On February 1st, 2022, IE University and IE Law School launched the 2nd edition of the global competition that brings the best law students of the world together to come up with innovative solutions to unprecedented legal challenges. 

At the beginning of this month, we kicked off the second annual edition of IE University’s Comparative Law in Action Competition at IE Law School. This year, we’re thrilled that the competition will be able to take place in a blended format, combining both virtual and in-person activities. It’s an experience that is entirely unique in the higher education world, connecting law students from all over the globe as they compete in a real-world legal simulation.

How can students best confront the vast array of regulatory changes brought about by the dominance of disruptive technologies? Across the globe, companies and nations are rushing to create new, agile legal frameworks that will lead to success within these ever-changing conditions.

Such a demanding challenge is geared towards the brightest minds in the study of comparative law—which is why IE Law School has set up an all-encompassing multimedia case to connect top thinkers from global law schools. Their task will be to work in teams in order to come up with innovative and practical responses to today’s legal problems, and define tomorrow’s legal solutions.

Some of the participating universities are: 

At the competition opening ceremony, all participants were able to connect virtually as we heard from key faculty members who will orchestrate this year’s Comparative Law in Action. The competition will take place in several stages, where teams will be provided with additional case information at each step. At the end of the competition, each team will submit a written memorandum before presenting their work to a panel of jurors at an experiential weekend. IE Law School is thrilled to be hosting these events at the IE University campuses in Segovia and Madrid, where participants will join us for three days of intensive teamwork, pitches, and workshops on digital trends, legal design, and comparative law.

The competition was introduced by Eugenia Castrillón, Vice Dean at IE Law School. Having studied multiple disciplines of law at the Universidad Pontificia de Comillas, Georgetown University and Centro de Estudios Financieros, she also practiced as a lawyer for Linklaters and Herbert Smith Freehills for eight years. She transfers both her academic and professional experience to the IE Law School landscape in order to offer a bridge between university education and the real world.

Setting the scene: Social impact in Comparative Law in Action 2021

Students in the Comparative Law in Action competition must take the perspective of tomorrow, applying a comparative legal mindset in order to resolve a complicated legal case. Last year’s winners came from Tilburg Law School, with their creative response to “Lalaland: A multimedia case study on electoral law.”

In this competition, the key issues revolved around social unrest related to the electoral system. Students had to address complex questions such as how to properly use technology to ensure accurate electoral results, as well as how to control the regulation of disinformation. 

For these winners and all the participants in the 2021 edition, some of the key takeaways from the experience were “professional writing skills learned through the drafting of a public policy report, which requires a different approach than writing an academic paper…drafting a public policy report for the fictional case of Lalaland bridged the gap between theory and practice.”

Diving into digital in 2022

This year, the Comparative Law in Action competition takes an even more innovative approach, focusing wholly on the digital world. The case revolves around a fictional company called LoveNow, an international social media company that acts as a matchmaker for its users through an AI-powered app. To learn more, watch the full opening ceremony here.

Students will be asked to consult for the social media company, which is facing a series of legal challenges—both informal and formal—from users of the app and third parties. Furthermore, students will act as external legal consultants and analyze a rich variety of information such as the application’s terms and conditions as well as privacy and security policies.

Just a few issues they must keep in mind are users’ rights under GDPR legislation and other international laws regarding cybercrime, impersonation, identity theft, publicity rights, cyberbullying, defamation, and the right to be forgotten. 

How will participants apply legal knowledge to deal with the snowball effect of online publicity scandals, or the real emotional harm that social media can cause individuals? Everything in this case will require careful study of many comparative and cross-jurisdictional elements.

More to come!

Comparative law is a critical area of study in today’s ever more interconnected world. Different countries have constantly changing regulatory landscapes—and future lawyers need to be familiar with all of these possibilities no matter where they plan to practice. In this competition, students will gain those vital professional skills that will equip them to enter the workforce with confidence.

With the virtual component already underway, our participants will be hard at work in the weeks running up to the competition’s conclusion at the IE University campus. The competition finalizes on May 7th and 8th—so stay tuned for updates on the teams, solutions, and winners!