Damien Negre, an award-winning teacher

27-year-old Damien Negre, a PhD student jointly supervised by the University of Bordeaux and the University of Luxembourg, has received an award for the quality of his teaching to Master 2 students during the COVID-19 crisis.

  • 06/04/2021

© Faculté de droit, d’économie et de finance, université du Luxembourg © Faculté de droit, d’économie et de finance, université du Luxembourg

A Teaching Award! The award bestowed on PhD student Damien Negre, supervised by professors Ronan Raffray* (Bordeaux) and Elise Poillot (Luxembourg) on October 27th, 2020 at the University of Luxembourg is comparable to an Oscar for teaching. Based on students’ recommendations, the annual ceremony recognizes teachers who have had a significant impact on their students and, in this case, successfully managed the consequences of the pandemic.

As part of his doctoral contract, Damien Negre teaches at the Consumer Law Clinic at the University of Luxembourg with his PhD supervisor Elise Poillot. The Clinic provides legal information on real disputes between consumers and companies. It is run by law students, under the supervision of their professors. Due to the COVID-19 epidemic, students in Master 2 programs and their supervisors received numerous requests from consumers and their workloads increased dramatically. Despite the challenges, they made every effort to provide assistance and present all the legal options available in an attempt to resolve their difficulties.

“The reasons behind this award were certainly a constant, strong commitment to doing our best to help those facing problems despite the additional workload,” says Damien Negre, with a mixture of pride and humility.

PhD student and passionate teacher

Coming from a family of teachers himself, the PhD student’s decision to pursue teaching and research came as no surprise. After completing a Master 1 program in general private law and a Master 2 in banking, finance and debt collection, Damien Negre completed a second Master 2 in advanced private law, with a specialization in corporate law. These studies inspired him to pursue his current PhD research, which he is conducting under joint supervision of the University of Bordeaux and the University of Luxembourg, on the legal concept of professional activity.

“My research focuses on consumer law, in particular the European Union rules aimed at protecting consumers in their dealings with professionals.” Through his thesis, the young researcher is seeking to understand how European Union States appropriate and interpret legal texts, taking into account the definition of such texts and the difference between consumers and professionals. He therefore studies the legal means of complying with European requirements, while adapting these rules to the context of national legislation.

However, research is not Damien Negre’s only activity; he is also passionate about teaching.

It’s always interesting to be able to talk with students, see their way of thinking about things, and guide them towards becoming well-rounded practitioners.

Damien Negre —

“One of the clinic’s goals is to help society.”

Damien Negre is actively involved in his students’ education and helped them complete several projects during 2019-2020. The significant workload at the Law Clinic did not prevent him from conducting a legal monitoring project with his students. The goal was to produce a newsletter summarizing the different legal measures adopted by Luxembourg and bordering states in response to the health crisis in order to inform university staff members of these developments.

He also participated in the Clinicité project. After training students in the Master 1 program on the principle of popularization, Damien Negre asked them to present consumer rights related to online purchases to high school students. Through his research and teaching, Damien Negre is determined to serve individuals and inform them of their rights. “One of the clinic’s goals is to help society because consumers are not sufficiently aware of their rights,” he explains.

by Clara Hirsch, Year 3 Bachelor degree student in Information and Communication - Bordeaux Montaigne University

*Ronan Raffray is also the Director of the Institute of Research in Business and Heritage Law (IRDAP)