Empowerment through Law of the Common People (ELCOP) is going to organize its 20th Human Rights Summer School (HRSS) on “Human Rights and Rebellious Lawyering” in late September 2019 (19th – 30th September, 2019). In line with our twenty years of academic legacy, we are overwhelmed with our visionary activism that inspires us to start the process of publishing “ELCOP Yearbook of Human Rights”, the key scholarly research based reading material of the HRSS.
We, herewith, welcome scholarly papers from academics, legal scholars as well as law students. We are soliciting unpublished original papers focusing the title of the 20th HRSS for the Yearbook.
Prologue to the 20th HRSS Publication
There is a view that our legal education produces legal mechanics rather than legal architects. The progress of law graduates has thus become central to our legal education. We are saddled with diverse limitations—conventional teaching style, old-fashioned curriculum, inadequate environment of legal research, absence of law clinics, non-simulative learning process and lack of interdisciplinary approach are a few to mention. The outcome is that our law graduates end up becoming litigant lawyers. The approach does not help changing the status quo of rule of law, democracy and human rights. The poor remain poor living under the vicious cycle of poverty and find themselves helpless in fighting the discriminatory legal system.
Human rights lawyering is experiencing multiple prospects and challenges in present days. ELCOP provides an alternative idea of legal education against the existing dismay and challenges. It wants to produce a law graduate who would sensitize, mobilize, organise the poor to fight their poverty on the one hand, and reshape human rights jurisprudence through innovative justicing, on the other hand. This is what we call “rebellious lawyering”. The proponent of the concept in Bangladesh is famous human rights educationist Professor Dr Mizanur Rahman. According to Professor Rahman, “legal education of Bangladesh treats people – their traditions, experiences and institutions is essentially generic”. It teaches law students to approach law practice as if all people and all social life are homogenous. Professor Rahman thinks that a range of practical know-how and intellectual sophistication is necessary to change the fate of the poor justice seekers. Dr Rahman stresses on four things for a legal transformation: firstly, working with clients, not just working on their behalf; secondly, collaborating with clients by taking their potential into account; thirdly, teaching self-help to the client by going beyond formal representativeness; and finally, building coalitions, not just being capable of filing a lawsuit. In fine, in order to represent the community, a law graduate must take training and skills that reflect (and in turn, helps produce) an idea of lawyering compatible with a collective fight for social change – a “rebellious idea of lawyering” at odds with the conception of prevailing “legal practice”. Professor Mizan reminds us that the missionary message of our liberation war casts a duty on us to produce a new breed of drohi ainjibi or “rebellious lawyers”. They would be the catalyst for social change and would redefine law and justice to understand the sweat and tears of the many millions who are the eternal tenants of exploitation.
Keeping this lawyering philosophy in mind, ELCOP was established 20 years back by Professor Rahman and HRSS is its main enterprise. The other follow up facets of ELCOP are Street Law (Protidiner Ain) and Community Law Reform (CLR)—all as of now have received international applause, the latest being the “SILF-MILAT Award for South Asian Excellence in Legal Education 2018” from the Society of Indian Law Firms.
ELCOP’s working theme, thus, has been rebellious lawyering since its inception. The magic year—20th—is an opportunity for us to look back. As such, the aim of the upcoming 20th HRSS is to provide the young law students with a platform to critically deliberate on various contemporary issues on rebellious lawyering vis-à-vis human rights in Bangladesh and beyond.
Topics of the paper
As mentioned, our main theme of HRSS (and the Yearbook) this year is “Human Rights and Rebellious Lawyering”. The sub-themes are included, but not limited to:
Human rights and rebellious lawyering;
ELCOP, Professor Dr Mizanur Rahman and rebellious lawyers;
Law, human rights and poverty;
Law and empowerment of the poor
Justice delivery system, justicing and judicial activism;
Human rights in the age of globalization;
The politics of constitutionalism;
Public interest litigation, social justice and development;
Human rights and technology;
Law schools and legal education in South Asia and beyond’
Lawyers’ role in global conflict and peace
You may write on any of the above topics or matters you believe should be a technical extension of the theme.
The paper should be written in between 5000-8000 words excluding footnotes.
Presentation and Style Information
The publication will follow the Oxford Standard for Citation of Legal Authorities (OSCOLA) referencing Style. You can have a copy of it from internet as well. Footnotes should be collated at the end of each page. Footnotes to the title and author(s)’ names should be designated as *, † etc. Footnotes to the text should be designated as 1, 2, 3 etc. The asterisked footnote should give the author’s position, institutional address and any brief acknowledgements if required.
It is a condition of HRSS Publications that authors’ grant an exclusive license to ELCOP permitting it to reproduce and/or disseminate the author’s contribution or elements of it (e.g. abstract, meta data). In signing the license, the authors retain the right to use their own material and ELCOP asks that HRSS Publication is acknowledged as the original place of publication.
Submission Deadline and Rules
You should send a single hard copy of your manuscript. The envelope should be marked as “Submission for ELCOP Year Book on Human Rights” on the top. The Deadline for sending your manuscript is: 30th June 2019 (Sunday).
Articles should also be submitted as an electronic form (in word format) either in CD or as an email attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org by the same deadline mentioned above.
All submissions should be accompanied by a statement that the material is not under consideration elsewhere, and that it has not been published or is not pending publication elsewhere.
Questions and clarifications may be addressed to:
Tapas Kanti Baul, Barrister-at-Law
Empowerment through Law of the Common People (ELCOP)