The NEA recently concluded the 2021 edition of the International School of Nuclear Law (ISNL), which was from 23 August to 3 September 2021. This year’s 40 participants were from very diverse countries and included graduate students and professionals from across the world to enhance their knowledge and understanding of the legal framework and major topics related to the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. Due to the continuing worldwide public health situation, NEA held the ISNL in a videoconference format for the first time in its 20-year history.
The ISNL, which was established in 2001 by the NEA in co-operation with the University of Montpellier, is a unique educational programme offering participants from the academic, private and governmental sectors an in-depth look at international nuclear law. This year's session was attended by participants from 19 countries, including several from beyond the NEA membership. Some participants received support to attend the ISNL from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which also provided several lecturers.
Despite not being able to meet in person in Montpellier, the 2021 programme delivered on the same rigorous educational objectives as it has for the past 20 years through a mixture of live programming, pre-recorded video lectures, group assignments, preparatory coursework, digital resources and social engagement. Comprehensive lectures were delivered by specialists in nuclear law from international organisations, governments, academia and private industry. The course lectures focused on areas such as nuclear safety, environmental law, security, safeguards and nuclear liability.
“The ISNL has been the central training ground for nuclear law practitioners since 2001, now with more than 1000 alumni from all around the world, representing different nationalities, diverse age groups and levels of education and experience,” said NEA Director-General William D. Magwood, IV during his keynote remarks. “We are proud of our collaboration with the University of Montpellier in providing the next generation of nuclear professionals with the legal education they need to ensure the responsible deployment of safe, clean nuclear energy.”
Philippe Augé, President of the University of Montpellier, added during the closing ceremony: “The ISNL, with its two weeks of intensive courses in English and its innovative teaching methods, enriches the range of training available in the University of Montpellier's continuing education. You have been taught at the highest level about the various interrelated legal issues relating to the safe, efficient and secure uses of nuclear energy in order to preserve the society of tomorrow.”
While the programme itself has concluded, many participants are continuing their studies by completing a multiple choice test and writing dissertations on a topic relevant to international nuclear law in order to apply for the University Diploma (Diplôme d'université - D.U.) in International Nuclear Law from the University of Montpellier.