Comparative Legal Traditions Seminar, 14-16 June 2023

In the framework of the Inter-University Cooperation Project the University of Luxembourg is supporting the teaching and capacity development at the Faculty of Law and Political Science (FLP) of the National University of Laos.

From June 14th to June 16th, 2023, a three-day seminar on comparative legal traditions was held at the FLP in Vientiane. The project welcomed Professor Elise Poillot, a professor at the University of Luxembourg, as the seminar speaker.

The seminar focused on improving the participants’ legal knowledge of different legal systems and their historical development. Specifically, it compared micro and macro comparisons. The seminar brought together lecturers from the FLP, lecturers from the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) in Vientiane, and various practitioners, including lawyers who are members of the Lao Bar Association (LBA), judges from the Lao People’s Supreme Court (PSC), and prosecutors from the Lao Office of the Supreme People’s Prosecutor (OSPP).

During the morning session of the seminar’s first day, attendees were introduced to the criteria used to classify legal traditions. This included a discussion of the historical background of legal systems, types of legal sources, and hybrid legal systems. The purpose of this presentation was to provide participants with a better understanding of the different characteristics of legal systems currently existing around the world.

On the second day of the seminar, participants delved into exploring various legal traditions in Europe, America, Africa, and Asia. The topic of Western legal tradition received the most positive response from attendees, leading to lively discussions between Professor Elise Poillot and the participants. The topic that stood out the most on that day was the development of the court system in civil law countries compared to the countries following the common law systems. Prof. Elise Poillot offered insights into how European Union Law affects each member state. She provided practical examples to illustrate her points and helped attendees gain a better understanding of Western legal traditions. The session was informative and provided valuable knowledge to all participants.

During the final day of the seminar, Professor Elise Poillot delivered a presentation on Islamic law. She also invited participants to ask questions relating to her presentations from the last two days. Many participants posed interesting questions about the sources of law. Major points of interest included the particularities of the common law system due to its distinct nature from the Lao legal system and time was dedicated to adequately explain its characteristics and differences. Upon the seminar’s conclusion, attendees received certificates of attendance, presented by Professor Elise Poillot.

The seminar was a great success thanks to the active participation of the various participants, including prosecutors, practitioners, lawyers, judges, and lecturers from FLP and NIJ. Going forward, the project will continue inviting professors from the University of Luxembourg to provide lectures that aim to enhance the legal knowledge of those working in the field of law, with a particular focus on FLP lecturers and students.