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16 November 2017: start of the new academic year for the University Diploma in “International Economic Law in Africa”

Thierry Lauriol

The launch ceremony for the 4th graduating class of the “International Economic Law in Africa” university diploma, referred to as the “Jacques M’Bosso class” after the name of the sponsor, will be held in the evening of 16 November. It is important to highlight the innovation of this public-private partnership uniting the University of Paris II Panthéon-Assas and Jeantet law firm. The Heads of the university diploma, Maître Thierry Lauriol, a partner with the law firm since 1997, and Professor Yves Nouvel have been committed to this initiative since the outset, to the students’ pleasure.

An innovative and much-awaited partnership

The “International Economic Law in Africa” university diploma stems from a partnership between the public sector (University of Paris II Panthéon-Assas) and the private sector (Jeantet law firm). This partnership is materialised by the harmonious joint management by Maître Thierry Lauriol and Professor Yves Nouvel. It falls within the scope of the legal, economic and geopolitical reality of African States between each other and also with other States and economic operators outside of the continent.

This university diploma corresponds to a strong need expressed by students to combine the expertise of legal practitioners such as Maître Thierry Lauriol relating to the African continent with the academic excellence of which the University Panthéon-Assas is one of the leading examples, in particular in the field of international economic law taught at this university by Professor Yves Nouvel.

This university course is based on a finding: the proliferation of international treaties in Africa aimed at governing economic relationships on this continent. The scope of these instruments, the relationships which they develop between them and also the national laws are not widely known. Nevertheless, these treaties are taking an increasingly prominent position in governing business matters and are moreover more and more referred to in disputes.

Professional circles highlight the increasing need for training on international treaties and conventions in Africa which govern economic relationships on the continent. Expertise on these matters is currently dispersed between legal practitioners and university academics working in Africa and Europe“, stated Maître Thierry Lauriol.

The “International Economic Law in Africa” diploma consequently fulfils this need and brings together specialists who present the current state of law and challenges in their field using an approach combining practice and theory.

The graduate can accordingly claim to have gained effective knowledge on international economic law in Africa on completion of the diploma qualification (200 hours of teaching) putting him in a position to develop this type of expertise in his professional activities.

A fully committed law firm

The partnership with the University of Paris II enables the law firm to listen to the legal practitioners and the decision-makers of tomorrow, as well as demonstrating to its clients focusing on Africa that its implication in the field goes well beyond simply dealing with their matters. This establishes its legitimacy to present itself as a specialist on the unified laws of Africa (including the Ohada law) and handle matters on the continent.

In addition to the time devoted to this course by Maître Thierry Lauriol, a partner with the law firm since 1997 (management of the university diploma and teaching certain modules), Jeantet law firm has assigned three of its lawyers to teaching some modules to students (Martin Tavaut, Capucine du Pac de Marsoulies and Emilie Raynaud). The law firm is also committed to hosting at least one of the students as an intern from each graduating year.

The law firm’s commitment was highly appreciated by the jury for the 2015 Legal Awards [Trophées du Droit], which resulted in it being granted the Gold Award in this year in the Energy/Natural Resources/Africa category. This jury is comprised of Legal Directors of companies focusing on Africa and other legal professionals.

Satisfied Students

After three graduating classes, almost 65 students have graduated from this course. The new fourth graduating class is comprised of 22 students.

Thomas Masbou, committee member of the Diploma Students’ Association, is visibly delighted to have taken this course and addresses the new graduating class of 2018 in the following terms: “You have chosen a course which takes a close interest in the economic and legal issues which are raised in practice in Africa. This field is in full expansion and needs expertise which you can gain here. You will benefit from a high-quality teaching team with competent, experienced lecturers, who are practitioners in their fields, which brings considerable added value to the teaching. Please do not hesitate to reach out to them. They are available and approachable people, who are always happy to exchange ideas. ”

Given the success of the course in France, the International University of Rabat wishes to replicate the university diploma in the form of a Executive Master in International Economic Law in Africa. To this end, a partnership agreement was entered into between the University of Paris II Panthéon-Assas and the International University of Rabat on 16 May 2017. It will enable this course to be implemented in Morocco as from the 2017-2018 academic year.