About ELSA

The Association

The European Law Students’ Association (ELSA) is an international, independent, non-political, non-profit making organisation run by and for students and recent graduates, who are interested in achieving academic and personal excellence in addition to their legal or law-related studies at university.

ELSA aims at providing its members a platform to develop their existing skills and acquire new ones, to interact with fellow students and experienced practitioners from different states and legal systems around Europe, and to be equipped for a professional life in an international environment, through mutual understanding, intercultural cooperation and the large variety of activities and projects the Association offers.

Our Philosophy is inspiring.
  • Vision

    A just world in which there is respect for human dignity and cultural diversity.

  • Purpose

    To contribute to legal education, to foster mutual understanding and to promote social responsibility of law students and young lawyers.

  • Aims

    To develop professional and student relations of an international nature in the field of Law, to prepare members for professional life in an international environment, to contribute to the exchange of scholarly experience and to stimulate mutual understanding and friendship on the principle of equality of all its members.

  • Means

    By providing opportunities for law students and young lawyers to learn about other cultures and legal systems in a spirit of critical dialogue and scientific co-operation. By assisting law students and young lawyers to be internationally minded and professionally skilled. By encouraging law students and young lawyers to act for the good of society.

Our reputation is recognized.
Patron of ELSA

Mr. Thorbjørn Jagland, the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, has been the Patron of ELSA since February 2013. ELSA is both honoured and proud that Mr. Jagland accepted to support the Association, which corroborates the close cooperation of ELSA with the Council of Europe.

Mr. Thorbjørn Jagland is a former Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Norway. He has also been the President of the Storting (the Norwegian Parliament) and the Chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, which awards annually the Nobel Peace Prize. In 2009, he was elected as the 13th Secretary General of the Council of Europe, while he was trusted to continue holding the position for a second term to be ended in 2019.

As the Secretary General, Mr. Jagland has the overall responsibility for the strategic management of the Council of Europe. During his first term, the World Forum for Democracy was launched and the report “State of Democracy, Human Rights and the Rule of Law in Europe” was issued.

Patron of ELSA Moot Court Competition

Mr. Roberto Azevêdo is the sixth Director-General of the World Trade Organization. His appointment took effect on 1 September 2013 for a four-year term. Ambassador Azevêdo holds degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Brasilia and in international relations from the “Instituto Rio Branco”, the graduate school of international relations and diplomacy run by the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Relations. He joined the Brazilian Foreign Service in 1984. His first diplomatic posting was to Washington in 1988. He subsequently served in the Brazilian embassy in Montevideo before being assigned to the Permanent Mission of Brazil in Geneva in 1997.

In 2001 Roberto Carvalho de Azevêdo was named head of the Brazilian Foreign Ministry’s Dispute Settlement Unit in which he remained until 2005. During his tenure he acted as chief litigator in many disputes at the WTO and served on WTO dispute settlement panels. From 2006 to 2008 he was Vice-Minister for Economic and Technological Affairs at the Foreign Ministry in Brasilia. In that capacity he was Brazil’s chief trade negotiator for the Doha Round and represented Brazil in MERCOSUR negotiations. In 2008 he was appointed Permanent Representative of Brazil to the WTO and to other International Economic Organisations in Geneva. Ambassador Azevêdo has been a frequent lecturer on topics related to international economics and has published numerous articles on these issues.

Mr. Roberto Azevêdo, WTO Director-General addresses the students at the Final Oral Round of the ELSA Moot Court Competition(EMC2).