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Law in Action Project

Coordinator: Stefan Luca

Contact: [email protected]

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The Law in Action Project (LiA) was set up with funding from the former EUI president, Joseph Weiler, and a few professors as part of a broader initiative aimed at establishing a form of clinical legal education practice at the EUI.

We are now an independent group of researchers that established a firm and productive network of NGOs, human rights clinics and other professionals. We build on our research expertise combined with innovative and creative ways of using the law and making it work for social justice in Europe and beyond.

During the academic year of 2014/2015, LiA hosted several events on the themes of clinical legal education and strategic litigation at the EUI campus in Florence, Italy. Invited experts and practitioners discussed the value of strategic litigation and clinical legal education for the protection of human rights, children’s rights, and issues of equality and marginalised groups. Through LiA, EUI researchers are working in collaboration with NGOs and other law clinics throughout Europe in order to provide technical legal assistance in relation to ongoing litigation and advocacy projects. The group is grateful for the support of Prof. Martin Scheinin.


Academic Year 2020/2021

Academic Year 2016/2017

  • Sparking a discourse beyond the conference room:
  • The Law in Action Spark Talks-Series: The Responsibility of Academics in the so-called Refugee Crisis
  • What is the responsibility of academics in the so-called ‘refugee crisis’? In the experimental format of short video clips (Spark Talks), we discuss, by crosscutting professions and social backgrounds, the responsibility of academics in the so-called ‘refugee crisis’. Our interview partners not only include academics, but also lawyers and activists, some of who have the legal status of asylum seeker or refugee
  • In fall 2015, LiA’s researchers started to pay special attention to the increased inflow of persons in search of protection in Europe, what has developed into one of the biggest humanitarian and political crises the European Union has ever faced. In particular, we started questioning ourselves and the role academics could and should play in the context of this development, which is commonly termed as the ‘refugee crisis’. In order to reach a broad audience for our thoughts and reflections, LiA initiated the ‘Spark Talks’ series: in the experimental format of short video clips, different actors (academics, members of international institutions, political activists, including those with the legal status of ‘refugees’ and ‘asylum seekers’) share their views and ideas on the issue
  • The discussions on the role of academics in the ‘refugee crisis’ can be attributed to two levels: the practical- and the normative level
  • On a practical level, we are and have been discussing, what role academics could realistically play in the ‘refugee crisis’. What are the expectations of affected people and people working on the ground towards academics? What kind of support could academics offer? Do the voices of academics matter for individual border litigation or for steering policy-making?
  • On a normative level, we are exploring the relationship between academia and politics and the limits of academic claims of objectivity. We also discuss the genuinely personal components of these questions. It can be difficult to maintain a balance between personal political views and the role of independent experts, a dilemma many scholars and especially junior professionals face when dealing with highly politicised topics

Academic Year 2014/2015

  • During the 2014/2015 academic year, the Project hosted several events on the themes of clinical legal education and strategic litigation at the EUI campus in Florence, Italy. Invited experts and practitioners discussed the value of strategic litigation and clinical legal education for the protection of human rights, children’s rights, and issues of equality and marginalised groups

Academic Year 2012/2013

Academic Year 2011/2012

  • 18 June 2012:  Christopher Michaelsen (University of New South Wales, Australia); Lisa Ginsborg (EUI Law Dept.) and Jerneja Penca (EUI), workshop on 'New Forms of International Regulation and Adjudication', organised in collaboration with Prof. Martin Scheinin and the Environmental Law Working Group
  • 13 June 2012: Alexandra Gatto (EUI alumna and currently at the European Commission) presentation of her book Multinational Enterprises and Human Rights : Obligations Under EU Law and International Law (2011), organised in collaboration with Prof. Francesco Francioni and the Corporate Social Responsibility WG
  • 24 May-25 May 2012: Marko Milanovic (University of Nottingham), Roger O’Keefe (University of Cambridge) and Kjetil Mujezinovic Larsen (University of Oslo/NCHR), Beyond the “Espace Juridique” - Workshop on the Reach of Jurisdiction under Human Rights Law and the Rome Statute (ICC), organised in collaboration with the ICL WG, Prof. Martin Scheinin and the Academy of European Law
  • 27 April 2012: Workshop on Human Rights of Persons with Disabilities in International and EU Law, in collaboration with Profs. Claire Kilpatrick, Ruth Rubio Marin and Martin Scheinin and the Academy of European Law
  • 14 March 2012: Prof. Luigi Condorelli and Prof. Paolo Palchetti (two counsels representing Italy before the courts), Seminar discussion on the recent ICJ judgement in Germany v. Italy, organised in collaboration with Prof. Francioni and the ICL WG
  • 28 February 2012: Nicolas Lawrence McGeehan (EUI Law Dept), presentation on 'Slavery - its Marginalisation in International Law'
  • 25 January 2012: Mathias Möschel (EUI alumns), discussion of his paper 'Is the European Court of Human Rights’ Case Law on Anti-Roma Violence “Beyond Reasonable Doubt”?'
  • 9 December 2011: Eduard Blasi Casagran (Member of the Legal Service in the Catalan Data Protection Authority), 'The Digital War of the XXI Century: Internet vs. Privacy. European and National Perspectives', organised in collaboration with the INFOSOC WG
  • 25 November 2011: Christopher Rossi (University of Iowa), on 'Ridi Pagliaccio! Bush and Obama Engagement Strategies with Human Rights Bodies'
  • 15 November 2011: Payam Akhavan (McGill University in Montreal, Canada), screening and discussion of the film 'The Green Wave', organised in collaboration with the Middle-East WG
  • 20 October 2011: Christopher McCrudden (University of Oxford/Queen's University Belfast), An Integrated Theory of Comparative Human Rights Law

Academic Year 2010/2011

  • 9 December 2010: Magdalena Sepúlveda (United Nations Independent Expert on Human Rights and Extreme Poverty), talk on the added value of a human rights approach to poverty reduction
  • 25 November 2010: Dov Jacobs, (EUI alumnus and lecturer at the University of Amsterdam), talk on 'Snatching Defeat out of the Jaws of Defeat: The Crime of Aggression and the ICC'
  • 22 November 2010: Martti Koskenniemi (Professor of International Law and Director of the Erik Castrén Institute of International Law and Human Rights at the University of Helsinki), discussion with researchers on the legacy of the 16th century Spanish scholastics for the emergence of international law, human rights and capitalism
  • 2 November 2010: Giovanni Ziccardi (Professor in Legal Informatics at the University of Milan), talk on 'Liberation Technologies, Digital Resistance and Human Rights', in collaboration with the INFOSOC WG

Academic Year 2009/2010

  • 26-28 May 2010: Methods in Human Rights Research, as part of the EU-Nordic Network Initiative
  • 11 March 2010: Morten Bergsmo (University of Oslo), 'Transferring Legal Information and Knowledge from International to National Criminal Justice for Atrocities: the Legal Tools Project'
  • 27 January 2010: Jernej Letnar Cernic (MWF), 'Corporate Obligations Deriving from a Human Right to Water'
  • 2 December 2009: Prof. Martin Scheinin, 'World Court for Human Rights'


Page last updated on 18 November 2020

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