For the initial program, we are offering three courses, one in Comparative Family Law, one in Transnational Business Law, and one in Law & Climate Change:  Comparative Perspectives. 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.

Course Descriptions and Schedule

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

Comparative Family Law

Faculty:  Prof. Deirdre Bowen, Director, Madrid Study Abroad Program, 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.

Law & Climate Change: Comparative Perspectives

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.

This course will introduce students to the fundamental social, political and economic challenges presented by climate change and the global legal and regulatory response to those challenges. Students will study the international regulatory framework for climate change, followed by a comparison with European and U.S. responses. The method will be highly interactive: students will be divided into small groups assigned to identify and study the climate change law of different countries and/or regions. They will then be asked to present and critique that law in class. To this end, and first, the class will be given an extended hypothetical presenting a climate change-related crisis. Second, students will the be divided into small groups as advocates for different national or regional positions and asked to negotiate an agreement for the successful resolution of this crisis. Weekly field visits will supplement in-classroom lessons, and are anticipated to include, for example, visits national and local agencies tasked with climate change response, such as the national emergency planning response agency. Weekly guest speakers will further supplement these experiences, including talks by experts on the local and regional effects of climate change and possible policy and legal responses. Evaluation will be based on group work, class participation and a final exam.

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.