Clinical Programme and Specialist Clinics

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Criminal Law


Introduction:

The aim of the Clinic is to offer exposure to the everyday aspects of criminal practice and to provide hands-on experience for students with an interest in this area of practice. Students would then be in a better position to assess whether they preferred criminal or civil practice before they make choices upon graduating from the Law School.

The Clinic is a specialised component of the Legal Aid Clinic and is open to Year II students of the Law School. Each year 24 students will be able to participate in the Clinic. Twelve students will participate in the First Term Clinic and an equal number in the Second Term Clinic. The Clinic is coordinated by Mr Israel Khan, Senior Counsel.

Requirements:

  • 24 students;
  • A commitment to 3-hour weekly sessions for at least 12 weeks;
  • A willingness to work outside the Clinic time to meet with and attend interviews, prison visits and court with their assigned attorneys;
  • Prompt attendance at all sessions, meetings and court.

The Programme:

The Clinic runs over 12 weeks and the participants will meet weekly for 3-hour sessions. There will be on-site visits to the Court Registries of the Port of Spain Magistrate’s Court, the Criminal Division in the Hall of Justice, the Assizes and the Court of Appeal. The students will tour the registries and will meet the experienced personnel who will introduce them to the operations of the registry in each court so they can appreciate how the system works.

Students are assigned, as far as possible, to matters actually set for trial and must attend client interviews, take statements, visit a prison, assist in the preparation and filing of necessary documents and make useful contributions to the preparation of the case/s and during its hearing. It is expected that each student would participate in at least three matters.

At the end of the term the students are assessed. This will comprise a general group appraisal, a one-to-one meeting with the Coordinator. All written work and reports form the basis for part of the assessment as well as feedback from the assigned practitioners.