Istanbul 2015

20th Year Anniversary of ELFA-European Law Faculties Association General Assembly Meeting and Conference “Law Faculties at the Crossroads” was held in Yeditepe University, Faculty of Law between the dates of 16-19 April 2015.



Under the presidency of Prof. Dr. Haluk Kabaalioğlu, Dean of Yeditepe University Faculty of Law, ELFA-European Law Faculties Association General Assembly Meeting and Conference “Law Faculties at the Crossroads” was held at Yeditepe University Faculty of Law between 16-19 April 2015. The Conference achieved the participation record in ELFA history.

Please click to see photo album of ELFA General Assembly Meeting and Conference Programme.

ELFA, founded in 1995, aims to create an international platform for discussing the problems faced by law faculties and legal education in Europe.  ELFA has obtained a new vision with a global status not only limited to Europe under the presidency of Prof. Dr. Haluk Kabaalioğlu.

The most extensive general assembly meeting and conference programme of all time was held in Istanbul with the participation of current and new members. As well as a record number of membership applications coming from Europe in the years of 2014 and 2015, ELFA welcomed many law faculties  from outside Europe, including faculties from USA, China, Australia, Mexico, Bahrain, and Pakistan as “affiliate members”.

More than 200 deans of law faculties, law professors, and senior executives as the representatives of 103 universities and professional organizations from 35 countries of the world attended the programme. Additionally, Consul Generals of the countries of attendees and columnists of various newspapers attended the plenary session held in İnan Kıraç Hall of Yeditepe University Rectorate Building on 17 April 2015. 


The ELFA General Assembly Meeting and Conference Programme  commenced with a “Welcome Reception” at “Büyük Kulüp – Cercle d’Orient” on 16 April 2015. Mr. Bedrettin Dalan, founder of Yeditepe University and former mayor of Greater Istanbul, attened the Welcome Reception and greeted the academics,jurists, and representatives of internationally well-known law firms who came to Istanbul from different places of the world . Mr. Dalan again mentioned the importance he has given to law and jurists in the reception. After welcome speeches by Prof. Dr. Haluk Kabaalioğlu, President of ELFA and Dean of Yeditepe University Faculty of Law, and Prof. Dr. Laurence Gormley, First-Vice President of ELFA and EU Law Professor at University of Groningen, the reception ended.


The Conference Programme started with welcome addresses and a plenary session held in the İnan Kıraç Hall at Yeditepe University Rectorate Building on 17 April 2015. In addition to academics and delegates of law faculties around the world, diplomatic representatives of various countries in Istanbul, columnists, press, students of Yeditepe University Faculty of Law and many high school students who are interested in the subject from different high schools in Istanbul showed great interest in this session.


After the opening speech of Prof. Dr. Nurcan Baç, Rector of Yeditepe University, the session continued with Prof. Dr. Haluk Kabaalioğlu reading a speech prepared by the Rt. Hon. Bedrettin Dalan.



Before the panel started, Assoc. Prof. Dr. İslam Manafov, Academic at Yeditepe University and Founder of the Yeditepe Chamber Orchestra and the Yeditepe Symphony Orchestra, gave a short piano recital.



After the opening speech by Prof. Dr. Haluk Kabaalioğlu, the chair of the plenary session, the session started with a speech by Hon. Judge Marc Jaeger, the President of the General Court of European Union and Chairman of the University of Luxembourg, explaining “The Role of the General Court in the EU Judicial System”.



Prof. Philip McConnaughay, the American-national Dean of the Peking University School of Transnational Law, talked about his experiments with legal education in China explaining why China is “One Step Ahead of EU and US”.

Next Prof. Leo Martinez, Former President, Association of American Law Schools (AALS) and Former Dean & Albert Abramson Professor of Law, University of California, Hastings College of Law, presented a paper concerning the crisis legal profession faces in US, Prof. Ilsur Salikhov of prestigious Kazan Federal University focused on legal education in Russia by submitting his precious comments. Lastly, Prof. Erika J. Techera, Dean at University of Western Australia, presented a paper entitled “Internationalisation and Research Collaboration: an Australian Perspective”.

At the end of the plenary session assessing the legal education by leading authorities from the perspectives of Turkey, Europe, China, Russia and US and explaining why the law faculties are at the crossroads, the participants had a chance to contribute such scientific meeting by their questions and the comments containing the views of their countries.

Please click to watch plenary session of the ELFA General Assembly Meeting and Conference Programme.  


Parallel sessions in the afternoon continued with the great interest of delegates and other participants. The speakers and topics of the three parallel sessions started at 14.00 are as follows:



A panel entitled “Challenges for Lawyers with the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership Treaty: What is for Legal Profession” was chaired by First Vice-President of ELFA Professor Laurence Gormley who is a Jean Monnet professor at University of Groningen, author of many EU law books. The distinguished panel included Professor Henry Gabriel, US delegate to UNCITRAL and UNIDROIT, Professor Harm Schepel of Kent University, Professor Vahit Polat of University of St. Etienne, and Professor Ulaş Gündüzler of Eastern Mediterranean University from Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.



A panel on “International Double degrees, Joint and Double degrees” was chaired by Professor Josep Maria De Dios Marcer, featured Professor Anne Klebes-Pelissier, former President of ELFA and Director of International relations of Strasbourg University, Ms. Marta Isern, representative of Barcelona Bar association, Professors Erika Techera (Australia), and Jennifer Bard, Director of Health Law and J.D./MD Dual degree programs at Texas Tech University and who will be next Dean of Cincinnati Law School next July.



Professor Dr. Vilenas Vadapalas, professor of EU Law at Yeditepe University, Istanbu, andl who served nine years as judge at the ECJ, presented a paper to the panel entitled “European Criminal Law, Recent Experience and next 10 years.” The panel was chaired by Professor Vera Kalvodova, member of ELFA Board of Directors (Masaryk University), and featured Professor Gerhard Fiolka from University of Fribourg and Professor Barış Erman from Yeditepe University. Professor Ümit Kocasakal, who is the President of Istanbul Bar Association, a member of Yeditepe University and Galatasaray University Faculty of Law offered his apologizes as he could not attend the panel as speaker due to the extraordinary meeting of the Mediterranean Bar Associations, convened after the recent attacks at Milano and Istanbul Justice Palaces and sent a message to all participants wishing success for the conference.



The second part of the parallel sessions at 16.00 featured two panels.

As ELFA aims to have a more global representation and welcomed many law faculties from outside Europe as “affiliate” members to the conference. This year in cooperation with the Southeastern American Law Schools (SEALS), ELFA organized a panel entitled “Edward Snowden’s Disclosures: Whistleblower, Spy, Patriot or Traitor?” with the participation of Professors Pat Hugg and Dane Ciolino (Loyola, New Orleans), Richard Meyer (Mississippi College of Law), David Ritchie (Mercer Law School), and Jon Garon(Nova Southeastern Shepard Law Center). Not only delegates and participants but also many other academics and students from other faculties also showed great interest to this panel.


Two judges from the ECJ (General Court), Hon. Irena Wiszniewska-Bialecka and Hon. Savvas Papasavvas, presented papers on recent case law in trademark and competition law cases. The presentation was followed by Professor Maria Pilar Canedo, who is the President of Basque Antitrust Authority and Jean Monnet Chair on Transnational Law of Deusto University in Bilbao, and by Professor Santos-Rodriguez from CEU San Pablo University, in a panel chaired by Professor Michele Graziadei of Torino University.

After the panels, participants had an Official Dinner at Moda Deniz Kulübü.


During the official dinner, Ms. Başak who is studying two major degrees at Yeditepe University Department of Psychology and Faculty of Fine Arts, gave a short concert containing a repertoire of Turkish folk music.



On 18 April 2015, programme continued with one panel and the ELFA General Assembly Meeting. The last panel on law school entrance requirements was chaired by Professor Marek Grzybowski of Warsaw University, together with Professor Jacek Petzel of the same university and former ELFA president, Professor Julian Lonbay of Birmingham Law School, Professor Leo Martinez of University of California, Hastings, and Prof. Oleksiy Kresin of Volodymyr Koretskyi Institute of State and Law. This important issue was assessed from the perspectives of Poland, UK and US and Ukraine.



After the panel, delegates of the ELFA Members attended the ELFA General Assembly Meeting which was held at Blue Meeting Room (Mavi Salon) in Yeditepe University Rectorate Building. At the beginning of the general assembly, chairs of each panel submitted their panel reports.

The General Assembly Meeting has started with the speech by President Haluk Kabaalioğlu. The speech summarized the works completed under the presidency of Dr. Kabaalioğlu, and emphasized the following points:

  • ELFA aimed to have a more global representation and welcomed many law faculties from outside Europe as “affiliate members”,
  • ELFA improved its collaboration with many institutions outside Europe such as Southeastern American Law Schools (SEALS), Association of American Law Schools (AALS), Australasian Law Teachers Association (ALTA) and law faculties from US to Pakistan; from Bahrain to Mexico,
  • In order to improve communication between the members and ELFA a new e-mail network and website was created,
  • In order to increase ELFA familiarity among law faculties around the world, a new ELFA logo was created, and the new brand introduced to law faculties through different ways such as sending printed bulletins, newsletters etc.
  • As a result of these efforts ELFA added 40 new members to its ranks within 10 months, its reputation spread not only to Europe but also to other continents and it has even started to appear in Google searches in the first page even though there are thousands of different institutions named as ELFA.

After the report of Prof. Dr. Haluk Kabaalioğlu, Prof. Dr. Laurence Gormley had the floor and put a draft ELFA resolution to the vote of General Assembly. The resolution was unanimously approved.

Resolution of the ELFA General Assembly Meeting is as follows:


After approval of the ELFA Resolution, Prof. Dr. Laurence Gormley, EU Law Professor at University of Groningen and First-Vice President of ELFA, was elected as the new president of ELFA; Prof. Dr. Andreas Ziegler, Full Professor and Director LLM Program at University of Lausanne, was elected as a new board member by the general assembly.

 Later the participants left from Yeditepe University to have a Bosphorus Cruise Dinner.


On 19 April 2015 the participants had a group visit to Topkapı Palace and thereafter had a free time to visit Istanbul.

Please click to see all photos taken during the Programme.

News regarding ELFA AGM and Conference Programme published in Turkish press:





Haber 1

Haber 2

Haber 3

Haber 4

Haber 5

Haber 6

Haber 7

Haber 8





Next Annual General Meeting and Conference of 2015 will take place at Yeditepe University in Istanbul on April 16, 17, 18 and there will be Bosporus and Golden Horn dinner cruise on April 18 and tours to Sultan Ahmet Square, Blue Mosque, Topkapı Palace, Hagia Sophia, the Basilica Cisterns, and the Grand Bazaar on April 19.

Consider this meeting as an excellent opportunity for meeting with other colleagues and legal professionals from other countries and following the latest devolepments in legal education.

You may find detailed information about ELFA Istanbul AGM 2015 in the latest ELFA Bulletin

Please click for registration form.

Registration will open on December 15th, 2015.

Provisional Program:

Date  Schedule
April 16th (Thursday)   Evening: Reception 

April 17th (Friday)  


9.00-13.00: Panels

16.00-21.30: Bosphorus Dinner Cruise 

April 18th (Saturday)  9.00-13.00: Plenary Session

14.00-18.00: Panels

Evening: Official Dinner
April 19th (Sunday) City Sightseeing Tour including Famous Historical Places 
Detailed congress program will be provided in due course.


For more information, registration and further inquiries, contact details:

Yeditepe University Law Faculty
Address: Yeditepe Üniversitesi Hukuk Fakültesi, İnönü Mah. Kayışdağı Cad.
26 Ağustos Yerleşimi 34755 Kadıköy / İSTANBUL / TURKEY
Tel : +90 216 578 00 00, Ext: 1705 / 1755
Fax : +90 216 578 07 56

Congress Secretariat: Mustafa Okan Yağcı, LL.M.
Room : 545 (Yeditepe University Law Faculty)
Tel : +90 216 578 00 00, Ext: 3274
E-mail : /


Shortly about İstanbul 

İstanbul was the capital to three great empires: Eastern Roman Empire, Byzantine and Ottoman Empire more than 1000 years. Now, it is the largest city of Turkey, constituting the country’s economic, cultural and historical heart. Due to its geographical location, natural beauty and many other unique characteristics, Istanbul has been nicknamed with 41 different names as such “the Door to Happiness (Der-i Saadet)”, “New Rome (nova Roma)”, “the City on Seven Hills (Yeditepeli Şehir – which is the source of inspiration to the name of Yeditepe University)” by Ottomans, Europeans and other civilizations during the history. In addition to all these it also has an important place for the legal researches in connection with being the place where the Corpus Juris Civilis was prepared and promulgated. 

Please note that Istanbul has been named by “” as “the best destination to travel in 2014/top destination” ahead of Rome, London, Paris and New York.

Shortly about Asian Side 

Kadıköy and Üsküdar forms the historical cores of Asian side of the city. Both started as cities independent of Istanbul (in fact Kadıköy (Khalkedon) was founded about 30-40 years earlier than Istanbul itself ), and only incorporated into the city of Istanbul in late 19th century. Today Kadıköy and Üsküdar are mainly residential and commercial zones, fully integrated with Istanbul and just 15 minutes away from the historical peninsula of Istanbul by ferry. 

The Asian side of Istanbul, though often missing from the itinerary of travellers to Istanbul, is nevertheless worth visiting for a glimpse into local life in Istanbul. There are numerous historical places in Asian side: Maiden Tower, Beylerbeyi Palace, Anatolian Fortress to mention just a few. There are important shopping streets too. For example, Bagdad Street (14 km long) located nearby Kadıköy constitutes one of the best living, recreation and shopping area of Istanbul. According to CNN-GO Bagdad Street has been announced as the fourth most famous shopping street in the world ahead of Paris-Champs Elysees, New York City-5th Avenue, London-Bond Street.

You may also find here some interesting links about the city:

Turkey Tourism Official Website

Istanbul overview 1

Istanbul overview 2