INTERNATIONAL SUMMER SCHOOL "FUTURE LAWYERS: ESSENTIAL SKILLS TO SUCCESS"
August 2018, Kaliningrad, Russia
Following the successful experience of 2017, in August 2018, the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum took part in the international summer school “Future Lawyers: Essential Skills to Success” at Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University.
This year, in framework of the summer school, CSF has assisted in organisation of the workshops’ cycle on environmental law and practical internet law.
ENVIRONMENTAL LAW AND PRACTICAL SKILLS
21-22 August 2018
Workshops on the environmental law took place on the 21st-22nd of August 2018 and were attended by the experienced practitioners from Russia and Hungary:
The founder and the first director of Hungary’s principal non-profit environmental law firm: the Environmental Management and Law Association (EMLA). Dr. Sándor Fülöp has been teaching environmental law and sustainable development subjects at the National University of Public Services (NUPS).
The invited experts talked about three important dimensions of legal practice in the EU and Russian Federation: environmental information and Aarhus Convention; environmental damage compensation; environmental disputes in the EU and Russia. Particularly heightened interest among the workshops’ participants was aroused by the issues of environmental information and environmental disputes. The students actively engaged in discussion of the relevant cases on Russia and were interested to get an overview of the EU practice in this regard.
As a final task, the workshops’ participants were asked to describe an important environmental issue in Russia or in the world, as well as to suggest a possible legal solution for it (legislative change, adoption of the UN convention etc.). Despite heavy workload, the students have taken the task seriously and chosen such unconventional topics as state’s responsibility for the damage caused by the private companies, legislative regulation of the animals’ environmental conditions in the cities or regulations of the issues related to pollution of the near-Earth space.
The whole event was really enjoyable, I do hope that the students carried home some of our basic messages and will use them somehow in their life. Environmental problems are ubiquitous, whichever field of law they are going to work in, they will have to keep in mind the principles of sustainable development and select the most environmental friendly solutions.
The level of students’ knowledge and great organization of the summer school have quite impressed me. Also, it has been very nice to talk to a colleague from the EU. Though it is a pity, there hasn’t been more time to give the students an opportunity to dive deeper into the environmental law. Nevertheless, I think that our main goal has been achieved, and we managed to make the students really interested in the topic. I hope that this CSF programme will be further developed!
PRACTICAL INTERNET LAW
25-26 August 2018
Workshops on the Internet Law took place on the 25th-26th of August 2018 and were attended by the experienced practitioners from Russia and Denmark:
Director and senior media lawyer at the Mass Media Defence Centre since its inception in 1996, working in the field of media rights protection, promotion of freedom of expression standards in Russia. Galina is a practicing media lawyer with a very rich practice in defending media and journalists in domestic courts and before the European court on Human Rights. Vice-chair of international Board of international human rights organization ARTICLE 19 (Global Campaign for Free expression, London, UK), Board member of a European Center for Press and Media Freedom (Leipzig, Germany). Galina Arapova became the only lawyer awarded a special FOE protection award from Russian Union of Journalists, winner of Anna Politkovskaya prize “Camerton” (Tonometer), is a 2016-winner of “Human Right Award for Outstanding Contribution by a Legal Practitioner to Human Rights” awarded by International Bar Association.
Legal counsel, responsible for freedom of expression-related issues at Greenpeace International. He has managed litigations before national and international courts in numerous jurisdictions, on issues including the right to protest, trademark and parody, confidential sources and whistleblowing and freedom of information. His past experience includes working as a legal officer at ARTICLE 19, the global campaign for freedom of expression, and as legal officer freedom of assembly, expression and information at the Open Society Justice Initiative.
Who manages the Internet? What exactly is the freedom of expression? Who has access to the information on users’ Internet traffic and what could be the grounds for websites’ blocking? Which legal consequences can have a repost of information on the Internet? These and many other questions have been discussed during the workshops in framework of the Internet Law course.
The invited experts started with a talk on development of the Internet legislation, highlighting the increase in regulation in Russia and across the European continent. The workshop continued with a discussion of the scope of activities covered by the right to freedom of expression, ranging from painting, direct action to choice of a media outlet’s name. As an example, the experts brought up some specific decisions of the ECtHR in cases dealing with the freedom of expression. They then discussed permissible limits on freedom of expression, as well as examples of excessive restrictions on information distribution on the Internet, such as a ban showing swastikas which, as a matter of fact, also affects anti-fascist and historical materials as well as Nazi propaganda. Besides, the experts together with the students reviewed the legal framework on defamation, and discussed the balance between freedom of expression and protection of private life. Bright and clear examples aroused a lot of interest among the young lawyers not only in a professional sense, but they also found it useful as active users of the Internet and social media. At the end of the course, all the participants were offered an opportunity to check their knowledge with an online test.
There is a strong need for summer schools like this one as they provide a unique opportunity for law students to get a first hand knowledge from Russian and EU experts, practicing in various legal fields related to fundamental rights and freedoms. It is great to see participants who are interested, quite advanced and ready for an open discussion of serious issues of public concern.
One of the best things one can do when one is in university is to explore beyond the university. An international summer school like this offers the chance to meet others from different regions, countries and convictions. Broadening one's horizon and understanding that there are different ways of looking at each problem makes one a better lawyer or economist, and probably a better citizen too.
I have been a listener of two workshops that were organised by the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum for the first time. And I really liked the high quality of speakers of both workshops. It was obvious that the speakers enjoy their professions and the sphere of scientific researches. There was a lot of information that I didn`t know about Media Law and Criminal Law and the information from the workshop 'Environmental Law and Practical Skills'. I use it for my course 'Environmental Law' at university and have good results. A big thank you to the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum for the invitation of such enjoyable lawyers who are great storytellers!