MLS Fellow passes on his passion for competition through cutting-edge online masters program
Competition law and policy expert Jose Antonio Batista de Moura Ziebarth was a key architect of MLS’s first fully online masters program. For José, the importance of competition policy stems from its ability to impact people’s everyday lives.
José’s first exposure to competition law was as a law graduate in a Brazilian commercial firm.
“I was initially drawn to competition law because it appeared to be an interesting and challenging interplay of law, policy and economics,” he says.
It was some years later, while working for the federal competition agency in Brazil, that José found the source of his passion for competition law: its transformative impact on society.
Leading the Brazilian Competition Authority’s Internship program, José was able to use education as a tool to address what he saw as entrenched regional inequalities. He built partnerships with the World Bank and the United Nations Development Programme to offer scholarships to an unprecedented number of students and expanded the program internationally.
“The program exposed students to a mosaic of legal and policy cultures and fostered greater public awareness of the benefits of competition,” José says.
“Competition policy is not just about multi-billion dollar mergers but how the law affects all of us in our daily lives as consumers. I knew the impact this policy can have and that’s the impact I wanted my career to have.”
José has now been integrally involved in building and developing the Law School’s first fully online masters program – in global competition and consumer law.
For José, a key strength of the course is that it entails both legal and economic subjects. In his experience, knowledge of both disciplines is essential for a competition law practitioner.
“Regardless of whether you work for government, the private sector or another entity, it is extremely helpful for a practitioner to have a working knowledge of economics when applying competition law and policy,” he says.
It was for this reason that Jose, originally a law graduate, decided to go back to university and study economics. Nowadays, he is an expert in competition law – the intersection of these two disciplines – and co-teaches the course’s introductory Foundations of Competition Law & Economics subject.
Students in the online course learn not only from pioneering academics such as José, but also an impressive list of guests lecturers including Tilburg Professor Damien Geradin and NYU Professor Daniel Rubinfeld. For José, the support that students receive from the Law School’s online team is crucial.
It’s the online element that José is particularly passionate about because – much like competition law itself – virtual education helps to break down geographical and financial borders between communities.
“It’s a milestone in education. We bring together students from jurisdictions as diverse as the USA, Mexico, Kenya, New Zealand, Malaysia and Indonesia.”
“It’s a great opportunity to learn from each other and improve policy-making throughout the world.”
By Blake Connell