The Rule of Law Education Curriculum was created by Thesa Prisse, now president of ELSA Alumni. The curriculum consists of ten lessons. The first six lessons start with topics such as fair play and access to justice and gradually build up to how pupils can actively challenge social injustices they perceive around them - being the change.
This curriculum was first piloted in the Netherlands during a two-day course at the Haagse Montessori School in The Hague. 14 teacher - facilitators were recruited: ten ELSA members from six universities and four lawyers from Eversheds Sutherland Amsterdam. After facilitation training, these trainers facilitated all ten lessons for 150 pupils in five classes. In the end, each class had developed their own Rule of law project and pithed these for a jury to get school support for implementation.
As the curriculum was provided in English, it allowed ELSA and ELSA Alumni to test the efficiency and the flexibility of the programme. It was most inspiring to see the first moment where pupils were captivated by the materials and activities and enjoyed the curriculum presented by students and young lawyers with little teaching and facilitating experience.
First complete pilot in the Netherlands
The Rule Of Law Education (ROLE) Campaign was conceived in 2019 by ELSA Alumni and ELSA to enable ELSA members to teach high school students throughout Europe about the rule of law and citizenship with highly interactive materials: Concrete examples and activities regarding systemic justice are aimed to instil knowledge and confidence in young individuals to internalise and advocate the rule of law.
Two years later, the project is in total development. The International Board of ELSA presented the project to the Network and had regular calls with the National Coordinators on implementing the Campaign. Eight National ELSA Groups were self-nominated for piloting the project. At the Rule of Law Conference, celebrating ELSA’s 40th anniversary in Vienna, updates on the project were presented.