Posted on March 29, 2019

Dean Susan L Karamanian of the College of Law & Public Policy (CLPP) at the Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) has underscored the impact of a CLPP Juris Doctor (JD) degree to students and graduates in opening doors to the growing international dimension to all aspects of life in Qatar and the exciting world beyond the borders of the country. 

In an interview with Qatar Tribune, Karamanian said the three-year graduate degree in law mirrored on the US approach to legal education, the first of its kind in the MENA region, is a life-changing opportunity for students and graduates in Qatar. According to her, students with a first degree in any discipline, including engineering, science, foreign affairs, business, finance, the liberal arts, and law (the traditional LL.B. degree), would benefit from a high-level, sophisticated approach to legal education. In 2018, CLPP graduates its first class of 12 students. 

Members of the class are now working for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Qatar Foundation, a major law firm, and a major multinational corporation, said Karamanian. “Multinational corporations have a strong presence in Qatar and they need guidance on applicable legal norms and practices here and how they relate to those outside of the region. Our graduates should be able to fit this need and do so with a unique and sophisticated understanding of all possible laws likely to come into play and a nuanced appreciation of the application of these laws. Their work is helping to build capacity in the region on many matters that relate to law,” she said. 

The unique experience of CLPP students occurs both in and out of the classroom and with classes not exceeding 15 students enabling the College’s faculty of eight to give individual attention to students. Karamanian said few law schools are fortunate to have this low student-to-faculty ratio. The dean also stressed CLPP’s recognition of Qatar as a hub for international business and Arabic culture by teaching law from the perspective of the common law, civil law and Sharia. “We are probably one of the few law schools in the world in which comparative law permeates the curriculum. We have a strong focus on international and comparative law, including in areas such as energy and environmental law, trade and business, arbitration, human rights and international dispute resolution. These are active subjects in the Middle East, and in Qatar especially. So, it is important that we become the standard-setter,” she said. 

She also talked about the College’s novel educational experience through its colloquium series, including bringing to CLPP experts from the legal profession, embassies, governments, international institutions and universities to discuss contemporary topics. “Outside of the classroom, our students are given the opportunity to participate in international moot court competitions, which enable them to develop and hone their advocacy skills while meeting peers from around the world. We recognise the significance of the global network of legal and other professionals and we seek to engage our students in it,” Karamanian said. 

She said, “In addition to teaching the next generation of those interested in law, the CLPP faculty works closely with government agencies, the legal community and businesses in Qatar to better understand their needs and help find ways to fill gaps and solve problems. Our faculty members regularly publish in top journals and with major publishing houses and are recognised throughout the world for their creativity and productivity.” 

Admissions to CLPP is open until April 1.

source: Qatar Tribune

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