International Legal English Certificate (ILEC)


The Cambridge ESOL International Legal English Certificate (ILEC) is an examination set at levels B2 and C1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. ILEC is equivalent in level to the Cambridge First Certificate in English and Certificate in Advanced English, and assesses language skills in a legal context. Examinations at the C1 level may be used as proof of the level of language necessary to work in an international legal context or to follow a course of legal study at university level.

ILEC is a Cambridge ESOL examination, developed in co-operation with TransLegal – Europe's leading firm of lawyer-linguists. It is recognised by leading associations of lawyers including the European Company Lawyers Association, the European Law Students Association, the International Association of Young Lawyers, and the European Young Bar Association.


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The Exam

ILEC comprises the Test of Reading, the Test of Writing, the Test of Listening and the Test of Speaking. Each test is based on realistic texts, tasks and topics similar to those practitioners would expect to encounter in their daily working lives.
The examination texts and topics are set in the context of international commercial law. The following list is an illustration of some of the areas of law featured in ILEC:

• Corporate
• Business associations
• Contract
• Sale of goods
• Real property
• Debtor-creditor
• Intellectual property
• Employment
• Competition
• Environmental
• Negotiable instruments
• Secured transactions
• Aspects of international law

The ILEC examination will also cover relevant aspects of legal practice.
This exam assesses English language ability used in a legal context at Council of Europe 'Vantage' Level (B2) and Council of Europe 'Effective Operational Proficiency' Level (C1). The ILEC examination is offered every month. Candidates must enter through an authorised centre. A list of centres is available online at



Results are reported as three passing grades (C1 Pass with Merit, C1 Pass and B2 Pass) and two failing grades (Narrow Fail and Fail). A candidate's overall ILEC grade is based on the total score gained by the candidate in all four papers. It is not necessary to achieve a satisfactory level in all four components in order to pass the examination as the final mark on which the grade is awarded is based on the aggregate score of all of the test components.

All candidates receive a Statement of Results which shows the grade awarded and a graphical display of the candidate's performance in each paper. Statements of results are issued through centres approximately five weeks after the examination has been taken. Certificates are issued about three weeks after the issue of statements of results.


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