Andrea Caballe' - SLI participant in 2011

"The Summer Law Institute gave me an insight of the complexity of this country’s legal, political and social systems through controversial and actual subjects..."

Lengua original española - Langue originale française

In the summer 2011, I attended the Intellectual Property Rights and China Summer Law Institute and the Climate Change and Environmental Protection Summer Law Institute at the Peking University School of Government. Before that, I felt no real attraction towards China and its culture, although as a jurist specialized on Intellectual Property, I thought it would be most interesting to have an overview of the legal system of the country where almost all the counterfeit is manufactured. I honestly believed there wasn’t such a thing as the Chinese rule of law, and I was also eager to see in person the contradictory capitalistic miracle that this “communist” country has evolved into. 

The Summer Law Institute not only proved me wrong, but gave me an insight of the complexity of this country’s legal, political and social systems through subjects as controversial and actual as energy production, environmental preservation, competition enhancement, intellectual property rights protection, etc. Beijing expats usually say that once one has been captured by the city, it is really difficult to leave, so as the end of the program was approaching, I found myself looking forward to come back.

Once I passed the bar exam and became a lawyer in Spain, my plan was to train in an Intellectual Property law firm in the Chinese capital; but Professor Farah, the Summer Law Institute’s coordinator, strongly recommended to do an internship at the Delegation of the European Union, institution fully unknown to me before that moment. Therefore, I started on March 2012 a six months internship at the Trade and Investment section of the Delegation, dealing with Energy, Transports and Intellectual Property dossiers, which resulted in another life changing experience. There I realized that many of the skills adopted during my law training fitted perfectly on the diplomatic work (like research, analysis and writing skills), that for once my international background was not only theoretical knowledge, but also highly useful in my everyday work, and shared by my colleagues as everybody had an extremely diversified curriculum. Moreover, I discovered that working on legislation and policy making was way more fun than practicing law. Indeed, Delegation interns are fully involved in the embassy work, and treated as equal colleagues by most of the staff… which might be overwhelming at the beginning, but it’s fully rewarding by the end of the traineeship. Hence, I deepened on some of the subjects previously studied during the Summer School, discovered a passion for the Energy field, and acquired manifold up-to-date skills, as well as new valuable contacts.

Nowadays, I am still enjoying my life as a Beijinger, while actively looking for a job to expand my career in international relations, and intensively studying 普通话[1].

 Andrea Caballe' (Spain)
April 2013

 


[1]Mandarin language.

 

Lengua original española

Durante el verano 2011, tuve la ocasión de asistir al Summer School denominado “Intellectual Property Rights and China, and the Climate Change and Environmental Protection” en la prestigiosa Peking University School of Government. Sinceramente, antes de descubrir este curso, no tenía ningún especial interés en China o su cultura, me había inscrito porque pensaba que como abogada especializada en Propiedad Intelectual, sería interesante estudiar la legislación de la principal manufactura de falsificaciones del mundo (a parte de un puntazo en el currículum). Por aquel entonces, pensaba que China no era un Estado de Derecho y tenía curiosidad por ver en persona el contradictorio milagro capitalista en el que este país “comunista” había evolucionado. La Summer School no sólo me mostró lo equivocada que estaba, sino que me dio claves sobre la complejidad de este país a nivel jurídico, político y social; tratando a la vez temas tan actuales y controvertidos como la producción energética, la preservación del medio ambiente, la creación de competencia, la protección de los derechos de propiedad intelectual, etc. Los expatriados que viven en Pekín suelen decir que una vez que la ciudad te atrapa, es realmente difícil irse, así que antes de acabar el verano ya estaba buscando una buena razón para volver.  

Me colegié en Barcelona planeando trabajar en un despacho pekinés especializado en Propiedad Intelectual, sin embargo el Profesor Farah me recomendó efectuar unas prácticas en la Delegación de la Unión Europea, institución que desconocía hasta ese momento. Así empecé a trabajar en Marzo 2012 para la sección de Inversiones y Comercio de la Delegación ocupándome de los dossiers de Energía, Transporte y Propiedad Intelectual, lo que resultó en otro giro radical en mi carrera. Durante las prácticas, me di cuenta de la complementariedad entre mis aptitudes jurídicas (aptitudes analíticas, de investigación y de redacción) y las tareas diplomáticas, por primera vez mi educación internacional tenía un auténtico uso en mi trabajo y constituía un rasgo común con el resto del staff. Por encima de todo, descubrí que trabajar en la elaboración de legislaciones o políticas era mucho más divertido que la abogacía. Además, los becarios estamos totalmente implicados en el trabajo diplomático y se nos trata de tú a tú…lo que puede parecer un poco abrumador al principio, pero es muy alentador a la larga. En definitiva, he podido profundizar en algunos de los temas tratados durante el Summer School, he descubierto una auténtica pasión por el sector de la Energía y he adquirido nuevos conocimientos técnicos, al mismo tiempo que valiosos contactos.

Hoy en día sigo disfrutando de mi vida de Pekinesa, mientras busco el trabajo adecuado para enriquecer mi carrera en las relaciones internacionales y hago un curso intensivo de 普通话[1].

 Andrea Caballe' (Spain)
Abril 2013

 


[1]Mandarín.

 

Langue originale française

Durant l’été 2011, j’ai eu l’occasion d’assister au Summer School appelé Intellectual Property Rights and China, and the Climate Change and Environmental Protection Summer School à la Peking University School of Government. N’ayant jamais été attirée par la Chine et sa culture, j’ai néanmoins considéré qu’il serait intéressant, entant que juriste spécialisée en Propriété Intellectuelle, d’avoir un aperçu du système législatif de la plus grande usine à contrefaçon du monde. Très honnêtement, je pensais que la Chine n’était point un Etat de Droit et j’étais, de même, impatiente de voir en personne l’envolée capitaliste que ce pays « communiste » a pris au cours de ces dernières années. La Summer School m’a non seulement révélé mon erreur, elle m’a montré une esquisse de la complexité de ce pays aux niveaux juridique, politique et social, à travers des sujets aussi actuels que controversés, comme la production énergétique, la préservation environnementale, la relance de la compétitivité, la protection des droits de Propriété Intellectuelle, etc. Les expatriés pékinois ont l’habitude de dire qu’une fois que Beijing nous attrape, il est très difficile d’y échapper, donc avant-même la fin des cours, je cherchais déjà un billet de retour.         

Une fois inscrite au barreau de Barcelone, j’envisageais mon retour à la capitale chinoise dans le cadre d’un stage en cabinet d’avocats. Cependant le Professeur Farah me recommandât vivement d’effectuer un stage à la Délégation de l’Union Européenne, institution que je méconnaissais jusqu’à ce moment. Ainsi, en Mars 2012 je débutais un stage de six mois à la section de Commerce et d’Investissement de la Délégation, où je m’occupais des dossiers d’Energie, de Transports et de Propriété Intellectuelle, ce fût le début d’un autre tournant dans ma carrière. Dans ce contexte, j’eu l’occasion de remarquer que nombre des compétences acquises pendant mes années de Droit (la recherche, l’analyse, la qualité rédactionnelle, etc.), étaient parfaitement transposables aux taches diplomatiques. De même, ma formation internationale était non seulement appréciée, mais amplement utile ainsi qu’un point commun avec mes collègues de travail. En outre, j’ai découvert que participer à la rédaction de textes législatifs ou politiques était bien plus divertissant qu’être avocat. En effet, les stagiaires de la Délégation participent pleinement au travail de l’organisation et sont traités entant que pairs par la plupart du staff…ce qui peut être angoissant au début, mais tout à fait valorisant par la suite. Par conséquent, j’ai pu approfondir les sujets étudies durant la Summer School, je me suis découvert une vraie passion pour le secteur de l’Energie, puis j’ai de même développé des compétences et des contacts nouveaux.       

Au jour d’aujourd’hui, je profite de ma vie de Pékinoise, pendant que je cherche activement un travail et je fais des cours intensifs de 普通话[1].

   Andrea Caballe' (Spain)
Avril 2013


[1]Mandarin.

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