Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Faculty of Law - European Law School (ELS) — EULysses

Events of the HELS

The events organised by the Humboldt European Law School itself are usually either academic events that focus on a particular aspect of current research with the researchers involved, or interdisciplinary events that provide an insight into other disciplines.

The following formats have become established over the years:


Semester opening event

The semester kick-off event combines an ambitious lecture and/or panel discussion with a lavish reception.


Literature evenings

As a rule, a reading evening takes place once a semester. In this format, one of the professors associated with the European Law School invites students to a reading evening. The group of students and fellow students discuss a book that has aroused general interest. In the past, this was, for example, the volume "August" by Christa Wolf or "Blutsbrüder" by Ernst Haffner.

19.10.2018 with Prof. Dieter Grimm (retired Federal Constitutional Court Judge)
On 19 October 2018 at 18:30, the last literature evening of the Humboldt European Law School was held. The reading and topic of discussion was the book Europe yes - but which one? by former Federal Constitutional Judge Professor Dieter Grimm.
"The European Union has no shortage of criticism and acceptance problems - but the causes are often sought in the wrong place. While many hope that the democratic deficit of the Union can be remedied by extending the competences of the European Parliament, Dieter Grimm explains why this hope is deceptive. In fundamental discussions and individual studies, he shows that one cause of the strong acceptance problems is usually overlooked, namely the independence of the executive and judicial organs of the EU (Commission and European Court of Justice) from the democratic processes in the member states and the EU itself, which in turn has its roots in the "constitutionalisation of the treaties" carried out by the Court of Justice. Grimm explores the causes of this problematic development and offers proposals to correct it."
Dieter Grimm is one of the best-known German constitutional lawyers and is also known to a wider public through his work as a judge at the Federal Constitutional Court from 1987 to 1999. The Kassel native studied law and political science in Frankfurt am Main, Freiburg im Breisgau, at the Free University of Berlin, the Sorbonne in Paris and at Harvard. He worked at the Max Planck Institute for European Legal History, received his doctorate in 1971 and habilitated in Frankfurt in 1979. After his professorship in Bielefeld (1979 - 1999), he was a professor at the Humboldt University in Berlin (2000 - 2005) until his retirement. In addition, he has been a member of the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin in various capacities since 1989 and was its rector from 2001 to 2007. He has held visiting professorships at Yale, New York, Harvard and Shanghai, among others.


European Law Repetitorium

In order to prepare our students for the special exam in European law, we organise a special revision course once a semester.


Exchange of experience

At the end of the year, all students - those who are about to start their year abroad and those who are returning from partner universities - are asked to share their experiences, expectations and questions in order not to let the hard-won knowledge disappear and to make the transition between years as smooth as possible.

Usually, the exchange of experiences is organised together with our traditional summer party.


Study trips

April 2022 - Study Trip to Brussels

From 21 to 24 April 2022, HELS organised a study trip to Brussels for a group of twenty students. The students visited European institutions, met ELS alumni:ae living in Brussels and got to know each other better. The trip was largely financed by a special grant from the Franco-German University to compensate for the restrictions on the students' studies and mobility caused by the pandemic.

The students arrived in Brussels on Thursday 21 April in the afternoon and explored the Belgian capital together in the evening.

The following day, 22 April, the students had the opportunity to learn more about the role and functioning of the European Commission during presentations at the Visitor Centre of the European Commission and to discuss with representatives of the Directorates-General for Competition (COMP) and Communication Networks, Content and Technologies (CONNECT) the allocation of state aid during the pandemic and the European policy in the field of digitalisation. During the subsequent visit to the European External Action Service (EEAS), the tasks of this EU institution - and in particular its Legal Affairs department - were explained to the students with vivid and interesting examples.

Afterwards, a meeting in the Brussels office of ClientEarth with the head of the EU Affairs Department and other lawyers was planned. The students were given an insight into the work of the NGO, which aims to combat climate change by representing environmental interests vis-à-vis state institutions and enforcing the application of environmentally friendly laws.

On Saturday, the students were able to visit the Parlamentarium and the House of European History to learn more about the history of the European Union in general and the European Parliament in particular. The students spent the last evening of the trip together with some ELS Alumni:ae in a cosy bar in the heart of Brussels.

On 24 April, the group travelled back to Berlin after a picnic in the park.



Other events also take place regularly within the framework of the European Law School Network as well as within the framework of the European Doctoral College.