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Universitat Internacional de Catalunya

Legal and Political Institutions

Legal and Political Institutions
Second semester
Main language of instruction: Catalan

Other languages of instruction: Spanish

Teaching staff

Appointment via e-mail.

Héctor Oliva



The Legal and Political Institutions subject deals with knowledge of Catalan, Spanish, European and international institutional structure, its areas of action and powers. The first part is to familiarize students with current realities and institutional policies. The second part affects the application of these concepts to the field of communication and political journalism.

Pre-course requirements



Upon completion of the course, students must have obtained sufficient knowledge to understand the political, social, economic and legal framework within which human society develops. It must also be able to reflect on the different forms of communication linking citizens with the institutions from the point of view of journalism exercised responsibly.

Competences/Learning outcomes of the degree programme

  • 02 CG - The ability to learn and act an autonomously and responsibly
  • 04 CG - The ability to organise time and workspace
  • 08 CG - The ability to reflect and memorize.
  • 10 CG - Knowledge and mastery of bibliographic repertoires
  • 11 CG - Knowledge and mastery of different research resources
  • 18 CE - Ability to detect newsworthy events
  • 24 CE - The ability to contextualize and critically analyze contemporary legal and political institutions

Learning outcomes of the subject

The theoretical part will allow the student to understand the workings of the legal and political institutions and regulatory framework for social life. This will provide what is necessary to identify the source of journalistic information tools and the assessment of their content.


  1. They will learn basic knowledge of economics, law geography and history in order to be able to understand some of the major problems of modern society.
  2. They will internalize a complex vision of contemporary societies.
  3. They will understand how to spot trends.
  4. They will be able to analyze society and forge a critical and independent spirit.
  5. They will develop abilities to perform better during teamwork and create positive synergies.
  6. They will get detailed knowledge about the origins of mankind and its organization, culture, religion and privacy.




Item 1. The State.

  • Concept and items. State and nation. The rule of law, democracy. Type of political organization of states.

Item 2. Election and representation.

  • Constitution. The legal pyramid. Sovereignty.



Item 3. International Organizations.

  • International treaties. Economic organizations. Defense agencies.
  • The United Nations system: structure and function.

Item 4. presidential and parliamentary systems.

  • The presidential model: the E.U.A.
  • The parliamentary model: the UK.
  • The semi-presidential model: France.



Item 5: The European Union.

  • Historical backgrounds.
  • Origin and evolution of the European Union.
  • The integration of Spain in the European Union.
  • Community law: Community law originating and right derivat.
  • Relationship between Community law and the law of the Member States.

Item 6: The Community institutions.

  • The Council of the European Union.
  • The European Commission.
  • The European Parliament.
  • The Court of Justice.



Item 7. The Spanish state.

  • The rule of law.
  • Branches of government.
  • The form of government: parliamentary monarchy.
  • Representative and direct participation.
  • Party system.

Item 8. The Head of State and the Prime Minister.

  • The Head of State. The Corona. Functions.
  • The executive and the government. The appointment of the Government. Government functions.

Item 9. The legislative branch. The Parliament.

  • Bicameralism: composition of the Congress and Senate.
  • Congress: composition, electoral system, functions and organization and
  • camera operation.
  • The Senate: composition, electoral system and functions.

Item 10. Spain: Judiciary, Constitution and territorial organization.

  • Judiciary. Operation and agencies.
  • Constitution: constitutional control; constitutional reform
  • Models of territorial organization.
  • The autonomous state. Regional governments and statutes of autonomy.
  • Model review. Proposals for the XXI century.



Item 11. The political institutions of Catalonia.

  • The Generalitat and institutional system of self-government.
  • The President of the Generalitat.
  • The Government and the Administration of the Generalitat of Catalonia.

Item 12. The Parliament of Catalonia.

Organization and functions.
Catalan electoral law.

Item 13. The Catalan political party system.



   Item 14. The political power, MCM and citizens. DEMOCRACY.

Political communication. Conflict of interest. Intermediation function. The public interest. The agendas.
   Item 15. Information sources and context of the story. MEDIA.

Importance of information sources. Treatment according to reports. Selecting the news. Thematic interest. Influences. Development of information policy.

   Item 16. Election Scenarios. MATCHES.

Political marketing and strategies. Advertising and electoral propaganda. Opinion polls. Report on campaign. Electoral blocs. Financing.

    Item 17. Political Participation. CITIZENS.

The communication cycle. Representativeness. Social networks. Other equity.

   Item 18. Parliamentary Information. POWER.

Development of political news. Features and difficulties specialty. Subgenres opinion. Relations between politicians and journalists.

   Item 19. Customizing the policy. RULERS.

Importance of speech. The image, political instrument. Professionalization of politics. Public opinion. A democracy centered on the media?

Teaching and learning activities

In person

Lectures. In lectures, lecturers/professors not only transmit content or knowledge, but also, and above all else, attitudes, motivation, skills and values, etc. They also ensure that participants can express their opinions and arguments to the other students.
Seminar. This activity will consist of taking an in-depth look at specific up-to-date topics in a monographic manner-in some cases these topics will have been debated socially-, via active work in small groups.

Evaluation systems and criteria

In person

The different learning activities are raised in order to achieve the objectives and competencies outlined previously. Assessment will be continuous and will consist of three different parts:

  • Final exam on class contents and bibliography (50%)
  • Practices during the course (40%)
  • Active participation during sessions (10%)

According to the regulations of the faculty, the assessment will always have a first part of spell check. Students will have to exceed this level in order to pass the exam or the relevant practice.

On second call, the exam represents 100% of the evaluation.

On third call, the student can choose at the beginning of the course if he/she accepts an evaluation system equal to the first call, presenting works during the course, or if he/she prefers an exclusive exam system. The teacher strongly recommends the first evaluation system, presenting all the works and with a system of 45% + 45% + 10%. Even though, if the student prefers to gamble everything to the moment of the exam, it is under his or her responsibility.


Bibliography and resources

Basic bibligraphy

Abellán, V. i Vilà, B. (2005) Lecciones de Derecho Comunitario Europeo. Barcelona: Ariel

Díez de Velasco Vallejo, M. (2002). Las Organizaciones internacionales. Madrid: Tecnos

Enoch Albertí i altres: Manual de Dret Públic de Catalunya. Barcelona, IAE, 2000

Fossas Espadaler, E. i Pérez Francesch; JL. (1994) Lliçons de Dret Constitucional. Barcelona: Enciclopèdia Catalana.

Mangas Martín, A.; Liñan Noagueras, D. (2005), Instituciones y Derecho de la Unión Europea. Madrid: Tecnos

Morata, F. (1999),  La Unión Europea. Barcelona:  Ariel.

Mercè  Barceló, Joan Vintró (coord) Dret Públic de Catalunya Barcelona, Cedecs, 2001

Milian Massana, E. (2004). El Consell de l'Audiovisual de Catalunya : àmbit, funcions i potestats de l'autoritat de supervisió i control dels continguts audiovisuals a Catalunya. Barcelona : Generalitat de Catalunya, Departament de Relacions Institucionals i Participació, Institut d'Estudis Autonòmics.

Scotto, M. (1995) Las Instituciones europeas. Barcelona: Salvat

Complimentary bibliography

Amin,A. i Tomaney, J. (1998) Behind the Mith of European Union. Londres: Routledge.

Banhoff, Th. i Smith, M. (1997). Legitimacy and the European Union. Londres: Routledge.

Barata, J. (2006) Democracia y audiovisual: fundamentos normativos para una reforma del régimen español. Madrid: Marcial Pons.

Borja,J. i Castells, M. (1997) Local y Global. Madrid: Taurus.

Casquete,J. (1998) Política, cultura y movimientos sociales. Bilbao: Bakeaz.

Duverger, M. (1980) Instituciones políticas y derecho constitucional. Barcelona: Ariel.

Sánchez Picanyol, Jordi (2005). La democràcia electrònica. Barcelona: Universitat Oberta de Catalunya.

López Hernández, J.; Rico, A. (2002) (et al.) Institucions socials i polítiques contemporànies. Barcelona: UOC.

Teaching and learning material