found in the legal workplace such as performance related tasks, solving problems, learning from work activities, work teams and enhancing performance, which reflected the learning from putting together bundles under the constraints of time, drafting directions to experts and sorting through case files .

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