Professor Barbara S. Barron created, directed and served as the lead instructor for a four-day course for the faculty of Tunisia’s Institut Supérieur de la Profession d’Avocat (ISPA), a postgraduate school for lawyers that was created under the auspices of Tunisia’s Ministries of Justice and Higher Education.
Held in Tunis from April 25-28, the course was sponsored by ABA Rule of Law Initiative and the International Legal Assistance Consortium, an international organization based in Sweden that gathers wide-ranging legal expertise and competencies from around the world to help rebuild justice systems in countries that are in conflict, post conflict, or in transition toward peace and democracy. The course is part of a two-year project to introduce and integrate interactive teaching methodologies in the teaching of advanced courses to Tunisian lawyers.
The focus of the course was twofold: to introduce the ISPA faculty to innovative interactive teaching methodologies, and to apply those methodologies to substantive courses involving Tunisia’s recently enacted Gender-Based Violence Law. The law is groundbreaking for the North African region and criminalizes not only physical gender-based violence acts but psychological and economic acts of abuse as well. Members of the Tunisian Parliament who had promulgated the law were participants in the course.
The curriculum was based on materials Professor Barron had created that simulated a typical domestic violence case involving issues that are prevalent in the region. The course structure tracked the progression of a domestic violence case from initial victim and third-party witness interviewing and counseling to the conduct of a hearing for a protective order. The day-by-day sessions included skills workshops and case analysis sessions.