Intellectual property and innovation go hand-in-hand; the more confidence inventors have in securing the benefits of their labour, the more they are willing to invest. This axiom is increasingly challenged by contemporary technological advances. The advent of digitalization and more complex programming tools are increasingly necessitating new approaches to intellectual property protection and enforcement. This course comparatively and critically examines intellectual property and its interoperability with technological advances from the perspectives of regulation, practice and academic scholarship.
The most immediate impact of the aforementioned challenges will be faced by innovators. A start-up business must ask and answer a plethora of questions concerning its new invention. Can the idea be protected? If it is a written program, different jurisdictions can have different answers to the question. How can a right-holder protect its intellectual property internationally and online? These are a few examples of concerns which may not have immediate answers and require a more detailed look.
- Teacher: Ingrīda Kariņa-Bērziņa
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.
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
This course offers students a deeper understanding of the role and functioning of international courts and tribunals in the resolution of disputes between states. It will give them insight in the contribution of these institutions to the “progressive development of public international law”. Landmark rulings will be discussed of the Permanent Court of International Justice (PCIJ), the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and a number of important international arbitral tribunals. One very recent case will be given special attention and analyzed in detail. The course is, from beginning to end, interactive and classes require preparation. Students are expected to read and study the judgments and arbitral awards of the cases discussed in class and should, when called upon, be able to recite the facts of these cases in a clear and coherent fashion.
- Teacher: Tjaco Theo van den Hout
The course provides an overview of international and European human rights regimes, including the main standards and protection mechanisms. The course is structured in two parts. The first part introduces UN human rights system and examines the two Covenants and mechanisms for the protection and promotion of human rights. It discusses in detail selected economic, social and cultural rights, such as the right to health, as well as civil and political rights, such as freedom of expression. It then outlines the regional human rights systems, with a particular focus on the European system. Lastly, it introduces philosophical underpinnings of human rights and addresses some contemporary challenges to human rights.
The second part of the course focuses on the examination of the substantive human rights law, offering a comparative perspective involving a number of human rights protection instruments, with a special focus on the ICCPR and ECHR. It discusses the understanding of the obligation to protect human rights, including jurisdictional aspects and the application of human rights in times of emergency. Further, it considers such rights as the right to life, prohibition of inhumane or degrading treatment, or torture, the right to liberty and security, the right to fair trial as well as the right to private life, especially taking into account the contemporary challenges associated with armed conflicts and security threats. It also discusses the challenges regarding the compliance with the decisions of the human right judicial bodies and the redress to the victims of human rights violations.
The course consists of four related parts. The first part introduces students to the basic notions of money, credit, interest rates, and financial markets. The second part focuses on banks, banking risks and regulation, central banking and financial system, in connection with money supply and demand. The third part addresses the institutional structure, goals, strategy and operating procedures of the European Central Bank. The fourth part is devoted to discussing the monetary policy transmission mechanism in the context of an open economy.
- Teacher: Paolo Paesani
This course focuses on the analysis of commercial transactions, mainly contracts, from an international and comparative law perspective (see below Course Plan-Main Subjects). It is not based on the legal rules applicable to commercial contracts in one specific jurisdiction (domestic law), as this is more appropriate of nationally–oriented LLM studies, but on the principle that learning the law is not just about learning legal rules but also, and more importantly, about learning to think as a lawyer. Consequently, this is a course with a strong methodological component where students, in addition to having the chance to work with legal rules (mostly at a supranational level: EU, Int’l Conventions), will be given ample opportunities to learn about the legal problem-solving method at an international level. From this perspective, this course is intensively more practical than theoretical as students will have to read, analyse and discuss, first individually and later in the classroom, a number of problems and court cases representative of conflictive situations arising in the field of international commercial transactions (see below Course Plan-Sessions). Students will be provided with materials uploaded in the course intranet (more details on Course Plan-Sessions below) and will also receive recommendations on suggested readings and supplementary materials (see below Course Plan-Sessions and Course Literature)
- Teacher: Carlos Llorente
This course introduces students to contracting in the information technology field. We will adopt a practical approach to exploring the fundamentals of how contracts are concluded; issues in cross-border contracting; main types of ICT transactions (distribution, licensing and services agreements); smart contracts and the Blockchain; intellectual property in ICT contracting, non-disclosure and confidentiality clauses, inkless contracts, and contract enforcement.
- Teacher: Ingrīda Kariņa-Bērziņa
Private International Law (PIL) primarily deals with the following three main issues:
(i) international jurisdiction, i.e., which court has jurisdiction over a cross-border dispute?
(ii) applicable law, i.e., which law applies in a cross-border dispute?
(iii) recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments, i.e., whether a foreign judgment can be recognized and enforced in another country?
The existence of private international law depends on two conditions – legal diversity and cross-border legal issues. Nowadays, there are more than 200 jurisdictions each applying its own substantive laws in solving legal disputes. If all countries in the world applied one unified and harmonized law in the same manner there would be no need for private international law. Similarly, if individuals and businesses limited their activities to only one state, issues of private international law would be less important.
The European Private International Law (EPIL) course will give an overview of different topics and typical practical issues in private international law – all geared towards solving legal problems in the real world of commercial cross border transactions within the European Union.
- Teacher: Aleksandrs Fillers