Course Descriptions

Spring 2017 LLM in International Law Class Descriptions

Agency Externship I (John Sansone)
LWVL596

1-4 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 - 4 units of credit and must complete a minimum of 50 hours per credit (100 hours for 2 credits and 150 hours for 3 credits).

Academic requirements include: mandatory orientation, journals between student and professor relating to the field placement; periodic discussion boards on legal practice topics; 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 John Sansone, Academic Director, at jsansone@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

Bus Transactions in Emerging Markets (Fred Heller)
LWBC512

2 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Concentration(s): LLM in International Law (LLMI)
Recommended Class(es): International Business Transactions , International Trade & Investment

International lawyers face difficult challenges when their clients transact business in emerging markets. While local legal systems—including the courts and regulators—pose a range of distinct problems, problems also frequently arise outside of the legal systems—from the political, economic, financial and cultural dynamics of the emerging markets. Students will first explore the attributes that define emerging markets and how they differ from developed markets. Using what they learn about emerging markets, students will identify challenges that impact a business transaction in an emerging market. Students will then study illustrative real-life emerging market transactions, including legal documents, and propose ways to meet emerging market challenges through provisions in legal documents and other means. The goal of the course is to provide students with the tools to assist clients in emerging market business transactions.

Bus Transactions in the People's Republic of China (Ralph H. Folsom)
LWBC546

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

This course focuses on inbound and outbound sales, licensing and foreign investment transactions related to the PRC, including negotiations, regulations,dispute settlement and the law, legal system and politics of the PRC and Hong Kong SAR. A research paper suitable for the Law School's writing requirement is mandatory.

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.

Immigration Law (Sandra M. Wagner)
LWIC529

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

This is a general survey course on the topic of U.S. immigration and nationality law. This class will introduce substantive immigration law and procedure, core immigration statutes and federal regulations, and interrelationship of federal agencies that affect U.S. immigration law and policy. Depending on availability, guest speakers may be invited to give a practical understanding of immigration law and policy.
Prerequisites: none. Grades will be based on a proctored final examination.

Int'l Estate Planning (Elettra Menarini, Patrick W. Martin , Raúl Villarreal Garza)
LWTE538

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

The course will address U.S. federal taxation issues (both income and transfer taxes) for multi-national families in this modern day of global living, investment and travel. A detailed review of the income tax rules under Subchapter J and the transfer tax rules for persons who are not U.S. persons will be addressed. Additionally, strategic planning considerations will address pre-immigration and emigration taxation and estate/wealth planning. Grades will be based on quizzes, take home assignments/projects and a final exam.

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 final exam. 

 

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

International Energy Regulation (Nilmini Silva-Send)
LWIC542

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

This 3 credit course on a contemporary global topic will introduce students to international legal principles (sovereignty, territoriality, no harm, compensation for expropriation, liability etc) and relevant treaties, especially the ECT, that govern the interaction between states, agreements/contracts and negotiations between states (public) and multinationals (private), and other legal issues facing the exploration, supply of and investment in energy resources. It will examine the role of major international organizations in the energy sector, such as OPEC, the OECD, the IEA, the UN, the EU as well as the role of NGOs. International energy disputes can be investment disputes most often resolved by arbitration as the preferred mode with ICSID the largest forum of choice. International energy disputes can also be environmental and human rights disputes, litigated in international courts and national courts. While using oil, natural gas and nuclear power as examples for the course, we will look toward the future and evaluate the international legal and policy issues facing the development and expansion of renewable energy, such as biofuels and solar power. This course will be examined by a research paper in place of a final examination. Successful completion of the paper will fulfill the writing requirements of the school of law.

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.

Tax'n of Int'l Investments (John I. Forry)
LWTE582

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

• This course focuses on tax rules for international investors in the US and selected foreign countries by way of examples.


• Topics include general tax regimes for international investors, as well as tax and related structuring rules and planning for specific cross-border activities such as: real estate and infrastructure investments; licensing and importing; establishing and financing a new local business enterprise; acquiring a local corporation; using a local business as a base for further international operations; portfolio investments in local stocks and other securities; immigration and tax planning for foreign individuals; 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 covering the key tax and related issues of its case study.

Transitional Justice (Dustin N. Sharp)
LWIC590

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

“Transitional Justice” is an emerging field of policy, practice, and study that focuses on the moral, legal, and political dilemmas encountered as individuals, communities, and nations attempt to grapple with historical legacies of war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide, and other large-scale human rights violations. In such circumstances: Who must be punished and who may be pardoned? Do vigorous efforts to promote legal accountability jeopardize the emerging and fragile peace? What is the proper role and responsibility of the so-called international community? In this class, we will examine the complementarity and conflict between the often overlapping demands that nations face in the wake of large-scale human rights abuses, including retribution, reconciliation, restitution, memory, and other forms of accountability. This will include study of the traditional range of transitional justice tools and interventions that have evolved, including international tribunals from Nuremburg to the ICC, truth commissions, reparations programs, public memorials, vetting and lustration initiatives, and broader institutional reform. Along the way, we will probe the blind spots, assumptions, and limitations of varying transitional justice mechanisms, together with the transitional justice project in general. Course grades will be determined on the basis of class participation, short reaction papers, a group oral presentation, and a final research paper. Please be advised that this course does not fulfill the law school’s written work requirement.

 

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