TF Coordinator: Tomas Berkmanas (Law Faculty Vytautas Magnus – Kaunas); Laura Ervo (University of Orebro - Sweden)
TF Members: University College of London Faculty of Law; ULB Centre Perelmann; University of Cyprus; University of Masaryk; Institute of Political Science and Governance Tallinn; Centre de Theorie et d'Analyse du Droit; Faculty of Political Science and Public Administration – Athens; National University of Ireland, Galway; Centre for European studies – Bifrost University; European University Institute; University of Palermo; University of Catania; Babes Bolyai University Cluj Napoca; University of Bucarest; University of Bratislava; University of Bologna.
Masters degrees have gained much visibility and space in European high education systems in recent years. They are particularly valuable because they offer a range of professionals the ability to develop substantial expertise that bridges the gap between society, policy makers and the academic community.
Masters degrees in law have been expanding over the last twenty years in line with the demand for legal expertise in many public institutions both at the supranational and national levels. Masters degree programs in law have in large part been designed to meet the expectations of young scholars who want to advance their careers as legal professions and legal consultants. But there has so far been only a limited development of masters degree programs in the field of judicial studies and at the “executive” level.
Masters degrees in judicial studies do exist outside Europe – mainly in the United States and in Australia. However, the increasing involvement of European and domestic political institutions in the organization and training of judges and the operation of courts has highlighted the value of advanced study in judicial affairs in Europe. Task Force 2 is devoted to examining “GRADUATE PROGRAMS” in law in all European countries. Its first task will be to identify the regulatory framework for Masters and LLM programs in law and legal studies in each country. It will then assess the content of law Masters programs, as well as the institutional barriers to change and good examples of innovative masters programs that combine law and judicial studies.
The initial assessment of the legal framework regulating the creation and delivery of Masters degrees in law will be important in fulfilling the Task Force’s objective of developing innovative ideas for legal and judicial training at the level of the second cycle of the Bologna process. Since European higher education systems still differ in the way this cycle is organized, Task Force 2 will provide vital information about differences as well as possible convergences in European domestic systems. Those countries in which masters degrees in law have (1) moved away from a purely formal legal tradition to encompass social and natural sciences, public policy and public administration, and (2) have emphasised the need to understand the key role played by the judiciary in law and society will provide Task Force 2 with important examples of innovative practice.
The final aim of Task Force 2 is to have a reliable dataset from which it can map out some key elements for a successful Masters in Judicial Studies in any European country. This work is scheduled to coincide with Work Package 3.