Stateless Legal Clinic (LAWS90259)
Graduate courseworkPoints: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)
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The Stateless Legal Clinic (SLC) offers students the opportunity to develop their practical legal skills while making a real difference to the lives of stateless adults and children living in the Australian community. There are an estimated 10-15 million stateless people in the world; approximately one third are children. Without nationality, stateless people face barriers in accessing basic rights, and in Australia, the threat of prolonged or indefinite detention.
In this clinic, students will support lawyers working with stateless clients to provide direct assistance to stateless children and adults, in a range of matters including applications for Australian citizenship (through the Stateless Children Program stream), and visa cancellations (through the Stateless Adults Program stream). Complementary seminars will include theoretical and practical components relevant to clinic work and statelessness law; offering students a solid theoretical understanding of statelessness at the global and national level, as well as practical skills-based training focused on working directly with stateless clients.
Students will undertake 12 days of clinical work based at Melbourne Law School under the supervision of the Clinic Coordinator and partner organisations. During the Clinic and under supervision, students will utilise the legal knowledge and skills acquired during their degree to undertake work on legal issues with real clients, and in doing so, will be exposed to the realities of legal practice. The Clinical work will be conducted through regular, scheduled attendances throughout semester.
Students’ practical work will be complemented by 12 two hour seminars during semester (held on Clinic days), which will focus on both practical skill development and theoretical understandings of statelessness law.
Principal topics will include:
- the meaning of nationality in international law
- the core international treaties relevant to statelessness
- the right to nationality and deprivation of nationality
- childhood statelessness
- the intersection between refugeehood and statelessness
- statelessness determination frameworks
- the nexus between statelessness, minorities, discrimination and development
- the prevention of statelessness
- effective legal communication (including client interviews, working with interpreters and legal writing)
- resilience, professional well-being and managing complex client situations.
Intended learning outcomes
On completion of this subject, students will have:
- An enhanced understanding of and capacity to utilise the practical and technical skills needed to provide legal assistance to stateless adults and children, including in the areas of interviewing, research, advocacy, communication and file management;
- An enhanced understanding of, and capacity to utilise the personal attributes and ethical awareness needed to provide legal assistance to stateless adults and children;
- An advanced knowledge of statelessness law (international and domestic);
- Developed the ability to apply relevant statelessness law to individual client situations;
- Developed a capacity to engage in legal practice in this area.
- Interpersonal and communication skills to gather information, understand context, and convey legal concepts to a non-legal audience (including clients) in a way that is useful and effective;
- Cognitive skills in understanding the significance of the interrelationship of facts and law, and an appreciation of legal responses to clients' problems;
- Cognitive and technical skills relating to the generation and provision of legal advice and information attuned to clients' needs;
- Skills required for effective workplace performance, such as communication, time management, and office organisation;
- Professional legal writing skills and critical legal analysis;
- Collaboration with community legal centres and client interaction.
Last updated: 24 January 2023