International Law Courses

​​​​​​Learn more about International Law courses available to students, such as International Criminal Law and Immigration Law, as well as study abroad opportunities.

7441/China Field Study

This trip to China, which immediately follows the Comparative US-China Environmental Law class, enables students to experience environmental conditions in China and to meet leading Chinese environmental scholars and activists.

7426/Comparative Constitutional Law

Uses a comparison of the Spanish and the U.S. constitutional systems to introduce students to the study of comparative constitutional law.   We will compare and contrast the constitutional structures established by the two countries, the different procedures employed for constitutional review, and the different approaches to constitutional review and adjudication.

7440/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.

400/Environmental Law and Regulation in China

This course provides an overview of the tremendous environmental challenges for China's 1.3 billion people and the efforts to address them through law and regulation. After an introduction to the political and legal system and cultural background of the world's soon-to-be largest greenhouse gas emitter, 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.

7413/European Union Law

Basic introduction to European Union Law. The major institutions comprising the European Union and their relative constitutiencies will be covered. Primary focus will be important "constitutional" decisions of the Court of Justice.

7414/European Union Law Trento

Optional component to European Union Law I taught in Italy during the semester break by European Union law experts at the University of Trento Faculty of Law.  Classes address selected topics in European Union law such as labor law, environmental law, criminal law and procedure, and non-discrimination law.    IMPORTANT:  This course entails a $300 administrative fee.   

7411/French Corporate Law

Taught by a French law professor (in English), this course address 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.  This course is required for students in the dual degree program with the University of Cergy-Pontoise.

7410/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.

5230/Global Energy Law and Policy

Global Energy Law and Policy explores the current policy framework in a particular region outside of the United States with a focus on clean energy policies. The course will explore the regions policy development process, the current energy policy framework, policies implementing global and regional climate commitments and emerging issues.

209/Immigration Law

This course will provide a review and problem-based analysis of US immigration law. We will cover the basics of immigration law; family and employment-based immigration categories;citizenship issues, grounds of inadmissibility/deportability; detention; removal and relief from removal. Special emphasis will be placed on the immigration consequences of criminal convictions and humanitarian relief under asylum law and under the Violence Against Women Act

7444/International and Comparative Environmental Law

In the international arena, students study treaties that may provide remedies for harm caused to humans and to natural resources by activities such as transporting oil in tankers, burning fossil fuels, and exporting hazardous substances. They also study many efforts to prevent harm rather than to remedy it.  Comparative law issues range from how similar, environmentally based disputes between private parties might be resolved in a wide variety of legal and social systems, to a detailed comparison of environmental legislation in two federal systems and their member states-the U.S.

4217/International Environmental Law

This course addresses the nature, content and structure of international environmental law.  The course commences with an introduction to international environmental problems, together with basic principles of international law and environmental regulation.  Specific topics include global warming, stratospheric ozone depletion, exports of hazardous substances, transboundary pollution, trade and environment, and development and environment.

7424/International Human Rights

This seminar 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. Students gain experience in researching international law and in international legal analysis.

225/International Law

This course provides an overview of the international legal system, with particular emphasis on how international law is made and enforced, whether by states, or states acting through international organizations or treaty bodies.  It also deals with the relationship between international law and domestic law, primarily in the U.S. but also in other countries.  Finally, the course considers areas of substantive international law, including the use of force, international human rights, and international environmental law.

7446/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. .

7437/Introduction to Chinese Law

This course is intended to provide an introduction to contemporary Chinese legal system and institutions in historical and comparative perspective. The main part of the course is devoted to a study of various important areas in the legal development of the PRC, including the legislature, sources of law as compared to the civil and common law system, the legal profession and the judiciary, administrative law, the criminal justice system, dispute resolution, and the efforts and challenges of addressing environmental degradation in China and energy problems through law.

7412/Law of the European Union

Provides a basic introduction to the institutional architecture and jurisprudence of the European Union, with special focus on key treaty provisions and important judgments of the European Court of Justice.

5423/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.

5564/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.

7430/Spanish Constitutional Law

An introduction to the study of comparative law that provides students with an opportunity to compare the Spanish and the American approaches to constitutional law.   The seminar focuses on similarities and differences in constitutional structure, methodology, and values.  Students attend lectures by leading Spanish legal scholars at VLS and at the University of Seville in Spain.

7402/Study Abroad Seminar: Canadian Legal System

Designed to increase study abroad opportunities for students, the specific content taught at VLS is based on the Canadian Legal System.