On 16-17 March 2023, the Our Rule of Law Academy took place in Brussels, a project for-students-by-students. It was a bootcamp for 45 selected bachelor law students from 25 Member States about the question “how to safeguard the rule of law in the EU yourself?”.
In the weeks before the pitch in Brussels, the participants attended online plenary lectures and worked with inspirational mentors in small groups on important rule of law topics with the aim to draft concrete policy briefs. The covered topics were: the protection of NGOs; academic freedom; media freedom; legal methods to protect the rule of law; political methods to protect the rule of law; political methods to protect the rule of law; European political parties and political groups; protection of the EU budget and recovery funds; non-implementation of ECtHR and CJEU judgments; Amicus Curiae at the CJEU; and judicial independence.
In Brussels the students were given the opportunity to present their proposals to EU decision-makers and others, and to receive constructive feedback from experts to sharpen their ideas. The program also included inspiring speeches by the President of the European Court of Human Rights, European Commissioners Vera Jourova and Didier Reynders, MEP Daniel Freund, former Advocate-General Eleanor Sharpston, Vice-President Jourova Deputy Chief of Cabinet Simona Constantin, Free Courts co-founder Michał Wawrykiewicz, the Dutch Ambassador Robert de Groot, and first and foremost the four founding bachelor students of Our Rule of Law – Elene Amiranashvili, Tekla Emborg, Zuzanna Uba and Anna Walczak of the University of Groningen.
The unique end result of the Our Rule of Law Academy, a report created by 45 Ba students from all over Europe, can be found here: https://ourruleoflaw.eu/academy-report.
The project was sponsored and supported by Meijers Committee. Other sponsors and partners were Radboud University Nijmegen, Maastricht University Campus Brussels, The Good Lobby (Profs), and the Permanent Representation of the Netherlands to the EU.