Interview: Looking back on a year of ELSA Malta

Following a year of close collaboration, The Yuppie sits down with ELSA Malta President Nina Fauser for an interview, looking into various aspects of the organisation’s work over the past year.

How would you describe your tenure as ELSA Malta President over the past year?

My experience in ELSA began in my first year, by attending various events organised by ELSA Malta. In my second year, I was an active member and occupied the role of Director of IFP and Human Rights within ELSA Malta. Furthermore, I was then elected as President of ELSA Malta for the term 2018/2019. Over this past year, together with the rest of the team, I continued working on the various initiatives and opportunities which are offered by ELSA Malta, whilst also maintaining our representation at an International level. My experience in ELSA has been an unforgettable one, and I would like to thank all those involved in our association in one way or another, for making this experience so remarkable.

What initiatives have ELSA Malta undertaken during the past year?

This year, ELSA Malta held a number of events and initiatives, including academic, social and international ones. In terms of academic events, we started off the year with our first ‘How to Session’ on assignment writing and legal research, aimed at freshers. Following this, we held a session aimed at 3rd year law students, in order to help them when it comes to choosing their term paper title- ‘Let’s Talk’. Another ‘How to Session’ was held in March, which focused on litigation and mooting skills. Apart from this, we also held a Legal Negotiation Competition in collaboration with GANADO Advocates, and a Constitutional Law Treasure Hunt in Valletta. Throughout the year, we also held 2 moot courts, one on Maritime Law and one on Criminal Law- Crime 101. A number of conferences were also organised, including the MedicoLegal Conference in collaboration with MMSA, the Corporate and Finance Conference, the Deloitte Tax Law Seminars and CryptoCampus, a conference on blockchain technologies in collaboration with UESA and ASCS. In terms of social events, we held our annual boat party, ‘Booze Cruise’ following our June exams. Later on in September, we organised ‘Omega, the FRAT Open Bar’ and in November, we organised ‘Incarcerated, the Live-In Open Bar’. Additionally, for the first time ever, we organised a SPRING BREAK edition of our well-known FRAT themed party. At an International level, we continued to offer numerous opportunities, including Summer and Winter ELSA Law Schools in different countries, ELSA Delegations and Student Trainee Exchange Programme opportunities. We also held the 21st edition of ‘ELSA Goes To’ in Porto, Portugal, and ELSA Malta’s Institutional Visit to Stockholm, Sweden.

What are the issues and matters that ELSA Malta have worked to identify and shed new light on over the past year?

This year, ELSA Malta aimed at maintaining its relevance at University and focusing on certain topical issues. This was done through the release of various social policy papers and articles, including a research paper on ‘The Universal Declaration of Human Rights: 70 years later’, ‘Mental Health in Malta | An issue of implementation rather than legislation’ and a paper on ‘Blockchain and the Environment’.

Furthermore, one of this year’s projects was ELSA Malta’s Obligations Flashcards. These consist of a set of flashcards aimed at 3rd year law students, for one of their most challenging units in 3rd year, Law of Obligations. Seeing this project come to fruition and the response which we got from law students as a whole, was definitely one of our biggest achievements as a board.

What has been your favourite event of the past year and why?

Overall, I truly enjoyed organising all our events, not only the social and international trips, but also the academic ones. When it comes to choosing my favourite event, it would have to be ‘Inception | The Law Live-In’. This consisted of a 2 night stay at the Cavalieri Art Hotel in St.Julians, where participants attended a criminal-themed academic programme, and also a number of social events over the weekend. It was a great experience for all of us involved as we got the opportunity to get to know more freshers, whilst continuing to expand the outreach with our members.

What has ELSA Malta done over the past year to continue representing students within the Faculty of Laws?

As a board, we wanted to focus on representing law students within our Faculty, and also at University in general. In February, we launched an Academic Questionnaire where law students were given the opportunity to voice their opinions and feedback on the law course. This was presented during a Faculty Board meeting, with the aim of bringing about the necessary changes, according to the opinions of law students. Apart from this, ELSA Malta’s Director for IFP and Human Rights also occupied a position on the Human Rights Programme at the Faculty of Laws, contributing to this programme by providing new and innovative ideas and collaborating on events.

If you could sum up your tenure in a few words, how would you do it?

‘Continuity, Consistency and Representation.’ These 3 words truly sum up our intentions and aims as a National Board this year. Additionally, when looking back at the year, my favourite achievements would have to be winning the bid to host ELSA’s next International Council Meeting in Malta next year in 2020; releasing the Obligations Flashcards aimed at 3rd year law students; and organising the first edition of FRAT SPRING BREAK, whilst containing to maintain the high quality throughout the rest of our events.

What advice do you have for your successor?

During ELSA’s International Council Meeting in Opatija, Croatia, ELSA Malta successfully won the bid to host the next International Council Meeting in March 2020 in Malta. I am sure that this will be a fantastic opportunity for all those involved, and I truly encourage all law students to actively participate in this event. When it comes to offering advice to my successor, I believe that it is important to continue building on the quality of ELSA Malta’s events, providing more opportunities for law students and continuing to support and represent law students in any matter which may be of concern to law students. Additionally, it is important to continue working in line with ELSA’s vision as a human rights association, that is ‘A just world in which there is respect for human dignity and cultural diversity’.

On a final note, I would like to sincerely thank all those who were involved in this year and who supported our events and initiatives, and for making this year a remarkable one! Our National Council Meeting will be held next Monday 29th April at 4pm at the KSU Common Room. I encourage all law students to attend our NCM, where the National Board for the term 2019/2020 will be elected.

Albert Galea

Co-Founder of The Yuppie back in 2017 and a History graduate.

Albert Galea

Co-Founder of The Yuppie back in 2017 and a History graduate.