Enhancing the Teaching of Human Rights in African Universities: What Role for Law School Clinics?


  • Philip Iya University of Fort Hare




This Paper aims at exploring the weight accorded to the teaching of human rights in law schools generally and in particular it will attempt to examine the status of human rights in clinical legal education (herein after referred to as “CLE”) in law schools in Africa, with a view to recommending more emphasis in the teaching of human rights and the establishment of specialist human rights clinics as a viable growth initiative for CLE, especially in Africa. Concerns over similar issues were seriously debated during the last conference on Educating Lawyers For Transnational Challenges held from 26–29 May 2004 in Hawaii, USA, (herein after referred to as the “Hawaii Conference”) just as much as they formed a serious bone of contention during the design and implementation of the new LL.B curriculum for South African Universities especially in 1997 and 1998. Because of the intricate issues involved, the emerging concerns are likely to continue. The purpose of raising the concerns here is to increase awareness, provoke more discussion and encourage empirical research on a subject matter considered to be of absolute importance for legal education generally and in Africa in particular.