With estimates of Academy of European Law (AEL) ‘alumni’ at over two thousand, the reach of the EUI’s law summer schools can be felt far and wide.
Every summer since 1990, the Academy of European Law brings more than a hundred individuals to the EUI campus for two-week courses in Human Rights Law and the Law of the European Union, respectively. This year more than 150 people from 44 countries were selected to participate in the summer schools.
Professor Nehal Bhuta, who co-directs the Academy with Professors Marise Cremona and Claire Kilpatrick, notes the diversity and high quality of course participants, among whom are masters and doctoral students, lawyers, judges and other practitioners. ‘One of the advantages of the summer school,’ he explains, ‘is that participants bring their varied expertise into the courses.’
The Academy was founded twenty-six years ago by the late Professor Antonio Cassese and Professor Joseph H.H. Weiler to promote teaching and scholarship in the fields of European Union Law and Human Rights Law. Each summer school offers a general course and several specialized courses, the content of which changes each year.
Professor Karen Engel, who taught this year’s specialized course on ‘Sources of Women’s Rights: From Human Rights to International Criminal Law’ is back at the Academy for a second time. She was first here in 1991, when she was a participant in the second edition of the summer school. Her lasting impression of that year’s AEL was legal expert Fran Olsen’s path-breaking instruction on feminist theory in human rights law—an approach she herself has pursued from the start of her own academic career in law.
Engel’s course in turn inspired enthusiasm in Love Rönnelid, a doctoral candidate in public international law at the University of Uppsala. ‘The issues brought to light in ‘Sources of Women’s Rights’, he explains, ‘were interesting illustrations of how law and politics interact’.
Luisa Drummond, a graduate student from Brazil who studies human rights law in the Americas, said she enrolled in the course to get the European perspective on human rights law. ‘We approach human rights from a different point of view, which means we take a different path to get there. It has been useful and interesting’, she continues, ‘to compare the differences.’
As for previous years, the general and specialized courses will eventually be published in the Collected Courses series, edited by the three directors of the Academy and published by Oxford University Press.