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Northumbria University honours pioneering human rights lawyer

Press Release   •   Jul 10, 2013 00:00 BST

Leading human rights pioneer Professor David J McQuoid-Mason has received an honorary Degree of Doctor of Civil Law from Northumbria University.

Professor McQuoid-Mason is an internationally respected advocate for access to justice, giving poor and marginalized people an understanding of democracy and their legal and human rights. In 2004, he was awarded a Special Mention by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for his work in human rights education.

He has given advice and support on legal aid schemes in Afghanistan, Lithuaina, Kyrghyzstan, Mongolia, Moldova, Malawi and Nigeria and has spoken at conferences and training events in over 100 countries, from Albania to Zimbabwe, from Bangladesh to the Falkland Islands.

He has recently retired as Professor of Law at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban where he established the first law clinic at the University in 1973 and South Africa’s first Street Law programme in 1986. He now directs the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies at the University.

He is a founder of legal aid and the clinical legal movement in South Africa, where he has been dubbed the ‘Father of Clinical Legal Education and Street Law’.

He has been a tireless advocate of access to justice throughout the world and in 2009 he was presented with the Street Law Inc Street Law Advocate of the Year Award, accompanied by the comment that “No one has single-handedly spread Street Law around the world as thoroughly and enthusiastically as David McQuoid-Mason.”

When the clinical legal education movement was emerging in the 1970s, Professor McQuoid-Mason is one of the few people who recognised its importance, championing its acceptance in legal education to its place today as an accepted form of learning in most jurisdictions and a major contributor to justice education and professional training.

The global reputation of Professor McQuoid-Mason is underpinned by his extensive teaching and influential scholarship. He has written over 120 academic articles for legal and medical journals and written or contributed to over 50 books, as well as a law-related education programmes for secondary school children and community organisations in South Africa and elsewhere.

He is President of the Commonwealth Legal Education Association, involving over1 000 law schools in 54 Commonwealth countries and former Vice President of the Academic and Professional Development Committee of the International Bar Association.

Professor McQuoid-Mason said, “It is a particular privilege for me to receive this honour from Northumbria University as its Law School has a reputation for exposing students to one of the leading clinical legal education programmes in the United Kingdom and publishes the highly acclaimed International Clinical Legal Educational Journal.”

Northumbria is a research-rich, business-focussed, professional university with a global reputation for academic excellence. To find out more about our courses go towww.northumbria.ac.uk

If you have a media enquiry please contact our Media and Communications team at media.communications@northumbria.ac.uk or call 0191 227 4571.

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