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Paul McKeown & Sarah Morse Northumbria University.

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Presentation on theme: "Paul McKeown & Sarah Morse Northumbria University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Paul McKeown & Sarah Morse Northumbria University

2 Introduction Outline of PSU Newcastle project Exploration of clinical issues raised Expanding the model across Europe (or beyond)

3 Personal Support Unit Charity based in England and Wales

4 Personal Support Unit ‘Our vision is that every person in England and Wales attending a court or tribunal alone should have access to a PSU volunteer.’ PSU (2012)

5 Personal Support Unit Volunteer Co-ordinator Trained volunteers Core volunteer Student volunteers Free and independent assistance to litigants without legal representation in civil and family matters

6 Volunteers Listening to clients tell the story of what has happened so far as well as what their current worries are Prompting clients to order their thoughts Tidying paperwork into a rational order and indexing it Helping clients to find out which forms they need to fill in, to complete them if they know what they want to say, and to take the paperwork to the appropriate customer service desk or court office Helping people find their way around court or tribunal buildings and offices Assisting in discussions with court or tribunal staff Going into court or tribunal hearings with clients Signposting clients to free legal advice or representation, or to access relevant advice online PSU (2012)

7 PSU Newcastle Partnership between PSU and Northumbria Law School Rationale: Provide more clinical opportunities Exposure to court environment Community Engagement

8 Advantages Wider community Eases stress and helps litigants remain calm Access to Justice? Students Development of soft skills Familiarity with court Exposure to public service ethos Employability University Increase capacity for clinical activity Low maintenance/Low risk Marketing

9 Disadvantages No legal advice is given Student experience? Helpful to client? Access to Justice? Is it really clinic? Clinical Legal Education is ‘learning through participation in real or realistic legal interactions coupled with reflections of this experience’ Kerrigan and Murray (2011)

10 Other jurisdictions USA Various models across the country Lawyers providing pro bono legal assistance Australia Justice Connect Self-representation service Due to commence July years of Federal funding

11 Growing clinics across Europe (and beyond) Could this model of clinic be utilised in your jurisdiction? Would it solve any issues you currently face? Would this model create any problems?


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