The European Law Institute

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EJIL is delighted to reprint the following information received from Sir Francis Jacobs, President of the newly established European Law Institute.

The European Law Institute was founded in 2011 as an entirely independent organization, with the aim of improving the quality of European law, understood in the broad sense. It seeks to initiate, conduct and facilitate research, to make recommendations, and to provide practical guidance in the field of European legal development.

The Institute will study and stimulate European legal development in a global context. This will include, but by no means be limited to, the development of European law by the European Union and the Council of Europe. Other fields of national law will be included and the Institute’s scope may also encompass the development of international law, both public and private.

The process of founding the Institute as a pan-European body generated a high degree of enthusiasm for the idea, an enthusiasm which has been reflected in the many expressions of interest and the large number of applications for membership. The Institute is now established at the University of Vienna, where an inaugural ceremony was held on 17 November 2011, and where the Secretariat is based. 

The Institute will be uniquely broad in its membership, bringing together scholars, practitioners and judges from all over Europe. Pure academic research is not the aim of the organization; rather it will promote, on the basis of the best academic and practical experience available, ideas for the development of the law which will have a real impact in practice.

The Institute has already embarked on its first project, namely to advise on the European Commission’s initiative for a European Sales Law. Several other projects are currently being considered.

Members of the Institute are encouraged to participate in the work of the Institute, both by proposing and working on its projects, by submitting comments on the Institute’s projects, and by taking part in the General Assembly. The Institute will aim to ensure that its projects properly reflect the various legal traditions in Europe and the diverse experience of its Members.

Detailed information on the Institute and on how to apply for membership may be found on the Institute website:

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