The Institute participated in a two-year project to develop alternative dispute resolution curriculum and train faculty teaching interested in teaching in these areas at the Yarmouk University Faculty of Law in Irbid, Jordan. The project began when Don Peters visited Jordan in June, 2000, on a US State Department Specialist grant to consult with universities regarding the development of ADR curriculums. It continued with an Institute co-sponsored ten day visit to the Levin College of Law by Yarmouk’s Dean, Director of its Commercial Law Department, and Professor Sa’ed Al-Muhtaseb, the young faculty member most likely to offer these courses initially. The Yarmouk Faculty during this visit observed dispute resolution classes and actual mediations in the County Mediation clinic taught and supervised by Institute Faculty and met with local judges and court administrators. Institute faculty shared more than 400 pages of teaching materials and problems which Professor Al-Muhtaseb then translated into Arabic. After this visit the Yarmouk Law Faculty approved the first negotiation and mediation course to be offered at a law faculty in Jordan.
The next step in this collaboration occurred in the summer of 2001 when Don Peters, on a Fulbright Senior Specialist grant, spent two weeks Yarmouk. While there Don consulted with Faculty and English-speaking students about the proposed ADR course. He worked extensively with Professor Al-Muhtaseb and other Yarmouk faculty interested in developing and teaching courses in this area. He also met with Jordanian judges and government officials, including the Minister of Justice, promoting the development of formal, court-annexed mediation systems to deal with a significant case overload in many of Jordan’s courts. Professor Al-Muhtaseb then spent three weeks in late August and early September of 2001 at the Levin College of Law on a jointly sponsored trip where he co-taught with Director Peters the intensive seminar that begins the County Mediation Clinic. He also observed and co-mediated cases.
Future possibilities include seeking an Educational Partnership grant to further develop this collaboration when Jordan returns to the eligible countries list, proceeding with World Bank funding ideas that Director Peters helped draft during his visit, and bringing another Yarmouk Faculty member for training at the beginning of a future fall term.
The second Ugandan collaboration is with the Law Development Centre[ LDC] in Kampala, a mandatory, post-graduate education program for all persons seeking admission to practice law in Uganda. Director Peters has collaborated with LDC faculty in developing curricular approaches to negotiation that include developing locally relevant simulations and role plays. In the summer of 2001 Director Peters participated in a four day workshop co-sponsored by LDC, given to fifty lawyers and social workers, that emphasized negotiating, mediating, counseling, and interviewing skills. In October 2001, IDR co-sponsored a visit to the Levin College of Law by the Director of LDC, the Associate Director of the Legal Aid Clinic at LDC, and a Justice of the Ugandan High Court. This visit included class and mediation observations and meetings with judges and court-administrators. Future plans including continuing the collaboration while developing a mediation clinic at LDC along with continuing to encourage the Ugandan Parliament and Judiciary to support court-annexed mediation.
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