Professor David McQuoid-Mason of the UKZN Centre for Socio-Legal Studies had a busy time at the recent 10th World Wide Global Alliance for Justice Education (GAJE) Conference and Training of Trainers (TOT) Workshop in Bandung, Indonesia from 4 to 10 December 2019.

McQuoid-Mason, the Director of GAJE, and a member of both the GAJE Conference Committee and TOT Committee of GAJE, gave four presentations at the Conference and conducted a two-day TOT Workshop.

On day one of the Conference, McQuoid-Mason gave three presentations: The first being eulogies to the great Indian legal educator and human rights icon, Professor NR Madhava Menon who preceded him as President of the Commonwealth Legal Education Association (CLEA). Madhava was also a good friend of the then University of Natal and University of Durban-Westville law schools during the transition to democracy. Thereafter, McQuoid-Mason co-presented – with Sumaiya Aslam of the Open Society Foundation – an interactive paper on ‘Transforming Justice Education – Rethinking Recognition, Independence and Support for Frontline Justice Advocates and Community Paralegals’, and ran an interactive session on ‘Inspiration and Diversification in Mock Trial Training: Using an “Instant” or “Pop-up” Mock Trial in Justice Education’.

On day two, McQuoid-Mason co-presented at a plenary session on ‘Who, What, Where, When, Whys and How of Justice Education – An Introspective and Evolutionary Discussion’ with Bruce Lasky and Wendy Morrish of Bridges across Borders South East Asia Clinical Legal Education (BABSEACLE). On the evening of day three of the Conference, he compered a Cultural Evening for 45 countries, and helped to choreograph and participated in the South African contribution that involved singing along with, and dancing to, Johnny Clegg’s ‘Impi’ and Ladysmith Black Mambazo’s ‘Shosholoza’. 

On the last two days, he organised and presented a two day TOT Street Law and Public Legal Education Workshop for about 80 delegates based on the book he had just co-written and edited entitled Street law and public legal education: A collection of best practice lessons from around the world in honour of Ed O’Brien (2019) published by Juta & Co. On day one of the TOT Workshop, he conducted two sessions – one on interactive teaching methods, and the other a model ‘mini-moot’ lesson on the well-known South African Constitutional Court case of Soobramoney v Minister of Health KwaZulu-Natal (1997), dealing with the impact of shortages of resources in public hospitals.

He was joined by facilitators with presentations from Ireland, Bangladesh, the Czech Republic and Turkey. At the end of day, participants were divided into teams of five and required to prepare an interactive justice education Street Law-type question of 30 minutes for presentation the next day. On day two of the TOT Workshop, participants presented their lessons which were ‘double-debriefed’ by both participants and the facilitators.

Author: Professor David McQuoid-Mason

Photograph: Supplied