Course Descriptions

Spring 2016 LLM in International Law Class Descriptions

Agency Externships (formerly called Agency Internships) (John Sansone)
LWVL590

1-3 credit(s), P/F Graded
Requirement(s): Skills
Concentration(s): LLM in International Law (LLMI)

The Agency Externship Program provides students the opportunity to gain valuable clinical legal experience for academic credit with a government agency or non-profit organization during the fall, spring or summer semesters. (The externship program does not allow students to receive academic credit for working in a private law firm). Students may enroll in the Agency Externship Course for 1 - 3 units of credit and must complete a minimum of 60 hours per credit (120 hours for 2 credits and 180 hours for 3 credits) of Externship work and activities (e.g., observing a trial).

Academic requirements include: mandatory orientation, journals between student and professor relating to the field placement; a three-five page reflective paper at the end of the semester; an example of work product for professor review; and, satisfactory completion of work experience. The externship is graded on a Pass-Fail basis.

If you have been offered and have accepted a field placement, meet the eligibility requirements, agree to meet the course obligations and want to register for the Externship course, fill out the Field Placement Form. The Office of Career and Professional Development will then confirm your placement and instruct you on registering for the course.

Contact lawcareers@sandiego.edu with placement questions. Contact Professor Margaret Dalton, Faculty Director, at mdalton@sandiego.edu with academic questions.

Note: There are limitations on JD concentration eligibility. Please check the concentration web pages for more information. Contact Law Student Affairs to find out if your Agency Internship qualifies for a concentration.
Additional Information:Concentrations Web Page, Email Law Student Affairs

Comparative Con Law (Laurence Claus)
LWIC515

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

This course considers how sophisticated political systems limit and channel the exercise of governmental power. We do this primarily by taking the great issues of American constitutional law and asking how those issues are treated elsewhere. The course is open to all upper-class students, and may be taken concurrent with Constitutional Law. A research paper is required.

Ethics, Law & Int'l Affairs (Horacio Spector)
LWJT515

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

Contemporary public policy and legal debates in both the domestic and international arenas involve an intricate network of moral, political, and legal considerations. The course’s goal is to throw light on the relations among these three fundamental realms: ethics, politics, and law. After a general introduction, we will proceed to discuss the following topics: conceptions of liberty and equality, democracy and public deliberation, human rights, conflicts of rights, corporate responsibility for human rights violations, and the rule of law. Our attention will be focused on cross-boundary issues: Is democracy more important than the rule of law? Does economic equality threaten liberty? Are welfare and social rights compatible with civil liberties in populist democracies? In the last part of the seminar, we will deal with complex global issues: wars and military interventions, terrorism, and global justice. Can military force be used to protect human rights? Should rich nations transfer money to poor countries? Should pharmaceutical patents be enforced in the undeveloped world? Are there immigration rights? Is there a global community? Each student will be required to write a research paper of 20 pages in length. Successful completion of this course satisfies the written-work requirement.

Human Rights Advocacy (Dustin N. Sharp)
LWIC527

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

In the brief span of 60 years, human rights advocates have taken a marginal utopian ideal, and transformed it into a critical component of global discourse, even if dilemmas in practice and gaps in enforcement remain conspicuous. This course examines the actors and organizations behind this remarkable development as well as the vast challenges faced by advocates today. Topics of study will cover the ethical and strategic dilemmas faced by of modern-day human rights advocates; techniques and strategies central to human rights practice, including fact-finding, interviewing, monitoring, litigation, report writing, and media work; and the role of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in transnational legal and policy processes. This course will also examine debates about the ways in which modern human rights advocates are attempting to stretch the discourse to apply it in new contexts, including attempts to link human rights to the environment, corruption, natural resource extraction, and development. The course will contain a substantial critical and academic component, but will also seek to engage students in “real-world” skill building exercises like press release writing, media interviews, and qualitative interviews with victims of and witnesses to human rights violations. Grades will be based on a variety of practice-oriented assessments, both written and oral: drafting a press release, drafting an op-ed, drafting a strategy and planning memo, and delivering a group oral presentation.

International Arbitration (David W. Brennan)
LWIC530

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

The New York Convention establishes a framework for international arbitration. More nations have acceded to the New York Convention than any other treaty in the history of the United Nations. This class will explain the system of international arbitration which has become the preferred method of dispute resolution among businesses throughout the world. The class will feature power point presentations, including photos and music from around the world. We will conduct a mock arbitration based upon a fact pattern of two USD law students who take a trip to Buenos Aires, then build a business extending from San Diego to Argentina, Brazil and beyond. LLM students will learn about an international legal structure and acquire practical skills which will be applicable when they return home (wherever that maybe). 2L and 3L students will learn arbitration law reaching from San Diego, California and the United States into the international arena. Students are graded by the standard letter grading system.

International Business Transactions (Ralph H. Folsom)
LWIC533

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

This is an introductory course on international business law. The course book employed is problem-oriented, focusing student attention on practical problem solving. The course coverage is global, and may include problems related to international sales transactions, letters of credit, customs, import and export trade law, technology transfers across borders, foreign investment law, and international business dispute settlement. Grading is by exam and/or problem sets.

 

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

International Legal Research (Melissa Abernathy)
LWGC527

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

This course is designed to introduce students to basic concepts, sources, and specialized research tools used in foreign and international legal research. This course will include segments on researching international treaties, international courts and tribunals, United Nations documents, the European Union, as well as foreign legal systems.

There will be three research assignments and three CALI lessons assigned during the first six classes in the semester; they are due at the beginning of class. In addition, a final capstone project will require each student to research a foreign or international law topic (approved by the instructor) and present a written research plan and oral report to the class. 

International Redress for Human Injustice (Roy L. Brooks)
LWIC553

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

Introduced into the law school curriculum in 1999, this seminar is based on the classic study of atrocities, When Sorry Isn’t Enough: The Controversy Over Apologies and Reparations for Human Injustice (1999), written by Professor Brooks. Today, the subject matter of this seminar is taught in various forms (e.g., small or large classes as well as seminars) under various titles (e.g., “Transitional Justice,” “Atrocities,” “Reparations”) in schools across the United States, Europe, Asia, South America, and the Commonwealth countries. Professor Brooks continues to teach the seminar at USD, and in recent years has added as one of its topics “modern slavery”(defined by international conventions and U.S. domestic law as “human exploitation over a period of time effectuated through coercion, fraud or trickery”) Yet, the main portion of the seminar, like all spinoffs of the seminar, continues to be on post-conflict justice. What does justice demand in the aftermath of atrocities like the Holocaust, Apartheid, and genocides in Armenia, Africa, South America, Southeast Asia, and America? This question is framed by the international redress movement (consisting of scholars, activists, and government officials) in which Professor Brooks has played a key role. The focus of the movement is on claims from around the world that seek redress for human injustice under post-Holocaust conditions. Hence, in addition to studying the aftermath of modern slavery in Africa involving the “child soldiers” and in Thailand for sexual slaves liberated from bondage, the seminar studies issues of post-conflict justice involving Nazi persecution, Japan’s "comfort women" system, Apartheid in South Africa, and our own country’s internment of Japanese Americans (why was there no internment in Hawaii where many more Japanese Americans lived?), genocidal treatment of Native Americans, and enslavement of African Americans. We shall draw on legal and political analyses, government documents, personal testimonies, and historical narratives. The seminar meets one time each week. A paper is required. Successful completion of this course satisfies the written-work requirement.

International Sales (William H. Lawrence)
LWIC555

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

This course focuses on the United Nations Convention on the International Sale of Goods (CISG), with comparisons to domestic law (the UCC in particular). Considerable time is devoted to the application of the CISG to problems that typically arise in international sales transactions. The course does not include an exam. Students instead prepare written memos that reflect the type of assignments they can expect in practice with a law firm.

Latin American Law & Institutions (Horacio Spector)
LWIC559

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

Over the last decade Latin America has been one of the fastest growing regions in the world, with foreign demand and investments boosting an unprecedented pace of prosperity and social inclusion. Though growth has declined since the global crisis, Latin America’s huge potential is awaiting a new trend of rapid expansion. American lawyers have a key role to play in the development of business strategies in the region, but training alertness is advisable. In fact, common law education is not self-sufficient for understanding the subtleties of Latin American law, and many American corporations and investors face difficulties for lack of expert counseling concerning domestic legal risks and problems.

The general goal of the course is to allow students to start becoming bijural by training them to communicate well with Latin American peers. We plan to achieve this goal by training students in various areas of Latin American variety of Civil Law: the Civil Law tradition in Latin America, constitutional law, human rights in national and Inter-American law, agrarian reforms and Indian peoples’ rights, civil and commercial codes, civil law remedies, civil procedure, and business law. Besides practical and professional concerns, the course will also be a rewarding intellectual experience, as students will progressively understand that there are few universal legal truths and that legal reasonableness is to a great extent relative to culture and historical accident.

We will focus on Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Puerto Rico (unincorporated US territory), and other Latin American and Caribbean nations. We will not assume that students have a command of Spanish or Portuguese, though some idiomatic background is obviously advantageous. Each student will be required to write a research paper of 20 pages in length in English. Successful completion of this course satisfies the written-work requirement.

Law of the Sea (Andrew Tirrell)
LWIC560

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

This course studies regimes of the sea including fisheries, seabed mining, and coastal management zones. The politics of ocean regulation will be examined with emphasis on the Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea. The seminar will consider maritime law from three perspectives: 1) the development of international law; 2) the processes of international bargaining and negotiation; and 3) the decision-making processes associated with the formulation of maritime policies in individual countries. Grades will be based on a combination of two policy memo exams (take-home), a research paper, and active participation during class.

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