What is an ELSA Legal Research Group (LRG)?

An ELSA Legal Research Group is an academic project, aiming at providing the legal community with an international publication, which is the outcome of legal research on a specified topic of law conducted by law students and young lawyers. It is called Group because the legal text is drafted collectively by national researchers and national reports are compiled with the findings of the other countries. The final report with the findings of all national research groups can serve as a valuable legal source.

How is the research conducted?

ELSA and the academic partner of each LRG draft an academic framework. This is a list of approximately 10 questions. The researchers are asked to answer these questions by having researched their national legislation and case law first in order to find out the level that the European and international conventions, directives and agreements are implemented. The aim is to give answers to the questions and make comparisons and conclusions publicly accessible within 25-35 pages per country.

What is the difference between a Final Report and a Concluding Report?

The Final Report of an LRG is a compilation of the National Reports, whereas the Concluding Report compares and contrasts the findings of the Final Report.

How many participants are selected per country, and what are their roles within the project?

Every ELSA country can have a National Research Group consisting of 1 National Coordinator for the promotion of the project, recruitment and guidance of the researchers and facilitation of communication with ELSA International; 1-3 National Academic Supervisor(s) for the evaluation of the legal texts and provision of academic feedback to the researchers; 3-10 National Researchers for the legal research and writing the report with the findings; 1-3 National Linguistic Editor(s) for the proofreading of the text, corrections regarding the terminology and compilation of the findings. The countries are coordinated by the International Coordination Team which is selected by ELSA International before the national recruitment. This team consists of the same positions plus the ones of the International Academic Coordinator and the International Technical Editor and they all have similar duties in international scale.

Who can participate in the project?

The ELSA LRG is free of charge and is aimed at ELSA and non-ELSA members. All law students (undergraduate, post graduate, PhD) and young lawyers can be members of the national research groups. However, for the position of the National Academic Supervisor we encourage people who have the necessary expertise on the field of the research in order to be able to provide the researchers with academic feedback and correct their texts if necessary. Therefore, lecturers, professors, experts and lawyers are the ideal ones for this position.

May students coming from different universities in one country participate in the same National Research Group?

Yes. The can be only one National Research Group per country. Therefore, we encourage the cooperation within the respective universities of each country.

Can someone apply for a National Research Group even though they live in a different country?

An ELSA LRG asks for participants who are very familiar with a specific national legislation. The current place of residence is therefore not as important as the knowledge a participant has, for example, concerning legislation of the country of origin or the one of the country they study/work in.

How long does the research last?

The ELSA LRG is launched every Autumn. The National Coordinators are asked to promote it in their countries. After the phase of recruitment the researchers are able to begin with the research in December and in May, the Final Report is finalised. The Concluding Report is published in Summer, depending on the length and content.

Can someone participate more than once in an ELSA LRG?

Absolutely!

What are the benefits of participating in this project?

ELSA has big institutions (eg Council of Europe) as Academic Partners and cooperates with leading experts on the field of each LRG in order to prepare a rewarding project. The participants get a certificate by ELSA and the Academic Partner and are invited afterwards to the concluding conference. The report of the research is published online and on paper and is distributed to ELSA’s whole network. The participants have the chance to exercise their legal writing skills and boost their teamwork, leadership, management skills, while they substantially enrich their CV with an international publication.