Comparing Legal Clinics: Is There a Way to a European Clinical Culture?

The Luxembourg Experience

in European Journal of Comparative Law and Governance
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This paper compares the context of clinical legal education in the us and in continental Europe. It aims to understand whether and to which extent the American clinical legal model can be implemented in continental Europe. It argues that because of the different social and legal environments, this model needs to be adapted to the European context with particular regard to the social justice dimension of legal clinics. It also argues that given the importance granted by the civil law tradition to the teaching of legal science, legal clinics should not be disconnected from legal research, but on the contrary, be framed in order to favour it. It ended by presenting an attempt to implement this approach by describing the functioning of the Consumer Law Clinic of the University of Luxembourg, which was specifically designed to achieve this goal.

Comparing Legal Clinics: Is There a Way to a European Clinical Culture?

The Luxembourg Experience

in European Journal of Comparative Law and Governance




On this issue R.J. Wilson‘Western Europe: Last Holdout in the Worldwide Acceptance of Clinical Legal Education’German Law Journal 10(6) (2009)359; C. Bartoli ‘Legal clinics in Europe: for a commitment of higher education in social justice’. Diritto & questioni pubbliche special issue 2016 May. Retrieved 2 February 2017


 See e.g. G.S. Grossman‘Clinical Legal Education; History and Diagnosis’Journal of Legal Education 26(2) (1974) 162.


O. Kahn-Freund‘On Uses and Misuses of Comparative Law’Modern Law Review 37(1) (1974) 1.


P. de CruzComparative Law in a Changing World (2nd edn, London-Sydney: Cavendish Publishing Limited1999) 91.


E. Jouannet‘French and American Perspectives on International Law: Legal Cultures and International Law’ Maine Law Review 58(2) (2006) 11.


On this issue R.J. Wilson‘Western Europe. Last Holdout in the Worldwide Acceptance of Legal Clinical Education’German Law Journal 10(6) (2009) 359.


K. Llewellyn‘On What’s Wrong with So-called Legal Education’Columbia Law Review 35 (1935) 651 at 658.


J. Frank‘Why not a Clinical Law School?’University of Pennsylvania Law Review81(8) (1933) 917 at 918.


 See J. Rawls‘Justice as Fairness’The Philosophical Review67(2) (1958) 164.


P. Kosuri‘Losing My Religion: The Place of Social Justice in Clinical Legal Education’Boston College Journal of Law & Social Justice 32(2) (2012) 331 at 332.


 For example in France since 2015the Clinique juridique de Paris provides assistance to refugee students coming to the University of Paris i. Within the programme Migrations the Clinique de l’École de Droit de Sciences Po collaborates with ‘France terre d’asile’ an association specialised in supporting refugees and asylum seekers. euclid the clinic of the University of Nanterre drafted a paper on Protection of Foreign Isolated Minors for the Groupe d’information et de soutien des immigrés (gisti).


 See Protocol 12 (2000) to the echr not yet ratified by all eu Member States; Council Directive 2000/78/ec of 27 November 2000 establishing a general framework for equal treatment in employment and occupation; Council Directive 2000/43/ec of 29 June 2000 implementing the principle of equal treatment between persons irrespective of racial or ethnic origin.


B. McCabe‘The effectiveness of the legal system in protecting the rights of consumers’The National Legal Eagle 7(1) (2001).


European Commission. 2004. European Union Citizens and Access to Justice. Special Eurobarometer 195 / Wave 60.0- European Opinion Research Group ee. October 2004


In 1845around 40 years after the promulgation of the French civil code which led to a reorganisation of legal studies as to their content was already proposed by Édouard-René Lefebvre de Laboulaye Ministre de l’instruction publique in his report ‘Quelques reflexions sur l’enseignement du droit en France à l’occasion des réponses faites par les Facultés concnernées’.


A. Lamparello and Ch. MacLean‘No Shoehorn Required: How a Required, Three-Year, Persuasion-Based Legal Writing Program Easily Fits Within the Broader Law School Curriculum’Perspectives: Teaching Legal Research and Writing 23(1) (2014) 3 at 7.


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