The goal of legal education is to create ‘rebellious lawyers’ who would gradually emerge as the community organisers in the future, said Professor Dr. Md. Mizanur Rahman in a law lecture held at University of Dhaka on 21st March, 2018. He urged the law students to be empathetic to the poor, deprived and suffered community for establishing justice. ‘Don't be a leader yourself, create leaders!’, he motivated the sophomore students.
The law lecture on clinical legal education and access to justice was organised by the Department of Law, University of Dhaka, as part of the previously initiated regular lecture series. Professor Dr. Srikrishna Deva Rao, Vice Chancellor, National Law University Odisha, India was the keynote speaker of the lecture. Around 200 law students and other distinguished guests adorned the event.
The law lecture was graced with the presence of Professor Dr. Naima Huq, Chairman, Department of Law, University of Dhaka, Professor Dr. Md. Rahmat Ullah, Dean, Faculty of Law, University of Dhaka, Dr. Md. Mizanur Rahman, Professor of Law, University of Dhaka, Dr. Shahnaz Huda, Professor of Law, University of Dhaka, and other respected faculty members.
At the very onset, Professor Dr. Naima Huq, warmly welcomed Professor Dr. Srikrishna Deva Rao, and then he was presented with a token of appreciation by Professor Dr. Md. Mizanur Rahman. Later on, Dr. Rao was invited to deliver his lecture by Mohammad Golam Sarwar, lecturer in law, University of Dhaka, who was the mo0derator of the event.
Dr. Rao shed light on the development of legal education in India, precisely focusing on a time line between the late 1970 and early 1980 period. He further discussed how clinical education was integrated with the curriculum as a compulsory course. Professor Dr. Srikrishna Deva Rao initially posed a question on the purpose of legal education. He then answered how the concept of ‘thinking like a lawyer’ transformed into ‘thinking like a client’ as the goal of legal education. He explained how that concept ultimately shifted into the idea of demystification of law- making it more people friendly.
Dr. Rao emphasised on the importance of clinical education which is learning by doing, opposite to the bookish academic education. He spoke briefly on how the clinical education developed as a result of the combined efforts put by the lawyers, the judges and the academia, in India.
Later, Professor Dr. Md. Mizanur Rahman was invited to share his experience of legal education in Bangladesh. He credited India for being able to produce many world class lawyers. At the same time, he also pointed out the flaws in their system of clinical education. Dr. Rahman thinks that the focus should be on bringing fundamental changes, exactly where Bangladesh has gained the momentum. However, in comparison to India’s diverse compulsory and non-compulsory courses, the clinical education in Bangladesh is confined only to trial and advocacy, he added. Dr. Md. Mizanur Rahman addressed the limitations of legal clinics and the educational development in our country and raised the necessary concerns.
Dr. Md. Rahmat Ullah acknowledged everyone's participation and the event was concluded shortly thereafter.
The event covered by Raihan Rahman Rafid, student of Department of Law, University of Dhaka.