The aim of this course is to explore the nexus between law and cultural diversity in a globally interconnected world. Taking into account legal, economic, political and social dynamics, the course will help students identify and challenge commonly accepted points of view. It will also enable them to make connections among disparate themes as required by an increasingly complex job market. Some of the questions we will raise include: What are the links between different forms of protectionism and cultural diversity? Is there a new path for cultural diversity in the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA)? What are the dangers of subsidies to culture for developing countries? How do developing countries exchange cultural diversity for trade opportunities? What are the weaknesses and strengths of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions? Does China's use of cultural diversity in the China-Publications and AV Products WTO case comply with human rights protection and cultural pluralism? How are indigenous rights and cultural diversity addressed in the Canadian and Ecuadorian experiences of natural resources exploitation? What is the place for cultural diversity in the conflicts between customary rules and State legal systems? How can we make sense of women's agency and empowerment in light of acculturation processes and the local-global dichotomy?
Lessons will be divided into sections devoted to the following topics:
1) International Negotiations on Audiovisual Services within the WTO: From Cultural Exception to Cultural Diversity 2) Developing Countries, Cultural Diversity and the Consolidation of New Actors in the Global Cultural Market and Legal Sphere (e.g. the case of Brazil) 3) The UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions and its Implementation 4) The Sleeping Giant Awakening: China and Cultural Diversity in a Global Legal Realm 5) Indigenous Rights, the Exploitation of Natural Resources and Cultural Diversity: Focusing on Mining and Oil Extraction 6) Gender and Cultural Diversity in a Global World
Students will apply the knowledge and understanding that they develop in the above-mentioned fields to specific cases, while contextualizing them within geographical areas.
A list of required and suggested readings for each topic will be made available. Required readings will be discussed in class. Class participation will be encouraged. Communication skills will be improved, in particular the ability to defend a thesis, develop supporting arguments in front of an audience, and formulate autonomous judgments.
The course will endeavor to give students learning skills that will enable them to continue to study in a manner that is largely self-directed and autonomous.
The course will be taught in English. It will also give credits toward Legal English.
The teacher recognizes that students' proficiency in this language can vary. Remember that we all have an accent even in our own language!!