LAWS5233: Transnational Perspectives in Law

Summer 2022-23 | Samoa and Laos

Applications are now open

Due to recent changes to visa requirements for student placements in Laos, we have made the decision to run the BABSEACLE externship as a purely virtual placement. Therefore students applying for and subsequently undertaking LAWS5233 with BABSEACLE will not travel to Laos and instead will conduct all Summer Semester learning from UQ. Students will have regular zoom learning with the BABSEACLE team over a three-week period (see below). At this stage the internship with Samoa Law Reform Commission will see students travel to Samoa however we will notify applicants should the situation change due to Samoan or Australian travel guidelines.

New Columbo Plan mobility grants are available for a limited number of law students to undertake an internship/externship with international partners over the Summer Semester 2022-2023 period. BABSEACLE access to justice initiative will be a virtual externship. Samoa Law Reform Commission will see successful students travel to Samoa. 

Academic credit for this placement is granted through the elective law course LAWS5233 Transnational Perspectives in Law. The course is an ideal opportunity for students to engage in inter-jurisdictional learning where they can gain a real-world global understanding by working with international partners on a range of casework, research and policy tasks. Each summer semester the UQ Law School partners with international social justice organisations and in the summer semester 2022-2023 the Law School is partnering with Samoa Law Reform Commission in Samoa and not-for-profit justice initiative BABSEACLE who are based in Southeast Asia.

Dates and places

The virtual BABSEACLE placement will run from Monday 28 November 2022 – Friday 16 December 2022.

It is anticipated that students will travel to Samoa between mid-January and mid-February 2023. There are limited places available for this opportunity, see the details on selection criteria and application process for more information.

Costs and funding

These placements are supported by New Colombo Plan mobility grants. Eligible students will receive a mobility grant to assist in course costs and for students travelling to Samoa the grant will be used to assist in travel and accommodation costs. Students on the Samoa placement may also be eligible for OS-Help loans. For further information about costs please contact the course coordinator Mandy Shircore at

How to apply

For students interested in applying for the virtual BABSEACLE placement or the Samoa Law Reform Commission placement please complete the application form and send it to along with your current transcript and your resume. Please note, the application process is competitive and eligibility criteria will apply. Students are to indicate their preference of Samoa or BABSEACLE Virtual on the application form.

How to apply


Law making in the cultural context of Samoa - internship

Samoa Law Reform Commission (SLRC)

The Commission was established in 2008 to review, reform and develop the laws of Samoa. These distinct laws promote Samoan custom and traditions, enhance the social, cultural, economic and commercial development of Samoa, and ensure the laws of Samoa evolve respectfully within the changing modern landscape. The Commission prides itself on its facilitation of law reform recommendations based on a high standard of research, cultural understanding, analysis and effective broad public consultation.  

The Internship

As part of the internship with the SLRC students will carry out legal research on law reform projects in a Polynesian country, examining approaches to law making that are beneficial to South Pacific Islands and other similar societies with plural legal systems. Samoa will provide a specific example where students will have the chance to learn how to engage with policy and development issues within the cultural context of Samoa. During the internship, students will step outside the Western legal paradigm to consider the significance of customary law and local culture on the development, implementation, enforcement and evolution of the law in the South Pacific. This will enhance their knowledge of systems of legal pluralism, cross-cultural competence and regional employability prospects.This will enhance their knowledge of systems of legal pluralism, cross-cultural competence and regional employability prospects. The intership will comprise (generally):

  • Researching key issues relating to legal pluralism and law reform
  • Education about Samoan law under the guidance of the SLRC’s Executive Director and senior staff members
  • Involvement in law reform and greater cultural and legal understanding within the Indo-Pacific region
  • Institutional visits with key legal offices in Samoa, such as the Ombudsman, the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly and the Attorney General’s Office.

Exploring access to justice and the rule of law in Southeast Asia – externship

Due to recent changes to visa requirements for student placements in Laos we have made the decision to run the BABSEACLE externship as a purely virtual placement. Therefore students applying for and subsequently undertaking LAWS5233 with BABSEACLE will not travel to Laos and instead will conduct all Summer Semester learning from UQ.


BABSEACLE is a not-for-profit organisation advocating for and developing global access to justice initiatives and justice education programs throughout Asia. The education programs specifically are designed to assist in providing access to justice services by mentoring the next generation of social justice, pro bono minded champions. BABSEACLE works with the legal profession and universities globally to provide social justice training to law students through an international and culturally diverse lens. This not only provides students with an understanding of Access to Justice challenges and the Rule of Law in Asia, but it engages students in ethical and human-centred approaches to law and their professional responsibility working with culturally diverse people all with individual lived-experiences.

The BABSEACLE placement

The placement is entitled ‘Justice Education, Legal Aid, Pro Bono and the Rule of Law in Lao PDR'.

The placement will be held over 3-weeks from Monday 28 November to Friday 16 December 2022. The aim for Law Students participating in the BABSEACLE externship will be to build their intercultural competencies; social justice awareness and instil in them a commitment to ongoing pro bono work across diverse future contexts. The externship will comprise:

  • Training in various aspects of social justice education including cross-cultural sensitisation training and cross-cultural communication skills
  • Assisting in the development of materials used to strengthen access to justice programs for people in marginalised communities
  • Directly contribute to the work of the BABSEACLE team in different areas of substantive law and operation
  • Exchanging ideas and knowledge with organisation members and partners
  • Cultural activities such as the preparation and participation in a global pro bono walk/run for justice and a virtual Asian cultural cooking class.


How to apply


This internship/placement is open to undergraduate or postgraduate law students at UQ. It is aimed at students interested in a career in law, human rights, politics, public policy, or NGO management. Applicants will be required to demonstrate enthusiasm for issues concerning access to justice, public law, social policy, and inter-cultural awareness. Students will be selected by UQ and are encouraged to highlight experience working with clients, particularly those in vulnerable situations, and involvement in culturally diverse work or educational environments. There are no formal language requirements.

The application process for this internship will be competitive.

  • For BABSEACLE (Laos): up to 15 students will be selected to participate. A minimum of 8 students is required for the program to run. 
  • For the Samoan Law Reform Commission: A maximum of 2 students will be selected to participate. A minimum of 2 students is required for the program to run.


UQ law students are invited to apply as part of Law Elective - LAWS5233 (Transnational Perspectives in Law). The application process is as follows:

  1. Complete the application form (link below) and email to by midnight on Sunday 18 September (AEST) for the Samoa Law Reform Commission placement. Applications for the virtual BABSEACLE placement will remain open until midnight Sunday 23 October 2022.
  2. The School of Law will shortlist candidates. All applicants for Samoa will be advised if they have of have not been shortlisted by Monday 27 September. BABSEACLE applicants will be advised by Friday 21 October 2022.
  3. Shortlisted candidates may be invited to attend a pre-selection Zoom interview as part of the selection process.

Students unsure whether they are eligible to grain credit for a law elective towards their LLB(Hons) studies should seek confirmation from the BEL Student Centre at


If you have any queries, please contact