Scholarships in public law within Europe’s dynamic setting


Founded in 1995, the Academy of European Public Law has been at the forefront of European public law teaching for over twenty years and is the oldest and most esteemed educational establishment of the “European Public Law Organization” (EPLO), and the most representative of its mandate. The EPLO has been entwined with the development of European Public Law, and the emergence of the EU as a new legal order in international law.

The Academy offers study sessions leading to the Intensive International Master of Laws (I.I.L.L.M.) in European Public Law or the Certificate of Attendance in European Public Law for those interested in furthering their knowledge and skills on the reasoning and philosophy of the different national public law systems of European countries, as well as the divergences among them. The study sessions are conducted during the months of August and September on an annual basis at the premises of the EPLO in Athens and Sounion and have a 3-week duration.

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What was the challenge intended to be addressed? Why? What did work well? What did not work well? What have been the main achievements? How did you evaluate its success? What has been the change brought by this good practice?

The Academy offers 3-week summer study sessions for those interested in furthering their knowledge on the philosophical backdrop of different European national public law systems, as well as on their commonalities and differences. Students may attend one session to earn a Certificate of Attendance in European Public Law, or attend two consecutive summer sessions to obtain the Intensive International Master of Laws (I.I.L.L.M.) in European Public Law. The Program is composed of two 1-week intensive teaching sessions and one guest lecture on different topics. At the end of each session, students must undertake an examination which will be in the form of an essay, marked on a pass/fail or distinction basis.
In its 22 years of existence, more than 500 students have graduated from the Academy and currently serve outstanding careers in academia, the public, private and international development sectors and advocacy.

Success Factors

What are the enabling conditions (e.g. institutional, economic, social/cultural, regulatory) that needed to be in place or played a facilitating role for the good practice to be successful?

- There are three weeks of quality study and also a visit to the most representative Greek culture and civilization Sounion.
- It’s an opportunity to learn from world-class academics from most prestigious universities of the world and network with top scholars all in an international learning environment.
- At the same time, it is kept up-to-date with the most recent curriculum on European Public Law.
- A chance to interact with internationally renowned judges & law academics by conference in Spetses island and to pursue a Diploma level studies without compromising any personal or professional obligations.
- The sessions coincide with the annual conference of the European Group of Public Law, the EGPL Annual Reunion taking place in Greece in September, where its members – internationally renowned jurists, judges and law academics- meet to present and discuss their reports on a collectively chosen topic of the public law. The Academy students are given the opportunity to attend the EGPL Annual Reunion and, hence, come into contact with the most advanced ideas and viewpoints in European public law and meet the professionals behind them. This is a unique advantage in terms of the students’ academic and professional development.
- By participating in the Academy I.I.L.L.M. programme the student is given the chance to have his/her written work selected for publication in a widely acknowledged edition such as the “Academy of European Public Law Series”, a special edition of the “European Review of Public Law.


What are the challenges, barriers or limiting factors encountered? How have they been addressed?

Financial constraints/pressure. There is a tuition fee of 1000 EUR for the Certificate Program and 1950 EUR tuition for I.I.L.L.M.
To obtain the I.I.LL.M., students are obliged to attend 2 Academy study sessions of a 3-week duration each (6 weeks in total).

Feasibility & Sustainability

What are the elements that need to be put into place for the good practice to be sustainable (institutionally, socially, economically, etc.)? If applicable, indicate the total costs incurred for the implementation of the practice. What are the benefits compared to total costs?

In order to be sustainable the programme should be a good programme with an updated curriculum, that meets the market needs. The topics and lecturers of the study sessions vary from year to year, but it is a dynamic curriculum, thereby encouraging students to engage at a high academic level with topics of current concern in the fast-evolving EU law.
Eminent Professors and Personalities with outstanding careers are former Academy Alumni. Many of the former alumni are either teaching at the Academy or are Members of the European Group of Public Law or attending the Conference in Spetses every year and students will be able to mingle and network with them throughout their stay.
Strong leadership (good management) in order to monitor its outcomes and results. Using monitoring and evaluation systems to measure outcomes is essential for tracking progress as well as identifying areas for improvement.
The programme needs to have a good marketing and strong partnerships.

Replicability & Upscaling

What are the possibilities of extending the good practice more widely? What are the conditions that need to be in place for the good practice to be successfully replicated in a similar context? What are the steps that should be taken/respected to ensure that the good practice is replicated / up-scaled, but adapted to the new context?

Although EPLO is an international organization, started as a non-profit institution of international character, established in 1995 under the Law of the Hellenic Republic, the postgraduate programme is replicable at a NGO level or at university level (or as a consortium’s initiative).

Lessons learned

What would have facilitated an earlier and/or bigger impact? What are the key features that should be kept in mind if this would have to be implemented again? What would you do differently if you could go back in time? What could have been done better?

Orientation towards the labour market.
Updated curriculum on European Public Law and an interdisciplinary approach of the curriculum.
Flexible schedule.
Involving world-class academics from most prestigious universities of the world and internationally renowned judges.
Strong partnerships with universities abroad in order to market the post-grad programme.


Please provide some information about the context and initial situation that can help in fully understanding the action (e.g. information about the national system, applying regulations, etc.)

Greek higher education is largely state sponsored and is divided into two parts: university and technological. Higher university education programs are taught by universities, polytechnic schools, an institute of fine arts and an open university. Higher Technological Institutes provide higher education focused on science and applied research. Master’s degrees are awarded as Master of Science (MSc), Master of Arts (MA), or Master of Business Administration (MBA). Greece also awards a Graduate Diploma, which is considered to be between the Bachelor’s and Master’s level and can be earned in about half the time of a Master’s degree. Credits earned from a Graduate Diploma can be applied toward a full Master’s degree.
An LLM is a postgraduate law degree that is pursued by students who want to specialize in a particular area of law. Graduates with this specialized training are often qualified to work in global legal environments.
The Master of Laws (LL.M.) is an internationally recognised postgraduate degree generally acquired after one year of full-time legal studies. Law students and professionals typically pursue a LL.M. to deepen their legal expertise and to enhance their career prospects. To be considered for an LL.M. degree, most universities require a professional degree in law, while others accept first degrees in related areas. An alternative to the Master of Laws is the Graduate Diploma in Law, offering more flexible learning objectives.