English-Speaking Students

What is the Summer School of civil law ?

Meeting for Civil law and legal culture, this event will bring together in Paris, from July 6th to July 24th, over a hundred students and legal practitioners from all around the world.

Our ambition is to offer all participants a coherent body of courses to convey knowledge on continental law, as well as its evolution and its influence on the legal and economic structures currently under construction in the world.


The wealth of the Summer School lies in the quality of the education it provides and the diversity of legal cultures represented. We are particularly attached to the international dimension of this event, which makes it a marketplace and crossroad for ideas, legal cultures and knowledge that create privileged moments of gathering and debate.

Program description 

The courses are available in three different languages: French, English and Spanish.

The program offers different courses all taught within the premises of the University Panthéon-Assas (Paris II), by eminent law professors and practitioners, with different fields of expertise and backgrounds.

Two mandatory courses :

The Civil Law Systems in a comparative perspective (Click on the courses for information)

The course focuses on the main features of the civil law systems as compared between themselves as well as with the common law systems (in particular English law). Special emphasis is placed on the following points: – The historical formation of the civil law systems, from the fall of the Roman Empire to the great movement of codification which started in Europe in the XIXth century and is developing today throughout the world. – The fundamental problem of the sources of law, with a distinction between primary sources (legislation, customs and general principles of law) and secondary sources (i.e. the creative function of the judge). – The structure of the civil law systems: basic divisions and concept of « legal rule ». Final conclusions are drawn on « unity or diversity of the civil law systems ».

Constitutional Courts, fundamental rights and freedoms

The Constitutional Courts facing human rights and democracy challenges ; Theory and case studies.

The module will start up from the symetry of two major law evolutions and the link formed between them : from one hand, the high increase in power of Consitutional Courts within the contemporary constitutionals, jurisdictionals and political plans, and from the other hand, the even more demanding recognition of freedoms and human rights. It will assess the strategies followed by the courts to answer the society and individuals’ expectations, and sometimes adopted in difficult conditions or even during political crisis and democracy rupture. The course will give students the occasion to debate on the Courts’ role and the critics they are sometimes facing, especially on the democracy theories and constitutional law.

In this perspective, the module will study and compare the reasonings followed by the Courts, the theoreticals approaches and the constitutional interpretation methods, the legal techniques used and largely renewed within the contemporary period. It will do this based on a wide range of case studies, legal decisions and files extracted from established democracies and European and African countries in democratic transition. The legal precedents related to the public authorities’ organisation and regulation and related to individual freedoms and these « new » rights, politically sensitive for some of them and represent absolute societal and civilational choices, will be examined.

Several electives (choose 3 courses among the 5):

Environmental law

Law facing the current environmental challenges

The environmental law is an expanding law with fields which tend to diversify themselves depending on the social, scientifical and technical advances. During this environmental law module, in view of the current and futur environmental challenges,you will study its definition, its main characteristics, its fundamental principles, and will consider the main legal tools applicable for fighting against different forms of pollution and the climate change, preserve the biodiversity and implement sustainable development, and finally the new types of  litigations (climatic, pesticides).

European and International Contract Law
The course deals with the topics of European Contract Law and International Commercial Contracts. As to European Contract Law, the analysis concerns the problematic aspect of the diversity of legal systems and the significance of the General Principles of European Contract Law as conceived by the Lando Commission. The action of legal science and the debate on a European Code of Contracts will be discussed, focussing on the issue whether the harmonisation of laws is deemed necessary to establish a single market within the European Community. As to the International Commercial Contracts, the inquiry explores the ratio and purposes of the UNIDROIT Principles for International Commercial Law. They undoubtedly have come to play a weighty role in the contemporary legal landscape, as numerous publications, but also numerous references in arbitral and judicial decisions and legislative projects reveal.
Digital law - Protection of personal data
Description will be added soon.
Intellectual Property
Can the taste of a cheese be a work protected by copyright? Is a human embryo patentable? Can the name of a spa town be a trademark for water? Such issues are tackled in this course, which aims to introduce students to intellectual property law, from an international and (continental) European perspective. First, the nature and the rationales of intellectual property rights (IPRs) are sketched out. Second, the main international agreements in the field are presented. Third, the four major IPRs – copyright, patent, trademark and design – are examined in further depth. The readings include a few recent judgments of the Court of Justice and the General Court of the European Union, which answer the above questions.
Settlement of international disputes
The course aims to provide students with a basic introduction to the theory and practice of international arbitration, the preferred method of dispute resolution in international commerce. It will familiarise the students with the framework of international treaties, national law and soft law instruments that undergird the international arbitral system, and introduce such key concepts in international arbitration, as arbitration agreements, place of arbitration, arbitrators, constitution of the arbitral tribunal, interim measures, arbitral awards, arbitration and state courts, among others. The course also intends to familiarize the students with the procedural aspects of the arbitration system organised under the auspices of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), which is headquartered in Paris.

If successful at the final examination, participants will be awarded a certificate of training in Civil Law by the University Panthéon-Assas (Paris II).

Furthermore, the Foundation for Civil Law organizes meetings with the paramount French legal actors, including lawyers, bailiffs and notaries, as well as a cultural program of visits of the highest French legal institutions: Constitutional Council, Conseil d’Etat, Cour de Cassation (limited number of places), National Assembly and Senate.

At the end of the three weeks, participants may become member of the Association of Friends for Civil Law (A2DC), and join the alumni’s network of the Summer School of Civil law.

Expected audience

The Summer School targets people (students, legal pratitioners, etc.) who have already graduated from a three-year legal course .

The courses are taught in English, Spanish and French. Participants need to have a good understanding and use of the language they choose to take the classes in.

Registration Fees

The registration fees include the classes, conferences, visits and cocktails. For the 2020 edition of the Summer school, the fees are the following:

The housing in the CIUP is currently limited to the first 50 registered.

Scholarships can be exceptionally granted upon justified request.


Application for the 2020 Summer School will open in the first quarter of 2020.

For any question, you can contact: univ-ete@fondation-droitcontinental.org

You can find all the information and news about this 2020 edition in our social medias pages.


Corporate lawyer at Mezzo Production LLC
– Arménia
















« I had the opportunity to participate in the summer school dedicated to continental law. One of the greatest advantages that I got was meeting so many remarkable people from all around the world. Professors were one of the bests in their fields and it was a unique opportunity to discover such details only those professionals could know thanks to their years of experience. Furthermore, the curriculum included several guided cultural visits to the highest jurisdictions of France as well as legislative bodies which enable to understand the French legal system right from the inside.

All in all, this summer school is a unique opportunity to develop yourself both professionally and as a person, just because living one month in Paris surrounded by lawyers from all around the world enables you to learn a lot about their jurisdictions and to share your knowledge while representing your country as well.»
« The Summer School of civil law was one of the most rewarding experiences that I highly recommend the participation. During these three weeks, I had the chance to build ties with colleagues from around the world, deepen my knowledge on European Law and learn more about the French political and legal institutions. In short, it has been a unique experience that we have to live once in its life. Thanks you!»       
Students from the School of the Bar of Montréal
Corporate lawyer at Benclinov&Associates- Romania
«Summer School has been a memorable and dynamic experience by combining fun and knowledge. I met new people and that was an opportunity to develop new friendships with people from around the world.
The programme is about experiencing new cultures, learning from eminent law professors, visiting of the highest French legal institutions and all these made my summer in Paris an unforgettable and career enhancing experience..»
« The summer school of civil law represents the best answer in the pursuit of professional development for a young law practitioner. The classes are concentered and dynamic, focus on practical issues and the professors were able to bring out debate. Beyond the academic formation, the real personal contribution of this program is the amazing exchange with professors, students and researchers from legal cultures of different countries and continents.»        

Luciana DUTU,
Lawyer at the Bar of Bucharest and graduated from Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne University and Bucharest University

Lawyers at the Bar of Pointe-Noire, Republic of Congo
« Participate to the FDC program was for three weeks the best moments I have passed in formation, thanks to the relevance of the program focused essentially, among other, on International business law with a full immersion in the French democratic institutions’ schemes and ways of functioning. It is an enriching experience in the center of Paris, thanks to the multicultural melting-pot of the participants coming from five continents. Thanks to the FDC!»
« No other program can be compared to the summer school of civil law; it is an exceptional discussion forum between students and professionals in the center of Paris. I had the pleasure to participate at the 10th edition and it is with lots of satisfaction that I certify the excellence of the professors, the quality of the classes, the impeccable organization of the French institutions visits, the diversity of the participants and the kindness of all the team. It is, without doubt, a unique occasion to learn, share and contribute to the consolidation of a global jurist network. A big thanks you to the Foundation! »

Lawyer at the Bar of Sao-Paulo and graduated from Sao-Paulo University in Brazil