Course Descriptions

Spring 2013 LLM in International Law Class Descriptions

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Comparative Constitutional Law (James Allan)

3 credit(s)
Requirement(s): Writing
Concentration(s): LLM in International Law (LLMI)
Prerequisite(s): Constitutional Law I

This course aims to put the constitutional structure of the United States into context. It will focus on the four jurisdictions that share the most features with, and are most similar to, the US's constitutional and legal system. So after an introductory week or two on the great diversity of constitutional arrangements in the democratic world, students will be introduced to the constitutional structures of Canada, Britain, New Zealand and Australia. (The last of these, by the way, copied much from the US and is by far the most successful imitator of US-style constitutional arrangements in the world.)In the course of examining these four jurisdictions we will examine different sorts of bills of rights, varying approaches to interpreting them, unwritten constitutions, Canadian v Australian (and US) federalism, bicameralism v unicameralism, parliamentary sovereignty, and more. Students will be asked to write their course paper on any aspect of the constitutions of one of these four jurisdictions after agreeing a topic with Professor Allan, who will also welcome comparisons to the US. Successful completion of this course will fulfill the law school's written work requirement.

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

1 credit(s)
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 seminar’s ambitious 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, and the rule of law. Our attention will be focused on issues that cross national boundaries: Is democracy more important than the rule of law? Does economic equality threaten liberty? Are welfare rights compatible with civil liberties in illiberal democracies? What’s the place of choice in social welfare regimes? Is well being synonymous with income? 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? Is there a global community? Students will be required to write a short paper (10-12 pages).

Immigration Law (Sean Olender)

3 credit(s)
Concentration(s): LLM in International Law (LLMI)

Why and how did the regulation of immigration begin? What maze of federal law and regulations, agencies, courts, “official” memos and constitutional law control outcomes? What does it mean to be a citizen? Should citizenship emanate from parentage, location of birth, or express consent? US companies import thousands of workers annually and immigration is interwoven into commerce, recruiting and HR. Companies that poorly manage immigration lose competitiveness and risk penalties. Abercrombie & Fitch was fined more than $1 million in 2010 for I-9 violations and in 2011 public schools in Prince George’s County Maryland paid $4.2 million for improperly calculating H-1B wages. Immigration laws both separate and reunite families. President Obama deported more foreign nationals in one term than any other US President, but also used extraordinary power to offer deferred action and work authorization to possibly more than one million undocumented young people. And international crises and politics drive the migration of refugees and asylees. This general immigration course will briefly survey the history of immigration law and introduce basic concepts, agency organization and jurisdiction. This course will explore five principal areas: (1) citizenship, (2) business immigration, (3) family immigration, (4) relief from removal and waivers, and (5) asylum and refugee law. Grades will be based on a midterm and final exam.

International Arbitration (Richard W. Page)

2 credit(s)
Requirement(s): Skills
Concentration(s): LLM in International Law (LLMI)
Prerequisite(s): The only required prerequisite is a spirit of adventure.

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. The final exam will be held during the last class meeting. Students are graded by the standard letter grading system.

International Business Transactions (Ralph H. Folsom)

3 credit(s)
Concentration(s): LLM in International Law (LLMI)

This course provides an introduction to the legal aspects of private international sales and investment transactions. Topics include sales contracts, letters of credit, bills of lading, investment and financing contracts, and resolution of private sales and investment disputes. Regulatory aspects of international transactions, including export licensing, regulatory jurisdiction, and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, will also be considered. The focus will be transactional, with attention to the structure of private relationships and the anticipation and avoidance of litigation.

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

International Energy Regulation (Nilmini Silva-Send)

3 credit(s)
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 Finance Techniques (Dan Dillon)

2 credit(s)
Concentration(s): LLM in International Law (LLMI)
Recommended Class(es): Courses in Finance & Taxation

This course covers several of the most common cross-border finance techniques, including IPOs, project finance, venture capital, and securitization, by analyzing real world examples of each to highlight not only the key legal issues involved, but also the practical hurdles faced by an American lawyer working on these types of deals, frequently as part of a multi-national legal, investment banking, and accounting team. The course will also examine the ways American law and legal practice have shaped how these deals are done internationally, and how they influence these types of transactions even when US investors are not involved. A recurrent theme of the course (highlighted by personal anecdotes) will be the challenges of working as an American lawyer on these types of deals in parts of the world with less strenuous legal, regulatory, and taxation regimes, as well as different cultural norms; and balancing the need to be seen by non-American clients and colleagues as “business oriented” while also ensuring that the issues of American law are addressed appropriately and that American professional ethics and cultural norms are not compromised in the process. The course concludes by identifying several areas of opportunity in international finance, and with a discussion of risk management, compliance, and certain ethical issues. At the beginning of the course, students will be assigned to teams, each of which will be provided with a brief case study of one of the finance techniques covered in the course. Each team will make a presentation to the class in the final sessions of the course and later submit a paper covering the key elements of that finance technique and the issues raised by its application in the specified context. In addition, each student’s course grade may be increased (but not decreased) by one grade level (e.g., from B to B+) based upon classroom performance.

International Law in U.S. Courts (Michael D. Ramsey)

3 credit(s)
Requirement(s): Writing
Concentration(s): LLM in International Law (LLMI)

This course is intended as a practice-oriented course that would teach students how to litigate issues of international law in U.S. courts. The focus would be both procedural, addressing the ways U.S. domestic law incorporates international law, and interpretive, addressing the ways U.S. courts determine the content of international law. It would focus on both treaties and customary international law. Within the topic of treaties, subjects would include (a) self-execution and non-self-execution; (b) causes of action based on treaties; (c) treaty interpretation; (d) the relationship between treaties and statutes; and (e) non-treaty agreements. For customary international law, subjects would include (a) the formation and identification of customary international law; (b) the direct application of customary international law; (c) statutory incorporation of customary international law through the Alien Tort Statute and otherwise; and (d) using customary international law as an interpretive tool. This course has no prerequisites and assumes no prior knowledge of international law.

International Negotiation (Charles B. Wiggins)

3 credit(s)
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.

International Sales (William H. Lawrence)

3 credit(s)
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)

1 credit(s)
Concentration(s): LLM in International Law (LLMI)

There is a great distance between current legal institutions in Latin America and those that were originally designed and established Latin American constitutions drew a lot on the U.S. Bill of Rights and the French Declaration of the Rights of Man. In fact, they instituted representative democracy, the inviolability of individual rights, and untrammeled economic freedom. During the twentieth century Latin American countries suffered from great political and legal instability, civil wars, massive human rights violations, economic crises, and a great number of experiments in land reform, emergency powers, financial confiscations, and constitutional engineering. All these phenomena have impinged on Latin American institutions, legal culture, and social norms, thus creating what may be the most impressive natural socio-legal laboratory on earth. The course will be theoretically minded. It will discuss selected problems in Latin American law and institutions in the light of law and economics, law and development, and social and political philosophy. No prior knowledge about Latin American politics or law will be needed. The lessons to be drawn can be generalized to illuminate current legal and social problems in other developing countries and elsewhere. They can also serve to assess various theoretical paradigms. Students will be required to write a short paper (10-12 pages).

Law of the Sea (Jorge A. Vargas)

3 credit(s)
Concentration(s): LLM in International Law (LLMI)

Instruction concentrates on the origins and development of the legal regime applicable to the uses and resources of the oceans. Special consideration is given to the formulation and codification process of this dynamic branch of public international law, in particular the work and final outcome of the Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea. Topics for analysis also will include fishing activities, maritime delimitation, pollution, marine scientific research, and U.S. policy regarding law of the sea matters. A research paper will be required.

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