SEELS aims to further harmonise curricula across the SEE region and to organise and offer additional postgraduate and doctoral courses as well as summer schools. At the same time SEELS also supports the exchange of lecturers and students among the participating law schools and invites leading international academics and practitioners to South Eastern Europe. Besides, SEELS designs programmes of executive training for different legal professions.
SEE | EU Cluster of Excellence in EU and International Law II
SEE | EU Cluster of Excellence in EU and International Law is implemented in partnership by Europa-Institut and SEELS network. The project is supported by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. It is the longest standing project that we are implementing with our partners Europa Institut.
The cluster of excellence aims to develop common structures and to increasingly coordinate the research and teaching of European and International Law, including the development of common strategies on cross-border regional and local cooperation and on the EU Neighborhood Policy in general. In 2019 this project was awarded an extension till the end of 2020, and majority of the activities which were present in the first instalment of this project such as the very popular summer schools, research stays for PhD candidates and professors alike in the Europa Institut and the region, e learning modules, PhD colloquium, librarian workshops as well as yearly conferences on relevant EU and International Law topics remain.
All of these activities are planned in somewhat altered form in 2020, due to the developments related to the global pandemic of Covid 19. Wherever possible the planned activities will be conducted in vivo, but due to the specific situation caused by this global event that has a strong effect on the mobility, some of the activities might be reorganized and held online. The decision for these changes will in any case be dependent on the global developments and policies, but we will work to organize them in best manner given the circumstances. More info on the project is available on the projects web site - http://www.see-eu-cluster.eu/
Rule of Law - Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
“Rule of law:Arbitration as an opportunity for peaceful dispute settlement” aiming to increase and improve the use of Dispute Resolution throughout the Western Balkans and to explain what makes it a viable alternative to going to court. In addition, the project aims to raise the awareness for the rule of law in the field of justice, especially in regards to legal disputes. The project is a form of a continuation of the previous set of projects which are centered around the summer schools organized in partnership of Europa Institut. It is planned for the implementation in 2020 and as such was affected by the events related to the Covid 19 pandemic. However, its implementation although mildly altered is still in process with the majority of its activities set to be implemented online. Thus the following activities will be organized:
1. Data collection of alternative dispute resolution regulations within the region will be made through a comprehensive survey in order to analyze: the positive law, usage and promotion of ADR in the aspiring countries of South East Europe on one side and the EU member states on the other; to which extent the aspiring countries are in line with the EU/international laws regarding ADR; the national institutions dealing with arbitration and thei composition etc.
2. eLearning Module
In the framework of the project an eLearning module will be developed during the project duration. The module will be used for the preparation of the summer school and will distribute introductory materials. Besides the classical literature, also video tutorials and already existing online courses will be part of it. Lectures given in the course of the online summer school will be also added to the module. In the aftermath, it will be made available to all the project partners and interested other parties.
3. Online Summer School
Taking into account the carried-out analysis, the programme of the online summer school will be designed to provide profound insights in topics such as, but not limited to:
- Quality of the justice system and its assessment; quantitative statistical data; monitoring procedures; - Introduction to the international/regional alternative dispute resolution instruments;
- The importance of the alternative dispute resolution;
- Overview of national and EU law on alternative dispute resolution;
- The conflict between limited harmonization of the EU law vs. different national provisions on ADR;
- The multilateral Investment Court project of the European Commission
- International Centre for settlement of investment disputes (ICSID)
- Bilateral Investment Treaties (BIT)
- Availability of dispute resolution mechanisms – a trigger to Foreign Direct Investment;
- Encouraging the development of ADR schemes and increasing public awareness of their existence;
- Encouraging Legal aid for ADR as it is for standard court proceedings;
- Discussion with stakeholders about their practical work and the daily restrictions.
“Education4Progress: Regional Cooperation to Improve EU Law Teaching”, 05/2018 – 02/2019
SEELS is grateful to announce that it was granted funding by the first call for proposal of the Western Balkans Fund. Fitting in the call’s thematic area Education and Scientific the projects central activity will be a regional conference related to EU Law teaching in Niš, Serbia later this year. The Regional Conference “EU Law Teaching in Western Balkans” will serve as a platform for exchange of information related to the models of EU Law teaching. The participating scholars from Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Albania and Macedonia will have the opportunity to learn more about the teaching models across the SEELS Network with the ultimate goal to ensure high standards and increased harmonisation across the region. In the process of implementation of the project, SEELS will implement various measures and activities, among which:
- Formation of an Organizing Committee: The Organizing Committee will be composed of the Centre for SEELS (two members) and one member from each Faculty that will host an event. Its task is to logistically prepare the events.
- Formation of an Academic Committee: The Academic Committee will be consisted of four members, one per each SEELS’ member from Croatia. Its task will be to prepare a survey prior to the Conference, to draft the Regional Conference agenda and to moderate the discussion, as well as to draft the Conference Proceedings.
- Survey on the models of EU Law teaching: In order to make the discussion during the Regional Conference more productive, we envisaged a survey to take place prior to it. It will be prepared by the Academic Committee and answered by the participating professors from the other SEELS members (individually). The questions in the survey will be focused on the models of EU Law teaching.
- Conference Proceedings:The Regional Conference (the central activity) will result with Conference Proceedings, where the crucial points and conclusions will be emphasized.
- Promotional Days: The Promotional Days will be the last activity. They will take place in Belgrade, Tirana, Skopje and Sarajevo and will serve for promotion of the Project and the Conference Proceedings. They will be attended by all interested professors and students, while the moderation will be taken care of by the respective professors who attended the Regional Conference.
“Access2Justice4All: Clinical Legal Education - Supporting the Access to Justice in South East Europe”, 02/2018 – 12/2018
Funded by DAAD, the project’s overall objective is to strengthen the rule of law in South East Europe by facilitating access to justice for the vulnerable groups, through enhanced cross-regional cooperation and capacity building in Clinic Legal Education (CLE). In other terms, the project’s goal is to foster the collaboration among the legal clinics in the different participant institutions. In the upcoming period the following activities are to be undertaken:
Creation of an Academic Committee - Preparatory Meeting
The Academic Committee’s central task will be to prepare and run a status analysis on CLE mong the participating faculties to get an overall and comprehensive picture of CLE in in South East Europe and Germany.
Experts Round Table
The Expert Round Table will be conducted in a combination of plenary and working sessions. Based on the status analysis, findings and evolving patterns from its synthesis, the participants will be encouraged to jointly elaborate in a group work session minimum standards and good practices for CLE in South East Europe. This is followed by a second working session in which an action plan based on recommendations for further intraregional cooperation and exchange of knowledge will be developed.
Intensive training for multipliers – Professors
At the partner faculties many professors are interested to set up a legal clinic. The training will teach interested professors on various issues concerning clinical legal education ranging from organizational matters, managerial aspects to legal ethics and interviewing techniques.
Intensive training for multipliers - Students
Law Clinics provide free legal services to vulnerable groups and give law students insight into the real-life practice of law. Typically, law clinics are supervised by an experienced professor but administered by student volunteers. Both students providing legal advice and those in charge of managerial tasks (very often the same persons) are in constant demand of professional skills that are not at all or are only to a limited extent, part of their regular legal education. Especially in the countries of the Western Balkans, often related to scarce financial resources, the development of practical skills is often overlooked by law students, as well as professors.
For this reason, the project will offer an intense regional training for students of several days’ duration. The participants will function as multipliers by passing on acquired skills to other students at their respective home faculties. The training, which will be partially run by staff members of the participating faculties as well as external professional trainers, will consist of a mixture of theory and practical exercises. Moreover, it is planned to invite a variety of practicing attorneys, civil society activists and criminal defense experts- to conduct some of the training sessions.
Erasmus + Jean Monnet: Support to Association - Strengthening the EU Law Studies in South East Europe
The project “Strengthening the EU Law Studies in South East Europe” was successfully launched in September 2016. It was the first project which was granted to the SEELS network through the Erasmus + Jean Monnet Support to Associations programme of the European Union. The project was also among the first ones which SEELS network and the Centre for SEELS have implemented as sole implementer. The project was implemented successfully from September 2016 till the end of 2019. It significantly strengthened the capacities of the teams involved in its implementation, firstly through the reformation of the SEE Law Journal – the unique English language publication of the SEELS network which deals with relevant EU Law topics, transformation and upgrade of the Editorial Policy of the same publication, rendering it more inclusive while offering legal practitioners from the region to be also included into the academic debate initiated by the journal. In the process of the implementation of the project, apart from the transformation of the format, structure and design of the journal itself and its editorial policy, the overall process of production of the journal was upgraded and automatized through specifically tailor made web platform, 4 editions of the journal were published both in e-format and hard copy, over 20 EU Law Days were held within the SEELS network, and increased interest for the SEE LJ was noted. All of the published SEE LJ editions, are available on the journal’s web site - http://seelawjournal.org/
Media Law, Democratization and the EU-Accession Process Project
The “Media Law, Democratization and the EU-Accession Process” was awarded to the SEELS network and Europa Institut in 2019 and was once again financed by DAAD. This was our ninth consecutive project with a summer school format that we implement together with Europa Institut if we include here the summer schools implemented within the SEE | EU Cluster of Excellence project as well. As it was the case with the previous ones this project was once again implemented as a one activity, starting from 01.01.2019 to 31.12.2019. When the thematic core of the project is concerned it is dealing as stated in the title with the Media Law, more specifically with the democratization of the media as a prerequisite for EU integration of the accession countries in the South Eastern Europe.
The main reasoning behind this specific project was the fact that despite the obvious progress made within the EU accession process and the gradual harmonization of the institutional framework with the acquis and European standards in this field, media freedom remains at an unsatisfactory level in all states in the region. While in some of them there is a slow process of improvement towards the desired standards, in others media freedom seems to be deteriorating in parallel with the EU accession process. This is a significant paradox, especially taking into account the importance the EU gives to the issue of media freedom, at least on the rhetorical level.
In consideration of the above mentioned as well as the requirements of the call this project was constructed in such manner that places special focus on two core activities, organization of a regional roundtable and a one-week regional summer school. The summer school was held in September at the Faculty of Law in Split with the participation of students and lecturers both from the SEELS network and Europa Institut, as well as with presentations from relevant journalists and representatives of regional NGO’s that deal with this specific issue. Following the successful summer school the Round Table involving the lecturers and experts who participated in its implementation was held in November at the Faculty of Law in Skopje, where the participants had the opportunity to summarize and evaluate the event, discuss on the format and methods of teaching the Media Law at their own faculties, as well as to propose concrete ideas for further development of these modules.
“Reflecting Ethnic Heterogeneity and Tolerance towards National Minorities in Legal Education in South East Europe and Germany” 03/2017 – 02/2018
The project that shed light on the legal dimensions of ethnic heterogeneity in South East Europe, was the 5th project jointly implemented with Saarland University within the SEE | EU Law Net structure. Funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the project’s central activity was to organize a regional Summer Academy entitled “Protection of Ethnic Minorities” involving students and lecturers from 7 countries and more than 15 research institutions. A planning organized at the Faculty of Law, University of Belgrade in May 2017 allowed for the development of a curriculum for the joint event and provided a well-received networking opportunity for the involved academics. The Summer School itself was held in Durrës, Albania in the beginning of September 2017. In 2018 a publication was released rendering possible to extend the scope of the lecturers not only to the ones which were held on the Summer School itself, but to a wider group of experts in the field who are willing to contribute.
SEE | EU Law Net: Graduates4Academia Summer School "Challenges of Migration and Asylum - Legal Aspects, 02/2016 - 12/2016
The Summer School “Challenges of Migration and Asylum – Legal Aspects” took place from the 09th to 17th of September 2016 in Ohrid, Republic of Macedonia. It was attended by 25 students coming from SEELS’ member and Europa-Institute, Saarland University. They had an opportunity to get deeper knowledge of the issues related to Migration and Asylum. The lectures came from the SEELS member faculties namely 8 professors from the SEE region. In addition to the theoretical part the students were able to get acquainted to the work of the practitioners which are also dealing with the issues of Мigration and Аsylum on the field. The presence of the representatives from UNHCR Macedonia, the office of Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) in Skopje, Association of Young Lawyers, NGO Legis and Helsinki Committee from Skopje gave an excellent opportunity for debate and exchange of thoughts and experiences which was welcomed by the students and practitioners alike.
SEE | EU Law Net EU Opens Markets Summer School 2015 (Zagreb/Split)
EU Opens Markets summer school was created with one general specific goal in mind to create a sustainable strong network of young lawyers from the SEE region which will have broadened its knowledge on EU law, more specifically on the EU open markets, upon the completion of the event. It was not the sole goal of the project, as the series of steps were envisaged to lead to the completion of the same, but after the completion of the summer school it can be concluded that this goal was fully met.
This summer school is third in a raw of the similar events that were implemented by SEELS network and Europa Institut, with the financial support of the DAAD. As in the years before the summer school had a strong cross border component as the lecturers and participants from all SEELS member faculties and Germany took part in it. In addition the whole preparation phase was marked by cross border regional and international collaboration as the project was prepared by SEELS and EI together. The summer school itself was focusing on both strengthening the theoretical and practical knowledge of the students, thus each lecture was accompanied by the practical case study work. In addition, the students were preparing during the whole 2 weeks of the summer school a Moot Court simulation which had also closed the event, and was an additional activity that helped strengthen their knowledge and practical skills.
Finally the project included creation and launch of the Internship Pool on the SEELS website, which included mapping of the regional opportunities for internship, gathering of the active calls for internship in the region, preparation of the sub-page where these information will be placed, launch and promotion of the web page, and regular update with new information related to the internship. The sub-page was launched successfully in early September 2015, in Zagreb and is being active and developing ever since. We believe that this will help promote the pro-active approach among the young scholars of legal background who will search for the opportunities for obtaining the valuable practical knowledge actively themselves, rather than waiting for the opportunity to rise.
This project, as was is the case with the previous ones, has a strong educational and networking component which establishes ties on several levels. First and most obvious is the network that is established between young scholars, second is the one between the lecturers themselves, a third one can be the one consisted of ties that are being established between the younger and older lecturers, and finally the ties that are strengthened between the SEELS network and EI as implementing partners for 3 years.
2nd Franco-German Summer University ‘"Accession to the European Union and Identity of Balkans’, 09/2015 – 11/2015
This ‘mobile’ Summer School is currently implemented in collaboration with the University of Paris-Ouest Nanterre La Défense (France) and the Westfälische Wilhems-Universität Münster (Germany). Funded by the Franco-German University, the French Ministry of Higher Education and Science and the Franco-German Youth Office, this year’s summer schools are taking place at the SEELS member faculties in Skopje, Tirana and Podgorica. This series of summer schools which brings together a great number of scholars and students focuses on legal questions related to the European Integration Process in the Western Balkans. The French and German Embassies in the mentioned countries showed their commitment to this unique project by realising a joint declaration of support.
EE-EU LAW Net: Network of Academics in European Law between South Eastern Europe and Germany, Zagreb and Rijeka – Croatia, 09/2014
This project, as continuation of SEE Graduates EU Law Teaching and Research Academy implemented in 2013, provided for further networking of students and academics between SEE region and Germany in broadening legal education and research in EU Law. The programme offered new prospects for participants for learning and researching EU Law on one side and joint developed and implemented programme by regional and international lecturers in law on the other. It was designed for students and young academics, selected by open call. The curriculum of the Summer Academy “Essentials of EU Law” covered the most recent developments in key domains of the EU’s institutional reform process post-Lisbon and the EU Law. The curriculum was designed and delivered by lecturers from the Saarland University and the SEELS members, including the participants of the SEE Graduates EU Law Teaching and Research Academy. The Summer School was held at the Faculty of Law in Zagreb and the faculty of Law in Rijeka in September 2013.
SEE-EU LAW Net: SEE Graduates EU Law Teaching and Research Academy, Saarbrücken – Germany, 07/2013
The project aimed at development of Summer Academy for junior teaching and research staff. Its goal was to provide in depth theoretical and practical knowledge of the EU Law Post-Lisbon in different fields of the EU Law for PhD Students from the SEELS members and from EU countries. The curriculum was developed and delivered by professors form SEELS and professors from Saarland University. The Summer Academy was organized and held in July 2013 at the Saarland University in Saarbrucken, Germany. The project was implemented by Europa Institut and the SEELS Network. Upon the completion of the Summer Academy the participants also developed and published research papers in a collection that can be downloaded here.
Training for MA Students on the Harmonization of SEE States’ Legislation with EU Law, Durres – Albania, 09/2012
The training was specifically tailored for the needs of MA students in related fields of the EU integration as the need for strengthening the knowledge of EU legislation and the mechanisms of the harmonization of national legislation to the EU was noted. It aimed to provide substantive knowledge of the process and mechanisms of the development of the national legislations and to approximate them to the standards in different fields (chapters) of the EU Acquis. The training was held in Durres, Albania in September 2012.
Training for MA Students and PhD Candidates “Rule of Law, Human Rights and the European Union”, Bečiči – Montenegro, 06/2012
The project was the first summer academy that was organized within the Network. It provided a forum for discussion on the core issues of the Rule of Law and Human Rights within the EU and in light of the EU integration of the SEE Countries. The Academy focused on increasing the knowledge of the MA and PhD students in the key fields, but also provided mode for networking of the professors. Participating to the academy were scholars from all than members of SEELS network. The Academy took place in Bečiči, Montenegro in June 2012. As direct output of this summer academy a publication of academic papers produced by the participants was published.
Project Development and Management Training “EU project management in the framework of EU higher Education programs”, Mavrovo - Macedonia, 11/2011
The training aimed to provide advanced knowledge of the process of project development for applications for EU funds in the field of higher education for the SEELS contact points at the members. The project was implemented in the early stages of the creation of the network of SEELS in November 2011 and was delivered by an international expert in projects development and fundraising. It targeted administrative and project development staff from all members of the Network at the time. This event not only provided increase of the understanding of the project development processes, but also contributed to the staff networking and creation of liaisons that will support the future project development processes.