Course Descriptions

Fall 2016 LLM in International Law Class Descriptions

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Comparative Law (Pierre Legrand)

3 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Concentration(s): LLM in International Law (LLMI)

This three-credit course divides into three parts.

Firstly, the course addresses an ongoing paradox concerning the place of foreign law on the U.S. legal scene against the background of globalization. While foreign circumstances are more present than ever in cases coming before U.S. appellate courts on account of increasing economic, political, and institutional interdependence on the world stage, there is strong resistance, cutting across conservative/liberal lines, on the part of many U.S. legislative assemblies, judges, and commentators to the practice of U.S. cross-references to foreign law. What must be the normative reach of foreign law in the United States? Arguments from constitutionalism and democracy are examples of the claims that will be canvassed.

Secondly, the course considers various interpretive challenges necessarily arising from any U.S. legal interaction with foreign law. How much understanding of foreign law must a U.S. lawmaker, judge, teacher, or lawyer achieve before advertence to it becomes legitimate? For example, how “cultural” must U.S. legal analysis of foreign law make itself in order to prove creditable? Can U.S. understanding of foreign law ever manage to avoid ethnocentric bias? Is the fact that foreign law exists in a foreign language an obstacle to meaningful U.S. knowledge? Are there methodological keys that can optimize the acquisition of foreign knowledge? Such questions will be approached from an interdisciplinary perspective.

Thirdly, the course investigates selected topics allowing for practical and in-depth familiarization with the difficulties and opportunities attendant upon the interplay between U.S. and foreign law. The treatment of privacy laws in Europe and in the United States and proof of foreign law in U.S. courts are two illustrations that will be examined.

This course is taught on an intensive basis during the first four weeks of the fall semester. Meetings take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:00 to 3:55 and on Fridays from 9:00 to 11:55. The course concludes with a “take-home” examination. No prior knowledge of foreign law or of a foreign language is expected.

European Union Commercial Law (Jens Schovsbo, Vibe Ulfbeck)

1 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
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, and the EC directive on Products Liability. 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.  There will be a final exam scheduled in March.

Immigration Clinic I (Sandra M. Wagner)

2-4 credit(s), H/P/L/F Graded
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 have the opportunity to assist clients with a range of immigration issues such as naturalization, lawful permanent residency, derivative citizenship, deferred action, and U-visa and VAWA for domestic violence and abuse victims. Students may attend U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services interviews related to their client’s applications. Students may also attend and participate in community immigration outreach. Weekly meetings are held with the clinic supervisor and other interns to discuss immigration law, practical application and casework. The clinic is graded on a 4-tier Pass-Fail basis. No Prerequisites.

Students must attend a mandatory orientation on Friday, August 26th from 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. in WH 3B.

Immigration Clinic II (Sandra M. Wagner)

1-4 credit(s), H/P/L/F Graded
Requirement(s): Skills
Concentration(s): LLM in International Law (LLMI)

Clinic II interns refine their skills, working on complex cases and cases already begun as Clinic I interns. Students may mentor first time clinic participants, serve as lead attorney on cases, and have additional opportunities to appear in court or administrative proceedings. Supervising attorneys/adjunct professors provide individualized coaching, based on the Clinic II interns’ needs and interests. Prerequisite: Successful completion of Clinic I in the same clinic. The clinic is graded on a 4-tier Pass-Fail basis. 

International Asia-Pacific Commercial Arbitration (David W. Brennan)

2 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Concentration(s): LLM in International Law (LLMI)

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 examination to be held in October.

International Contracts (Herbert I. Lazerow)

3 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
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 Negotiation (Allen C. Snyder)

3 credit(s), H/P/L/F Graded
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.

Note: Students may only elect this course, Alternative Dispute Resolution or Negotiation to count towards the Civil Litigation Concentration (JD).
Additional Information:Civil Litigation Concentration

International Taxation (Dennis Lilly)

3 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Concentration(s): LLM in International Law (LLMI)
Prerequisite(s): Tax I

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.

International Trade & Investment (Ralph H. Folsom)

3 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Requirement(s): Writing
Concentration(s): LLM in International Law (LLMI)

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.

Legal & Constitutional Challenges in the Middle East (Iddo Porat)

2 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Concentration(s): LLM in International Law (LLMI)

The Middle East is in turmoil. The course will focus on the ways in which legal systems in the Middle East face the challenges of the region with a special focus on constitutional law. Several challenges are common to the different legal systems in the Middle East. First is the tension between traditionalism and progress, which is reflected, amongst others, in the highly contentious relationship between state and religion in the countries of the region. Second is the issue of constitutional change, and constitutional revolution - the Arab Spring has witnessed the downfall of regimes and the rise of new ones, a process usually accompanied by constitutional conventions, and sometimes, as in Egypt, by multiple constitutional conventions. Iraq is another example of rapid constitutional change. Third are issues relating to security threats and the fight against terrorism. And fourth are issues of multiculturalism and ethnic and cultural diversity. Israel, shares all these challenges but in different ways owing to its own special place in the Middle East. A special emphasis will be given in the course to Israeli law and Israeli constitutional law. Beyond attending class and reading the class materials, each student will be required to conduct a short research on the constitutional system of a particular country in the Middle East, or on a particular aspect of a countries' constitutional system, and present it in class during in the second half of the course. The presentation should highlight the main constitutional characteristics of the chosen country (history, text, judiciary.) Your final grade will be based on a final exam and on class presentations.

NAFTA (Ralph H. Folsom)

3 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Requirement(s): Writing
Concentration(s): LLM in International Law (LLMI)

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.

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