Courses

European Human Rights Law (2 Credits) 
Prof. Ignacio Borrajo Iniesta

This course provides an overview of the protection of civil and political rights in Europe, including those protected by both the European Convention on Human Rights and European Union law. It will focus on recent developments, including the Lisbon Treaty (effective December 2009) and the situation of new and old democracies since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. It will also examine the case law of the European Court of Human Rights and the Court of Justice of the European Union. Some selected areas shall be emphasized, such as the right to life and physical integrity, international migrations, and linguistic, religious and cultural pluralism.

Global Health Law (2 Credits) 
Prof. Sidney D. Watson

Health has been forced onto the global political and legal agendas by a series of challenging problems, including the HIV/AIDS epidemic, pandemic influenza, newly emerging infectious diseases from Ebola to SARS, malnutrition coupled with obesity, the abuse of drugs, tobacco and alcohol, and major health inequalities between rich and poor. These problems have also broadened perceptions of global health law as a field, from its traditional focus on cross-border infections to an area that involves issues of security, development, justice and human rights.

In response, an innovative system of global health law and governance is emerging. This system includes a growing body of treaties, regulations and “soft law,” implemented by institutions such as the World Health and World Trade Organizations. Private actors – NGOs such as Doctors Without Borders, drug and tobacco companies, donors such as the Gates Foundation – and public-private partnerships, such as the Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria, have also become essential players. Yet many of these actors have very different visions of global health and the nature of health problems, leading to sharp divisions over priorities and strategies.

This course will introduce the major actors, institutions and legal arrangements in global health. It will also consider hotly contested global health issues, including controlling the international spread of infectious disease, making basic health care and public health services available to all, defining a human right to health, financing health programs, providing access to patented drugs, and regulating the abuse of tobacco and alcohol. The course will emphasize the role of partnerships and other institutional innovations in promoting global health and as a model for addressing other global challenges through a series of interactive case studies and simulations.

Information Privacy Law in the European Union (1 Credit)
Prof. Matthew Bodie

Advances in computing and communication have transformed our capacities to collect, store, use, and disclose information. While these changes have enabled great leaps in technological advancement, they have also created new vulnerabilities for our personal privacy, particularly as to healthcare records, personnel files, consumer activity, and geolocation data. Information privacy — also called data protection — endeavors to protect personal information and enforce an individual’s privacy preferences.

The European Union has long been the global leader in data protection. The 1995 EU Data Protection Directive created the world’s most comprehensive set of regulations for the collection, processing, and distribution of personal data. Numerous cases from individual countries’ judiciaries, as well as the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), have fleshed out these provisions in changing and expansive ways, such as the “right to be forgotten” by web search engines. In 2016, the EU voted to supplant the 1995 Directive with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This new law follows the structure of the Directive but also changes important features such as the definition of consent, the standards for notification of a security breach, and the requirement of internal “data protection officers” within organizations.

The GDPR takes effect in 2018, which makes this upcoming year a terrific time for the study of EU information privacy law. This course will provide a background understanding of the EU’s foundational data protection laws and many of the important decisions that have arisen under the Directive. At the same time, it will look forward to the GDPR to anticipate the changes that will affect companies, governments, and people doing business within the EU. Special attention will be paid to the GDPR regulations for personal health data, biomedical research, and employment files.

International Refugee Law and Global Migration (1 Credit)
Prof. Susan W. McGraugh

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the UN’s refugee agency, reaching Spain is a goal for many refugees seeking protection and asylum in Europe. As of December 2014, there were more than 15,000 refugees and asylum seekers in Spain. In recent years, Spain has experienced massive numbers of refugees at times, including more than 30,000 from Africa in 2006. The vestiges of that mass migration remain in Madrid and throughout Spain, as the large number of refugee assistance NGOs confirms.

This course will provide the opportunity to explore refugee law both historically and in the context of the continuing refugee crisis worldwide. Students will examine the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, as well as related international law instruments. Students will also discuss United States laws on refugees and asylum seekers in an effort to compare and contrast the bodies of law. Special attention will be given to the experience of the refugee, especially the increased risk of negative health outcomes due to trauma and a lack of medical care in refugee settlements.

International Sale of Goods (1 Credit)
Dean William P. Johnson

In today’s global marketplace, small and large businesses alike routinely engage in the cross-border purchase or sale of raw materials, supplies, equipment and finished goods. Every commercial lawyer must be prepared to counsel clients on sales transactions across national borders.

This course will help you get there. It covers a variety of issues that arise when contracting parties have their places of business in different countries or the goods that are the subject of the transaction cross at least one national border. The main focus is the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG), an important body of international sales law in effect in the United States, in Spain, and for most significant U.S. trading partners. We will look carefully at important provisions of the CISG, while considering the many different roles played by a commercial lawyer at various stages of an international sales transaction.

Introduction to the Civil Law System (1 Credit)
Prof. Javier Martinez-Torron

This course provides an introduction to the civil law tradition as it has developed in today’s continental European and Latin-American legal systems. The aim is to help American students understand the language and concepts of the other major legal tradition in the Western culture, together with the common law. Students will be introduced to historical sources of the civil law tradition, and will gain an understanding of how and why the tradition of codified law developed on the European continent and Latin America in contrast to the common law tradition in England and the United States. The basic structure, principles and jurisprudence of the civil law systems will be explored and compared to those of the common law, leading the student to appreciate the strengths and weaknesses of both traditions. Students will also study the areas in which trends toward convergence or divergence of civil law and common law can be identified, and the questions they raise in the context of the European unification process. Particular attention will be given to the development of the civil law tradition in Spain, as well as to EU legal institutions. The course will not presuppose any knowledge of the civil law tradition or comparative law.

Introduction to Spanish (No Credit)
Prof. Julio Lasarte

This non-credit, hour-long introductory Spanish language class will be held every Monday through Thursday. It will not conflict with other classes.

Protecting Rights in New Democracies (1 Credit)
Prof. Lorena Bachmaier Winter

Due process of law has a bearing on the structure of the State itself and, indirectly, on constitutional principles beyond the protection of individual rights. In this course, students will examine the procedural and substantive due process rights in Europe, and in so doing, will better understand the European legal culture and its administration of justice.

How are those rights that are enshrined in the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments of the US Constitution understood in Europe? To explore that question, this course will focus on the following issues: the independence and impartiality of judges, the concept of fair trial (in administrative, civil and criminal proceedings), the right to be heard, the right to have an effective remedy against violations of rights, the meaning of witness crossexamination, and the scope of the ne bis in idem – all to be addressed in a transnational setting from a comparative point of view. The European Convention of Human Rights and the case law of the European Court of Human Rights play an essential role in defining due process in Europe, a role that has been recognized in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. Although the European Union is far from being a federal system, the definition of a common concept of due process enables recognition of common features in all national legal systems.

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