Courses

For the initial program, we are offering three courses, one in Comparative Family Law, one in Transnational Business Law, and one in Comparative Disaster Law . These courses offer unique opportunities for students to experience the law and policy of the European Union to come alive in a way that is not possible at Seattle University. Given the economic crises facing the EU, policy will play a key role in the critical analysis of the law. The learning experience of American students will be enhanced because law students from UCIIIM will be invited to participate in the courses. Thus, students will exchange ideas with students from the host country in class and have an opportunity to perhaps connect with these students outside of class. All UCIIIM students are fluent in English.  The courses will be taught in English.

Up to 22 students can be accepted in each course offering.  Students choose one of the following courses for 3 credits:

Comparative Family Law

Comparative Disaster Law

Transnational Business Transactions

Course Description and Schedule

Comparative Family Law

Faculty:  Prof. Deirdre Bowen, Seattle University School of Law
Schedule:  Monday to Friday, 9:10 to 10:20 a.m.; 10-minute break; 10:30 to 11:40 a.m.; 10-minute break; 11:50 to 1:00 p.m.

This course will explore and critically examine the intersection of law, family and society. Using various principles of jurisprudence, sociological theory, and empirical research, as well as guest speakers and site visits to places like the Juzgados de Violencia sobre la Mujer (Courts of Violence against Women) to compare and contrast European Union and U.S. models, with a special focus on Spain's progressive approach, as well as models from other countries, of family formation and family dissolution. In addition, this course will examine how race, gender and class mediate relational power in whose family life is defined, regulated, and protected under the law versus whose family is created outside the shadow of the law. Topics included marriage, divorce, parent's and children's rights, "third party" rights, domestic violence, adoption, and reproductive technology. 

Given both the compressed nature of the course and its comparative and policy approach, there is no way that all topics covered in a traditional family law course can be explored here. The readings and discussions will include looking at case law, conventions, statutes, and law review articles, and empirical research. The goal is to use this material to understand how to critically examine our own laws as well as others and situate them within a cultural context. In doing so, we can develop more informed policy.

 Comparative Disaster Law

Faculty:  Prof. Colin Crawford, Tulane University Law School
Schedule: Monday to Friday, 9:10 to 10:20 a.m.; 10-minute break; 10:30 to 11:40 a.m.; 10-minute break; 11:50 to 1:00 p.m.

It is common to refer to disasters, whether hurricanes, tornadoes, tidal waves, land- or mudlsides, and floods as "natural" events.  The term "natural disaster seems to suggest that the event is one that happens for reasons that transcend human action.  However, the majority of those who work in disaster planning and response take the alternate view. For them, disasters are not "natural" in any meaningful sense.  Although many such natural phenomena will continue to happen, the force of such events, from the destruction of New Orleans by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita to the recent loss of lives and livelihoods in the hills near Rio de Janeiro or the same sad consequences as a result of recent flooding in Asian cities including Bangkok and Manila, or severe fires in semi-arid regions as distant from one another as southern California and central Spain, can be seriously limited. Lives can be saved, as can investments and livelihoods.  This requires, however, thoughtful and clear-eyes land use and environmental planning, and the political and social will openly and frankly to address best solutions.  As a result, intelligent "disaster planning" has important implications not only for all of us as individuals, but for the success of many sectors, from private enterprise to successful political institutions.  This course will examine, from a comparative perspective, the possibilities for changing the way we approach disaster planning, and the key (but not sole) role of law to that end.  Examples considered will be from North and South America, Europe and Asia.  The course location will permit extended consideration of Spanish examples, from recent, severe droughts and fires in the Madrid region to destructive, torrential rains in Valencia and the Balearic Islands, to earthquake activity in the southern oration of the peninsula.  The course will also consider regional and national responses to these ever more frequent events.

This class has two trips planned:  Dirección General de Protección Civil y Emergencias, Unidad de Formación y Relaciones Institucionales (Federal Agency of Civil Protection and Emergencies, Office of Training and Institutional Relations, led by  Juan Pedro Lahore); Consejería de Medio Ambiente y Ordenación del Territorio hay una Subdirección General de Planificación Regional (Office of the Environment and Land Use Planning, Section of General Regional Planning) for Madrid region, led by Alberto Leboreiro. Both of these visits explore disaster planning and land use issues in Spain.

Transnational Business Transactions

Faculty:  Prof. Teresa Rodríguez de las Heras Ballell, Universidad Carlos III Madrid
                Prof. Jorge Feliu Rey, Universidad Carlos III Madrid
Schedule: Monday to Friday, 9:10 to 10:20 a.m.; 10-minute break; 10:30 to 11:40 a.m.; 10-minute break; 11:50 to 1:00 p.m.

This course is aimed at examining the impelling need to harmonize rules governing transnational transactions, to unify diverging domestic legislations and to create a very uniform law on international commerce. It seeks to discuss first why harmonize, what to harmonize and how to harmonize; to trace, afterwards, the harmonizing path over last decades; and finally to highlight the areas where harmonization has been sought with a highest intensity and perseverance in order to understand why sometimes international efforts have succeeded and sometimes have failed instead. The most prominent international instruments will be analyzed in depth seeking for common features and diverging characteristics. The course will entail the completion of several practical exercises (as they will be specified in the final program), consisting of the analysis of international instruments, the drafting of contracts ruling transnational transactions and the problem solving in commercial situations. Finally, the course will explore key international organizations. Field trips may include a visit to the International Organization of Securities Commissions.

  

Professor Teresa delas Heras Ballell from UCIIIM Madrid with Patrick Patton '14 at the 2013 Madrid Study Abroad Program.