On 18 March 1998, Riga Graduate School of Law (RGSL or School) was established as a limited liability non-profit company by agreement between the Latvian and Swedish Governments and the Soros Foundation – Latvia (SFL). Since 2005 the shares held by each government were transferred to the University of Latvia (UL), which in turn became the principal owner with 76% of RGSL shares. SFL retained its 24% ownership of the School. RGSL has full legal, academic and financial autonomy.
Over the years, RGSL has effectively proven its role and capacity for development. Whereas in 1999 the School offered only one master’s programme, it currently offers 7 master’s programmes leading to master’s degrees in Public International Law and Human Rights, International and European Law, European Union Law and Policy, Transborder Commercial Law, Legal Linguistics, and Law and Finance. Starting in 2010, the School added 2 bachelor programmes to the portfolio of its activities. Both programmes are interdisciplinary in nature with a primary focus on law – one is devoted to the study of Law and Diplomacy, the other to Law and Business. In addition, a joint PhD programme started in 2013 in cooperation with the University of Copenhagen.
The school holds regular guest lectures, yearly conferences and workshops, discussions and public debates led by highly qualified international and local experts. The RGSL is also involved in a number of large scale research projects, receiving the only grant among Latvian institutions in 2012 from the European Union’s 7th Framework Programme.
18 March 1998 – Riga Graduate School of Law was established by agreement between the Latvian and Swedish governments and the Soros Foundation of Latvia. At the same time, the Soros Foundation Latvia provided the building at number 13, Alberta iela as a gift to the newly established Riga Graduate School of Law.
August 1999 – the first master’s programme leading to LL.M in International and European Law degree was started.
February 2001 – the first special programme for lawyers from the Latvian state administration was started with support from the Danish Government.
7 March 2001 – the premises of the RGSL were officially inaugurated, with the participation of Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden and the President of the Republic of Latvia, Ms. Vaira Vike-Freiberga.
7 November 2005 – Riga Graduate School of Law was made an autonomous institution within the University of Latvia according to an agreement between Sweden and Latvia under which all shares held by the two countries (76%) were transferred to the University of Latvia. The Soros Foundation of Latvia has retained its shares (24%).
January 2006 – RGSL received full accreditation as an institution without time limitations. The general LL.M programme is accredited until 2010.
September 2007 – the second master’s programme leading to MA in Legal Linguistics was started.
January 2008 – the third master’s programme leading to LL.M in Law and Finance was started.
11-12 April 2008 – Anniversary conference on “EU-learning: Democracy through Law”, celebrating 10 years of RGSL and 4 years of Latvian EU accession.
December 2008 – two masters programmes – “Law and Finance” and “Legal Linguistics” received accreditation until 2014.
March 2010 – five masters programmes – “International and European Law” (academic and professional programme), “Public International Law and Human Rights”, “Transborder Commercial Law”, and “European Union Law and Policy” received accreditation until 2016.
May 2010 – two new bachelor programmes – “Law and Business” and “Law and International Relations” were licenced until 2013.
September 2010 – both new bachelor programmes were started.
June 2011 – two bachelor programmes – “Law and Business” and “Law and Diplomacy” receveid accredition until 2013.
April 2013 – a joint doctoral programme with the Faculty of Law, University of Copenhagen was licensed and a call for applications announced.
June 2013 – RGSL obtained full accreditation for all current study programmes, including also the new PhD programme. The accreditation was granted the maximum duration, which is 6 years.
September 2014 – Advanced Programme in Law and Economics was started.
September 2016 – Intensive Programme in Law and Economics was started.