Law summer School, 7th -9th June 2023

In the framework of the Inter-University Cooperation Project, the University of Luxembourg is promoting the development of the rule of law. The Inter-University Cooperation Project held its 5th Law Summer School from June 7th to 9th, 2023 in Vientiane Capital. Seventeen candidates were selected based on their interest in improving their legal knowledge for attending an intensive 3-day seminar. This edition included nine law lecturers from the Faculty of Law and Political Science, two law lecturers from the National Institute of Justice, two judges from the People’s Supreme Court, two prosecutors from the training institution of the Office of the Supreme People’s Prosecutor of Lao PDR, and two lawyers from Lao Bar Association.

The Law Summer School aimed to enhance participants knowledge about “Legal Methodology in the Rule of Law State”, particularly the legal methods, which is highly relevant for interpreting and implementing laws. The Law Summer School also dealt with Paradigms of legal methods, methods of legislation and legislative procedure, methods of application of the law, and International Legal Frameworks, as well as the United Nations Convention Against Corruption. This Law Summer School was taught in English by Prof. Stefan BRAUM (University of Luxembourg)), Melina ANASTASOPOULOU (PhD, Uni.lu), Anna MORAITI (PhD, Uni.lu), Stanislav GUBENKO (PhD, Uni.lu), Areti KOLOVOU-NIKOLAKOPOULOU, and facilitated by MS. Paulina BASCHTON (Liaison Officer of University of Luxembourg in Laos) along with an interpreter.

The summer school began with a welcome from Professor Stefan Braum, the project leader. He gave a comprehensive explanation of the Paradigms of Legal Methods in a Rule of Law state and the process of legislation. During the morning session of the first day, the focus was primarily on discussions pertaining to the scope and characteristics of the law, focusing on general and abstract regulations, as well as the reasoning, motivation, and risk assessment involved in creating laws. The afternoon session focused legislative procedures in different political systems and forms of democracy. The participants deepened their understanding of the process of transforming a bill into a law in different jurisdictions. They also had the opportunity to examine standards for legislation by the executive, including administrative regulations, acts with legislative content, legislative decrees, and emergency laws. Presenters, Melina ANASTASOPOULOU (PhD, Uni.lu) and Anna MORAITI (PhD, Uni.lu), also provided a comparative overview of the relevant provisions under Greek, French, and Luxembourgish law. Following the presentation, the audience actively discussed existing challenges in the legislation process in Lao PDR and possible solutions to these challenges.

On the second day, the focus was on the method of application and interpretation of the law. Participants were divided into two groups and given a hypothetical case to work on and present their findings. Participants were asked to explain their reasoning for applying one of the following interpretation methods to a hypothetical case: interpretation according to wording, historical meaning and purpose, or systematic interpretation. Each group consisted of a judge, prosecutor, and law lecturers with different backgrounds and expertise. Areti KOLOVOU-NIKOLAKOPOULOU (PhD, Uni. Lu) led the presentation and the participants’ pleadings. After the exercises, Prof. Stefan Braum provided feedback on how to improve application of the method of interpretation to solve concrete cases effectively, which is relevant to the field of law and can be applied in their careers. This session was followed by a presentation from a participant on “Challenges of Legal Application in Lao PDR”.

During the afternoon session, Stanislav GUBENKO (PhD, Uni.lu) gave a presentation on Res Judicata and Judicial Review. Participants gained a better understanding of the functions of Res Judicata and expanded their legal knowledge on the binding nature of court decisions as well as the possibilities of judicial case review. The session was followed by practical and hypothetical cases giving the participants room to discuss possible solutions. At the end of the session, attendees had the chance to take a quiz on the Kahoot Platform prepared by the presenter to test their newly acquired knowledge on res judicata and judicial review.

On the final day of the Law Summer School, the focus was on reviewing the lessons from the past two days. The main points were recapped and concluded in a round-table discussion. Participants had the opportunity to reflect on how to improve teaching and research using legal methodologies. The closing ceremony included the presentation of certificates to all participants. These were handed out by Prof. Stefan Braum.

The participants of this year’s law summer school demonstrated exceptional enthusiasm and motivation, actively engaging with the guest speakers and each other to recognize the importance of legal methods. For ongoing support and to further enrich their knowledge, every participant was provided with a comprehensive reading list and other relevant learning materials.