Edinburgh Students Attend European Private Law Summer School

Edinburgh Law School students Jasmine Johnstone, Anna MacLeod, Cameron McCartney and Hannah O’Rawe recently attended the European Private Law Summer School at the University of Salzburg.

Edinburgh Law School students Jasmine Johnstone, Anna MacLeod, Cameron McCartney and Hannah O’Rawe recently attended the European Private Law Summer School at the University of Salzburg.

The Summer School, which was supported by the European Commission, brought together 150 law students from across the continent, as well as from further afield. It presented a great opportunity to make friends and an inspiration to improve foreign language ability. Lectures were given on the laws of the different European countries, with particular emphasis on contract law and property law. The students were introduced to the different civil codes including the French Code civil and the German BGB. There were also workshops which gave the opportunity to apply the national laws to a problem, often resulting in a multiplicity of different answers.

An increasingly important feature of the summer school each year is an introduction to mixed legal systems. This time there were classes on Puerto Rico, Quebec and Scotland as well as a comparative session on Malta, Scotland and South Africa chaired by Dr Andrew Steven. Consideration was also given to the merits or otherwise of harmonising European Private Law.

Two particularly memorable events were a lecture by Justice Anthony Kennedy of the US Supreme Court and a visit to the Austrian Supreme Court in Vienna. There was also a trip to Hellbrun Palace on the outskirts of Salzburg as well as the European Evening on the final Friday, which featured national songs and dances and ended with the traditional Scottish Auld Lang Syne. 

The Edinburgh students are very grateful to the Clark Foundation for Legal Education for funding their participation in the summer school.