ELSA is a non-political, independent, non-profit-making association the aims of which are to promote, establish and develop mutual understanding, co-operation and personal contacts between law students and young lawyers from different states and legal systems, thereby equipping them for professional life in an international environment.
ELSA is achieving its objectives in all European countries and some countries outside the European continent, with more than 40,000 members. ELSA Belgrade, as a local group, exists since 1987 and is the largest professional student organization in the country.
It achieves its goals by doing various activities such as finding internships for the students of the Faculty of Law, University of Belgrade – in Serbia and abroad, organization of seminars and conferences, training courses, study visits, mock trial, roundtables, debates, visits to relevant government institutions etc.
With respect to the realisation of the above aims, ELSA will be guided by the following philosophy statement:
A just world in which there is respect for human dignity and cultural diversity.
To contribute to legal education, to foster mutual understanding and to promote social responsibility of law students and young lawyers.
To provide opportunities for law students and young lawyers to learn about other cultures and legal systems in a spirit of critical dialogue and scientific co-operation.
To assist law students and young lawyers to be internationally minded and professionally skilled.
To encourage law students and young lawyers to act for the good of society.
History of ELSA
ELSA was founded on May 4th 1981 in Vienna by students from Poland, Austria, Hungary and West Germany. The idea was to promote international contacts and mutual understanding among law students on both sides of the iron curtain. Within a very short time, the association grew stronger and expanded into the northern part of Europe. Today the network consists of 41 national groups spread all throughout Europe, 230 local groups and about 40,000 members.
The local group ELSA Belgrade was founded in 1987 shortly after constitution of national group of ELSA Yugoslavia. Spreading the idea of ELSA in the former Yugoslavia lasted only five years. At the beginning of the war in 1992 the work of ELSA Yugoslavia has been temporarily interrupted, and the work of ELSA Belgrade focused on searching for new concepts of operation. The change in the composition of the state and changed the composition of local groups.
In 1995, registered in the new state (FRY), ELSA Belgrade was the strongest and largest local group at the beginning of the recent history of ELSA Yugoslavia. ELSA Belgrade connected and organized the work in law schools in the country and thus laid the foundation for the development of a stable organization that it is today.
Today ELSA Serbia consists of local groups in Belgrade, Novi Sad, Nis, Kragujevac, FEPPS (Faculty of European Legal and Political Studies), Business Academy and Union (as associate member).