About EMLE

EMLE provides an experience lauded as “an outstanding educational concept” which synthesizes law and economics together into a programme that is both manageable in its structure and innovative in its design. This programme creates an atmosphere of internationality through its students and its universities, which provides both a learning experience for its scholars and a desirable trait for future employers. The combination of law and economics fosters an atmosphere of idea sharing and introduces different techniques for examining and handling problems. EMLE is forging a path in producing future lawyers and economists equipped with an interdisciplinary background ready to handle the multidimensional challenges of European and international business and law.

The law and the economy interact in many ways. Whereas private law assists individuals and groups who are willing to enter into agreements in a free market, public law seeks to correct the outcomes of a free market system by means of economic and social regulation. Economists themselves should be informed about the legal environment in which economic activities must be conducted, while lawyers should be aware of the economic effects of current legal rules and the expected outcome under a different legal regime. Law & Economics meshes together two of society’s fundamental social constructs into one subject, allowing a multi-faceted study of significant problems which exist in each subject.

What can Law & Economics do?

Law & Economics, with its positive economic analysis, seeks to explain the behaviour of legislators, prosecutors, judges, and bureaucrats. The model of rational choice, which underlies much of modern economics, proved to be very useful for explaining (and predicting) how people act under various legal constraints. This positive analysis informs the normative branch of the discipline about possible outcomes. If effects of divergent legal rules and institutions are known, the normative analyst will be able to discern efficient rules from those that are inefficient and formulate reform proposals to increase the efficiency of the law. Also, Law & Economics has the ability to improve the quality of the legal system. In the last decades, an impressive literature has developed, showing the strength of both positive and normative economic analysis in various areas of law.

History of Law & Economics

Law & Economics began its synthesis as a discipline through the theories of the Chicago School, and received guidance and influence from such pioneers as Guido Calabresi and Nobel Prize winners Ronald Coase and Gary Becker. Richard Posner’s book ‘Economic Analysis of Law’ became one of the classics of the discipline. Recently, other methods have moved to the fore, including the Property Rights approach, the Austrian School and the Neo-Institutionalist approach. Finally, the Public Choice School, with Nobel Prize winner James Buchanan as an outstanding author, focuses more specifically on the political context of the law-making process.

History of EMLE

The European Master Programme in Law and Economics started in 1990 at the Universities of Ghent, Paris IX, Oxford and Rotterdam with 20 students from different European countries. From the very beginning, the programme received recognition and financial support of the ERASMUS Bureau of the European Community. Awards were granted every year for student mobility and the development of an international curriculum. In the first three years, the possibility to choose among different teaching centers only existed in the third term. From 1993 onward, the network has offered a choice also in the second term and since 2002, students have been able to choose between different universities for each of the three terms. The number of partner universities has increased rapidly and the network now comprises eight teaching centers within the EU (Aix-Marseille, Barcelona, Ghent, Hamburg, Rome, Rotterdam, Vienna, and Warsaw) and two worldwide (Haifa and Mumbai).

Since its beginning, the Law and Economics Programme has steadily increased in numbers of participating students and scholars. The broad supply of teaching centers has clearly added to the attractiveness of the programme. For example, in the year 2017-2018 there were more than 500 applications for a maximum of 105 places in the programme. About a third of our applicants are from European countries, the remaining two third of applicants comes from all over the world.

Law & Economics in Europe

Although the origins of Law & Economics are decidedly American, this has not prevented its spread to the European continent. The annual conference of the European Association of Law and Economics (EALE), organised each year at a European university, has evolved into a major event. In several European universities, professors and assistants are developing and refining the Law & Economics approach, and EMLE is designed to cater to the need for a strong European-based academic programme and training scheme.

The EMLE programme not only provides a rare opportunity for students to synthesize and improve upon their knowledge of law and economics, but it also blends academic excellence with a high level of internationality.

In addition, the EMLE structure allows for idea exchange and networking between students and scholars, lawyers, economists and businesspeople.

The programme covers one academic year, and its Master’s level curriculum is not only documented through the use of a constitutive method (economic analysis) on a particular subject (law) but by the fact that this economic analysis is based on a continuous legal comparison.

The functional approach of the economic analysis of law is well suited to compare different solutions to problems, which are in their essence identical. Since differences between national laws have been at the core of European policy making, the EMLE Master’s course offers unique value concerning the EU’s central ambitions.

Academic Excellence

The European Master in Law and Economics (EMLE) programme provides a level of academic excellence recognized by Erasmus Mundus as well as additional academic experts. The programme has recruited distinguished scholars from across Europe and the rest of the world to share their knowledge and instruct the next generation of lawyers, economists, and policy makers.

Accredited by numerous institutions in Europe, the programme also provides a supreme level of internationality in its professors, universities and its students.

Erasmus+: Erasmus Mundus

In 2018 the EMLE has been recognized for the fourth time by the EACEA of the European Commission as Erasmus Mundus:Erasmus+ Master’s programme. With this it was added to the Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree (EMJMD) Catalogue, a predicate of excellence of the Erasmus+ funding scheme of the European Commission. The funding will be applicable for four student intakes, specifically the EMLE academic years of 2018-2019 up until 2021-2022.

Before the current recognition, the EMLE participated in a selection reserved to master’s programmes that had already successfully applied for recognition under the preceding Erasmus Mundus programme (“quality review procedure”) and received funding for the academic years 2015-2016 up until 2017-2018. Before that period, the EMLE was recognized as Erasmus Mundus Masters Course, both under the first edition of Erasmus Mundus (2004-2008) as under Erasmus Mundus II (2009-2015). The programme has always been evaluated very positively by the reviewer-panels from independent academic reviewers. Like this, it was chosen by the selection committee in the first round of funding in 2004 as only few out of 128 applying programs. It is currently the only master’s programme that received funding over such a long period – from the beginning of the funding action until today.



The EMLE programme has been recognized by several accreditation authorities as an outstanding educational concept. In addition to Erasmus Mundus accreditation, the Dutch Flemish Accreditation Agency NVAO in 2004 accredited the EMLE programme at the Universities of Rotterdam and Ghent, while the EMLE programme at the University of Hamburg was accredited in 2005 by ZEvA, the Central Accreditation Agency of the Federal State of Lower Saxony.


As the world becomes more integrated, it is of great significance that our future leaders experience the world on a larger scale. The EMLE programme provides this through its multi-dimensional approach to internationality.

First, the opportunity to study and live in foreign countries and encounter different cultures is an educational challenge, which cannot be taught in a classroom.

Second, our scholars and lecturers have divers backgrounds regarding nationality, professions, and life experiences. Many of them are also former EMLE students.

Finally and perhaps most importantly, our students are also a very international group. On average per academic year, our students come from 30 different nationalities, which creates a global working atmosphere while providing constant opportunities to improve social skills and cultural competences.

You can find out more about the internationality of the EMLE experience in the yearbook of the EMLE class 2016-2017.

For more details on the course contents, please click here.

The master level of the programme is documented through the use of a constitutive method (economic analysis) on a particular subject (law) combined with the fact that this economic analysis is based on a continuous legal comparison.

The programme duration is one academic year, consisting of three terms; the first term comprises introductory courses as well as core courses on the major topics in the economic analysis of law, although the composition and structure of the materials used in the courses vary slightly. In the second term students take specialized courses, within the specialization of their chosen track. In the third term further specialized courses are offered and students will write their master’s thesis.

The programme is steered by the EMLE Management Board, which supervises the management and handles decision-making on key matters.


The programme covers one academic year, for which successful students will receive 60 ECTS.

The academic year (1 October – 30 September) is divided into three terms. The first term starts in the first week of October, and lasts until the end of December. The second term lasts from January until the end of March. The third term starts in the first week of April and the last classes are generally in June. The thesis deadline is in mid-August each year. The unique international and interdisciplinary character of the EMLE Programme is secured through an intensive co-operation between no less than eight European Universities and two non-European partners.

Students may study at up to three different universities but cannot spend all terms at the same location. In the first two terms students can choose among three teaching centres. This leads to an average class size of up to 35 students, given a maximum of 105 admitted students in the entire program. In the last term students have the choice of seven different locations.

Terms & Courses

The first term courses and most of the second term courses are introductory courses as well as core courses on the major topics in the economic analysis of law. In the third term, students take specialized courses and write their master thesis.

The program includes three kinds of courses:

Economics Courses: In order to make law students more familiar with basic economic reasoning, some courses are more economics-oriented.

Comparative Law Courses: Some courses deal with comparative law in order to internationalise the legal background of the students. Please note that all references to law in all courses will be of a comparative kind, due to the all-European character of the programme and the international composition of the student body.

Law and Economics Courses: Most courses deal directly with the economic analysis of the most important branches of private, public, international and European law. The students will be confronted with examples of their native and foreign systems.

The EMLE is a full time programme and we discourage taking a side job, since you have to be available for classes during the week. Class attendance is obligatory (apart from the introduction to law and to micro lectures), except in case of absence for documented medical reasons, mutually agreed absences or other exceptional circumstances.

All courses are taught in English. The thesis has to be written in either English or the third term local language, provided that the latter is not the student’s mother tongue.

Please refer to the following links for the syllabi:

First Term Courses
Second Term Courses
Third Term Courses

Board & Consortium

Midterm meeting 2018, Rotterdam

The EMLE Board consists of the Director of the Programme, the Erasmus Mundus Coordinator and the Coordinators of the participating universities. The Board elects the management of the programme, including the Director, the Erasmus Mundus Coordinator, the Ombudsman and the Quality Assurance Officer. It supervises the management and takes decisions on important matters.

Internal Organization:

Details about the internal organization of the programme (programme coordination, duties of the consortium universities, academic goals etc.) can be found in the EMLE Consortium Agreement. Please note that the annexes attached to the agreement may have changed since ratification.

The EMLE programme combines high-level theoretical research and empirical studies with policy-relevant analysis. It is designed to be an influential and challenging intellectual enterprise not only for the academic world but for society at large.

To close the gap between academia and society, EMLE has established various types of collaborations with public and private research institutions, governmental bodies, law firms and consulting firms, commercial enterprises and representatives of industrial groups active in the policy arena.

Institutions cooperating with the EMLE are collectively referred to as Associated Partners:


  • AGCOM (Rome, Italy)
  • AYR, Amar, Reiter, Jeanne & Co (Bnei Brak, Israel)
  • Babar Law Associates (Karachi, Pakistan)
  • BDO (Hamburg, Germany)
  • British American Tobacco (Hamburg, Germany)
  • Cairo University (Cairo,Egypt)
  • CASE Center for Social and Economic Research (Warsaw, Poland)
  • CDC Cartel Damage Claims (Brussels, Belgium)
  • Central depository services ltd. (Mumbai, India)
  • CEPS Center for European Policy Studies (Brussels, Belgium)
  • Cerha Hempel Spiegelfeld Hlawati (CHSH) (Vienna, Austria)
  • College van Beroep voor het Bedrijfsleven (The Hague, The Netherlands)
  • Commissioner for Better Regulation (Melbourne, Australia)
  • CONSOB (Rome, Italy)
  • De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek (Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
  • Dentons (Prague, Czech Republic)
  • Dentons (Warsaw, Poland)
  • Deutsche Bundesbank (Hamburg, Germany)
  • Ecorys (Rotterdam, The Netherlands)
  • Ernst & Young GmbH (Hamburg, Germany)
  • European Association of Law and Economics (Ghent, Belgium)
  • FGV Direito Rio (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
  • Finsec Law Advisors (Mumbai, India)
  • FOR Foundation (Civil Development Forum Foundation) (Warsaw,Poland)
  • Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP (Vienna, Austria)
  • George Mason University (GMU) (Fairfax, USA)
  • Gestore dei Servizi Energetici – GSE S.p.A. (Rome, Italy)
  • Herzog, Fox Neeman & Co (Tel Aviv, Israel)
  • ISS Institutional Shareholder Services Europe (Watermaal-Bosvoorde,Belgium)
  • Joseph von Sonnenfels Center for the Study of Public Law and Economics (Vienna, Austria)
  • Kyiv School of Economics (Kyiv, Ukraine)
  • LEAR (Rome, Italy)
  • Lipa Meir & Co (Tel Aviv, Israel)
  • MAGNA International Europe GmbH (Vienna, Austria)
  • Noerr (Hamburg, Germany)
  • OMV Aktiengesellschaft (Vienna, Austria)
  • Polish Association of Law and Economics (Warsaw, Poland)
  • PWC (Hamburg, Germany)
  • RBB Economics (The Hague, The Netherlands)
  • Simon Kuznets Kharkiv National University of Economics (Kharkiv, Ukraine)
  • Squire Patton Boggs (US) LLP (Boeblingen, Germany)
  • Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv (Kyiv, Ukraine)
  • University of California at Berkeley, School of Law (Berkeley, USA)
  • University of Economics, Prague (Prague, Czech Republic)
  • University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Economics (Ljubljana, Slovenia)
  • Virtus Global Center for Corporate Governance (Sumy, Ukraine)

  • Prof. A. Mitchell Polinsky, Stanford Law School
  • Prof. Richard Posner, University of Chicago, Chief Judge US Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Prof. Susan Rose-Ackerman, Yale Law School
  • Prof. Steven Shavell, Harvard Law School
  • Dr. Cento Veljanovski, Research & Editorial Director of the Institute of Economic Affairs, London
  • Prof. Oliver E. Williamson, University of California, Berkeley, Nobel Prize Award 2009
  • Prof. O. Zerbe, Jr., University of Washington

The European Master Programme in Law and Economics (EMLE) is the primary source of high quality postgraduate education in the field of the economic analysis of law in Europe.

Successful graduates of the one-year course taught at a number of renowned European universities will obtain an LL.M. title or a master title equivalent to an LL.M. Multiple degrees are also awarded. For more information on this, please click here. The programme admits students of high academic merit who hold at least a bachelor’s degree in either law or economics, or a related discipline.

Employers & EMLE

The EMLE programme is designed to produce future lawyers and economists capable of success in an international framework.

For law students, knowledge of the specific regulations of their home country is too narrow a base for counselling firms that are active in international trade. Additionally, knowledge of the economic effects of legal rules has become indispensable for understanding their clients’ commercial needs.

Similarly, economics students will profit from an accurate understanding of the institutional legal framework of market economies. For both lawyers and economists, knowledge of the other discipline and international contacts are crucial for a successful career.

The European Master Programme in Law and Economics is the institutional response to these challenges.

Consequently, many graduates of the programme have gone on to become Ph.D. students and professors of law and economics or judges at high-level courts and advisors to international law firms, to name but a few.


As the world becomes more integrated, it is of great significance that our future leaders experience the world on a larger scale. The EMLE programme provides this through its multi-dimensional approach to internationality.

First, our universities can be found from central and western Europe to India. The opportunity to study and live in foreign countries and encounter different cultures is an educational challenge which cannot be taught in a classroom.

Second, our scholars and lecturers come from a diverse background of nationality, professions, and life experiences.

Finally and perhaps most importantly, our students are also a very international group. We have students from over 30 countries each year, which creates a global working atmosphere while providing constant opportunities to improve social skills and cultural competences.

The EMLE is a fully recognized master’s programme and as such enables its graduates to pursue a Ph.D. at all institutions of higher education.

Please note however that the EMLE cannot convey unrelated additional qualifications required by the host university beyond the master’s degree itself. Most EC countries require a minimum of 300 ECTS for participation in a Ph.D. programme. Since the EMLE is a one-year (60 ECTS) master’s programme only graduates with four years of previous studies (in addition to the EMLE) would be eligible for those Ph.D. programmes. Applicants interested in postgraduate work are encouraged to check out the admission requirements of their target Ph.D. programme.

The European Doctorate in Law & Economics

A core selection of (former) EMLE partner universities (Bologna, Hamburg, Haifa and Rotterdam) also offer a specialized  Ph.D. programme in the field of Law & Economics, the EDLE (European Doctorate in Law & Economics).

All EMLE graduates automatically qualify for application to the EDLE, providing a connection between the two programmes that allows for a continued focus on Law & Economics through the doctoral thesis.