Courses - Summer Semester

SUMMER TERM

 

I. General courses

 

CZECH AND EUROPEAN ENVIRONMENTAL LAW AND POLICY
MILAN DAMOHORSKÝ / MICHAL SOBOTKA / KAROLINA ŹÁKOVSKÁ

 

Course Description
The course provides information about the development of the Czech and European environmental policy and law and about their current status. The course deals with legal, economic and institutional instruments of environmental protection in the Czech Republic and EU. It covers both sectoral and horizontal environmental legislation and the background of public administration of the environmental protection. The course also provides general information about the process of transposition and implementation of European environmental law in member states, especially on the example of the Czech Republic. Attention is paid also to international standards of environmental protection as to basis for European and national legal action.

 

Outline of the Course
1. The state of the environment on global, European and national level. International, European and Czech environmental policy

2. Environmental law as a key instrument of Environmental policy (system, instruments). Institutional safeguards for environmental protection

3. European and national environmental law – transposition and implementation

4. The liability system of environmental protection

5. Access to environmental information, public participation in environmental decision-making

6. Main horizontal legislation I: EIA, IPPC

7. Main horizontal legislation II: Land-use planning

8. Air pollution regulation

9. Water resources protection

10. Land and Forrest Protection

11. Biodiversity and Nature protection

12. Regulation of sources of endangerment I: Waste

13. Regulation of sources of endangerment II: Chemicals

14. Regulation of sources of endangerment III: Protection against accidental harm. Noise regulation

15. Ownership and Environmental protection. Land and Agricultural Law & Environment

16. Role of the justice (courts) in the protection of environment


Reading List
Damohorský, M.: Czech Environmental Law, 2nd edition, Charles University, Prague 2006

Kiss, A. – Shelton, D.: Manual of European Environmental Law, Cambridge University Press, 2nd Edition 1997

Krämer, L.: European Environmental Law, Sweet and Maxwell, 6th Edition, 2007

Krämer, L.: Casebook on European Environmental Law, Hart 2002

Scheuer, S. (ed.): EC Environmental Policy Handbook – A critical Analysis of EU Environmental Legislation, EEB, 2005

State Environmental Policy (2002-2010) (Ministry of the Environment)

Report on the Environment of the Czech Republic 2009 (Ministry of the Environment)

 

 

EUROPEAN LAW IN THE CZECH–EU CONTEXT
RICHARD KRÁL / JIŘÍ ZEMÁNEK / MICHAL TOMÁŠEK

Course description
First, basics of the institutional and legal system of the enlarged European Union and fundamental principles of its operation and evolution are presented. Then, summary of EU law of internal market and related policies will follow. Towards this background the institutional and legal aspects of the Czech EU membership shall be introduced. The course will focus also on the role of the ECJ and the effects of EU law within legal and judicial systems of the EU Member States. In this respect special attention shall also be paid to relevant Czech case law. The changes introduced by the Treaty of Lisbon will be discussed, too. The students shall be invited to reflect on their EU citizenship status and on the impact of EU law on the legal systems of their countries of origin. Therefore, the discussion in the class is welcome.

 

Outline of the course

1. The evolution of EC/EU
-  Evolution of three Communities
-  Evolution of the EU
-  Structure of the EU after Lisbon Treaty

 

2. Basic methods and principles of EU system of governance
-  Supranationalism
-  Intergovernmentalism
-  Division of powers

 

3. The EU and its Member States
-  Becoming a Member State
-  The membership’s rights and duties
-  Enhanced co-operation

 

4. The EU-citizenship
-  An individual in the focus of the EU law
-  The legal substance of the EU citizenship
-  The EU Charter of fundamental rights

 

5. The system of EU law
-  Definition, Autonomy
-  Sources-  General principles

 

6. The decision-making process
- Institutions and their powers
- Ordinary legislative procedure
- Issue of democratic deficit- Role of National Parliaments 

 

7. The law of Internal Market
- Main principles
- Free movement of goods, capital and payments
- Free movement of workers and students
- Free movement of services and right of establishment

 

8. The EU competition law and policy
- Cartels
- Abuse of dominant position
- Merger control
- State aids- Enforcement 

 

9. The Economic and monetary union and single currency
- Historical outline
- Monetary policy
- Budgetary policy
- Single currency - EURO

- Convergence criteria

- European Central Bank

 

10. The EU budget and selected EU policies
- EU budget – sources and spending
- EU budgetary procedure
- Common agriculture policy

 

11. The Area of freedom, security and justice
- Border controls, asylum and immigration
- Judicial cooperation in civil matters
- Police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters 

 

12. The European judicial system - The Court of Justice
- Structure, tasks and jurisdiction
- Position in the EU institutional balance
- Procedures and rules

 

13. The European judicial system and national courts
- Dialogue through Preliminary ruling procedure
- Methods of interpretation of EU law
- Cases

 

14. The application and enforcement of the EU law by the national courts and administrations
- Direct applicability of EU law
- Supremacy of EU law
- Principles of loyalty and effect utile
 

 

15. The EU Directives
- Structure
- Transposition
- Consequences of improper transposition

 

16. The constitutional dimension of EU law
- The process of constitutionalisation
- The failed institutional reform under the Treaty on Constitution for Europe
- The Treaty of Lisbon

 

17. The accession of the Czech Republic to the EU
- The European clause of the Constitution
- The Treaty on Accession
- The leading “European” cases of the Czech courts

 

Reading list
Zemánek Jiří, Král Richard, Tomášek Michal Course planner and materials www.europa.eu (Selected documents)

J. Steiner, L. Woods, EU Law, 10th edition, Oxford University Press, 2009

 


COMMERCIAL LAW AND INTERNATIONAL TRANSACTIONS

MONIKA PAUKNEROVÁ / ALENA BÁNYAIOVÁ

Course description
The course consists of two parts. The first part focuses on the general principles of Czech commercial law, including various aspects of business conduct in the Czech Republic such as the legal status of entrepreneurs and their commercial activities as individuals, the essentials of Czech company law and law of commercial contracts. Special attention will also be paid to the impact of the European legislation on this area of Czech law. Further, the course will deal in more detail with Czech competition law, both antitrust as well as unfair competition, and will provide background of certain particulars of commercial contracts, security obligations, breach of contracts, liability for damages and other types of remedies.

The second part of the course is oriented directly to the regulation of civil and commercial relations with an international element, as well as to some practical implications. Special regard will be paid to conflict rules and rules of international civil procedure in Europe and in the Czech Republic, to European Private International Law and Czech Private International Law. Further parts concern international commercial transactions, in particular commercial contracts and other formulations. Attention will also be drawn to the settlement of civil and commercial disputes.

 

Outline of the Course

I. Commercial Law 

1. General Principles of Commercial law, Introduction to Czech Company Law

§  legal status of entrepreneurs

§  essentials of Czech company law

§  legal forms of companies

§  establishment of companies

 

2. Company Law – General Partnership, Limited Liability Company

§  corporate structure

§  rights and duties of partners (shareholders)

 

3. Company Law – Joint Stock Company

§  shares, registered capital

§  corporate structure, liability of members of corporate bodies

§  rights and duties of shareholders

 

4. Company Law – Joint Stock Company, Harmonization with EU Law

§  participations of shareholders in management of the company

§  principles of minority shareholders protection

§  mandatory tender offers

 

5. Competition Law – General, Unfair Competition

§  general overview of protection of competition

§  unfair competition - general clause

§  unfair competition - individual breaches and relevant case law

 

6. Competition Law - Antitrust

§  cartel regulation

§  abuse of dominant position

§  other means of public law protection of competition - merger control, public        procurement, state aid

 

7. Commercial Obligations

§  general principles

§  law of contracts

§  typical commercial contracts

 

8. Commercial Obligations

§  breach of contracts

§  security obligations

§  liability for damages

 

II. Private International Law and International Transactions

1. General introduction and special characteristics of the Czech private international law, conflict of laws and substantive rules

§  General introduction - the working of private international law demonstrated

§  Private international law rules and related rules

§  Conflict rules in general

 

2. General introduction (continued), Sources of the Czech private international law, European private international law

§  Sources of the Czech private international law

§  European private international law - introduction

§  Special characteristics of Czech private international law

 

3. Private international law rules and related rules

§  Conflict rules – selected topics

§  Application of foreign law

§  Public policy

§  Mandatory rules and overriding mandatory rules

 

4. Persons in Czech and European private international law

§  Natural persons in private international law

§  Legal persons and “other than foreign natural persons” in private international law

§  Persons and freedom of establishment in European and Czech law

 

5. Contractual and non-contractual obligations in Czech and European private international law

§  Determination of the proper law of contracts and torts

§  Law applicable to contractual obligations in Czech and European private international law

§  Law applicable to non-contractual obligations in Czech and European private international law

 

6. International commercial contracts and Czech law - general climate, sources of law and other formulations

§  International commercial contracts

§  Sources of law

§  Conflict rules and direct substantive rules in Czech private international law

§  Other formulations - lex mercatoria under Czech and European law

 

7. Settlement of disputes in the Czech Republic and in Europe

§  Introduction

§  International civil procedure under Czech law

§  Regulation Brussels I (Regulation on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters)

§  Other European instruments (European enforcement order for uncontested claims, European order for payment procedure, European small claims procedure)

 

8. International commercial arbitration in the Czech Republic as compared to other selected countries

§  Introduction – the options for international dispute resolution

§  Litigation or alternative dispute resolution

§  Arbitration in the Czech Republic

§  Arbitration rules in other selected countries

  

Reading list
Monika Pauknerová, Private International Law, Czech Republic in: International Encyclopaedia of Laws, Kluwer Law International, The Hague 2011

Zuzana Slováková, Czech Business Law, Introduction: Monika Pauknerová, Charles University in Prague, Faculty of Law 2007

The Commercial Code, Commentary, Trade links, Prague

The Civil Code, Commentary, Trade links, Prague

Lucie Bányaiová, Private Antitrust Litigation-Czech Republic, in: Getting the Deal Through, Global Competition Review, 2007

Pauknerová, M., Růžička, K., Arbitration in the Czech Republic, in: P. Oberhammer (Ed.), Schiedsgerichtsbarkeit in Zentraleuropa, Arbitration in Central Europe, Center of Legal Competence Bd. 23, Manz Verlag, Wien – Graz 2005, p. 253- 374

M. Bogdan, Concise Introduction to EU Private International Law, Europa Law Publishing, Groningen 2007

Study on the conditions of claims for damages in case of infringement of EC competition rules – National Report – Czech Republic in: http://ec.europa.eu/comm/competition/antitrust/others/actions_for_damages/national_reports/czech_republic_en.pdf

 

 

CZECH CRIMINAL LAW
ZDENĚK KÜHN / JAROSLAV FENYK / TOMÁŠ GŘIVNA

 

Course Description
The purpose of the course is to provide a general introduction into Czech Criminal Law in a European context. The course will emphasize similarities and differences with other Western and Central European legal systems as well as the United States. The course is taught by academicians as well as practitioners with a deep expertise in criminal law.

The first part of the course deals with the substantive questions of Czech Criminal law. We will deal with some interesting aspects of criminal law, like the law of abortion, which gave the right to abortion long before the similar reforms in most Western European nations and the United States. We will also go through emerging questions of harmonization of European criminal law by the law making activity of the EU. The second part will focus on the law of criminal procedure. It will explain ongoing reforms of criminal procedure law in Central European region after 1989 and assess their effects. We will also observe similar reforms in criminal law in other Central European nations, above all Poland, Slovakia and Hungary.

 

Outline of the Course
1. The Issue of Abortion – Central European Experience

2. Criminal Law during Communism

3. Crime and Corruption after Communism

4. Procedural Law I. Anglo-American and Continental Conception of Criminal Process

5. Procedural Law II. Fact Finding

6. The Americanization of Criminal Procedure in Central Europe? The Case of Plea Bargaining

7. The Problems of Czech Criminal View: Judge’s View

8. Criminal Law and the EU: European Arrest Warrant

9. Criminal Law and the EU

10. Theorizing Criminal Law: a Feminist Challenge

11. TBA

12. Conclusions

 

Reading List
Chapter 1: No readings

Chapter 2: POMORSKI S.: Communists and Their Criminal Law Revisited, 1989

HAVEL V.: Kicking the Door, 26 NY Review of Books Number 4, 1979

Chapter 3: COULLOUDON V.: Crime and Corruption after Communism. The Criminalization

of Russia’s Political Elite, East Eur. Constitutional Rev., 1997

MUNGIU-PIPPIDI A.: Crime and Corruption after Communism. Breaking Free at

Last: Tales of Corruption from the Postcommunist Balkans, East Eur. Const. Rev., 1997

Chapter 4: LANGER M.: From Legal Transplants To Legal Translations: The Globalization of

Plea Bargaining and the Americanization Thesis in Criminal Procedure

PIZZI William T., MONTAGNA Mariangela: The Battle to Establish an Adversarial

Trial System in Italy, excerpts, 2004

Chapter 5: DAMASKA M.: Presentation of Evidence and Factfinding Precision, 1975

DIEHM J.: The Introduction of Jury Trials and Adversarial Elements into the Former

Soviet Union and Other Inquisitorial Countries, 2001

Optional: REICHEL P. L.: Comparative Criminal Justice Systems 254–273, 2005

Chapter 6: LANGER M.: From Legal Transplants To Legal Translations: The Globalization of

Plea Bargaining and the Americanization Thesis in Criminal Procedure, excerpts

Optional: PIZZI William T., MONTAGNA Mariangela: The Battle to Establish an

Adversarial Trial System in Italy, excerpts, 2004

Chapter 8: European Commission Papers: Reactions to the Presentation of the Broad Outline of

European Union Security Policy

SANCHEZ W.: Council Framework Decision of 13 June 2002 on the European Arrest

Warrant and the Surrender Procedures between Member States

ALEGRE S., LEAF M.: Mutual Recognition in European Judicial Cooperation: A Step

Too Far Too Soon? Case Study – the European Arrest Warrant, 10 European Law

Journal 200, 2004

Is the EU Unconstitutional? The German Federal Constitutional Court Decision on the

EAW (Press Release)

Chapter 10: SCHULHOFER S. J.: The Feminist Challenge in Criminal Law. University of

Pennsylvania Law Review, vol. 143, 2151, 1995

 

 

II. Courses of Specialization 

 

CONTRACTS AND TORTS
DAVID ELISCHER / ONDŘEJ FRINTA / JANA HRSTKOVÁ  


Course Description
The purpose of the course is to give students an opportunity to study closely selected topics in the area of contracts and torts as provided in Czech Private law. In the first part of the course students will be introduced to principles of formulation, interpretation and enforcement of contracts. The relationship between the Civil Code and the Commercial Code will be considered. The following parts of the course will address in details legal protection afforded by the Civil Code against interference by others with security of ones person, property or intangible interests. Special emphasis will be given to consideration of general liability and special liability for damage. Students will have an opportunity to discuss current topics related to contracts and torts with practical examples from the legal practice and court decisions.

 

Outline of the Course

1. Contracts A.
Concept of Obligation • Historical and Modern Development • Decisive Features of Obligations • Principles of Obligations • Sources of Obligations • Types of Obligations • Origination of Obligations

2. Contracts B.
Concept of Contract • Foundations of the Binding Force of Contract (Lex Contractus) • Types of Contract • Parties to a Contract • Content of Contract • Origination of Contract • Harmonisation of European Contract Law (Principles of European Contract Law) • Principle of Good Faith in European Contract Law

3. Contracts C.
Introduction to Contracts • Principal Sources • Definition and Meaning • Foundations of the Binding Force of Contract· The Synallagmatic or Bilateral Contract and the Unilateral Contract·• Nominate and In nominate Contracts

4. Contracts D.
Common Types of Nominate Contracts • Comparison of Civil Code and Commercial Code·• Principles of Interpretation of Contracts • Purchase Contract·• Contract on Work·• Lease Contract

5. Contract E.
Recent Development • Consumer Contracts • Consideration of Cases and Examples from Legal Practice

6. Contracts F.
Contracts in Family Law (in general) • Marriage as a contract • Cohabitation as a contract • Joint consent over child’s fatherhood – a contract or not? • Contracts related with the joint property of spouses • Contracts related with the alimony

7. Torts A.
Introduction to Torts • Principal Sources • Civil liability • Prerequisites • Fault as a Prerequisite of General Liability for Damage • Comparative Overview • Case law

8. Torts B.
Wrongfulness /Unlawfulness as a Prerequisite of Liability for Damage • Comparative Overview • Case law

9. Torts C.
Damages • Manner and Scope of Compensation for Damage • Joint Liability • Comparative Overview • Case law  

10. Torts D.
Causality as a Prerequisite of Liability for Damage • Different types of Special liability for Damage • Prescription in Tort Law • Comparative Overview • Case law

 

Reading List
Civil Code, Trade Links, Prague 1998

HRSTKOVÁ, J.: Fundamentals of Czech Civil Law, Charles University, Prague, 2005

 

 

INSTITUTIONAL ECONOMICS AND ECONOMICS OF THE PUBLIC SECTOR

Course description
The course is divided into two mutually related parts. The purpose of the first part is to describe and explain how economic behavior is influenced by “institutions” (formal and informal norms, values and habits) and how institutions vary widely in their impacts on economic performance. While some societies and/or economies develop institutions that produce growth and development, other develop institutions leading to high transaction costs, economic problems and stagnation.  

The second part of the course focuses on functioning and economic principles of the public (government) sector. It looks both at general goals, mechanisms and efficiency of the public sector and at its specific issues analysed by economic theories of public choice, regulation, taxation and income redistribution, government bureaucracy and public companies.  

 

Main topics of the course:
Part I 

Institutional Economics: Basic Premises and Concepts, Transaction Costs    Economic Theory of Ownership Rights

Economic Theory of Contractual Relations

Economic Theory of Corporate Governance

Institutions and Economic Change

 

Part II

Economic Reasons of Government

Theory of Public Choice

Public Sector and Bureaucracy

Economic Theory of Taxation

Public Social and Health Care Systems: Costs and Benefits

 

Selected Reading

Peter G. Klein: New Institutional Economics, Encyclopedia of Law and Economics, 1998

Douglas C. North: Understanding Economic Change, 2005

Douglas C. North: Economic Performance through Time, Nobel Prize Lecture, 1993

Stiglitz, J.E.: Economics of the Public Sector, Stanford University, 2000

Urban, J.: Privatization and Institutional Reforms in Czech Republic, 2004

Urban, J.: Brief Glossary for New Institutional Economics, 2007

 

 

LABOUR LAW AND SOCIAL SECURITY LAW
MARTIN ŚTEFKO / KRISTINA KOLDINSKÁ 

Course Description
The course examines and compares the history, structure and regulations of both employment law (labour law) and social security law in Central Europe (mainly the Czech Republic, Austria, Germany, Poland and Slovakia). After a definition of general terms and a brief review of both legal theory and history, the course focuses principally on social risks covered by the said branches of law (for example pregnancy, maternity, sickness, disability to work, unemployment, invalidity or death of a breadwinner). The course provides a comprehensive study of current EC law, international law, and Czech labour and social security law including case law. If appropriate, there will be comparisons with other Central European countries. Special attention is devoted to the Posted Workers Directive, and pension and health care reforms in Central Europe.

 

Outline of the Course

1. Law of Social Protection and its History in Europe
-  History of Social Protection
-  Development of the Welfare State, Types of Welfare State, the Crisis of the Welfare State
-  Sources of Law (international and EC law)
-  Social Welfare Rights, Functions and Aims of Labour Law and Social Security Law

2. The outline of the course, information about Exam
- Employment Relationship, Definitions
- Employee, EC Worker, Dependent Work
- Employer’s Risks
- General Principles
- Other Types of Employment Relationships

3. Protection of Work, Liberalisation of Employment Law (Flexicurity)
- Choice of Law Rules
- Non Competition Covenants 

4. Contract of Employment, Employment Relationship, Establishment, Changes and Termination       

5. Working Time, Rest Periods, Payments          

6. Social Law and Social Rights

7. Pregnancy, Maternity, Working Conditions of Parents           

8. Sickness, Invalidity, Aging, Poverty and Social Exclusion           

9. Posting of Workers
- Working Conditions in Central and Eastern Europe

10. Coordination of Social Security Laws

           

Reading List (Optional Literature)

Pichrt, J.; Štefko, M.: Labour Law, Kluwer Law International, The Hague 2009

Štefko, M.: Czech Labour Law in European Context, Charles University Press, Prague 2007

Tröster, P., Vysokajová, M.: International Encyclopaedia of Social Security Law - Czech Republic, Suppl. 57, Kluwer Law International, The Hague 2006.

Koldinská, K., Štefko, M. Sociální vývoj a sociální situace v Ceské republice v roce 2008, Die soziale Entwicklung und soziale Lage in der Tschechischen Republik im Jahr 2008, Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Prag Analyse aus der Tschechischen Republik 1/2009, available at http://www.fesprag.cz/cs/system/files/books/2009-1-cz.pdf, http://www.fesprag.cz/cs/system/files/books/2009-1.pdf 

Koldinská, K.: Czech and Slovak Labour Law – Protective or liberal? In: The International Journal of Comparative Labour Law and Industrial Relations, Kluwer Law International No. 24/3 2008

Koldinská, K.: Soziales Europa? Testfall Tschechien. In: Collegium Europaeum Jenense (Hg.): Sociales Europa  Testfall Polen und Tschechien (Tagung vom 15. Juni 2007). - Edition Paideia  - Jena - Verlag IKS Garamond  - 2008

Koldinská, K.: Gender Equality: Before and After the Enlargement of EU: The Case of the Czech Republic In: European Law Journal, No. 2, 2007, Blackwell Publishing Ltd, Oxford

 

 

OUT-OF-COURT DISPUTE RESOLUTION
ZBYŠEK KORDAČ

Course description
The aim of the course is to present different methods of dispute resolution. Litigating before national courts is not always the best method how to deal with the dispute which has arisen. Parties can employ number of other dispute resolution techniques and methods. First part of the course will deal with arbitration. Especially in the area of international commerce, arbitration became the preferred method of resolving disputes. After introducing features of international commercial arbitration, the course will focus on the differences which can be found in the area of investment arbitration. The classes on mediation will be divided between legal aspects of mediation and techniques and aproaches used by mediators. The course will conclude with an overview of other dispute resolution methods.

Outline of the course

1. General Introduction into Arbitration

- What is Arbitration?

- Arbitration’s Advantages

- Limits of Arbitration

- Regulatory Framework

 

2. Arbitration Agreement

- Validity of Arbitration Agreement

- Arbitrability

- Drafting the Arbitration Agreement

 

3. The Tribunal

- Appointment of Arbitrators

- Duties of Arbitrators

- Challenge to Arbitrators

 

4. Applicable Law and Rules

- Delocalisation v. Territoriality

- Law Appliable to Arbitration Agreement

- Rules and Law Applicable to the Arbitral Proceedings

- Law Applicable to Merits of the Case

 

5. The Arbitral Proceedings and Judicial Assisstance

- Taking of Evidence

- Interim Measures

- Anti-suit Injunctions

 

6. The Award

- Different Types of Awards

- Challenges to the Award

- Enforcement of the Award

 

7. Investment Arbitration

- Special Features of Investment Arbitration

- Washington Convention

- Bilateral Investments Treaties

- Standards of Protection

 

8. Legal Aspects of Mediation

- Nature of Mediation

- Duties of Mediator

- Confidentiality

- Legal Nature of Settlement

 

9. Methods Used by Mediators

- Facilitative Mediation

- Evaluative Mediation

- Collaborative Mediation

 

10. Other ADR Methods

- Med-arb

- Arb-med

- Adjudication

- Dispute Resolution Boards

- Last Offer Arbitration

 

Reading list 

Mandatory Reading

· Moses, Margaret L. The Principles and Practice of International Commercial Arbitration. 2nd Edition. Cambridge University Press. 2012.

· Kordač, Zbyšek. ADR: Non-judicial adventures, Common Law Review, Prague, Issue 10, Spring 2009.

· Růžička, K., Rozhodčí řízení před Rozhodčím soudem při Hospodářské komoře ČR a Agrární komoře ČR. 2. rozšířené vydání. Plzeň: Vydavatelství a nakladatelství Aleš Čeněk, s.r.o., 2005, p. 199-204.

 

Recommended reading

· Lew, Julian D. M., Mistelis, Loukas A., Kröll, Stefan M. Comparative International Commercial Arbitration. Wolters Kluwer. 2003.

· Born, Gary B. International Commercial Arbitration. Alphen aan den Rijn: Kluwer Law International, 2009.

· Blackaby, N., Partasides, C., Redfern, A., Hunter, M. Redfern and Hunter on International Arbitration. 5th ed. (Student version) Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009

· Pauknerová, M., Růžička, K.: Arbitration in the Czech Republic, in: P. Oberhammer (Ed.), Schiedsgerichtsbarkeit in Zentraleuropa, Arbitration in Central Europe, Center of Legal Competence Bd. 23, Manz Verlag, Wien – Graz 2005, p. 253- 374

· Bělohlávek, Alexander J. Arbitration Law and Practice in the Czech Republic (with Regard to the Arbitration Law in Slovakia). Volume I. Linde. Prague, 2009, First edition.

 

 

COMPARATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL LAW
MAREK ANTOŠ

Summary:
The course is dedicated to the most important institutions of constitutional law which are discussed in comparative perspective. Its aim is to support contacts and cooperation between Erasmus and Czech students who are enrolled on parity. Therefore also the capacity for Erasmus students is restricted to 15 participants. Drawing on wide legal and linguistic background of the students, the course consists of a series of workshops on specific constitutional institutions analyzed and presented by groups of students from various countries. Active participation and attendance of all participants is therefore essential and required.

Course description:
The first lesson is a brief introduction to the comparative law methodology and to the course requirements. Also the final list of topics (constitutional institutions) will be set here, reflecting preferences expressed by the students in class. Once the schedule is set, groups of 5-6 students, internationally composed, will be formed and assigned with specific topics to prepare a comparative presentation. Each student is supposed to take part in two presentations throughout the course.
The task of the presenting group is to prepare a collective presentation (approx. 45 minutes) providing: a) a short theoretical introduction of the institution; b) a description how the institution is differently implemented in 4-5 countries; c) a comparison (preferably with an analysis how and why is the implementation different). One of the countries described should always be the Czech Republic; the rest of the selection is up to the group, as long as different approaches to the institution are represented. The second half of each lesson is reserved for general discussion and reflection of the presentation by other students. In order to allow them to prepare in advance, the presenting group is expected to prepare a written handout (either in form of a Powerpoint presentation or a text in PDF) which will be distributed to all course participants in advance. References to relevant legal sources, court cases and literature are warmly recommended.

Preliminary list of topics:
• constitutional status and powers of the head of state
• rules of the legislative procedure
• supervisory powers of parliament
• parliamentary minority rights
• courts administration
• constitutional amendment process
• models of judicial review of laws
• second chambers of parliament
• relationship between the government and parliament
• models of federalism
• constitutions and international (and European) law
• budgetary powers of parliaments and their limits (e.g. “debt brakes”)
• forms of direct democracy
• parliamentary immunity
• funding of political parties and election campaigns

Basic reference literature (available in the faculty library):
Rosenfeld and Sajó (ed.): The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Constitutional Law. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012.
Dorsen, Rosenfeld, Sajó and Baer: Comparative Constitutionalism: Cases and Materials. St. Paul: Thomson Reuters, 2010.
Ginsburg and Dixon (ed.): Comparative Constitutional Law. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 2011.
Ginsburg (ed.): Comparative Constitutional Design. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012.
Prakke and Kortmann (ed.): Constitutional Law of 15 EU Member States. Deventer: Kluwer, 2004.
Kortmann, Fleuren and Voermans (ed.): Constitutional Law of 10 EU Member States: The 2004 Enlargement. Deventer: Kluwer, 2006.
Tushnet, Fleiner and Saunders (ed.): Routledge Handbook of Constitutional Law. London: Routledge, 2013.

Exam requirements:
Each student needs to take part in two presentations, i.e. be part of two groups. In addition, active participation in other workshops throughout the course, based on sufficient preparation, is expected. The attendance is compulsory, with a maximum of two absences allowed. The final exam has form of an essay which is to be written within 24 hours after essay questions are made available (take-home exam). Students will be given a choice of three essay questions to pick one. All questions will be based on the course curriculum and handouts from the workshops.

Final grade components:
The final course grade reflects achievement of course goals represented by these weighted components:
• 30 % written handouts (15 % for each, with the group evaluated as a whole)
• 30 % oral presentation (15 % for each, with the group evaluated as a whole)
• 15 % active participation throughout the course
• 25 % final take-home exam (essay)
 

  

LEGAL ARGUMENTATION AND DEBATE: FIRST AMENDMENT ISSUES IN CONTEXT

SEAN DAVIDSON

Summary:
This course focuses on judicial decisions in various cases involving the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which protects freedom of expression, freedom of the press, and freedom of religion. Students will be required to analyse U.S. Supreme Court decisions and form legal arguments in both class discussions and formal moot court debate exercises.

This course concerns the following issues, among others, relating to the First Amendment: presence of religious symbols in public places; obscene and indecent expression; commercial speech; religious and political expression in the workplace; and freedom of the press.

The objectives of this course are: 1) to deepen students’ understanding of U.S. interpretation of freedom of expression; 2) to provide students the context to compare and assess various approaches to such issues; 3) to provide the framework for students to determine the appropriate boundaries of individual freedoms; and 4) to aid students in acquiring and using sophisticated legal English vocabulary and grammar.

This course is designed as a follow-up to the winter semester course titled “Legal Reasoning: First Amendment Case Law”, yet naturally this course covers different topics and entirely new cases and principles that are not covered in the winter semester course. Prospective students who wish to register for “Legal Argumentation and Debate: First Amendment Issues in Context” without having taken the winter semester course are recommended to have knowledge of fundamental First Amendment principles, or corresponding European law principles on freedom of expression and religion. The instructor is prepared to provide any consultation necessary in that regard.

The instructor prepares the materials for the course from the selected bibliography below, along with other supplementary materials from the U.S. Supreme Court’s database.


Selected Bibliography:
Irons, Peter (Editor, 1997). May it Please the Court: The First Amendment. The New Press.

Post, Robert C. (2012). Democracy, Expertise, and Academic Freedom: A First Amendment Jurisprudence for the Modern State. Yale University Press.

Stone, Geoffrey (et al.) (2008). The First Amendment. Aspen Publishers.

Sullivan, Kathleen M. and Gunther, Gerald (2010). The First Amendment Law, 4th edition. Foundation Press.

 

 


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