Some reflections on how, why and what to teach
Date of this Version
This paper raises a sequence of issues; then provides some possible answers to three of them. The issues, which are interrelated, are as follows:
1. The conference appears to focus on the education of practicing lawyers. Is it reasonable to assume that our students will practice law (when, in some jurisdictions at least, there is evidence that a great number of law students never do). Does this matter?
2. Some of the conference papers refer to the teaching of skills. Is there a consensus that skills should be taught and learned in the curriculum? Indeed, is there consensus on what we mean by the term “skills”? Does it make a difference?
3. What skills should be taught and learned in the curriculum to equip students for the challenges of transnational practice?
4. How should skills be taught? I do not mean by what methodology (for I think it fair to say that there is broad agreement that skills are best taught and learned by experiential learning methods). The real question is how should skills teaching and learning be incorporated (or woven) into the curriculum? Is one way better (and more affordable) than another?
5. Should we not also teach, for each skill, the theory relating to the relevant skill; cross-cultural implications for practice; and issues of ethics, values and professional responsibilities? If yes, then which theories, values and issues should we teach and how?