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European Law Students Association (ELSA)

ELSA is the world’s largest European, non-profit and non-political law students’ association. It was founded on May 4, 1981 in Vienna and currently consists of local groups in 44 European countries and 48 000 individuals at more than 260 faculties.
ELSA operates on three levels: local, national and international, with each level comprising a governing board of seven members. The seat of ELSA International is located in Brussels, which also enjoys a consultative status as part of the Economic - Social Council of the United Nations and the Council of Europe. Shortly after Croatia gained its independence, on May 22, 1992, ELSA was established in Croatia and ELSA Rijeka has been operating since 1993. ELSA Croatia has local branches that operate at all four law faculties in Croatia: ELSA Zagreb, ELSA Rijeka, ELSA Osijek and ELSA Split.
ELSA's main activities are:

  • Academic activities (AA), which, among other things, include the organisation of forums and round tables at the Faculty, essay writing competitions on legal topics, etc.
  • Student Trainee Exchange Programme - STEP, which provides students with practical training in the legal profession throughout Europe.
  • Seminars and Conferences (S & C) is engaged in promoting and organising law schools, study visits, as well as seminars and conferences.
  • Marketing is necessary to be able to inform the public about our projects and includes the promotion of our activities, starting with the maintenance of the website, printing leaflets and posters, communicating with journalists and organisation of press conferences.
  • ELSA Moot Court (MCC) finds its purpose in organising mock trials, court reporting and simulations of different platforms of negotiation. This provides the students with an insight into the real world which awaits them after graduation.

From the moment of its founding ELSA Rijeka has organised and conducted many successful and recognised projects, both in collaboration with other organisations and individually. ELSA activities include a broad spectrum of academic and professional events and projects, which are organised in line with ELSA’s main motto: “A just world in which there is respect for human dignity and cultural diversity”. It offers to all its members a variety of possibilities to improve their abilities and communication with others. Also, experience within the ELSA network prepares its members for their professional life through various international projects, seminars, etc. It is important to also mention that numerous distinguished individuals in Europe are former active members of ELSA and today’s alumni. From Croatia we highlight Andrej Plenković, LL.M. – President of the Croatian Government, Siniša Rodin – judge in the Court of Justice of the European Union, Neven Vranković – Vie-President of the Atlantic Group, Bojan Fras – Vice-Gouvernor of the Croatian National Bank and Lora Vidović, Ombudsman for Human Rights.

Project: Summer ELSA Law School: Diplomacy&Law
ELSA Rijeka is organizing Summer Law School on the subject of Diplomacy and Law at the Law faculty at the University of Rijeka. Number of participants is limited to 60 students from all the EU countries. Summer ELSA Law School (SELS) is a project of ELSA Network from all across Europe. Last year, over 40.000 members had an opportunity to choose between 36 Summer Law Schools in 25 different countries. SELS is an intensive legal course during which the participants have to attend at least 20 hours of academic program. The School is primarily intended for law students and young lawyers that are members of ELSA, but also other interested experts. One of the best features of the school is its internationality. Working language of the school is exclusively english. People in charge of the implementation of the plan are renowned professors - leading experts in their fields that are closely related with the thematic of the School. The most important advantage of ELSA’s Summer Law School is the combination of theoretical (professors/experts lectures) and practical (lawyers lectures) viewpoints. Besides the academic program. ELSA Schools are also directed towards developing useful skills. That is the reason the program, along with lectures, usually covers moot courts, case studies, practical workshops (public speaking, simulation of a job interview), institutional visits, etc. Organizers are bound to plan out the social program for the participants as well. The goal is to provide a more indepth experience of the culture of the country the SELS is in. Key elements to this are: sightseeing of the city and its surroundings, meeting local law students and similar. With this project Croatia is being placed in the category of host countries, which besides of expert and academic connotations, also contributes to tourism in Croatia. At the completion of the school every member gets a certificate, and some ELSA Local Groups even give 4 ECTS points in agreement with the law faculty they are associated with.
The primary goal of the school is to expand knowledge in the area of diplomacy and law and to raise students awareness of the importance and impact of the international legal order. Furthermore, the next goal of this project is the internationalization of law students and the establishment of long-lasting contacts and acquaintances. Another important goal is the promotion of the University of Rijeka and Faculty of Law as part of it, and indirectly the promotion of the City of Rijeka, the Republic of Croatia and Croatian culture. An exceptionally important goal which we hope will be achieved by this school is to promote, teach and inform about the non-violent and peaceful resolution of international disputes and the need to establish better international systems for such interstate problems. Secondary goals are to improve the legal English language for participants, acquiring knowledge in order to improve students' competence while studying and competing in the labor market. Another advantage of the school is the insight into the legal systems of other European countries, exchanging and comparing experiences and legal problems across Europe. Further goals are socialization and exchange of experiences between different nationalities, cultures and ethnic groups. An extremely important goal is to encourage students to mobility and multicultural exchange within the European Union.
To conclude, it is very important to emphasize that project is under patronage of Croatian Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs.
Executive Committee ELSA Rijeka for the academic year 2016/2017
Ema Doganac – President
Roberta Rdlović – Secretary General
Matej Božanić – Vice President for S&C
Matej Božanić – Vice President for AA
Riccardo Sgaredlli – Treasurer
Eric Milisavljević – Vice President for STEP
Laura Pašić – Vice President for Marketing


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