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Timor-Leste Legal Education Project

Launched in March 2010, the Timor-Leste Legal Education Project (TLLEP) is a partnership among Stanford Law School (SLS), the National University of Timor-Leste (UNTL), and The Asia Foundation (TAF). TLLEP provides accessible, dynamic educational textbooks to help build knowledge in Timorese universities, government institutions, and non-governmental organizations. Written in clear, concise prose, the texts draws on hypotheticals, discussion questions, and current events to make them accessible to the broadest possible audience. In the long term, the project’s goal is to institutionalize ways for local actors, in close partnership with TAF and SLS, to positively influence the development of domestic legal education. UNTL offers invaluable guidance and constructive feedback on project activities and materials.

TLLEP is one of four SLS international Rule of Law Programs. All student members are chosen through a competitive application process, and once selected, students commit to enroll in three courses over two years, which total seven credits hours. In addition, participants stay active with the project an extra year to continue their work and leadership roles.

These student participants take the lead on researching and drafting textbooks reflecting local needs and priorities, while Stanford’s principal partner, The Asia Foundation, helps provide local expertise and background research. After the completion of initial drafts, the texts are thoroughly vetted by civil law experts and local stakeholders, including UNTL faculty and students, NGOs, private lawyers, justice sector officials, and prominent legal scholars. TLLEP seeks to publish all final drafts in English and the two national languages of Timor-Leste: Tetum and Portuguese. These texts represent the first and only legal textbooks addressing the laws of an independent Timor-Leste.

TLLEP has now published four texts: Professional Responsibility, Contracts, Constitutional Rights, and a nine-part series Introduction to the Laws of Timor-Leste. A full textbook on Criminal Law will be published in early 2014. All texts are available free of charge at http://tllep.stanford.edu

Photos from the March 2013 Trip to Timor-Leste