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CLOCK legal companions are now offering remote support for litigants in person

What is CLOCK?

CLOCK was first launched in 2012 by the School of Law at Keele University and is now implemented in several universities in the UK. The project trains students to assist litigants in person who do not have access to legal aid in the Family and County Court in Brighton and online.

Students help litigants in person to

  • complete court forms;
  • signpost to CLOCK partners (among others law firms, mediation providers, Citizens Advice, CAFCASS, RISE);
  • assist during the hearings by taking notes and with the preparation of legal bundles.

The project has significant impact on students, litigants and courts, and has a place on the Sussex Family Law Justice Board.

The project has received several public endorsements, including by the President of the Family Division.

Jeanette Ashton and Maria Moscati from the Sussex Law School and Alex Newbury from the University of Brighton lead CLOCK.

During the current pandemic, we can offer, depending on availability, two forms of assistance:

  • A telephone meeting with you, to assist with form-filling, signposting to charities and service providers and help you with your paperwork and the court process; and 
  • Assistance in remote court hearings, and, where appropriate, CAFCASS meetings directly before the hearing, where we attend the hearing and take notes for you. Please note we are not able to advocate for you. After the hearing we can follow up with a telephone call to discuss next steps if that would be helpful.

Areeb Mushtaq Ahmad Law student reflects on his contribution to the CLOCK project.

"Working for CLOCK in partnership with the Sussex Legal Clinic has been a very practical experience. This was a great chance to change possibilities into opportunities, as unlike many commercial organizations, this was a fully committed pro-bono project. This gave me a great sense of social consciousness and cause. I am proud to have been a part of a great team where socio-economically marginalized litigants were assisted in times of absolute distress."  Areeb Mushtaq Ahmad 

Law student Maisy Grimes who is a volunteer for CLOCK talks about her experience. 

"CLOCK has given me the opportunity to gain confidence in a court setting as well as gaining a practical insight into how hard the system is for those without legal aid. Being in CAFCASS meetings, hearings and appointments with litigants has provided the opportunity to have hands-on experience, whilst giving students the ability to actually help those who have been affected by legal aid cuts. I’m glad that this can continue with the remote service where we have appointments mostly over the phone." Maisy Grimes

Looking forward and linking to other initiatives at Sussex

CLOCK is now committed to contribute to the aims of the Centre for Cultures of Reproduction, Health and Technologies and to investigate ways of offering support and training to our students to enable them to offer support on sexual reproductive health and rights.

Awards

Together with the Sussex Legal Clinics, CLOCK  won the 2019 Learning Together Teaching Award.


By: Charlotte Shamoon
Last updated: Monday, 20 July 2020

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