Liverpool hosts the first Summer School on the Law of the Council of Europe
Last week, the School of Law and Social Justice welcomed 42 participants and 20 experts from across Europe for Liverpool’s first Summer School on the Law of the Council of Europe. Organised by Professor Kanstantsin Dzehtsiarou and Dr Vassilis Tzevekekos, from Liverpool’s International Law and Human Rights Unit, and Dr Olaf Köndge, from the Open Council of Europe Academic Networks (OCEAN), Council of Europe, the event strengthened our long-standing connection with the Council of Europe and the European Court of Human Rights.
42 participants were selected from more than 250 applicants to attend the event, 3 – 14 July, which brought together key-decision makers from the Council of Europe, world-leading experts, and leading human rights scholars to discuss the ways in which the Council can tackle the array of crises that Europe is currently facing. With Europe at the crossroads, its future, stability, and prosperity depend on how effectively it will respond to the crucial – old and new – challenges that is it facing.
Liverpool’s Summer School provided the opportunity to facilitate conversations around these challenges, of which related to rising illiberal democracies, the Russian aggression against Ukraine, and the consequent expulsion of the Russian Federation from the Council of Europe, climate change, public health emergencies, such as the one caused by COVID-19, and economic crises. The outcomes of the Summits of Heads of State and Government of the Council of Europe in Reykjavik, Iceland, were also discussed.
We were delighted that John Howell, MP, and Vice-President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, opened the Liverpool Summer School, with his keynote address ‘Europe at a Crossroads: The Role of the Council of Europe in Confronting New Challenges’. Over the course of the two week event, participants engaged in numerous sessions delivered by human rights experts from across Europe on current human rights challenges, whilst also gaining an in-depth understanding of the Council’s values, standards, mission, and challenges. The sessions provided an educational space for interactive, engaging learning and discussion, with participants coming together to address how we can tackle human rights issues, post-Council of Europe summit challenges, and opportunities moving forward.
10 scholarships were provided by the Council of Europe, the School of Law and Social Justice, University of Liverpool, The Full-Service International Law Firm Gibson Dunn, and Professor Robert Spano, Former President of the European Court of Human Rights, with 5 of the scholarships allocated to participants from Ukraine.
The participants of the Summer School were also invited to attend a conference on the EU accession to the ECHR, organised by EU Law at Liverpool, which took place in Liverpool on 14 – 15 July 2023.
Sandy Moss, UK Permanent Representative to the Council of Europe, who was in attendance, shared:
“Thanks to Dr Kanstantsin Dzehtsiarou and Dr Vassilis Tzevelekos for organising such an excellent and important course (and to the attendees for their laser like questioning!).”
Justine McGahan, Legal Intern at UNHCR Representation to the European Institutions in Strasbourg, shared:
“I would like to thank again all those involved in the organisation of the course, which was extremely insightful and provided an opportunity to meet like-minded academics and human rights practitioners!”
Freya Proudman, who attended the Summer School, said:
“Grateful to have learned so much at the first Summer School on the Law of the Council of Europe. Heard amazing insights from academics, lawyers, judges, CoE staff, and classmates. Thank you so much to the School of Law and Social Justice, International Law and Human Rights Unit, and UK Delegation to the Council of Europe for the support”.
We look forward to continuing this partnership next year, as we look to make Liverpool’s Summer School an annual event. Many thanks to Professors Valsamis Mitsilegas and Kanstantsin Dzehtsiarou and Dr Vassilis Tzevelekos who led this very worthwhile work from Liverpool and to all staff involved from the School of Law and Social Justice.
Find out more
- Access the full agenda for the Liverpool Summer School
- Visit the International Law and Human Rights Unit webpages
- Learn more about the Open Council of Europe Academic Network (OCEAN)
- Visit the Council of Europe webpages