Fall 2012 LLM in International Law Core Curriculum Class Descriptions
LWBC546 Business Tranactions in the People's Republic of China (John I. Forry)
This course focuses first on the business climate and forms of business enterprise in the PRC. Subsequent segments address PRC legal requirements, taxation and financial reporting rules affecting foreign investors. One unit addresses PRC merger and acquisition trends and tax planning. The final segment illustrates planning in light of US and other rules in foreign investors’ home countries. A brief written exam in the final class will focus on a hypothetical foreign investment in the PRC. Class meets on Friday and Saturday from 9:00-11:30am on August 24 & 25, September 7 & 8, 14 & 15, 28 & 29, and October 12 & 13, 2012.
LWIC518 Comparative Law (Pierre Legrand)
Most courses in law school are about U.S. law. This course is different: it focuses on foreign law. Obviously, foreign law matters to all U.S. lawyers operating on the international scene, for example in international business or in international arbitration. And just as evidently, foreign law can be very important within national law also. Indeed, a huge quantity of legal situations in the U.S. involve foreign law. Think of a contract entered into in New York governed by German law or of a deceased person from San Francisco bequeathing real estate in France or of the victims of a massive chemical explosion in India suing in U.S. courts. More controversially, there are those (including a number of U.S. Supreme Court Justices) who claim that, in an age of globalization when the U.S. is more interconnected with the rest of the world than ever before, U.S. law ought to derive inspiration from foreign law, for instance in constitutional litigation involving the death penalty or the rights of sexual minorities. This course will apply itself to this debate and discuss to what extent foreign law can or must act as persuasive authority in the U.S. In the process, it will consider two related questions, both of them fundamental. First, how can a U.S. lawyer get to know foreign law despite all the cultural differences arising across laws? Secondly, to what extent is meaningful understanding of foreign law possible? As regards these issues, various theoretical topics will be raised from an interdisciplinary perspective and some case-studies will be considered. 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.
LWIC522 European Union Commercial Law (Michael D. Ramsey)
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.
LWIC524 Foreign Investment (Ralph H. Folsom)
An advanced research seminar focusing on critical foreign investment law issues: Corrupt practices, franchising, technology transfers, establishing and operating foreign investments, mergers and acquisitions, investment treaties, regulatory approvals, and resolution of foreign investment disputes (notably investor-state arbitrations).
LWIC528 Global Constitutionalism (Iddo Porat)
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
LWIC536 International Civil Litigation (Michael D. Ramsey)
International Civil Litigation will deal with a variety of issues which arise in international litigation in courts of the United States. Likely to be included are Judicial jurisdiction; service of process abroad; forum selection; taking evidence abroad; Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act of 1976; subject matter and legislative jurisdiction; the Act of State Doctrine; recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments; and international arbitration. Prerequisite: Civil Procedure.
LWIC535 International Criminal Law (David W. Brennan)
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.
LWIC539 International Environmental Law (Jorge A. Vargas)
The course is designed to analyze some of the major international environmental problems of interest to the United States. A wide variety of current and traditional transborder legal questions regarding international rivers, marine and air pollution, toxic waste and hazardous materials, endangered species, and nuclear radiation are discussed. Special emphasis is given to contemporary legal questions, including a special segment devoted to analyzing the bilateral environmental issues with Canada and Mexico. A research paper is required.
LWIC553 International Redress for Human Injustice (Roy L. Brooks)
This seminar provides an intense study of the international redress movement. The focus is on claims from around the world that seek redress for human injustice under post-Holocaust conditions. Among other claims studied are those brought against Germany for Nazi persecution, Japan for its "comfort women" system, South Africa for Apartheid, and the United States for a number of injustices, including its genocidal campaigns against Native Americans, the internment of Japanese Americans, and the enslavement and segregation of African Americans. Drawing on legal and political analyses, government documents, personal testimonies, and historical narratives, a broad array of questions will be considered ranging from the particular-e.g., Why does the United States offer millions of dollars to Japanese Americans relocated to concentration camps during World War II but offers not even an apology to African Americans for 2 1/2 centuries of slavery? -to the general-e.g., Is there a beast in all political regimes waiting to be unleashed by extraordinary fear, greed or fury? Class attendance is essential. A paper will be required.
Note: Students may only elect this course or International Human Rights to count towards the International Law Concentration (JD).
LWTE540 International Tax Policy (Mark S. Hoose)
Prerequisite(s): Tax I
Recommended Class(es): Tax II
The first portion of this seminar provides a basic survey of major international tax issues relating to cross-border transactions, including residency, source, taxation of business and investment activities of U.S. persons abroad and foreign persons within the U.S., entity classification, the foreign tax credit, and transfer pricing. In the second portion of the seminar, students will independently explore current international tax topics, such as proposals to address tax haven abuses, strengthen anti-deferral provisions, and move toward a territorial system. The seminar is intended primarily for JD students seeking an introduction to structural policy issues in the international arena. Prerequisite: Tax I is required; Tax II may be useful. The student’s grade is based on seminar participation and a written paper. Satisfactory completion of the course will meet the upper-class writing requirement for the JD degree (and the Tax Policy requirement for the LLM Taxation degree).
LWTE539 International Taxation (Mark S. Hoose)
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.
LWIC558 International Trade & Investment Law (Ralph H. Folsom)
This course will analyze the key legal and policy issues relating to international trade and investment, with particular emphasis on the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and the World Trade Organization (WTO). Additional topics include aspects of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the European Union, and U.S. laws relating to international trade and investment. Substantial emphasis will be placed on matters of current interest and controversy, including the global explosion of free trade agreements, the relationship between the United States and China, and efforts to develop protections for investment, labor and the environment. The grade will be entirely based on a research paper suitable for USD written work requirements.
LWIC566 Mexican Legal Spanish (Jorge A. Vargas)
Given the geographical contiguity of Mexico to the United States, the unprecedented volume of U.S. investments in Mexico (approx. 65% of total foreign investments), and the growing number of Mexican-Americans and Mexican nationals in this country, an increasing number of U.S. courts are deciding cases governed by Mexican law. This course will provide students already fluent in Spanish with a practical introduction to Mexican law, its codes and statutes, as well as to Mexican legal documents consisting of contracts, civil registry certificates, initial complaints, judicial judgments, Ejecutorias and Jurisprudencias. The course will also include attorney-client interviews, specialized terminology, and professional legal correspondence. This class will have a final examination.
LWIC575 Public International Law (Maimon Schwarzschild)
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).