Worldwide Lawyer Training Program

The Worldwide Lawyer Training Programme is a comprehensive training programme designed and implemented by WOLAS to enhance the training of qualified professionals in the field of International Law and International Human Rights Law. In Turkiye, legal education primarily focuses on domestic law, which poses challenges for human rights defenders who aspire to engage in International Human Rights Law activities, such as providing legal aid, monitoring, reporting, and shaping public opinion. These individuals face difficulties in obtaining the required technical expertise and theoretical knowledge in these areas. To bridge this gap, WOLAS has developed the Worldwide Lawyer Training Programme, which combines theoretical and practical approaches, merging academic and professional perspectives. This programme is intended for senior law students, postgraduate and doctoral researchers in the fields of Law, International Relations, and Political Science, as well as for practising lawyers.

 

Undoubtedly, the previous century, commonly referred to as the age of rights, witnessed numerous instances of ethnic and religious cleansing, massacres, and genocides, thereby underscoring the disparity between theory and practice. In this context, the prevailing Human Rights doctrine has been exploited as a moral principle that legitimises state actions and other political entities (as seen in post-modern just war discourses exemplified by Iraq and Afghanistan). Simultaneously, it has been employed to both humiliate and rehabilitate so-called underdeveloped communities, while adhering to a Western-centric ideology. Consequently, Human Rights has been presented as a enlightening and instructional project for certain societies especially those in global south. In contrast to this Western-centric and subject-oriented colonial understanding, WOLAS perceives Human Rights through the lens of “Third World Approaches to International Law,” viewing it as a global struggle for justice in theoretical solidarity with “Decolonial Legal Studies” and “Critical Legal Thought”. WOLAS embraces the norms, values, and practices of human rights under this perspective.

 

The Worldwide Lawyer Training Programme encompasses theoretical courses aimed at cultivating a critical awareness as to global/critical justice and facilitating participants’ engagement in practical matters accordingly. It covers topics such as the structure of dominant International Human Rights agencies, the International Institutions that shape this structure, the mechanisms of their functioning, and the procedures that can be pursued to prevent Human Rights violations through these institutions. The programme also includes an analysis of International Courts’ decisions. Furthermore, the programme incorporates courses focused on developing the necessary technical language skills (legal English) and offers supervision and mentoring activities to equip participants with the capabilities required to serve as human rights defenders in this field.