The International Summer School is jointly organised by Leipzig University, InVEA e.V. and TU Dresden, Center for International Studies (ZIS) and is supported by the Free State of Saxony. Our goal is to give an international group of selected students an exciting insight into current issues of fundamental and human rights protection.

Application to the Summer School is no longer possible!

We invite you to the 3rd International Summer School “Human Rights in Theory and Practice”, which will take place in Leipzig from September 25th to 29th 2023. The Summer School focuses on “The Dynamic Evolution of Fundamental and Human Rights in Europe” and will give you an exciting insight into current issues of fundamental and human rights protection. Topics such as religious freedom, migration, the digital space, climate litigation and the rule of law will be explored from an interdisciplinary perspective and presented by high-level experts. Speakers will include both academics as well as practitioners, offering insights into current theoretical discussions as well as the everyday challenges of practicing law.

Everybody is welcome! The Summer School is intended for advanced students of law, political science, international relations and similar fields. Prior knowledge about the European Human Rights System is beneficial but not mandatory.

Interested in participating? Registration is starting now! Please register via this application form.

Please find all details regarding fees, (online) participation and our programme below.

Welcome to Leipzig!

Leipzig is one of the most beautiful and popular cities in Germany and, with its multitude of bars, restaurants and cultural offerings, it is not only popular with locals. In 2020, the New York Times crowned Leipzig 35th on its list of 52 Places to Go, calling it the new "Cool Kid Town", highlighting Leipzig's nightlife in particular. A big part of Leipzig’s allure stems from its numerous parks, surrounding lakes and, above all, the opportunity to explore almost every corner of the city area by bike. Leipzig bears witness to incomparable historical significance and still allows its visitors to feel the events of that time. From Bach and Goethe to the Battle of Leipzig and the peaceful revolution that heralded the end of the German Democratic Republic in 1989 and eventually led to the reunification of Germany. The proximity to the federal capital Berlin, and Saxony's capital Dresden allows for fun and exciting daytrips. We would be delighted to welcome you to our beautiful, cheerfully colourful Leipzig this summer!

Our Programme

It is possible to participate in the Summer School both in person and online. There will be 60 slots available in person and 100 online slots. This year, the focus is on five main topics: religious freedom, migration, the digital space, climate litigation, and the rule of law. From September 25th to 27th, you will hear lectures from experts from academia and practice on these topics and discuss them together.

  • 08:00 - 09:30
  • 09:30 - 10:15
    Welcome and Introduction
    (Mattias Wendel)
  • 10:30 - 11:45
    From “Freedom” to “Equality”? (Re-)Framing the Freedom of Religion in Terms of Non-Discrimination
    (Aqilah Sandhu)
  • 12:00 - 13:15
    Freedom of Religion and the Pluralism of Fundamental Rights in Europe
    (Elke Cloots)
  • Lunch Break
  • 14:15 - 15:30
    Pushbacks at the EU Borders: a Fundamental and Human Rights Perspective
    (Francesco Cherubini)
  • 15:45 - 17:00
    European Fundamental and Human Rights as a Safeguard against Dublin Transfers
    (Francesco Maiani)
  • 19:00 - 21:00
    Opening Dinner (Auerbachs Keller)
  • 09:00 - 10:15
    Externalisation in Migration Law
    (Juan Santos Vara)
  • 10:30 - 11:45
    Reforming the Law of Migration and Asylum in Line with Fundamental and Human Rights
    (Pauline Endres de Oliveira)
  • 12:00 - 13:15
    The Relationship Between Freedom and Security in the Digital Space
    (Johannes Eichenhofer)
  • Lunch Break
  • 14:15 - 15:30
    Content Moderation and Big Tech: Fundamental Rights Protection by Means of Corporate Oversight Boards?
    (Niklas Eder)
  • 15:45 - 17:00
    Safe Harbor, Privacy Shield, Trans-Atlantic Data Privacy Framework – How to Legally Transfer Data between the US and the EU
    (Elaine Fahey)
  • 18:00 - 19:30 (only for in person participants)
    City tour through Leipzig
  • 09:00 - 10:15
    Framing Climate Change in Terms of Fundamental and Human Rights at National, Supranational and International Level
    (Dirk Hanschel)
  • 10:30 - 11:45
    Rethinking Procedural Law – Legal Standing and Strategic Litigation in Climate Change Cases
    (Thorsten Deppner)
  • 12:00 - 13:15
    Holding Corporations Accountable under Fundamental and Human Rights in Climate Law?
    (Ana María Suárez Franco)
  • Lunch Break
  • 14:15 - 15:30
    Climate Litigation – Threatening or Strengthening Democratic Rule-Making?
    (Remo Klinger)
  • 16:30 - 18:30
    Canoe Trip

If you decide to participate in the Summer School online, the programme will end for you on September 27th. However, you are cordially invited to follow the online live stream of this year's Rule of Law Conference of the Saxon State Ministry of Justice and for Democracy, Europe and Equality. For more information, please visit the Website of the Ministry.

For in person participants, the Summer School will include a court simulation, taking place on September 28th, during which we will jointly hear a case before the European Court of Justice relating to the rule of law. Participation in the simulation is mandatory for participants. In teams you will take on the role of a participant in the proceedings, draft a written statement in advance and to represent your position in court on-site in Leipzig. Following your successful application to the Summer School, we will distribute the roles of the simulation and present the case during a preparatory online meeting. You are welcome to think about which role you would like to take in advance. Roles to be assigned are, for example: Advocate General, Judge, Commission representative, representative of a Member State, or the press.

Following the simulation, participants of the Summer School will take part in this year's Rule of Law Conference on September 28th to 29th, organised by the Saxon State Ministry of Justice and for Democracy, Europe and Equality in cooperation with the University of Leipzig, to which we have invited leading academics and practitioners in the field of the rule of law. To our delight, Koen Lenaerts, President of the CJEU, has agreed to give a keynote speech. Katarina Barley, Vice-President of the European Parliament, Didier Reynders, EU Commissioner for Justice, and Igor Tuleya, Judge at the District Court of Warsaw, have also confirmed their participation. Around 200 participants, including judges, academics, politicians, civil society representatives and the participants of the Summer School are expected to attend the conference.

As part of the Rule of Law Conference, individual participants of the Summer School will be given the opportunity to exchange views on current topics relating to the rule of law during a roundtable discussion with the Saxon Minister of Justice, Katja Meier. Participants of the roundtable are selected based on the quality of the written statements that have to be submitted in advance.

  • 09:00 - 12:30
    Court Simulation CJEU - Oral Hearing
  • 13:00 - 14:00
    Welcome and Keynote Speeche
    (Andreas Korbmacher; Eva Inés Obergfell; Katja Meier; Astrid Lorenz; Mattias Wendel) & (Franziska Brantner)
  • 14:00 - 15:30 (Parrallel Sessions)
    A) Recent Developments in Legal and Political Perspectives
    (Pál Sonnevend; Paweł Filipek; Julio Baquero Cruz; Mathias Weilandt; Mattias Wendel)
    B) Court Simulation CJEU - Promulgation of the Judgment
  • 15:30 - 16:00
  • 16:00 - 17:00 (Parallel Sessions)
    A) Debating the Academic Debates in Law and Political Sciences
    (Petra Guasti; César Colino; Päivi Leino-Sandberg; Astrid Lorenz)
    B) Debating Civil Society Revolt and Judicial Activism Against Rule of Law Challenges
    (Sylwia Gregorczyk-Abram; Filipe Marques; Sergey Lagodinsky; Claudia Matthes)
    C) Roundtable of the Saxon Minister of Justice with Participants of the Summer School
  • 17:15 - 18:45
    Panel Discussion: Safeguarding the Rule of Law – What Results?
    (Katarina Barley; Viktor Vadász; Igor Tuleya; Mattias Wendel; Astrid Lorenz)
  • 09:00 - 09:45
    (Astrid Lorenz; Mattias Wendel)
    Keynote Speech: EU Fundamental Rights and the Rule of Law
    (Koen Lenaerts)
    Keynote Speech: Rule(s) of Law? A View From the Commission
    (Didier Reynders)
  • 09:45 - 11:15
    Regional or National Peculiarities in Understanding the Rule of Law?
    (Naum Trajanovski; Jana Ondřejková; Ned Richardson-Little; Astrid Lorenz; Dietmar Müller; Jan Němec)
  • 11:15 - 11:45
  • 11:45 - 13:15
    Defining Rule of Law Standards – Understanding Entanglements between EU Law and Domestic Law
    (András Jakab; Claudia Matthes; Dragos Calin; Renáta Uitz; Mattias Wendel)
  • 13:15 - 13:30
    Bridging or Sanctioning Differences? Conclusion and Open Questions
    (Astrid Lorenz; Mattias Wendel)
    Concluding Remarks
    (Katja Meier)

Participation Fees

The participation fee for in-person participants is: 150 EUR, and for online participants: 30 EUR. 

After successfully taking part in the Summer School and passing a short test, in person participants will receive a participation certificate awarding 5 ECTS, while online participants will receive a participation certificate awarding 3 ECTS. 

The (in person) participation fee includes the costs for the participation in the Summer School, the Opening Dinner on September 25th, lunch and catering during the lectures of the Summer School as well as exclusive access to the Rule of Law Conference.

Not included in the price are the costs for travel, accommodation, public transport, breakfast, dinner for all days other than Monday and the Canoe Trip on September 27th. The cost of the Canoe Trip is expected to be around 10 EUR, which will be collected in advance by our team after prior registration during the week of the Summer School.

After successful application for the Summer School, you will receive a confirmation email from us with further information regarding any payment details. We will also provide information on how to get to Leipzig as well as low-cost accommodation. If you have any questions in advance, please do not hesitate to contact us.

We are very much looking forward to welcoming you to Leipzig this summer and can't wait to explore current issues of fundamental and human rights protection together!