At the end of 2013, The Aberdeen Law Project set up the new Research Clinic and thereby added yet another component to our work. The Clinic is designed to support non-governmental organisations and institutions with their legal research. Such organisations amy refer research projects to The Aberdeen Law Project, which will then be conducted by its members.
In December 2013, Julia Spiesberger, Angelina Andonova and Amnah Ahmed successfully completed their first research project on judicial review proceedings for the Equality and Human Rights Commission Scotland.
Julia, Assistant Deputy Director of The Aberdeen Law Project and founder of the Research Clinic, said,
"Working on the report for the EHRC was a very interesting and stimulating experience for everyone involved in the project. It comprised many aspects [that] students do not usually encounter in their academic work. We are looking forward to further projects and hope to build up a broad working network."
Claudia Bennett, Senior Solicitor at the Equality and Human Rights Commission Scotland, said,
"I approached The Aberdeen Law Project at the end of last year to enquire about the possiblity of providing some research assistance to a Judicial Review project that the EHRC was scoping at the time. Their new Research Clinic could help. The research report was thorough, competent and provided well within agreed time scales. Many thanks for what was a very helpful and welcome contribution to our scoping exercise."
Specific training on legal research and writing combined with the practical experience participating members can gain within the Research Clinic offers students a whole new opportunity to enhance their skills and gives them an insight into further career paths lawyers may take. Moreover, The Aberdeen Law Project provides another service to the public, especially designed to support small non-governmental organisations and institutions that are often lacking necessary resources for detailed research projects.
The report served as ground work for a project on the development of methods to increase knowledge of and thus improve the use of judicial review and other proceedings in Scotland on issues within the Equality and Human Rights Commission Scotland's remit. The report provides research to inform the project on past judicial review proceedings, on options to cap costs, on relevant voluntary organisation that might be suitable for taking, advising or supporting judicial reviews, as well as on strategic litigation networks that work in the area of equality and human rights.