Fall 2013 LLM in International Law Core Curriculum Class Descriptions
LWIC520 European Legal Cultures (Pierre Legrand)
This course focuses on French legal culture, which features one of the leading approaches to law worldwide. French legal culture still constitutes the pre-eminent perspective within the so-called ”civil-law” tradition, in its turn the most extensively distributed legal model internationally. Bringing to bear anthropological, historical, and philosophical frameworks, the course 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 transnational legal and business scene. Secondly, it seeks to enhance critical reflection on U.S. law. The course, which is taught through a combination of lectures and seminar discussion, takes place from late-August until late September. 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.
LWIC522 European Union Commercial Law (Vibe Ulfbeck, Jens Schovsbo)
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.
LWIC521 European Union Law (Ralph H. Folsom)
Law, policy and procedures of the European Union, including growth of the EU common market and its jurisdiction, law-making, litigation, freedoms of movement, common economic and social policies, the EURO, external trade relations, human rights, and business competition law. This is a paper course.
LWIC531 International Asia-Pacific Commercial Arbitration (David W. Brennan)
This course is the study of international commercial arbitration that emphasizes the Asia/Pacific region’s practices and arbitral regimes. The study will use The Convention on the International Sale of Good (CISG) to study all facets of sales and trade in goods from contract formation, terms, obligations, performance, breaches, excuses and remedies. The study of arbitration clauses and the practices of the arbitral institutions in the Asia-Pacific region is a focus. The steps from initiating arbitration, appointing arbitrators, composition of arbitral tribunals, procedures including written and oral submissions and the scope and limits on evidence are all considered. The course will address the UNCITRAL Model Law for arbitration and compare it to Asia-Pacific arbitral systems including CIETAC, HKIAC, and CEAC. The substance, procedural and conflicts of law situations will be addressed. The course objective is to develop the capacity to be able to engage in arbitration processes in the Asia-Pacific Region for international commercial sales and trade disputes. The classes, materials and certain model problems will facilitate that objective. The class also builds the very different research approaches and skills required to determine issues under The CISG, including those from recognized international principles, writings of scholars, rules and guidelines together with principles from arbitral decisions. The course will be required for incoming 2L VICAM candidates and is also open to all other eligible students. The only prerequisite for this course is for JD students who should have completed all of the required first-year courses and be in their second year. The course will be letter-graded based on a final take-home examination consisting of two equally-weighted questions.
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.
LWIC537 International Contracts (Herbert I. Lazerow)
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.
LWIC543 International Human Rights (Dustin N. Sharp)
In the brief span of 60 years, the idea of human rights has grown tremendously. What began as a marginal utopian discourse has today arguably become “the dominant moral narrative for thinking about world affairs.” At the same time, rights remain controversial and contested, and gaps in enforcement of human rights norms are conspicuous. This course examines the actors, organizations and ideas behind these developments, as well as the vast challenges we face today in attempting to enforce human rights norms globally. The course begins by examining the philosophical and political bases for the international human rights idea, probing the ongoing debate over universality, culture, and human rights. Aspart of this inquiry, we also examine the normative pillars of international human rights law. In the second part of the course, we will analyze various dimensions and challenges of human rights enforcement, including the main United Nations and regional human rights systems, prosecutions and transitional justice, the advocacy work of NGOs and human rights activists, and the new concept of the “responsibility to protect,” or R2P. In the final part of the semester, we will engage in a more in-depth examination of several distinct human rights issues, including torture and women’s rights. In all this, the course aims to provide students with knowledge of human rights at the level of intellectual theory and discourse, as well as a realm of concrete, “real world” action, controversy, and struggle. The final course grade will be based on a written paper, an oral presentation, and several short assignments.
LWIC545 International Investment (John I. Forry)
International businesses and other investors, whether investing in the US from abroad or investing abroad from the US, encounter special legal and tax rules. This course focuses on such rules in the US and selected foreign countries by way of examples.
Topics include general regulatory and tax regimes for foreign investors, as well as rules and planning for specific cross-border activities such as: real estate and infrastructure investments; licensing and importing from abroad; establishing and financing a new local business enterprise; acquiring a local corporation from abroad; using a local business as a base for further international operations; portfolio investments from abroad in local stocks and other securities; immigration and tax planning for foreign individuals; local activities by foreign governments and government-owned businesses; and reporting requirements for international investors.
Early in the course, students are assigned to teams. Each team is provided with a brief case study proposing certain of the cross-border activities covered in the course. In the final sessions of the course, each team makes a presentation and provides a paper covering the key issues of 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 taxation or finance are recommended, but not 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).
LWIC568 NAFTA (Ralph H. Folsom)
This course provides an introduction to the law of the North American Free Trade Agreement, MERCOSUR, the proposed Free Trade Area of the Americas and other Western Hemisphere trade relations. Subjects to be addressed include trade in goods, cross-border services, intellectual property, investment, dispute settlement, and the treatment of labor and the environmental issues. Particular attention will also be paid to NAFTA investor/state arbitrations. This is a paper course.
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).