The power of private actors increasingly grows in a globalised world. There are multinational corporations (MNC) whose budgets and influence by far exceed that of some states. At the same time, the obligations under international law do not match the power acquired by MNCs, since international law has developed on the basis of inter-state relations. Nevertheless, policy and regulatory frameworks are increasingly being established to address the responsibility of businesses in the area of human rights, and MNCs, conversely, increasingly see advantages in conducting their business in a socially responsible way.
The course examines international standards and implementation and monitoring activities related to business and human rights and related subjects, like labour law, intellectual property rights and environmental law. Special attention will be paid to the work of the UN Special Representative on business and human rights and the UN Working Group on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises. In addition, it analyses issues of legal personality of MNCs under international law, judicial and quasi-judicial responses to liability of MNCs for human rights violations, and the human rights of companies.
- Teacher: George Ulrich
Today environmental issues are a matter of topical debate as well as pivotal pillar of the EU policies for a sustainable growth. The course “Environmental Law and Policy” allows postgraduate students to gather a sound understanding of the law and policy issues related to this area. Environmental law is not a straightforward subject to either study or practice. There is much to think about in relation to how environmental problems are understood, and what solutions are offered to address them through legal frameworks, and how those frameworks apply to a particular environmental problem.
The course will focus on the treaty principles, the adopted legislation and the EU court practice within the field of environmental law. The course will survey the fundamentals of EU environmental law, as well as the most relevant legal measures that help to implement, enforce and apply it at EU-level and where relevant at national level for exemplifying. The course will pursue a balanced approach between discussions on theory and practice including analysis of examples and case studies
This course introduces students to the fundamentals of intellectual property law. Through the analysis of cases and current events, we will explore the legal framework of intellectual property law: trademarks, design rights, patents and copyright; trade secrets, and IP enforcement and disputes.
Arbitration is an effective mechanism for resolving international commercial and investment disputes providing a final and binding determination and global recognition and enforcement of the arbitral awards. The course aims to provide students with a basic introduction to key topics in international commercial arbitration. The emphasis of the course will be on arbitration of international commercial disputes, but some insight will be also given in the international investment arbitration system. Students will become acquainted with some of the strategic problems that arise in the course of international arbitration proceedings and gain an understanding of both the benefits and drawbacks of arbitration as a mechanism for resolving transnational commercial disputes.
- Teacher: Tjaco Theo van den Hout
The course will offer a perspective of an insider and a practitioner on how individuals defend their rights in the European Court of Human Rights, the most common difficulties for representatives in bringing claims to the Court and the challenges faced by the Court today in Europe. The course will provide several practical ideas on how the Court works.
- Teacher: Kristaps Tamužs
In spite of EU efforts to harmonise the company laws across Europe, in many ways national company laws continue to reflect local policies, traditions and values.
The course introduces to company law systems used in the Europe and discusses how these systems are regulated or reflected in EU law. The course covers the establishment, transfer, and dissolution of companies, as well as the rights and obligations of its key players and stakeholders, including the board of directors, management, shareholders and employees. The course links with finance law in dealing with capital formation and maintenance, and with transborder litigation in dealing with recognition of bankruptcy.
Case studies and student participation form an essential part of the course, which alternates between presentational lectures and discussion- based seminars.
The aim of the course is to initiate students to the EU political system by introducing its institutions, governance, legislative processes as well as formal and informal decision-making procedures. The Lisbon Treaty offers a consolidated legal basis for a more effective decision-making. It has affected almost all policy fields in terms of competence distribution, power of the European Parliament and role of the European Commission. Member states still play a significant role in the legislative process that will be analysed step by step in the lectures and seminars. In order to distinguish differences of institutional power across different policy fields, students will prepare the course papers, reflecting the inter-institutional balance in different policy fields.
The course introduces students to broader EU integration theories and the decision-making modes and addresses difficulties and challenges that the member states face in finding agreement in the EU domain. In the lectures we examine the whole process from the draft Commission proposal to its adoption by the Council and the EP.
Member States are represented in the EU by national delegations that negotiate on behalf of their governments. Similarly, EU institutions empower groups of individuals to negotiate on their behalf. Accordingly, understanding bargaining situations is essential for acquiring a comprehensive understanding of the EU’s modus operandi. This course therefore includes a practical exercise of negotiations in the EU Council, i.e. negotiation simulation. The negotiation simulation is embedded in a real-life negotiation scenario on a Council document. It will allow students to better understand the functioning of the EU institutions.
Finally, the course addresses the issues of deepening of the EU through looking at different integration theories. In the proactive exchange with the audience the professors will introduce various scenarios for future development of the EU. Brexit issues will be analysed as a part of this discussion.
- Teacher: Ilze Rūse
We start with the principles of Markowitz theory, i.e. discuss the benefits and limitations of financial risk diversification and prepare the ground for the Value-at-Risk concept which is introduced in the second part of the course.
Using the no arbitrage argument, the complexity of financial markets will be explained, followed by technical means to insure against a “bad” development of the currency exchange rate. The first part of the lecture closes with the theory of comparative cost advantages and some conclusions which can be derived for Latvia.
We continue to analyse the risk exposure in the Global and European financial markets, followed by the description of the complexity of risk management in the financial industry. We follow the historic development of the Basel-Regime. We drill down risk management techniques to the 4 sectors of the financial industry: banking, insurance, asset management and real estate.