Future-Minded Legal Education in Europe: The European Law School
MEPLI Working Paper Series 2013-10
19 Pages Posted: 2 Oct 2013
Date Written: October 2, 2013
European integration and globalization continue to have a significant impact on the legal landscape. Legal problems are no longer neatly confined to national jurisdictions, exclusively subject to law originating from the nation-state. Instead, a complex, ever-changing, globalized legal world of legal norms, rules and principles stemming from diverse public and private actors at local, national, regional and global levels is developing and consequently calling into question the idea of law as a coherent system of norms within a particular national jurisdiction. If law no longer exclusively emanates from the nation-state and the concept of law is effectively disconnected from the idea of the state, legal education that continues to treat the law as a nationally-oriented discipline with a curriculum focused on acquiring mastery of the national legal system does not prepare the future generation of legal professionals to function in this complex, ever-changing, globalized legal world. Legal education needs to prepare students for the future by dealing with the law as an international discipline and challenging them to construct their own understanding of the law from multiple sources. This contribution presents one model for how the law curriculum can be reoriented to teach a European legal method to train European lawyers based on the European Law School at Maastricht University. This European-oriented curriculum dislodges the study of law from a particular national legal system and teaches law and the legal method in a European and comparative way combining the comparative law teaching method and problem-based learning.
Keywords: European legal education, European Law School, Problem-based learning, comparative law teaching, European-oriented law curriculum
JEL Classification: K00
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