SOME INNOVATIONS TO LECTURE "RÉGIMEN JURÍDICO DE LA NACIONALIDAD Y LA EXTRANJERÍA"
The Degree in Law often lacks of a further contact with reality. Professors teach what laws state but the practical view of the subjects is often forgotten. Once graduated, the students do not have an overview of the daily problems of the legal career, widely considered –problems lawyers, judges, notaries, registrars or officers must face everyday-. They might have a good knowledge of what the Civil Code says, but even though this is of an outstanding importance, to apply their knowledge in practice is also a necessity not to forget by lecturers because, after University, students will land in the real world, which has often nothing to do with theory.
In this sense, we believe that teaching some subjects in a unique theoretical perspective is a huge mistake. Some matters greatly demand a more practical approach. A very good example of that is, among many others, the subject focused on two topics well-known by society thanks to their daily appearance on the newspapers, which are, the acquisition, loss and recuperation of the Spanish nationality and the legal regime of foreigners in Spain (“Régimen Jurídico de la Nacionalidad y la Extranjería”). This subject, which actually has a lot of success among students year after year, provides a perfect opportunity of introducing new educative projects based on a further contact with reality.
The main idea of this paper is to suggest some activities that could be proposed or organised by the lecturer, in order to go beyond the law. These could be some proposals, which have been divided in two groups, considering the two parts of the subject:
I. Spanish nationality. (1) To find out which steps must accomplish a person interested in applying for the Spanish nationality, as well as the needed documentation to do it. (2) To look for figures or statistics, in order to conclude which is the way of acquisition most frequently used and, on the contrary, which one is almost never used due to its own features and requirements. (3) Studying some particular cases from the resolution of administrative appeals about nationality against previous dismissed claims. (4) Studying some exceptional cases, considering that a historical event can entail the possibility for some persons to apply for the Spanish nationality due to specific circumstances (this was the case, for instance, for the victims of the terrorist attack Madrid suffered on March 11, 2004).
II. The legal regime of foreigners in Spain. (1) Visiting the local Centro de internamiento for foreigners, because changing the scenario of the class undoubtedly helps to keep the students’ attraction towards the subject –preserving in every moment the foreigners’ intimacy-. (2) Interviewing a Police Officer, whose job is linked with these matters. (3) Arrangements to apply for documentation. (4) Visiting an Immigrant Association, to learn about their necessities and interests. (5) Attending conferences and seminars on immigration. (6) Foreigners and labour market, considering that working in a foreign country is not only necessary to survive but also a powerful tool of integration in the reception society.