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All VLS Courses

Course Name

Applied Human Rights Seminar

International Law

An advanced international human rights law course in which students engage in research on cutting-edge issues in human rights law and policy for non-governmental organizations and inter-governmental organizations under the supervision of the professor. 

Comparative Law: Comparative Legal Systems

International Law

Explores how different countries within the Western Legal Tradition understand sources of law, the relationship between codes and cases, and constitutional design, including questions of federalism, judicial review and balance of powers.  The course will study selected aspects of legal systems, focusing on France and Germany, with some discussion of "mixed" common/civil law jurisdictions (e.g. Louisiana, South Africa), as well as some aspects of the European Union.

Comparative U.S.-China Environmental Law

International LawEnvironmental

An overview of the tremendous environmental challenges for the 1.3 billion people in China and the efforts to address them through law and regulation. After an introduction to the political and legal system and cultural background of the largest greenhouse gas emitter in the world, we will survey the basic regulatory schemes managing air quality, water resources and quality, natural resources, environmental impact assessments, and pending legislation concerning waste management and energy conservation. If there is sufficient interest, we may offer an additional, optional, one-credit session in China immediately following the class, to let students experience firsthand the environmental conditions and lectures and meetings with leading Chinese environmental scholars and activists.

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Conflict of Laws

International LawJurisprudence

Considers the principles used to resolve legal problems when the conflicting laws of two or more jurisdictions might reasonably be applied. The course initially focuses upon the different rules and methodologies used to determine the appropriate choice of law. Constitutional limits on the use of such rules and methodologies are explored in some detail.

Current Topics in International Law

International Law

This seminar will provide a vehicle for exploring "hot topics" in international law, with the specific focus shifting from year to year.

European Union: Emerging Constitutional Law

International Law

Provides a basic introduction to European Union law, with a focus on the foundational treaties, the key institutions and their interrelationships, and important cases decided by the European Court of Justice.  Students will be given an opportunity to attend lectures by leading EU legal scholars at the University of Trento in Italy.  Special fees and conditions may apply. 

French Corporate Law

International Law

Taught by a French law professor (in English), this course addresses the substantive law and underlying policies of the law of French business corporations and the ways in which the law differs from U.S. corporate law.  

French Legal Method

International Law

Taught by a French law professor (in English), this course provides an introduction the French law and legal system, and French legal methodology. 


International Law

Considers genocide from an interdisciplinary perspective, addressing legal, cultural, political, economic, and moral issues surrounding this phenomenon. These issues are studied in the context of broader international human rights concepts.

Immigration Law

International Law

Covers the basics of immigration law; family and employment-based immigration categories; citizenship issues, grounds of inadmissibility/deportability; detention; removal and relief from removal. Special emphasisis placed on the immigration consequences of criminal convictions and humanitarian relief under asylum law and under the Violence Against Women Act