Chloros Scholarship report
Law student Maria Luchian reports on her experience at the Court of Justice of the European Union.
Law student Maria Luchian was awarded the Alexander Chloros Scholarship at the Court of Justice of the European Union earlier this year. The scholarship covers an internship generously funded by the family of Professor Alexander Chloros, the first director of the Centre of European Law at King’s College London and judge at the European Court of Justice.
Maria spent two weeks in June at the chambers of Judge Christopher Vajda, at the Court of Justice. Here she reports on her experience:
‘I have spent two incredible weeks at the Cabinet of Judge Vajda at the Court of Justice of the European Union. My time here gave me an invaluable insight in the workings of the Court.
One of the highlights of my stay was attending two Grand Chamber hearings. One of them was a case concerning VAT while the other was a request for the Opinion of the Court on whether the European Union has exclusive competence to conclude the Marrakesh Treaty. There were a number of intervening parties and it was very instructive to hear their pleadings and see the adjudicating process unfold. As a useful point of comparison, I also attended a Fifth Chamber hearing.
The main task Judge Vajda assigned me with was to write my own view on how the Opinion should be decided. It was highly intellectually stimulating to engage with and delve into such a contentious area of the law (i.e. exclusive competence). Moreover, having had the benefit of attending the Grand Chamber oral hearing and of examining in detail the arguments of the parties involved and all the relevant law, I have come to appreciate more fully what an intricate task judges have. Therefore, I am very grateful to have been given this task, as it was a challenging and instructive learning experience.
I also carried out a more discrete research task for one of the referendaires of the Cabinet.
Besides the fantastic opportunities of engaging with substantive European Union law issues at the highest level of discourse, the two weeks also gave me a feeling of the Cabinet work environment. Everyone in the Cabinet was wonderfully helpful and great to work with. Furthermore, I have felt there is a real sense of collegiality and utmost mutual respect.
I have also greatly appreciated the lunches I had with the Cabinet members.
Being an intern at the Cabinet of Judge Vajda was both an invaluable experience for me as a future lawyer and a wonderment for me as a student. Having painstakingly studied at an academic level so many judgments of the Court, it was eye-opening to shift the perspective and see how the Court actually works. The exposure I got to various areas of European Union law has been fantastic, the more so as my main work task related to the field of law in which I intend to qualify.
I have greatly enjoyed my time at the Cabinet of Judge Vajda. This experience has been enormously enriching, both professionally and academically. I am incredibly grateful to the family of Professor Alexander Chloros for their generosity, as well as to The Dickson Poon School of Law and to the Centre of European Law for making this possible.’