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This project will allow students to engage with, and contribute to, the numerous legal and policy implications of the COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) pandemic. Students will work alone or in small groups (depending on the size and scope of the project) on issues identified by public interest organisations working on or responding to the pandemic. The project will take an interdisciplinary approach, linking with other faculties and schools at the University of Melbourne, including the School of Population and Global Health. Given the unprecedented nature of the pandemic and its impact on every aspect of life, it is anticipated that projects will involve novel and complex questions of law and policy across a range of areas of law and legal practice. Projects may include research and analysis, literature or practice surveys, advocacy and policy.
Students will undertake approximately 12 days (or equivalent) of clinical work over the course of the offering period. The subject will begin with an intensive orientation session and briefing facilitated by the Subject Coordinators. Students will meet with their partner organisation (virtually or face-to-face as required) to confirm the scope of the particular project, and will be supervised by the Subject Coordinators as well as by one or more Melbourne Law School academic specialists in that area of law or practice, as well as academics from other disciplines where relevant.
Under the guidance of academic supervisors and the Subject Coordinators students will plan and collaborate with group members to carry out their project.
The clinical work will be complemented by seminars (as needed) on substantive legal topics relevant to the projects, as well as on skills relevant to the projects including organisational collaboration, legal research, persuasive writing and advocacy. Students will also participate in clinical rounds, led by the Subject Coordinators, to share their progress and build shared knowledge, and will keep a reflective journal to document their learning.
At the end of teaching period, students will present their completed work to their partner organisation as well as at a project symposium held at Melbourne Law School.
Intended learning outcomes
On completion of this subject, students should:
- Have a sophisticated understanding of the key legal and policy implications of the COVID19 pandemic in the area of their project;
- Have an enhanced understanding of the value of interdisciplinary knowledge, methodologies and skills to contribute to addressing complex questions of law and policy;
- Have an advanced capacity to provide high quality, accurate and tailored responses to complex issues;
- Have enhanced skills and understanding of effective methods for collaboration with external stakeholders;
- Be able to reflect critically and meaningfully on their learning in the subject as well as on the role and ethical responsibilities of lawyers in times of need.
On completion of this subject, students should have developed or enhanced the following skills:
- Legal practice skills, including critical legal analysis, legal writing and drafting of policy documents;
- Thinking skills, including the ability to gather information, understand interests and context, apply knowledge and convey complex concepts to both a legal and a non-legal audience in a way that is useful and effective;
- Applied research skills, including the ability to identify, research, evaluate and synthesise relevant factual, legal and policy issues in the context of a complex and emerging area of law;
- Personal and professional skills, including learning autonomously, collaboration, being accountable for one's work, self-reflection on performance and ethical professional conduct and development.
Last updated: 11 February 2021