Modernising European Legal Education (MELE)


The European Union supports the project "Modernising European Legal Education" (MELE) of the Europa-Institut with 450.000€ over a period of 3 years

Together with eight other European partners, the Universities of Belgrade (Serbia), Zagreb (Croatia), Skopje (Northern Macedonia), Cadiz (Spain), Vilnius (Lithuania), Groningen (Netherlands), Regent's University London (United Kingdom) and the South Eastern European Law School Network, the project "Modernising European Legal Education" from Prof. Dr. Thomas Giegerich, Director of the Europa-Institut will be awarded the grant by the European Union. "We are very pleased that the selection committee found our project application and the idea behind it to be innovative and eligible for funding. Together with our partners, we look forward to the exciting and important work in the next three years", says Prof. Dr. Thomas Giegerich, head of the project.

The aim of the project is to prepare young law students for the European job market and to equip them with the necessary interdisciplinary and fundamental tools for a digital and diverse future.


Project duration:            3 years, 01/09/2020 till 31/08/2023

Grant program:               Eramus+, KA203 Strategic Partnership for Higher Education

Grant amount:                 423.388,00€

Consortium Members:

  • University of Belgrade, Faculty of Law (Serbia)
  • University of Zagreb, Faculty of Law (Croatia),
  • Ss. Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje, Iustinianus Primus Faculty of Law (North Macedonia),
  • University of Cadiz, Faculty of Law (Spain),
  • Mykolas Romeris University in Vilnius, Faculty of Law (Lithuania),
  • University of Groningen, Campus Fryslân (Netherlands),
  • Regent’s University London (United Kingdom) and the
  • South Eastern European Law School Network, SEELS (North Macedonia)

Associated partner: The European Network for Clinical Legal Education (ENCLE)


Objective of the project

The consortium partners of MELE intend to enhance the transversal competences and academic skills of students by improving the teaching skills of academic staff among all consortium partners. Moreover, the project’s objective is also to raise awareness of cross-cutting topics, like gender issues, Green deal and climate change, digitalisation and multilevel governance, for legal studies. 

Effective education and professional training systems are the cornerstones of equitable, open and democratic societies and of sustainable growth and employment. In this context, it is increasingly questioned whether education and teaching methods, especially in the field of legal studies, are still up to date to meet the profession’s needs. Currently, students are trained in very traditional methods, exclusively focusing on legal knowledge and not beyond it. This despite the fact that evidence demonstrates that an increasing number of graduates will most likely not work in traditional legal professions. Hence, additional competences and skills are required to ensure high employability of law graduates. Such needs have been triggered by the globalisation of the legal profession and the increased need for understanding of cross-cutting subjects, e.g multilevel governance, Green Deal and climate change, as well as global digitalisation of societies and automatisation of legal procedures. Furthermore, the working environment of nationally trained ‘traditional’ lawyers will be undergoing considerable changes in future, varies from increased numbers of claims and computerised procedures to complex international cases, which include multiple jurisdictions. These changes in the traditional legal labour market require revisiting of legal education approaches and teaching methods to ensure that graduates are prepared for such emerging challenges. The delivery of legal education requires a holistic engagement with requirements and needs of today’s global job market.


Measures within the project to achieve the objectives

To achieve these goals MELE plans four intellectual outputs:

  • a survey on teaching transversal competences in legal studies (O1) to analyse the current state including transversal competences in the existing teaching and learning and to serve as a basis for the development of the intellectual output “Method tool box” (O3);
  • an online course for academic skills in European and international context (O2) which will be used for teaching students and PhD candidates the necessary skills for scientific research and work focusing on a European and international background;
  • a method tool box for new and innovative teaching methods and transversal competences (O3) which compiles handouts and samples of new and innovative teaching methods, like legal clinics and moot scenarios, that improve the teaching skills of academic staff. This toolbox will provide teaching staff with necessary teachings skills for transversal competences whereby students skill will be improved and their employability strengthened.
  • a publication/collection of articles “Law and beyond” which explains the links of cross-cutting topics for legal teaching and research (O4) and opens up new research fields for legal scholars.

 

LTT (Learning, Teaching, Training)-Activities within the frame of the project

MELE will be supported by the implementation of four LTT activities.

  • The workshop for the online course (LTT1) will train teaching staff in the necessary basics for designing an attractive, didactically based and innovative online course. Moreover, it provides possibilities to discuss the structure of this course.
  • The “train the trainers” event (LTT2) will give an overview of relevant transversal competences and their application in legal teaching. Additionally, it will make teaching staff familiar with various innovative teaching methods that can be integrated in the method tool box.
  • The learnt methods will be tested in the summer school (LTT3) so that the participating students will be exposed and trained in transversal competences.
  • Finally, cross-cutting topics will be discussed in the legal context, including a publication, at the workshop “Cross-cutting topics in legal studies” (LTT4).

All these activities will be accompanied by dissemination activities by all consortium partners and four multiplier events that will present the outputs to other academic institutions, stakeholders in the education sector and other interested parties. 

MELE targets teaching staff, especially young academics, students and PhD candidates of all consortium partners. The project consortium consists of nine different partners across Europe with expertise in the relevant fields. The trans-European composition guarantees a broad horizon, multiple approaches to teaching and different legal backgrounds as well as diverse expertise.

MELE creates a forum and network for exchanging and enhancing ideas, experiences and best practices for innovative teaching and research, especially addressing transversal competences and cross-cutting topics, for all consortium partners and beyond.

Detailed information will follow shortly.