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Tuning Legal Studies in Europe: Initial Findings

27 Pages Posted: 18 Sep 2010  

Julian Lonbay

Birmingham Law School, University of Birmingham, UK

Tom Latrup Pederson

University of Aarhus

Michiel van de Kasteelen

Utrecht University

Anne Pelissier

University of Strasbourg

Jacek Petzel

University of Warsaw

John Bell

University of Cambridge - Faculty of Law

Lars Skjold Wilhelmsen

University of Bergen

Julia Gonzales

University of Deusto

Robert Wagenaar

University of Groningen

Date Written: February 16, 2008

Abstract

The creation of the European Higher Education Area within the Bologna Process is explained with its concomitant need for national qualification frameworks to emerge along with “learning outcomes”, all to be linked together by the European meta-framework. The Report explains the background to the work of QUAACAS and ELFA in the Tuning Legal Studies process. It outlines the selection of national representatives and how the questionnaires were developed and the methodology of the project. The Tuning Legal Studies Project is then briefly explained: – an organised consultation of graduates, employers and academics about what they consider to be their most important generic and specific competences gained during legal studies at university. The idea of competences and outcomes on the law context then follows.

In Tuning Legal Studies there were four questionnaires. Employers and graduates were asked about generic competences learned during legal studies, with academics then ranking these results. Within the broader Tuning project these generic competences are very similar for all disciplines. Academics were additionally asked to rank a set of “specific” legal competences, devised by QUAACAS in consultation with national representatives, in order of importance.

The results show gaps between competences and achievement which raise a lot of questions about curriculum design in legal education, focus on teaching or learning activities, alignment between described learning outcomes, teaching and learning activities, and assessment. As competences are recognised as significant or important there is clear scope for further work on curriculum reform to enhance and develop those particular competences. It is conceivable that some work could be undertaken in co-operation with the European legal professions for certain competences in develop both curricula and extra-curricula activities. Co-ordination could be sought with the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE) for example. ELFA could develop its own policies on which competences should be recognised or enhanced (by further collaborative work). There is also a clear chance for ELFA to help and advise law schools across Europe in the ongoing development of national qualification frameworks in relation to legal studies. There is a likelihood that a sectoral qualification framework could emerge for law in Europe as a result of the processes described in the Report.

Suggested Citation

Lonbay, Julian and Pederson, Tom Latrup and Kasteelen, Michiel van de and Pelissier, Anne and Petzel, Jacek and Bell, John and Wilhelmsen, Lars Skjold and Gonzales, Julia and Wagenaar, Robert, Tuning Legal Studies in Europe: Initial Findings (February 16, 2008). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1677820 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1677820

Julian Lonbay (Contact Author)

Birmingham Law School, University of Birmingham, UK ( email )

Chancellor's Court
Edgbaston
Birmingham, B15 2TT
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/schools/law/staff/profile.aspx?ReferenceId=3803

Tom Latrup Pederson

University of Aarhus

Nordre Ringgade 1
DK-8000 Aarhus C, 8000
Denmark

Michiel van de Kasteelen

Utrecht University

Vredenburg 138
Utrecht, 3511 BG
Netherlands

Anne Pelissier

University of Strasbourg

Strasbourg, Alsace
France

Jacek Petzel

University of Warsaw

Szturmowa 1/3 Warsaw
Poland

John S. Bell

University of Cambridge - Faculty of Law ( email )

10 West Road
Cambridge, CB3 9DZ
United Kingdom

Lars Skjold Wilhelmsen

University of Bergen

Muséplassen 1
N-5008 Bergen, +47 55 58
Norway

Julia Gonzales

University of Deusto

Bilbao, 48007
Spain

Robert Wagenaar

University of Groningen

P.O. Box 800
9700 AH Groningen
Netherlands

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