Centre for the Study of English and European Law
(The ‘British Law Centre’)
University of Warsaw, Faculty of Law and Administration
Wybrzeże Kościuszkowskie 47 (room 11)
Tel: (22) 552-7278
Kierownik: Dr Steve Terrett (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org)
The British Law Centre
The Centre for the Study of English and European Law (also known as the “British Law Centre”) was created in 1992 as a joint academic venture between an English educational charity Juris Angliae Scientia, the University of Cambridge and the University of Warsaw. The aim of the Centre is to allow Warsaw-based students to familiarise themselves with the methodology and structure of a common law system by undertaking courses in selected areas of English and European law and, simultaneously, to prepare themselves for future cooperation with international colleagues. The Diploma Course places great emphasis on the practical application of law and the resolution of legal problems, as opposed to mere legal theory. For this reason, in addition to lectures, the Course provides small-class teaching which allows students to work through practical legal problems and develop the skills required for providing practical advice to clients.
The BLC Diploma Course
The Centre offers a two-year Diploma Course in English and EU law, beginning in the October of a given academic year and concluding in May of the following academic year. It is possible, if necessary, to suspend studies at the Centre for a one year period (e.g. in order to take advantage of the Erasmus scheme or other foreign-study schemes), but the Course must be completed by all students within 3 years of initial registration. Upon successful completion of the course, students receive a joint Diploma from the University of Warsaw and Juris Angliae Scientia, the Cambridge educational charity which organises the course and which comprises senior members of the British judiciary and academic members of the University of Cambridge.
The course modules are as follows:
FIRST YEAR SUBJECTS
- ENGLISH LEGAL SYSTEM (including an introduction to EU Constitutional Law)
- CRIMINAL LAW
- LAW OF CONTRACT
- CONTRACT DRAFTING AND SALE OF GOODS LAW
- LAW OF TORT
- LAW OF TRUSTS/PROPERTY
SECOND YEAR SUBJECTS
- EU CONSTITUTIONAL AND SUBSTANTIVE LAW
- INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAW
- LAW OF BUSINESS ASSOCIATIONS (with emphasis on English Company Law)
- INTERNATIONAL TRADE LAW (including International Commercial Litigation)
Each of these subjects is taught on the basis of lectures and classes, all of which are conducted in English and are compulsory. During the 8-9 designated lecture weeks in any year, students receive a series of lectures (90 minutes each) following which they divide into smaller groups to discuss and apply the law they have learned. These smaller classes are of two different types: seminars (approx. 16 students and lasting 90 minutes) and tutorials (approx. 6-8 students and lasting 60 minutes). In any given “class week” (of which there are approximately 9 per year) each student is required to attend one seminar and one tutorial. Students are given a (limited) choice of their class times.
Since there are always two years of students enrolled on the Diploma Course at any given time (i.e. 1st year and 2nd year students), not every week will involve lectures or classes for all students. For example, during weeks when 1st year students are being lectured, 2nd students will not have any lectures. A detailed timetable of lectures and classes will be made available to students at the beginning of each academic year and a sample timetable (for information purposes only) is provided here.
The BLC welcomes applications from students from all years of study and from all academic backgrounds (including non-law students), and also from persons currently in employment. Lectures are held in the evening (normally between18.30-20.00) and classes are arranged throughout the day (with the latest classes beginning at 16.45-18.15) so as to facilitate the attendance of students who also have other work or academic commitments. Equally, the Centre will attempt to accommodate the schedules of students and workers when creating the timetable for students’ class attendance.
Teaching is in English and is conducted either by visiting academics or professionals from the University of Cambridge or other common law Universities, EU institutions, international law firms based in Warsaw or by the BLC resident academic staff. Teaching and evaluation standards are supervised by the Cambridge based charity Juris Angliae Scientia and the functioning of the Course is supervised by an Academic Committee comprising the directors of the charity and the University of Warsaw and externally reviewed by external examiners from the University of Cambridge and the University of Glasgow.
Class-based teaching is organised in small groups, so as to allow all students to take an active role in the problem-solving methodology adopted by the BLC. Students are not required to memorise large areas of law but, rather, to practically apply the materials with which they have been provided so as to advise various clients as to their rights, liabilities and remedies. The BLC staff will encourage discussion and debate between students in classes and seek to ensure that everyone has a better “feel” for the subject in practice than is possible merely from lectures.
The BLC adopts a variety of teaching methodologies, designed to maximise its students’ skill-base. Classes and assignments encompass a mixture of discussion questions (such as debating whether the current law could be improved); problem-questions (requiring advice to be provided to clients); pair-based exercises (such as negotiation and contract drafting); group-based exercises (such as preparing a précis of a particular case or statute) and others (advocacy etc.)
Students are eligible for 16 ECTS points upon completion of the course, 8 of which may be taken upon successful completion of the 1st year.
Links with Law Firms
The course is sponsored by the international law firms Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance, JS Legal, Linklaters, SKS and Wardynski & Partners. BLC students may also benefit from the opportunity to receive lectures and practical skills exercises from these firms and to attend skills-based workshops and summer placement schemes organised by these firms.
The BLC has traditionally enjoyed close links with these major Warsaw-based law firms and is pleased to see BLC graduates very well-represented amongst the employees and partners of such firms, which recognise and value the problem-solving and client-advising legal skills acquired by students of the BLC diploma.
Materials and Moodle
All BLC students are registered on an interactive web-site known as “Moodle”, which allows students to download course materials, check their assignment grades, communicate with the Centre’s academic staff or other students, and keep up-to-date with announcements concerning the Course and other BLC activities.
The course materials are prepared and updated in collaboration with the visiting academics from the University of Cambridge and other reputable common law Universities. Such materials include not only textbook-style reading but also statutes and case-law which help to develop students’ skills in understanding the law in context.
Each module is assessed either by:
1. A Written assignment, prepared by students at home, submitted through the Moodle web-site and marked and returned to students with detailed feedback; or,
2. An “open book” written exam (meaning that students may use their notes and materials during the exam); or,
3. Practical exercises such as contract drafting, mooting/debates, drafting of court pleadings etc; or,
4. Mini thesis- it may also be possible to publish students’ theses in the BLC newsletter ‘Obiter Dicta’ (see below)
The lectures, classes and course materials all assist students in preparing for such assessment and the resident BLC staff members are available to assist students with any particular problems they may encounter and to assist students in developing their legal writing skills.
The BLC is extremely active in organising extra-curricular events for its students to participate in. Each year, the BLC organises events such as debates, mock-trials, moots, advocacy-skills sessions and workshops on contemporary legal issues. Such events are organised by the BLC staff but are often conducted in conjunction with visiting experts, whose practical experience allows BLC students to take a closer look at the law in practice.
BLC students are also assisted and encouraged to develop their legal skills whilst attending the course, including the following:
- legal writing skills prior to writing assignments, students are given advice and instructions on legal writing skills and each student assignment is then given extensive feedback as to how these skills could be improved. Students are also able to submit articles to the BLC’s legal journal Obiter Dicta
- advocacy and public-speaking skills - the BLC organises the Central and East European Moot Court Competition and conducts advocacy skills workshops to prepare for mooting and other public speaking.
- analytical skills – students learn to how understand, analyse and apply case-law and statutes in a manner which is most advantageous for their client. During the 2nd year of the course, classes include student presentations and discussion on cases or legislation.
- practical legal skills (“soft skills”) - the BLC organises a Firms Fayre, during which BLC students are invited to attend exclusive training sessions conducted at the offices of its international law sponsors. Subjects include interview techniques, arbitration exercises, contract drafting etc.
The BLC Diploma Course demands a good command of the English language and a sufficient level of commitment in terms of effort and time. Places on the BLC Diploma Course are limited, so early applications are encouraged. Places will be offered to the best qualified and most keenly motivated candidates.
All interested candidates are invited to register their interest on the BLC’s web-page (www.britishlawcentre.co.uk) and then to send a recent curriculum vitae (in English) and a written statement of no longer than 300 words (“motivation letter”) indicating why you wish to study at the BLC. These should be sent to the Kierownik of the Centre (Dr Steve Terrett – email@example.com ).
The application process lasts throughout the summer and will be finalised during an initial course meeting, shortly prior to the start of the Diploma course, details of which will be published and sent by e-mail to candidates in advance.
The official Diploma Course Initial Meeting will be held at the beginning of October (precise details will be sent to all candidates who have registered on the BLC’s web-site). During this meeting, BLC students will have an opportunity to meet the Warsaw-based academic staff and to hear more details about the organisation of the Course, or to ask questions about the Course. However, please be aware that recruitment takes place throughout the summer and that places on the course may have been allocated by the time of this first meeting.
See the link below for details of Course Fees.
The BLC operates a positive reward policy, so enabling it to recognise the achievements and activities of its most active and meritorious students. To be eligible to be considered for this award, students should:
1) Attain distinction marks (i.e. 70% plus) in their written work
2) Participate in the extra mural activities offered by the BLC to include moots, workshops and debates.
3) Have a full class and lecture attendance record.
Eligibility for an award is assessed at the end of each academic year. Awards include:
1. Discount on 2nd year course fees (applicable to 1st year students only).
2. Book prizes.
and may include a paid summer placement at one of its sponsoring firms (subject to availability in the relevant academic year)
dr Steve Terrett
dyżur: godziny w 2014-2015 to be confirmed
Further Details (links)
Polish version of web page