ELSA4Schools’ goal is to advance secondary schools students’ legal knowledge. How? Quoting our Chairman of the Supreme Court, Priit Pikamäe,: “Leave the law aside and ask by common sense!”, because that is how we do it. We educate secondary school students on real-life subjects through interactive lectures, leaving complicated paragraphs aside. By that we give simple answers to questions that usually seem confusing and based on the subject, give an overview of an individual’s possibilities, freedoms, rights and duties as a citizen of the Republic of Estonia.
Our law professionals and young law practioners visit secondary schools across Estonia during the academic year and hold lectureson different law-related subjects. The duration of the lectures usually depends on the school’s practice and possibilities, but one lecture does not last less than 45 minutes. For this year we have prepared 6 field topics: Labour Law and Social Security Law, Constitutional Law, consumer protection, Family Law and Law of Inheritance, Contract Law and law in general. From the list above, schools can choose the most interesting subject from which they wish to learn more about. If you wish, you can choose a subdivision that we can pay more attention to.
During theLabour Law and Social Security Law lectures, we concentrate on smart negotiations regarding employment and an understanding on what a proper employer-employee relationship with its rights and duties should be like. We also speak about the perks regarding employment: leave, pension and sick-leave and taking it into account. During the lecture we analyze actual employment contracts and put them side-by-side with valid Employment Act. That way we can answer some important questions together: why is it important to get the contracts in writing? Are there trial days? Why is envelope salary not good? If you skip lunch at work, why can’t you go home earlier? What is sick-leave and how sick do you have to be to take it? How do defend yourself in the case of breach of contract and what rights do employees have?
Subdivisions: making an employment contract and and distinguishing it from other kinds of contracts, ending an employment contract, employer’s and employee’s duties, taking work time into account (full-time, part-time), vacation and resting time, pension and compensations.
In the Constitutional Law lectures we focus on the base of Estonia - the constitution - and what principles there are that apply always, everywhere and anytime in life. We speak about the fundamental rights and obligations established in the constitution, legislation hierarchy and freedom of speech. Do you have to listen to your parents when they tell you to do the dishes? Why is it possible to dispute the results of upper secondary school’s final exam? How many citizenships can Estonian citizens have? How mean words are still protected by the freedom of speech? Why is it important that media, when writing about crimes, has to be especially careful?
Subdivisions: the constitution and principles of law, fundamental rights and obligations, legislation hierarchy, freedom of speech.
Consumer protection focuses primarily on sales contracts and what happens when a pencil you bought is broken, a meal you ordered in a restaurant is ice cold or a phone ordered from and online store is still not delivered. During the lectures we find out when a contract is valid and what should it look like. We find out more about stores’ standard terms and discuss which of them are valid and what obligations does a consumer not have to follow. We also take a look at how and when you can back out of a sales contract and what happens when you do. Have you ever thought about who is a consumer and what even is a standard term? Does the company even have a right to demand money from ending a contract? What kind of document can you call an invoice? What if you have paid, but the package is still not delivered from eBay? What if the ice cream costs more at the register than in the sales area? What to do when the phone repair company breaks your phone?
Subdivisions: contact binding (obligating and disposing transaction), standard terms and their validity, deals made outside of the business area, warranty and its meaning, backing out of a contract and jurisdiction.
Family Law and Law of Inheritance lectures are about marriage and what happens after your honeymoon. We discuss why marital property contracts are made and what happens to the assets after a divorce. We take a look at the legal side of adoption and relationships between children and their parents, what are alimonies and who can demand it, also what is a will and who can get the inheritance. Have you ever thought about why Johnny Depp lost half of his assets after his divorce? Do you always have to accept what you inherit? Who is a raven-parent and what does the court do with him/her? What happens when one spouse wants a divorce but the other does not?
Subdivisions: marriage, marital property contract and asset ties, divorce, alimony, inheriting and will, relationships between children and parents.
Contract* law focuses mainly on contracts. We discuss what is a contract and what is a transaction, what is ofert and what is accept, what differences do verbal and written forms of contract have and why the law sometimes orders to make a contract with a notary. During the lecture we look around on the internet and find out what are standard terms, why should a consumer pay close attention to them and what does a breach of contract look like. We discuss what is legal protection and how can it be used. If you wish we can get into detail about lease, grant or free use agreement and what do they involve. In addition, important questions such as: can you write your lease contract on a napkin? When is the electricity bill considered delivered? When paying your phone bill, do you have to add a reference number? What is the difference between lease and rent cow?
Subdivisions: ofert and accept (binding), form of contract, standard terms, legal protection for beach of contract, lease, grant, free use agreement.
The lectures about law in general give an overview about Estonia’s law enforcement agencies and their tasks. For example, we explain what the prosecutor’s office does and how it is related to the police, why do we need the Chancellor of Justice, what is the Bar Association and what is actually happening in prisons. We also take a look at the principles of law that are valid almost everywhere and where else in addition to lawyers can you get help in case of a legal problem or with a complicated paragraph. Ultimately we talk about studying law: why? Where? How?
For a democratic country to function, it is important for its members to know their rights and obligations, have interest in what is going on in the country and to take part in different discussions regarding that. That is why it is important to raise awareness of law in general through ELSA4Schools. To widen the horizon of the young, to be aware of their rights and diverse education - the better you understand what is happening around you, the easier it is to take part in discussions. Last year the project was very successful, we visited many schools and got positive feedback from the students. This year, University of Tartu, ELSA4Schools’ main sponsor, helps with making the project even more effective.
* we can also hold a separate full-time lecture about the types of contracts mentioned
Positive feedback has given us the most joy and motivation!
10th grade student about Constitutional Law: Constitutional Law was made very clear. I even became interested in studying law. Lecturers were very sweet and kind. Many real-life examples.
11th grade student about law in general: The lecture was well presented. Everything was clear and understandable. There were enough examples as well as theoretical background. The lecture was very informative.
10th grade student about Labour Law: I liked that the lecturer gave a lot of examples and spoke about everything very thoughoutly and answered to questions. I learned much more about employment contracts and its conditions and what rights do sides have.
12th grade student about Family Law and Law of Inheritance: I liked that the subject was presented very throughoutly, questions from the class were answered instantly and the lecturer was very friendly.
Head of ELSA4Schools 2019/2020
+372 5068 927
Director for ELSA4Schools
Tartumaa, Viljandimaa, Jõgevamaa, Põlvamaa
Director for ELSA4Schools
Harjumaa, Järvamaa, Raplamaa
Kaisa Madleen Kaisla
Director for ELSA4Schools
Pärnumaa, Ida-Virumaa, Valgamaa, Läänemaa, Võrumaa
Director for ELSA4Schools
Harjumaa, Lääne-Virumaa, Saare- ja Hiiumaa