TF Coordinator:Ole Hammersveld (University of Southern Denmark); Luigi Lepore (University Parthenope Naples).
TF Members: University of Bologna; University of Leuven; Université Paris I; University of Munster; Sofia University; University of Malta - Institute of Criminology, former Institute of Forensic Studies; University of Barcelona - Institute of Law and technology; Istanbul Bilgi University;
In most European countries, accession to the judicial and legal professions requires an undergraduate degree in law. Undergraduate programs are accordingly a crucial point in the overall career path of European lawyers and judges. Menu for Justice aims to assess the state of the art in the legal education field. In doing so it has created an “UNDERGRADUATE” Task Force whose work is mainly devoted to developing a comprehensive understanding of the regulatory framework for delivering undergraduate programs in all member states. Its membership provides a representative group of the different legal cultures in which lawyers, judges and legal scholars are taught in Europe.
The work of Task Force 1 is organized as it follows. During the first part of the project, which basically overlaps with the Work Package 2, Task Force 1 will collect data on the undergraduate programs offered in all European countries. It focuses first on the regulatory framework, identifying the authorities such as ministries, universities, and other agencies which are responsible for: 1) setting up the legal framework regulating the organization, the contents and the validity of degree programs in law; 2) determining whether these legal frameworks, once in force, might be changed; 3) allowing proposals for change to be proposed.
It is crucially important to examine the regulatory and legal structures governing the issuing of law degrees. In developing a common background and a convergent legal culture among legal scholars, lawyers and judges, undergraduate programs may naturally become the focus of reform proposals from European programs that support education and training (for instance, the Erasmus program). Therefore, the resistance and openness to change is a key variable in the effective implementation of any European policy of legal education and training.
In subsequent stages of the project (during Work Package 3), Task Force 1 will explore possible reforms of the first cycle of the Bologna Process. In doing so, the Task Force will utilize the second type of data collected by the Menu for Justice partners, namely the range of undergraduate programs, courses and classes offered in law. Finally, during Work Package 4, Task Force 1 will assess the possible impact of any reform of law degrees if such reforms were to involve expanding the number and type of courses and classes in extra legal disciplines.