Monday, October 1, 2012

'competition' In Bruges

So a few weeks ago Max gave me this great idea to stir/wake things up in my first class of the year In Bruges.   This is an LLM competition class of about 50 students, from all over Europe and beyond (21 countries represented).  The teaching format, sadly, is Continental, ie 3 hour or 4 hour blocks, and when I arrive I've usually travelled over from the UK, and the kids have been at classes since 830am as well so we are all knackered already.   So I rock up this time, for my 7-10pm slot, right after their dinner, and think how can I wake them up?, and get things going discussion-wise?.   As a runner, I felt it also had to involve movement.   Here is where Max's idea came in...he wrote 'bankrupt(cy)' on the board and had them write or shout out their reactions.   So, I wrote 'competition' on the board, and said I wanted them to come up and write out the word in their language, as well as what they think it means to them.    I worried that being LL.Ms they might view this as beneath them but they took to it with alacrity.   The results are in the pics...and I think you'll see how I could use such wonderful points to get a discussion going about how while their national authorities are all authorised to enforce European competition law, they all come at the concept from different approaches, and that spurred a discussion about different legal traditions and views about government/market balance.   I was pleased.    And some of them of course used some running references too!   I topped the night off with a late dinner of beef stew in the central market square and then made sure I got up early the next day to trot the 8k ring road around Bruges, next to the canals to burn it off and wake myself up for before my 830-1230 lecture slot on market definition and intro to abuse.   All in all, it worked, I recommend it and I thank Max for ... to use a recent British colloquialism ... the 'ideagasm'.  


  1. great idea. have to give it a try some time.

  2. Glad that worked! I hadn't considered it in antitrust, but what a natural application. Wish I had been a fly on the wall. More importantly, wish I had been there for the run the next morning.

  3. Love it. Too late to try it this semester, but I will use it next fall. I use a similar technique with the word "debt," but bankruptcy is more interesting.