20 September 2011

Training lawyers in Tanzania

Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr, in association with DLA Piper and its clients GE and Barclays, brought its legal and commercial expertise to the University Law School of Tanzania for the second year this year - training the next generation of lawyers in Tanzania.

This valuable pro bono initiative saw senior lawyers from around the world travel to Tanzania to deliver a two-week programme of lectures and interactive workshops to over 170 law graduates. The two-week programme focused on legal drafting skills including negotiating and drafting dispute resolution clauses, drafting sales and purchase agreements and general drafting techniques and principles.

The value of this initiative in the lives of the students cannot be underestimated. Students gain the benefit of close interaction with senior lawyers from across the globe who can deliver insights on commercial legal practice. This education will not only help to shape their futures, it also contributes to the future of Africa on the world stage.

This global collaboration was supported by DLA Piper Group Focus firms, IMMMA Advocates, who are based in Dar es Salaam, IKM who are based in Kenya and of course Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr. Our Group Focus Firms delivered an Africa focused workshop designed to cover both commercial and legal issues that will have particular resonance with the student cohort. Christine Jesseman, Director of Pro Bono and Human Rights at Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr, taught four student sessions on "Human Rights and Business in Africa" bringing together the commercial training which had been the focus of the workshop, with the human rights law which forms part of the students' syllabus. This provided students with a basic understanding of what binding legal obligations and frameworks exist in relation to human rights and business, and what constitutes good corporate citizenship and ensures that a company retains its social license to operate. This emphasis on the role of business in society also strongly resonated with the corporate values reiterated by GE and Barclays during their closing address to the students.

Christine Jesseman

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