Legal Clinic established at the Faculty of Law, University of Bialystok (Poland) together with Legal Clinics Foundation, organized VIIIth Annual Colloquium on Clinical Legal Education in Poland. The major theme of the Colloquium, due to the ten years of existence of the Polish clinical movement, was "the next step forward in the development of Clinical Legal Education in Poland - Judicial Practices Center and Mediation Clinic". Participants were not only Polish clinical professors but also clinical students and friends from the Legal Clinic established at the University of Olomouc in Czech Republic. There were also guests from Armenia, Georgia, Kirgizstan, Moldova, Ukraine, except Polish participants, due to the organization of the study visit which was prepared by the Legal Clinics Foundation in the cooperation with Public Interest Law Institute.
Because of the fact that the language of the participants of the Colloquium was not necessary Polish, the whole Colloquium was organized and prepared in English. Colloquium workshops, connected with the further development of CLE in Poland, were lead by the very best clinical professors from Columbia University in New York - prof. Carol Liebman, prof. Barbara Schatz, prof. Philip Genty and the President of the Court of First Instance in Bialystok - Judge Tomasz Kaluzny - the founder of the Judicial Practices Center.
The Colloquium started in the chilly afternoon - October 19, 2007 at 3 pm. and was opened, in the name of the Dean of the Faculty of Law, University of Bialystok, by the Vice- Dean for stationery studies - dr Mariusz Poplawski, who welcomed all guests and explained the idea of the CLE in Poland and also the role and place of the Bialystok Legal Clinic in the history of the Polish clinical movement. The next speaker after Vice - Dean, the coordinator of the Bialystok Legal Clinic - Marta Janina Skrodzka and the President of the Legal Clinics Foundation - Filip Czernicki, welcomed and thanked all the participants for coming to Bialystok. The second part of the formal opening ceremony concentrated on the short presentation of each of the legal clinic that was represented during the Colloquium. Finally Filip Czernicki presented the report of the Legal Clinics Foundation about the activities of the Polish Legal Clinics during last academic year (2006/2007) and the last year activities of the Legal Clinics Foundation. This was the end of the formal part of the opening ceremony, after that the unofficial part took place and all the participants went on a guided tour by the Tartar routes Suprasl - Krynki - Kruszyniany finished with the Tartarian dinner. Even though it was quite late, dark outside and chilly the Tartar tour was interesting and helped to integrate the participants of the Colloquium before the next long day of workshops.
The second - longest day of the Colloquium took place October 20 and started with the joint session during which professors from Columbia University in New York were explaining: the role of the Clinical Eduaction in the United Sates (prof. Barbara Schatz), the system of the moot court competitions (prof. Philip Genty), the necessity of existence of the mediation within the legal education (prof. Carol Liebman) and President of the Court of First Instance in Bialystok - judge Tomasz Kaluzny explained the idea and methodology of Judicial Practices Center. Straight after lunch the participants divided into three smaller groups started their workshops about mediation, moot court competitions and NGO and small business clinic. In the evening, after dinner served in the cafeteria at the Faculty of Law, all three workshop groups went to a disco to Golebiewski Hotel where after 9 p.m. the disco started. The common party on the dance floor lasted till the early morning, when the last participants of the Colloquium went to their rooms to get some sleep before the very last day of the Colloquium.
Sunday morning - October 21 started with the last workshops in the groups and then the joint session about the future of CLE in Poland took place. The discussion was moderated by Filip Czernicki, who finished it after an hour, officially closing the VIIIth Annual Colloquium on CLE in Poland.
The Colloquium could not be hold without the financial support of the Legal Clinics Foundation and the support of the Dean of the Faculty of Law, University of Bialystok - professor Leonard Etel. The media patronage took Edukacja Prawnicza published by the CH Beck.
We would like to say thank you: first of all to the American professors who came to Bialystok and did the workshops for the participants of the Colloquium, then to all participants and international guests who came to Bialystok, especially for the high logistic and substantive issues grade they gave this Colloquium. It is an award and an honor that we will stay in the memories of the participants as a well organized national meeting, which is worth to remember. The high grade of the Colloquium is also a good motivation to further harder work within the clinical movement in Poland. See you soon in Bialystok, where you are always welcomed!
Marta Janina Skrodzka
The main coordinator of the Bialystok Legal Clinic
established at the Faculty of Law, University of Bialystok