Due to the high numbers of Covid cases and travel restrictions, the first multiplier event (MPE1) on “Transversal Competences in Legal Studies” took place online on 24 March 2022 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., hosted by our partner University of Belgrade, Faculty of Law. In this meeting the results of the Intellectual Output 1 (IO1), which where the Key Skills of the Survey, who were finalized in a draft version, were presented, and discussed. However, through highly relevant presentations by the invited speakers, as well as the ensuing discussions, the event also served as an excellent opportunity to receive important feedback on the various issues of concern for other IO´s to assist in further developing the contours and contents for future research activities within the MELE project. A total of 69 participants attended the MPE1, among which 32 were local participants coming from various institutions in the Republic of Serbia and 37 foreign participants. The MPE1 was officially opened by Prof. Dr. Jelena Lepetić, Vice-Dean for international cooperation of the University of Belgrade Faculty of Law, who greeted the participants and used the occasion to stress the importance of the MELE project for the Faculty, its staff and students. Participants were further welcomed by Prof. Dr. Bojana Čučković, coordinator of the Belgrade Faculty of Law project team. She introduced the consortium and the project to external participants, as well as to participants coming from partner institutions. To set the pace of the event Prof. Čučković questioned whether education and teaching methods that are used in the field of legal studies are still able to meet the ever-changing needs of the legal profession in its various aspects.
This was followed by a key note lecture on “Quality assurance of higher education institutions: where we are now, where are we going?”, by Prof. Suzana Pecakovska, Senior Program Coordinator of the Education Program of the Foundation Open Society – Macedonia. The key note lecture fitted perfectly into the aims of the MPE1 since all the activities that are and will be conducted within the MELE project aim at assuring and enhancing the quality of legal studies and legal education. The first part of the MPE1 was finalized by the presentation of results achieved within the MELE IO1 – the Questionnaire. Prof. Neda Zdraveva from the MELE project team, full Professor of Civil Law at the Iustinianus Primus Faculty of Law and Secretary General of the South East European Law School Network, presented the main conclusions reached after data gathered through questionnaires at respective partner institutions were meticulously analysed. A following discussion pointed out the need to use the results of the Survey to reflect on additional ways in which the benefits of the interactive and practical teaching methods could be employed to enhance the practical skills of students and to prepare them properly for future legal professions not necessarily limited to classical ones. The second part of the MPE1 commenced with a presentation on online education as a dominant learning approach during the Covid-19 pandemic with the title: “Online teaching as a crisis education or education of the future?”, prepared by Valerija Dabetić, teaching assistant at the University of Belgrade, Faculty of Law. Afterwards, Mr. Goce Kocevski, program director at the Macedonian Young Lawyers Association and PhD student in Constitutional Law presented the topic “Strengthening practical legal skills of young lawyers in North Macedonia – A shared responsibility of law faculties and the legal professions”. The last part of the MPE1 was delivered by Valerija Dabetić with the second part of her presentation entitled “A key to successful communication with Z and Alpha generation who speaks only digital language”.
The second multiplier event (MPE2) regarding the “Online Course for academic skills in a European and international context” was implemented in person in London. The event aimed to promote the online course which provides the necessary academic skills for research in a European or international context. It took place on 14 July 2022 at Regent´s University in London as a half-day event for all interested parties, but especially for young researchers who need such skills for their future in science. The event was addressed not only at participants with a legal background, but also at graduates who want to use these skills in their work, and at other faculties that have a humanities approach that requires such skills. The event was also aimed at members of scientific academies or think tanks, as well as staff of scientific consultancies. The first part of the event dealt with the current developments referring to the constitutional crisis in the United Kingdom before and after the resignment of Boris Johnson and which was used also as an example about the importance of proper academic research and the quality of resources. The presentation was held by Prof. Dr. Stephen Barber of Regent´s University. The second part was dedicated to the project results. For this purpose, Dr. Mareike Fröhlich of Saarland University presented the structure and overall idea of the online course as well as the different contents to the participants. She pointed out the importance to acquire new research skills, especially to access information and data in a European or international context. Because of some last-minute cancellation of a scientist from the University of Belgrade, who wanted to share her findings from a survey about the problems to teach the generation Z, Dr. Fröhlich included this topic into her presentation and tried to explain the requirements of the generation Z and which consequences this might have for teaching at universities. These extremely interesting presentations led to lively discussions and interesting ideas which the project consortium will discuss in the aftermath of the meeting.
All in all, they were two successful multiplier events within the project of MELE and we are looking forward to the next one, which will take place in the beginning of 2023 in the Netherlands!