The European Law Students’ Association (ELSA)
ELSA is an international, independent, non-political, non-profit making organisation run by and for students and recent graduates, who are interested in achieving academic and personal excellence in addition to their legal or law-related studies at university.
ELSA aims at providing its members a platform to develop their existing skills and acquire new ones, to interact with fellow students and experienced practitioners from different states and legal systems around Europe, and to be equipped for a professional life in an international environment, through mutual understanding, intercultural cooperation and the large variety of activities and projects the Association offers.
ELSA and the Council of Europe
ELSA’s vision is ‘a just world in which there is respect for human dignity and cultural diversity’. The Council of Europe is ELSA’s Human Rights Partner. Since this vision is reflected in the objectives of the Council of Europe, the cooperation is even more visible in the area of the projects promoting the legal education. Mr. Thorbjørn Jagland, the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, has been the Patron of ELSA since February 2013. ELSA is both honoured and proud that Mr. Jagland accepted to support the Association, which corroborates the close cooperation of ELSA with the Council of Europe.
European Human Rights Moot Court Competition (EHRMCC)
The EHRMCC is a simulation of the procedure of applications before the European Court of Human Rights: the teams will examine a fictive case and make Written Submissions for each party. The teams will be evaluated based on their Written Submissions and the best 20 teams will annually compete in the Final Round at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France.
Through the European Human Rights Moot Court Competition, ELSA wishes to extend the tradition of mooting and to answer to the need for an English language moot court competition on Human Rights voiced by students across Europe. ELSA wishes to enable law students to deepen their understanding of law and practice their skills outside of the lecture halls of their universities and in an international environment. Participation in a competition such as the Human Rights Moot Court will help them to build a professional profile already during their studies and prove their skills immediately upon entering professional life. This is a prime opportunity to contribute to the realisation of a project with a significant impact on the way future lawyers understand and apply the European Convention on Human Rights.
Student Trainee Exchange Programme (STEP)
STEP provides an opportunity for law students and young lawyers from all over Europe to gain practical legal experience. As a traineeship provider you can enrich your working environment, get a closer look into another country’s legal system and contribute to legal education of future lawyers.
Currently, the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly (Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights) as well as the office of the Special Representative of the Secretary General on Migration and Refugees have at least received two STEP trainees per year. The same pleasure our members have to get a traineeship at Council of Europe’s Liaison Office in Brussels.
Legal Research Group (LRG)
The LRG is groups of law students and young lawyers around Europe carrying out a research in a specified field of law with an aim to make their conclusions publicly and internationally accessible in a collective report. Each edition of Legal Research Group is unique by its hot legal topic aiming at producing a concrete outcome that can further used and serve the legal community.
Previous reports of the LRGs in cooperation with the Council of Europe can be found here:
- LRG on Children Rights – Campaign 1in5
- LRG on Online Hate Speech
- LRG on Social Rights
- LRG on Freedom of Expression - Protection of Journalistic Sources
ELSA Day is the day when the whole ELSA network organises events on Human Rights related topic. The aim of the ELSA Day is to jointly demonstrate the commitment to the promotion of the awareness of Human Rights by providing legal education opportunities, which enable law students and young lawyers to be independent and critically thinking members of the society. The idea behind the project is to make one big effort together - throughout 43 National Groups and more than 350 Local Groups – resulting in visibility and recognition all over Europe. Therefore, each year ELSA focuses on a different specific topic within the scope of Human Rights.
The topic for the ELSA Day for year 2017 is “Access to Justice Beyond Borders”.More about the ELSA Day
ELSA Webinars is a new project which the European Law Students’ Association embarked upon during the last months of 2016. A webinar is a tele-communications tool which allows for presentation, workshops, lectures, panel-discussions and seminars to take place over the web via video conferencing software which allows for interaction between the participants and the speakers. This projects allows for the sharing of documents, presentations and other material which is deemed useful to make the online event as interactive as possible. ELSA and the Council of Europe have worked together to launch the first webinar in the history of the Association which was broadcast to over 14,000 participants on the 30th of November 2016 and dealt with the topic of Migration Law.