From 18 to 25 September 2022 lecturers (assistants and also professors) of the partner universities within the MELE project met for the LTT3 meeting “Innovative Teaching Methods in Legal Education” in Jerez, hosted by the Faculty of Law of the University of Cádiz in Spain. The meeting was intended to present the results of the 4 working groups within the Intellectual Output 3 (I03), which deals with the “METHOD TOOL BOX for teaching skills in legal education”, to the participants.
In total 7 lecturers of the individual working groups presented their results to the 17 participants and created an interactive workshop, in which the participants learnt how to use the knowledge and best practices of the working groups to create better teaching skills in legal education. All lecturers also explained the theoretical background and created practical exercises to practice the skills.
The LTT3-meeting was officially opened on the first evening with a key lecture on “Transversal competences in legal education” by Assoc. Prof. Dr. José María Miranda Boto of the University of Santiago de Compostela. He recommends innovation, creativity and flexibility in teaching and quoted Helmuth von Moltke who said: “no plan survives contact with the enemy”. Transferred to teaching and lecturing, he advised developing a teaching plan but adjusting it after each lecture.
The first days focused on Case Studies and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Antonio Alvarez del Cuvillo and Isabel Ribes Moreno from the University of Cádiz, University Lecturer Ms. Cecile Ogufere from Regent´s University and Assoc. Prof. Dr. José María Miranda Boto of the University of Santiago de Compostela explained their way of using case studies in their classes. The group started with a general overview of guidelines on how to teach and create a case study, which was followed by their best practices. In the end, the participants practiced applying these guidelines to create their own case study and present it to all the other participants in individual groups.
In the second slot, the concept of Clinical Legal Education was introduced by Prof. Dr. Alan Uzelac and Dr. Juraj Brozovic from the University of Zagreb who, using the example of their own legal clinic, gave an in-depth insight to their work. This allowed participants to ask specific questions about the implementation of such a teaching method into their own curriculum. At the end, the participants were able to exchange ideas about possible models in their own faculty and what challenges they might encounter in implementing or introducing them.
The teaching method Moot Courts was presented by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Andjelija Tasic from the University of Niš, Inga Motuziene from the Mykolos Romeris University of Vilnius and Lidija Šimonuvić from the Faculty of Law in Osijek. Here the participants got an overview of the different ways of organizing moot courts and preparing a team for one of the bigger moot competitions, e.g. Vis Moot, FDI Moot etc. The participants also developed their own moot court in the end, which, in addition to content-related challenges, also involved some organizational issues.
Ass. Prof. Dr. Oskar Gstrein and Lukas Haitsma from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands and Dr. Mareike Fröhlich from the Europa-Institut of Saarland University introduced the concept of Simulations in the meeting. After a theoretical background presentation with the example of the EUROSIM simulation, the participants “played” a simulation which dealt with the situation of data protection issues in academic research. This allowed the participants to experience the learning outcomes on their own.
The interesting presentations and workshops led to lively discussions and interesting ideas, which will help the working groups to finalize their guidelines for the Teaching Method Tool Box, which will become an important tool for all teaching staff, especially young academics, in the faculties to make their teaching contemporary and innovative.
Besides the academic programme, the participants had the opportunity to visit Cadiz and Jerez de la Frontera with a traditional tapas menu and sherry tasting. The Andalusian way of life and the hospitality was very much appreciated by all participants.