Kent Law School

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Apply for ELSA Kent's Summer School on Migration Law

28 February 2018

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Students can now apply for places at an international Summer School on Migration Law organised by the European Law Student Association (ELSA) Kent.

ELSA Kent, a student society at Kent Law School, will host the summer school on the University's Canterbury campus from Sunday 17 June to Sunday 24 June 2018.

It's the second summer school to be organised by the society – ELSA Kent held the UK's first ELSA Law School last year after securing approval from the international ELSA network. ELSA Law Schools are intensive legal courses addressing contentious issues in international law. Each summer school programme combines the theoretical perspective of expert academics together with the practical perspective of practising lawyers. They're open to students and young lawyers across the world irrespective of ELSA membership.

Caroline Wilian, a member of ELSA Kent's organising committee, said: 'The Summer Law Schools are the essential ELSA experience, and participants often describe it as the best week of their life, so it appeared to us as the perfect project to pursue. It has been an exciting challenge!'

ELSA's exacting quality control standards required ELSA Kent to demonstrate sufficient competence before their summer school in migration law could be approved. Caroline said: 'Hosting last year's event helped elevate our status and grow our network immensely in the UK and in Europe. It's really put us on the map.'

The society received more than 100 applications for 30 places at last year's event. Attendees came from: Belgium, Bosnia & Herzegovina, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Thailand, and the UK.

Caroline said: 'Many of our participants had previously studied or worked in the field of migration law and were often familiar with the published work of the specific academics involved in the programme. They hugely appreciated the benefit of being able to raise issues with them. It was very important to us that the whole summer law school embodied Kent Law School's critical approach to law, and we were incredibly happy to see how much the academics stimulated our participants to discuss the issues. We had speakers who were able to communicate diverse accounts of engaging with migration law. This included academics but we also had Judge Ledi Bianku from the European Court of Human Rights and Sed Bikandy, a local architecture student who came to Canterbury as a refugee from Syria.'

Kent academics who contributed to last year’s conference included Richard Warren, Sian Lewis-Anthony and Dr Anthony Valcke.

Attendees can also expect to enjoy a lively social programme. Last year, social events included: a Masquerade at Westgate Towers in Canterbury (hosted by Kent Student Law Society); clubbing nights; a day trip to Broadstairs; and a three course Gala Dinner at Canterbury Cathedral Lodge.


Caroline said: 'On the last day, our participants were hugging each other in tears and planning summer trips to meet each other again as they left Kent with many new friends from all over the world. We were incredibly proud of the event and felt that everything had gone better than we had ever dreamed of.'

Members of ELSA Kent's organising committee also enjoyed the opportunity to develop new skills. Caroline said: 'We learned how to communicate with leading academics and lawyers, and we built personal relationships with them. We also learned a lot about collaboration as we came to rely on each other for the completion of different tasks. And we gained a great deal of confidence in public speaking – it can be daunting to direct a crowd of thirty strangers in addition to highly respected academics and lawyers. All of these skills are important to complement our learning in our future legal careers.'

Fellow organising committee member Hendrik Jonsson said: 'The Summer Law School required a big commitment of time, but it had a hugely positive effect on my academic performance. The practical organisational and management skills I learned in the process became tools which I could use to prepare essays for my modules and revise for exams. In the end, I found my grades greatly improved.'

Tickets for this year's summer school will be available via the ELSA Kent Summer School on Migration Law Facebook Page. And anyone interested in joining the organising committee can email


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Last Updated: 12/09/2017