Courses - Madrid, Spain



WEEK 1:  June 3-6, 2024
INSTRUCTOR Jason R. Bent, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of Law, Stetson University College of Law, Gulfport, Florida

This course will examine and compare workplace autonomy and privacy protections for employees in the United States and the European Union.  EU member countries generally maintain stronger protections for workers than the US, including in employment security, worker autonomy and speech, expectations of privacy for workers, and positive legal protections for employees’ personal information and data.  We will examine possible explanations for this divergence between the US and EU approaches to workplace autonomy and privacy.  Is the divergence attributable to fundamental cultural differences, such as the importance of individual worker dignity in Europe versus the primacy of liberty from governmental restrictions (on employers) in the US? Is US law generally moving in a direction more protective of employees’ privacy?  Should it?  Or should the US allow the labor market to allocate workers’ privacy interests and employers’ competing interests in effective monitoring and control over the workplace?

The course will cover workers’ speech rights; employer surveillance and monitoring (audio, visual, GPS location, biometrics, and health) of employees; employers’ use of automated decision-making; and legislative privacy protections for employee data. We will reference the US Constitutional protections for public sector employees in the US, but the course’s primary focus will be on private sector employees. We will explore employee protections under the European Convention on Human Rights, the Spanish Constitution, and Spanish laws covering data privacy and worker protections. The course will examine the GDPR’s data privacy protections applicable to employees and will consider the recent adoption of similarly protective laws in some US states, such as the California Privacy Rights Act and the Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act. A comparative examination of employee data privacy is particularly important for law students who plan to represent or join the legal or HR departments of multinational entities employing workers in different countries. For example, a US-based multinational employer is subject to the GDPR regarding the data it collects or processes for any workers based in EU countries. Understanding GDPR restrictions and the data privacy developments in the US will continue to be critical for attorneys representing multinational employers.

WEEK 2:  June 10-13, 2024
INSTRUCTOR:   Roy Balleste, Professor of Law and Director of the Dolly & Homer Hand Law Library, Stetson University College of Law, Gulfport, Florida

CYBER-LAW   (1 credit)
This course will introduce various legal concepts, terms, rules, and guidelines related to information assurance, security, and law. The course will discuss how cyber-law impacts the information technology arena. The course will also examine the role played by nation-states and other stakeholders, including NATO. The course will also consider the associated concepts of cybersecurity science and international law.

WEEK 3:  June 17-20, 2024
INSTRUCTOR Steven Friedland, Professor of Law and Senior Scholar/Director of the Center for Engaged Learning in the Law, Elon University School of Law,
Greensboro, North Carolina

This course examines how advances in technology and the Internet have disrupted conceptions of  human rights around the globe.  With the Internet as a primary communication system, platforms such as Twitter (now X) and Facebook have had outsized significance in speech and individual rights. The course first traces some of the major international laws protecting human rights, explores how new technologies have profoundly impacted those protections, and then examines the changing role of courts in protecting rights in the digital age. The explorations include the role of remote GPS tracking and face recognition in facilitating mass surveillance systems; the role of generative Artificial Intelligence and machine learning, and the role of the Internet in creating opportunities as well as challenges regarding the freedom of speech and elections. Also considered will be the development of the Internet of Things and its transformation of privacy rights; and changes effected by automation and Big Data.

WEEK 4:  June 24-27, 2024
INSTRUCTOR Paul Boudreaux, Professor of Law, Co-Director of the Institute for Biodiversity Law and Policy, and Director, Stetson Law Honors Program, Stetson University College of Law, Gulfport, Florida

Law is increasingly globalized, matching the world’s economy.  Wildlife law – the protection of rare and exceptional species of animals – is a prime example of this globalization (animals, for example, don’t recognize borders).  Wildlife protection increasingly relies on international cooperation (or is hampered by a lack thereof) and is strongly affected by the changing global climate. The study of international wildlife law is especially appropriate in Spain, which is at the crossroads of cultures, linking Europe, Africa, and the Mediterranean.

The course has two focuses.  First, it discusses the essentials of current international wildlife law.  For example, the Convention on Biological Diversity fosters legal cooperation, such as through protecting birds that migrate across continents and whales that move through the high seas.  The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species imposes restraints on international commerce, which is especially important as wealthy nations, such as the United States and those in Europe, seek to import animals and animal products from less-developed nations, such as those in Africa and Asia.  Second, it discusses changing attitudes towards wildlife and animal law in an era of a changing global climate, which implicates issues of energy policy, concerns over the spread of diseases, and the disputes over genetically modified foods. It strives to be a thought-provoking, timely, and engaging course.