In light of the recent COVID-19 outbreak in Europe and globally, the International Board of ELSA would like to make the following statement regarding ELSA’s international projects.
The 77th International Council Meeting
After careful consideration, the International Board of ELSA has decided to cancel the International Council Meeting in Malta and postpone the 77th International Council Meeting indefinitely. Hence, the International Council Meeting in Malta will not take place as convened between the 15th and the 22nd of March 2020. The International Board of ELSA will keep the Network updated about any progress regarding this matter.
The majority of ELSA Delegations included in the January Call for ELSA Delegations has been cancelled or postponed. The ELSA Delegates involved were duly notified. The ELSA Delegations Team of ELSA International remains in constant contact with the ELSA Delegates appointed for the sessions, which have not been cancelled or postponed. Additionally, the status of those sessions is being daily monitored by the ELSA Delegations Team of ELSA International.
The International Board of ELSA has decided to cancel the ongoing (March) Call for ELSA Delegations due to lack of certainty as to the sessions included in the mentioned Call. The International Board of ELSA believes it is a precautionary measure that needs to be taken. The International Board of ELSA will be monitoring the possibility of reopening the Call in the following weeks.
Summer ELSA Law Schools
Currently, the application period for Summer ELSA Law Schools is taking place until the 20th of April 2020. However, taking into consideration the COVID-19 escalation, we cannot assure you that all of the Summer ELSA Law Schools planned to take place in the summer 2020, will take place.
We will make sure to keep you up to date on this matter.
The John H. Jackson Moot Court Competition
After careful consideration, the International Board of ELSA and the Academic Board of the John H. Jackson Moot Court Competition have decided that holding the All Americas Regional Round and the Asia-Pacific Regional Round as originally planned would be neither responsible nor feasible.
In light of these extraordinary circumstances and based on recommendations of public health authorities:
- The All-Americas Regional Round and the East Asia and Oceania part of the Asia-Pacific Regional Round will be moved to a virtual moot using the Microsoft Teams video conference platform or a similar alternative.
- Given that all teams registered for the West and South Asia part of the Asia-Pacific Regional Round are from India and there are no internal travel restrictions for India at the time, the International Board and the Academic Board of the John H. Jackson Moot Court Competition are looking into the possibility of relocating this part of the Regional Round to Delhi, India, during May 2020. This option will be pursued only if it is consistent with the most up-to-date health advice.
As for now, the African Regional Round and the Final Oral Round in Geneva will still take place as announced. We will continue to monitor developments with the World Health Organization, the African region authorities, and the Swiss authorities to keep all involved parties informed if the situation changes.
The European Human Rights Moot Court Competition
The Regional Rounds of the EHRMCC were held as scheduled with only one team having to conduct online pleadings due to travel restrictions. On Monday the 9th of March 2020, the Secretary General of the Council of Europe put in place restrictive measures that are in force until further notice, these measures include limiting access to the Council of Europe for outside visitors. The International Board of ELSA has been working with the Council of Europe to find a satisfactory solution under these circumstances, as the Final Oral Round of the EHRMCC was scheduled to take place from the 5th to the 9th of April 2020. After thorough consideration, we have decided to postpone the Final Oral Round to the week of the 1st to the 5th of June 2020. We are constantly monitoring the situation and accessing information from relevant authorities such as the World Health Organization and the French government, as cancellation of the Final Oral Round may be necessary should the situation not improve. We are also looking into alternative solutions, such as online pleadings, should we not be able to host a physical Final Oral Round.
International Legal Research Group on Internet Censorship
The International Legal Research Group on Internet Censorship is currently being continued with possible delays in the process as National Research Teams, the International Coordination Team and the Academic Board may be affected by the COVID-19 situation.
ELSA Law Review
The 2020 ELSA Law Review is currently being continued with possible delays in the process as the Editorial Board and the Academic Board may be affected by the COVID-19 situation.
Student Trainee Exchange Programme
The International Board of ELSA requests the National and Local Groups of ELSA that are hosting STEP Trainees to keep a close eye on the COVID-19 situation in their respective countries and communicate frequently and transparently with the STEP Trainees planning their arrival or already doing the STEP placement in the country. Furthermore, the respective National and Local Groups of ELSA are requested to stay in close contact with the Traineeship Providers to remain updated about their internal policies capable of restricting the STEP Trainees’ placements by e.g. having to cancel or postpone the STEP Traineeship vacancy.
The International Board of ELSA encourages the National and Local Groups of ELSA to continue Job Hunting as normal with the original deadline remaining unchanged, the 3rd of April 2020. During Job Hunting, the approached organisations should be clearly informed about their rights to cancel or postpone the offered vacancies under the applicable Terms and Conditions of participation.
The International Board of ELSA will issue a statement on the STEP website when the Student Hunting period is open between the 13th of April and the 4th of May 2020 which explains more in detail what the current situation with COVID-19 affecting STEP is and what could be the possible scenarios under the applicable Terms and Conditions of participation.
The health and safety of ELSA’s members and the participants of our projects is the highest priority of the International Board of ELSA. Hence, we monitor the situation continuously and will keep everyone informed should changes or cancellation be necessary.