WHY S.T.A.R.S.?

Skills Transfers in Academia: a Renewed Strategy.
Enhancing Legal Clinics in the European Union.
Erasmus+ S.T.A.R.S. brings together 5 universities, from 4 EU countries, in order to enhance and support the legal clinics development

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A reflection on the the Influence of Comparative Law in Teaching “Street Law” in Italy

This paper analyzes various comparative-law features inherent to teaching “Street Law”
in Italy, a legal clinic now offered at Roma Tre’s Law Department. The clinic examines basic legal notions
such as the rule of law, democracy and justice, framed around active-citizenship initiatives enabled by
the principle of horizontal subsidiarity. Street Law presents these concepts using learner-based, interactive
methodology – typical of all legal clinics – in a “train-the-trainer” format. As part of the clinic, the law
students in turn teach these concepts to high school students in several theoretical and hands-on lessons at
a local high school, resulting in “peer-to-peer” teaching. Not surprisingly, Street Law, initiated by student-activists in Washington DC in the early 1970s, is deeply infused with common-law legal-education
methodology and principles. Traditional lecture-based methods typical of civil-law legal education give
way to the Socratic method, guided discussions, guest speakers, onsite visits to local government offices,
role-play, games and other hands-on activities designed to engage students in a challenging, new experience
aimed at both increasing their practical skills and mastering legal principles. This paper will analyze the
methodological aspects of the course, and the policy guidelines embedded in soft-law provisions emanating
from various sources that offer sound rationales for including Street Law in legal education. It will also
review the comparative-law notions inherent to the clinic that extend also to substantive legal concepts
such as subsidiarity, a largely European notion,1
 seeking parallels to it in the American legal system, as
well as several of the fundamental rights and duties of democracy


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