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Comparative Law: Comparative Legal Systems

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

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

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

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

Environmental Justice

This course examines the issue of environmental justice from an environmental law perspective and from a civil rights law perspective. It explores how environmental justice issues are framed, addressed, and resolved through litigation and mediation in the U.S. and internationally.

PDF LogoDownload the 2014 Course Syllabus - updated 6/10/14

European Union: Emerging Constitutional 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

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

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

Immigration 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

International Business Transactions

Using a problem-solving method, this course provides a practice-based introduction to private cross-border transactions, such as purchase/sale of goods; licensing of intellectual properties; and investment of capital in foreign countries in a service business.  

International Criminal Law

Explores International Criminal Law, broadly defined to include criminal issues that arise in the international setting and international issues that arise in the context of national criminal law.  This broad definition encompasses the prosecution of crimes in international tribunals as well as transnational crimes such as terrorism, organized crime, trafficking in drugs and persons, and cybercrimes, which will be prosecuted in domestic/national courts.

International Environmental Law and Policy

Provides an overview of the structure and basic principles of international environmental law and policy. The course considers the challenge of addressing global environmental problems; the regulatory limitations of U.S. law; and the basic structure and principles of international environmental law. The course examines in detail the structure of the Montreal Protocol regime  and covers other areas, including treaties related to climate change, biodiversity and wildlife protection, and the intersection of international trade and the environment. 

International Human Rights

Provides an introduction to international human rights law and procedures. It examines what are "human rights" and explores the law of treaty interpretation, how human rights law is incorporated into domestic legal systems, and the role of international governmental organizations, international and regional courts, and non-governmental organizations in protecting human rights.

International Law

This course provides an introduction to international law and the international legal system.  Using real-world examples, it examines the processes through which international law is made, interpreted and applied, exploring the role of states as well as that of international bodies, non-governmental organizations, and corporations. The application of international law in domestic legal systems is examined, as is the reach of domestic law in the international arena.

International Regulation of Trade

An introduction to the field of international trade regulation.  Focused primarily on the interpretation and application of key provisions of the major trade treaties falling under the jurisdiction of the World Trade Organization, the course also examines arbitral decisions interpreting and applying provisions of separate bi-lateral and multi-lateral trade treaties such as NAFTA.

International Trade and the Environment

Examines the intersection between trade liberalization and environmental protection. The course addresses protection of natural resources through unilateral trade-based measures, the legality of multilateral environmental agreements employing trade measures, utilization of science-based trade tests, and environmental impacts of foreign investment liberalization.

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Introduction to Chinese Law

An introduction to contemporary Chinese legal system and institutions in historical and comparative perspective.  Studies diverse aspects in the legal development of the PRC, including the legislature, sources of law, the legal profession and the judiciary, administrative law, the criminal justice system, dispute resolution, and the efforts and challenges of addressing China's environmental degradation and energy problems through law.

Law of International Organizations

Focuses on the law of treaty-based intergovernmental organizations (IGOs), including their constitutive laws, the laws governing their internal functioning, and the "laws" they promulgate in the form of binding and nonbinding agreements and regulations. The course examines the United Nations and its specialized agencies as well as other other IGO in diverse fields.

Ocean and Coastal Law

A review of domestic and international laws and treaties relating to coastal management, pollution, protected areas, endangered species, fish, marine mammals, wetlands, and seabed mineral and hydrocarbon resources. The course considers how effectively these legal authorities blend together to provide rational and comprehensive management and protection of marine resources.

PDF LogoDownload the 2014 Course Syllabus - updated 6/2/14

Peace, War, and the Environment

This course explores environmental protection during armed conflict and analyzes the role of environmental management in peacekeeping and state reconstruction. It considers current challenges in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, and discusses how environmental obligations may be incorporated into the laws of new states.

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