The International School of Nuclear Law completes another session at the University of Montpellier

ISNL Class of 2022 at University of Montpellier

The International School of Nuclear Law Class of 2022 have completed their training course at the University of Montpellier

The NEA’s International School of Nuclear Law (ISNL) has successfully completed its 2022 session from 22 August – 2 September at the University of Montpellier in the south of France.

Over ten days, 56 graduate students and professionals from 38 countries came together to strengthen their knowledge and understanding of the legal framework and major topics related to the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. This year marks the first time the programme has been held in person since the 2019 edition.

The safe, efficient and secure use of nuclear energy is supported by a complex body of international laws and legal regimes that uphold and enforce all aspects of nuclear safety, security and liability. In 2001 the NEA established the ISNL in co-operation with the University of Montpellier to create an educational programme that offers graduate students and professionals from the academic, private and governmental sectors an in-depth look at international nuclear law.

DG Magwood ISNLDirector-General William D. Magwood, IV welcoming the latest cohort of students at the International School of Nuclear Law at the University of Montpellier

NEA Director-General William D. Magwood, IV was present to welcome the new cohort of students and emphasise the critical role that nuclear law plays in ensuring a safe and clean nuclear energy industry.

“The ISNL has been the central training ground for nuclear law practitioners since 2001, now with more than 1200 alumni from 100 different countries around the world, representing different nationalities, diverse age groups and levels of education and experience,” said NEA Director-General William D. Magwood, IV.  

“The nuclear energy industry has reached a pivotal moment, with the role that it can play in helping governments to reach net-zero targets at the forefront of international discussions. Legal frameworks are essential to the responsible deployment of safe, clean nuclear energy and we are proud of our collaboration with the University of Montpellier in developing the next generation of nuclear professionals with the necessary legal education to further progress the nuclear energy field.”

ISNL MontpellierNEA Director General Magwood taking part in lectures with 2022 ISNL participants

The participants from different backgrounds and career levels were immersed in the subject through the ISNL’s rigorous programme, which consisted of lectures, group assignments and panel discussions. These classes touched on all aspects of nuclear law, including nuclear safety, environmental protection, transport, nuclear security, non-proliferation, safeguards, nuclear liability, international trade and management of spent fuel and radioactive waste. In addition, the ISNL ensured that participants had the opportunity to network with their new classmates and to discover the vibrant city of Montpellier and its surroundings with social events, city tours and a graduation ceremony.

Since 2011, the programme has been led by Mr. Paul Bowden, Honorary Professor of Law at the Nottingham Law School and former partner of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. The programme was delivered by lecturers made up of around 30 renowned specialists in nuclear law from international organisations, governments, academia and private industry.

ISNL participants 2022 ISNL participants present their responses to a case study on the Joint Convention

The NEA awarded grants to a select number of graduate students from its member countries and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) supported the programme by awarding financial support to a number of professionals from its member states under the IAEA Technical Cooperation Programme. In addition, the IAEA provided a number of lecturers from its Office of Legal Affairs.

While this year’s programme itself has concluded, many participants are continuing their studies by completing an examination and a written dissertation on a topic relevant to international nuclear law, with the intention of applying for the University Diploma (Diplôme d'université – D.U.) in International Nuclear Law from the University of Montpellier.

For more information about the ISNL and how to apply, visit here.

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