Course Descriptions

Fall 2011 LLM in International Law Class Descriptions

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European Legal Cultures (Pierre Legrand)

2 credit(s)
Concentration(s): LLM in International Law (LLMI)

This year's edition of the course focuses on French legal culture, one of the most influential legal models in history. It examines the way in which French judges, lawyers, and academics think about the law and about the role of law in society. It also considers the impact of Europeanization of law on French ways. The course seeks to achieve two main goals. First, it wants to equip the U.S. law student with a grasp of what can be surprisingly different sets of assumptions and, through this familiarization, to facilitate eventual interaction on the international legal and business scene. Secondly, it seeks to enhance critical reflection on U.S. law. This 2-credit course is taught from mid-August until late September and the final “take-home” examination is set towards the end of September. No prior knowledge of foreign law or of a foreign language is required. Enrollment is limited to 30 students.

European Union Commercial Law (Jens Schovsbo, Vibe Ulfbeck)

1 credit(s)
Concentration(s): LLM in International Law (LLMI)

As business is becoming more international so must the law and lawyers. In a world of international trade and transactions companies and their advisers need to have a global legal horizon. Until quite recently, it would not have made any practical sense to talk about an “EU commercial law”. However, due to the ongoing harmonization of the law of the EU countries a body of truly common European law is emerging from the melting pot of the national laws and traditions and EU institutions and courts. The course draws on the results of 30 years of continued and ongoing EU harmonization to provide US law students with an overview of some of the central aspects of European commercial law. The course focuses on the practical legal problems facing an American enterprise doing business in Europe but at the same time provides for a basic understanding of the EU legal framework. After a brief general introduction to EU law the course falls in two parts. Part I deals with the transfer of goods and covers such topics as general contract law (PECL Principles of European Contract Law), the EC directive on Unfair Contract Terms, the EC directive on Products Liability and central liability rules related to the transportation of goods. Part II deals with the trade in intangible rights notably patents and trademarks. This part opens with a general presentation of the European systems for the protection of inventions and trademarks. It then moves on to discuss aspects relating to the exercise of those rights in regard to the Treaty rules on the free movement of goods (“parallel importation” and the principle of “exhaustion of rights”) and to tech-trans agreements and other issues involving competition law. The course requires no prior knowledge of European law. This class will have a final examination. (Class meets from October 11 – 27, 2011.) Information on course material will follow.

Global Constitutionalism (Iddo Porat)

2 credit(s)
Concentration(s): LLM in International Law (LLMI)
Prerequisite(s): Constitutional Law I

Constitutional law is increasingly becoming a shared enterprise which transcends the borders of the nation-state. Supreme Court Justices correspond with each other in their judicial opinions, draw upon each others work, and share similar jurisprudential frameworks. In addition constitutional law in many countries has increasingly converged upon a similar template. This template includes a robust form of judicial review, a two-step rights protection system (consisting of a rights protection clause, and a limitation clause, which limits rights) and a standard-based doctrine, such as balancing or proportionality, for the adjudication of rights conflicts. While in many respects America is the birth place of constitutionalism and the driving force behind its global success, its own constitutional law stands apart from this common template and resists attempts at constitutional borrowing and influence. The course will review the different aspects of global constitutionalism, show how American constitutional law differs from the global template and review the historical and ideological reasons for this difference. The course will also discuss the fundamental questions that are raised by global constitutionalism regarding the nature of constitutional law and of constitutional rights. The grade will be based on a final examination. Prerequisite: Con Law I

Immigration Clinic I (Jan Joseph Bejar)

2-4 credit(s)
Requirement(s): Skills
Concentration(s): LLM in International Law (LLMI)

Students gain practical experience through interviewing, counseling, and representing clients with immigration-related problems. Students complete forms and draft documents on behalf of clients. Students also attend and/or participate at hearings at Immigration Court. Weekly meetings are held with the clinic supervisor to discuss immigration law, practical application and casework. The clinic is graded on a 4-tier Pass-Fail basis. No Prerequisites.

International Business Transactions (Michael D. Ramsey)

3 credit(s)
Concentration(s): LLM in International Law (LLMI)

This course provides an introduction to the legal aspects of private international sales and investment transactions. Topics include sales contracts, letters of credit, bills of lading, investment and financing contracts, and resolution of private sales and investment disputes. Regulatory aspects of international transactions, including export licensing, regulatory jurisdiction, and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, will also be considered. The focus will be transactional, with attention to the structure of private relationships and the anticipation and avoidance of litigation.

Note: This is a required course for the International Law Concentration (JD).

International Contracts (Herbert I. Lazerow)

2 credit(s)
Concentration(s): LLM in International Law (LLMI)

Legal aspects of contracts for the international sale of goods under the UN Convention. Topics include the applicability of the convention and its most important substantive provisions including contract formation, choice of forum, choice of law, warranties, risk of loss, excuse and dispute resolution.

International Criminal Law (David W. Brennan)

3 credit(s)
Requirement(s): Writing
Concentration(s): LLM in International Law (LLMI)

This course will initially address the general nature of international criminal law and the hierarchy of crimes as it relates to individual, state and other responsibilities along with the important concept of universal jurisdiction for certain classes of crimes. The study will then focus on the United States Constitution and our approaches to international criminal law in case law that includes military commissions and court martial processes. The legal rationales for states to exercise of jurisdiction over the person will be examined under the processes of extradition, rendition, deportation and extraterritorial abductions. Considerable attention will be given to the international tribunals that followed World War II and the later ad hoc tribunals that preceded the creation of the Rome Statute (1998) for the International Criminal Court in The Hague with its jurisdiction over the crime of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and crimes of aggression. The course will review some of the major jurisprudence from domestic and international tribunals on the subject of international criminal law as well as decisions from the International Court of Justice. The contemporary issues of piracy, terrorism, genocide, torture & inhumane treatment, drug trafficking, money laundering and human trafficking will cover most of the final segment of the course. A lecture-seminar approach will be used for the classes that will require class participation. The final grade for the class will be based primarily on the submission of an approved-topic paper that will satisfy the writing requirement for graduation.

International Finance Techniques (John I. Forry)

3 credit(s)
Concentration(s): LLM in International Law (LLMI)

International finance techniques have become increasingly effective but technically challenging. This course first covers key legal and tax issues common to most international financing. Separate units then cover several of the most common cross-border finance techniques, analyzing key elements of each technique and providing examples of legal and tax regimes and specific transactions to illustrate such techniques. The course concludes by identifying several areas of opportunity, as well as certain ethical issues, applicable to international finance. At the beginning of the course, students are assigned to teams. Each team is provided with a brief case study proposing one of the finance techniques covered in the course, and makes a presentation in the final sessions of the course and later submits a paper covering key elements and issues of the finance technique in its case study. In addition, each student’s course grade may be increased (but not decreased) based upon classroom performance by one grade level (e.g., from B to B+). One or more previous courses in finance or taxation are recommended, but not required. Students who have taken or intend to enroll in Taxation of International Finance are not eligible to enroll in this course.

International Human Rights (Michael J. Perry)

3 credit(s)
Concentration(s): LLM in International Law (LLMI)

An introduction to international human rights. Among the topics to be discussed: UN-sponsored human rights treaties; the morality of international human rights, with particular reference to capital punishment, abortion, and same-sex marriage; the International Criminal Court; humanitarian intervention; globalization and human rights. The grade for the course will be based both on class participation and on a take home exam. This class starts August 31, 2011.

Note: Students may only elect this course or International Redress for Human Injustice to count toward the International Law Concentration (JD).

International Negotiation (Allen C. Snyder)

3 credit(s)
Requirement(s): Skills
Concentration(s): LLM in International Law (LLMI)

The course will include specific materials and skill-building exercises on cross-cultural aspects of the bargaining process. Participants will include lawyers from other nations who are enrolled in USD's LLMC program, and upper class American JD students. Four-tier Pass/Fail grading.

International Sports Law (James R. McCurdy)

2 credit(s)
Concentration(s): LLM in International Law (LLMI)

International aspects of the sports law of the U.S., EU and other countries, including regulation of the Olympics, disputes between athletes and sports governing bodies, the jurisdiction and operation of the Court of Arbitration for Sport and its developing body of sports law, and current matters such as doping, labor, competition, and other issues.

International Taxation (Dennis Lilly)

3 credit(s)
Concentration(s): LLM in International Law (LLMI)
Prerequisite(s): Tax I
Recommended Class(es): Tax II

This basic course in international taxation will focus on the principles relating to the taxation of foreign persons (individuals as well as legal entities) by the United States and the U.S. taxation of income received by U.S. individuals and entities from activities abroad. Topics will include principles of international tax jurisdiction; rules relating to the source of income and deductions; the foreign tax credit; Section 482 and transfer pricing; foreign currency translations; international double taxation treaties and an introduction to controlled foreign corporations. This is an advanced tax course with priority enrollment for LLM in Taxation students.

Note: Students who have taken OUTBOUND INTERNATIONAL TAX PLANNING (Pugh) and/or TAXATION ON INTERNATIONAL TRANSACTIONS (Lazerow) are not eligible to enroll in this course.

Mexican Law (Jorge A. Vargas)

3 credit(s)
Requirement(s): Writing
Concentration(s): LLM in International Law (LLMI)

Designed to give students the basic elements of the Mexican legal system, this course underlines the differences and similarities between the U.S. legal system and Mexico's civil law system. Particular attention will be given to the examination of certain Mexican law branches, such as civil, constitutional and "amparo," and corporations. Some reference will be made to the Mexican court system, its legal history, legal education, and legal profession. Current legal questions between U.S. and Mexico will also be covered. A research paper is required.

Public International Law (Maimon Schwarzschild)

3 credit(s)
Concentration(s): LLM in International Law (LLMI)

Public International Law examines the origin, content and operation of the law applicable to the conduct of nation states and international organizations and to their relations with one another. Particular attention is given to the relationship between international law and national law, international agreements, use of force, terrorism, peaceful settlement of disputes, jurisdictional principles, human rights, the status of individuals under international law, state responsibility and remedies, legal protection of foreign investment and the law of the sea.
Note: This is a required course for the International Law Concentration (JD).

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