The first NILS Bucharest International Summer School about Human Rights is finished and we recolletc with excitement

by Drujescu Tudor Florin

Do you want to read the Greek version ? Right here.

For one week the Faculty of Law from the University of Bucharest was a small Babylon. From 4th to 11th of July there took place the first edition of NILS Bucharest International Summer School. This year theme was Human Rights in International Commercial Relationships. Students from 15 countries took part at this summer school from European countries like Greece, Netherland and Belgium, to a lot more uncommon countries like India, Taiwan, Iran or Georgia.

The purpose of NILS is to unite law students from all around the world and share their perspective on law, the association slogan being “Contribute to our diversity”. The moment that started this project was a meeting before Christmas with the NILS Bucharest members when we decided to make a project as big as we can and we decided that a summer school would be the main idea behind it. What no one knew was that it would become a lot more.

The preparations for the project started just after winter holydays and for 6 months we advertised the project through NILS and foreign universities trying to get an exposure as wide as possible to gather our participants, started to search for speakers that could give us the best lectures it was possible and to prepare every single aspect that we had to do. After gathering applications the first challenge was selecting what applicants could participate and this task wasn’t simple at all. With a big number of countries and way more applicants than the number of participants that we could have, selecting which of them to approve was a very difficult task especially because many people had extremely good applications. But after a lot of work selecting applicants, helping those in need get their visas, preparing lectures and solving many situations that appeared along the way on 4th of July we seen our project becoming reality and 50 students from 15 countries came to Bucharest for a week.

First day consisted only from meeting and greeting all the participants. Even though people came from thousands of miles apart from each other they didn’t have any problem getting along all of them united by their love for law. The day ended with a dinner at a local restaurant where everyone got a taste of the Romanian food and had some fun.

The next day we started our lectures at 10 a.m. with Margaret Wachenfeld, former human rights consultant at UNICEF, which gave us a lecture on UN guiding principles in business and human rights, after that Oana Salomia, former TAIEX consultant at EU, gave a lecture on how the EU treaties protect human rights and the final lecture was the inclusion into World 2.0 by Marian Dinu, managing partner in Romania at DLA Piper.

The second day started with a visit at maybe the most well known Romanian building, the House of Parliament that just staggers by its size and imposing architecture as an icon of the communist era in Romania. This day lectures we’re about arbitration, first one held by Tudor Chiuariu, Romanian lawyer and specialist in arbitration, on sports arbitration and the second one was held by Andreea Simulescu, Romanian lawyer and arbitrator, about the commercial arbitration. The day finished with a taste of the Romanian parties for all of the students in a local club.

Thursday was packed with lectures, from 10 a.m. starting with a workshop held by Ionut Galea, director general of The Department of Legal Affairs of The Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the next one was held by Ligia Popescu, Romanian lawyer at Wolf Theiss, on The Transatlantic Trade Investment Partnership, and the last lecture was held by Catalin Radbata, lawyer at NNDKP one of the biggest law firms in Romania, on the enforceability of human rights clauses in international commercial contracts.

Friday was a little bit more touristic as the participants visited National History Museum and the “Antipa” Natural History Museum. Only one lecture was held during the afternoon by Silvia Tabusca, director of Human Rights and Imigration Institute in Romania, on human rights in supply chains.

Saturday had two workshops held by Luca Ciubotaru from UN Youth and one held by Ion Alexandru from Amnesty International Romanian Chapter. Since it was Saturday night and the whole centre is roaming with people we decided to take the participants on a specific party at a local club, one which many of them will remember.

Sunday we took the participants on a tour around the Herastrau Park and at the Village Museum to see the Romanian traditions, the museum depicting an actual village with many types of traditional houses, windmill, church and all you can find in an archaic village. We ended the week with a party at a karaoke bar where we had one last blast.

As the night was falling we realised that we passed our goals with the project by a lot. Here at NILS Bucharest we proposed ourselves that we will have a project that would challenge us because this is why we do what we do, we challenge ourselves so that we surpass our possibilities and become better and this project was supposed to be our biggest challenge. As a scholar experience we reached all of our goals and we were very pleased with that. But after a week we realised that we made other things, for one week we gave those that participated the time of their life, we managed to bound friendships, to make people love Bucharest, to make them want to come again and we realised how lucky we were to meet all of those awesome people.

The week that passed was one to rule them all, one during which we managed to realise what we thought was impossible. On the final day of the Summer School, as the participants started to live one by one we felt like something was breaking from us and we couldn’t believe that it ended, but there is always a next time and this is how it will be with this project. Next year we will be better, and considering how this year had come it will be a hard mission for us at NILS Bucharest but we will not disappoint.