USAID GAI Supports Faculty of Law, University of Belgrade in Implementation of the Anti-Corruption Legal Clinic Program
February 20, 2020
On February 20, with the support of the USAID Government Accountability Initiative (GAI), the University of Belgrade Faculty of Law launched the Anti-Corruption Legal Clinic.
Academic institutions play a critical role in combating corruption by equipping the next generation of leaders with knowledge and skills to identify and respond to corruptive behaviour. To this end, USAID GAI is supporting the University of Belgrade Faculty of Law’s development and implementation of a semester-long academic program exposing legal scholars to theory and mentorships with officials in Serbia’s anti-corruption institutions and civil society organizations.
During the opening session the students heard from Mr. Jovan Nicić, anti-corruption expert on the corruption prevention and repression mechanisms. The students were also presented with the common formula on corruption occurrence. The students questioned the proprietary of this formula in Serbia: „In our country, lack of personal integrity or ethical norms are not always integral part of corruptive behaviour. Sometimes people just see corruption as an escape from poverty.“
The Legal Clinic will run from February until June 2020 and it is consisted of classroom and practical modules. The theoretical module combines lectures and interactive work. Students will attend a series of presentations given by select international and local anti-corruption experts and senior officials from government, independent oversight institutions and non-government entities focused on accountability in Serbia. Lecturers include legal professionals from Serbia’s Anti-Corruption Agency, the Special Departments for the Suppression of Corruption of the Higher Court of Belgrade, and Higher Public Prosecutor’s Office, Transparency Serbia, and Pištaljka Whistleblower Portal. The law students will be instructed to conduct research on a relevant topic of their choice and will be mentored in their research and through their practicums by representatives of the institutions participating in the program. As part of their work on the research topic, the students will spend a week in a selected institution to become acquainted with the practical aspects of prevention, detection, repression and deterrence of corruption.