International and Comparative Law Courses

Professor Aziz Huq

The courses listed below provide a taste of the International and Comparative Law courses offered at the Law School, although no formal groupings exist in our curriculum. This list includes the courses taught in the 2018-19 and 2019-20 school years. Not all of these courses are offered every year, but this list will give you a representative sample of the variety of courses we might offer over any two-year period. Other new courses will likely be offered during your time at the Law School.

PLEASE NOTE: This page does not include courses for the current academic year. To browse current course offerings, visit my.UChicago.

American Indian Law

Autumn 2019, M. Todd Henderson

This course will consider two distinct bodies of law regarding the 565 federally recognized Indian tribes in the United States. First, we will study the law governing the relation between non-tribal law and tribal law. This is the law of treaties, federal jurisdiction, and sovereignty. The Supreme Court has several cases on tribal issues each year, and with the rise of gaming and natural resources as major sources of wealth, the stakes in these cases for tribe members and non-members is increasing. The materials for the course will be mostly Supreme Court cases, as well as some historical materials necessary to understand the context of the judicial consideration of tribal jurisdiction. The flavor for this part of the course will be international law, although with a decidedly American approach. Second, we will study the law within several prominent tribal areas. The Hopi, for instance, have a court system that is roughly parallel to the American one, but with key differences for handling crimes, contracts, torts, and so on. The flavor for this part of the course will be comparative law, since we will compare how different legal rules develop in distinct but related legal systems. This course is mandatory for students interested in participating in the Hopi Law Practicum (serving as clerks to justices of the Hopi Appellate Court on live cases), but it is open to all students with an interest in tribes, federal jurisdiction, sovereignty, or comparative law.

Art Law

Autumn 2019, William M. Landes and Anthony Hirschel

This seminar examines legal issues in the visual arts including artist's rights and copyright, government regulation of the art market, valuation problems related to authentication and artist estates, disputes over the ownership of art, illicit international trade of art, government funding of museums and artists, and First Amendment issues as they relate to museums and artists. A major paper of 20-25 pages is required.

Previously:

  • Autumn 2017, William M. Landes and Anthony Hirschel
  • Autumn 2018, William M. Landes and Anthony Hirschel

Big Problems

Spring 2020, David Weisbach and Anup Malani

The Big Problems course will use multidisciplinary approaches to try to understand and tackle the most important problems facing our country or the world. The first 8 weeks will be taught by the instructors and outside experts, focusing on problems such as the Zika virus, Syrian migration to Europe, cybersecurity, nuclear waste storage, opioid addiction, sex trafficking, and policing and race relations. Students will work in teams of 2 business and 2 law students to develop feasible policy or private sector solutions to a problem of their choosing and make a presentation in the last 2 weeks. Presentations will be made to instructors, outside experts and fellow students. Final grade will be based on the presentations and a companion paper (20-25 pages). Participation may be considered in final grading.

Previously:

  • Spring 2018, David Weisbach, Anup Malani, Robert Topel, and Kevin Murphy
  • Spring 2019, David Weisbach, Anup Malani, Robert Topel, and Kevin Murphy

Comparative and European Corporate Law

Autumn 2019, Horst Eidenmueller

The globalization of commerce underscores the importance of European corporate law, especially for multinational enterprises. This course covers the fundamentals of European corporate law in an international and comparative perspective. It aims at providing an introduction to the most important corporate law issues and problems encountered by firms that do business in the European Union (EU). At the same time, the course seeks to introduce students to the complex interplay between EU rules and those of the 28 Member States. Frequent comparisons will be drawn to the relationship between state and federal law in the United States. The course adopts a life-cycle approach to corporations, i.e. it tracks the European rules on company formation, going public and restructuring/insolvency in a comparative perspective.

The course is divided into five parts. The first part introduces the institutional framework of EU business law. This part will focus on the law-making process in the EU, the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality and on the four freedoms that are fundamental to the common market. The second part covers key corporate law issues such as company formation and corporate governance, creditor protection and financial reporting, structural changes (including cross-border mobility and regulatory competition between the Member States), and European Corporate Entities (especially the Societas Europaea). The third part on capital markets covers control transactions and golden shares, the governance of primary and secondary financial markets and (briefly) banking. The fourth part on bankruptcy deals with key elements of the European bankruptcy framework, namely, the European Insolvency Regulation and the European Restructuring Directive. An important theme here will be forum shopping and regulatory competition. Finally, the fifth part addresses two key challenges for the further development of the European law governing business organizations: the departure of the United Kingdom from the EU ('Brexit') and technological advances, in particular associated with 'Artificial Intelligence'.

The primary focus of the course will be on the existing legal framework. However, policy issues will also be discussed were appropriate (proportion of law to policy approximately two to one). The European legal framework will be compared frequently to other jurisdictions. Within Europe, the focus will be on the UK, France, and Germany. Comparisons will also be drawn to the legal position and the policy debates in the US. Students planning to register for the course should have a basic prior knowledge of corporate law. This is a short class meeting from Friday, October 25 through Friday, December 6. Class will not meet on Friday, November 8.  A make-up class is scheduled for Thursday, November 14 from 6:10pm-7:55pm.

Comparative Legal Institutions

Spring 2019, Thomas Ginsburg

This course is designed to examine a range of legal institutions from a comparative and interdisciplinary perspective. It is not a traditional course in comparative law, in that it focuses not so much on particular rules of substantive law but on the structure of different legal systems and the consequences of those structural differences for law and society. In particular, we will focus on the economic impact of legal traditions. Readings will be drawn from legal and social science literature, including works from anthropology, economics, political science and sociology. The course will explicitly cover non-Western legal traditions to an extent not found in conventional comparative law courses. Furthermore, American institutions are explicitly included in the comparison: this is not simply a course in foreign law. Assessment is by a three-hour take-home exam. There is an option to write a research paper sufficient to fulfill the substantial writing requirement; LLM, second-year and third-year students can exercise this option freely but only a limited number of first-year students may avail themselves of it.

Previously:

  • Spring 2018, Thomas Ginsburg

Corporate Governance in Emerging Markets

Winter 2020, Dhammika Dharmapala

This seminar provides an overview of recent developments and scholarship relating to corporate governance, primarily from a "law and finance" perspective. It particularly emphasizes the context of developing and transitional economies and other jurisdictions without a long tradition of strong corporate and securities law and enforcement. Topics generally include: 1) The emerging markets context, the distinctive legal and governance issues raised by firms with controlling shareholders, and the legal and institutional preconditions for stock market development2) Legal and economic aspects of tunneling and other forms of self-dealing among firms with controlling shareholders3) The debate on the impact of historical legal origins on stock market development4) The evidence on the impact of corporate and securities law reforms on firm value and stock market development, introduced through country-level studies of major recent reforms in Korea, India and Russia5) The distinctive context of corporate governance in China, including issues raised by the role of governmental entities as controlling shareholders6) Regulatory dualism, as exemplified by Brazil's Novo Mercado, and the regulation of hostile takeovers in emerging markets7) The causes and implications of the phenomenon of international cross-listing8) The role of public and private enforcement of securities law in stock market development While some background in areas such as corporate and securities law would be helpful, there is no formal prerequisite for the seminar. Some readings from the "law and finance" literature will be interdisciplinary in approach, and some undertake statistical analysis. However, no background in finance or statistics will be assumed. Rather, the emphasis will be on understanding the implications of the readings for law and policy. Final grade will be based on a major paper (20-25 pages). Participation may be considered in final grading.

Previously:

  • Spring 2018, Dhammika Dharmapala
  • Winter 2019, Dhammika Dharmapala

Cross-Border Transactions: Law, Strategy & Negotiations

Autumn 2019, Tarek Sultani

This seminar is a survey of cross-border transactions and how successfully negotiating a transaction may vary across boarders. We will first examine negotiation strategies and key terms in commercial contracts.  Next we will review how these transactions vary globally. Lastly, the course will also discuss the increasingly important issue of bribery, focusing primarily on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the UK Bribery Act. We will then put all this together to discuss multi-jurisdictional transactions and how to best negotiate cross-border legal, procedural and cultural differences. Final grade will be based on: Substantial out of classroom work, a short paper, an in-class negotiation and class participation. This is a short class that will meet from Monday, November 11 through Thursday, November 14.

Cross-Border Transactions: Lending

Winter 2020, Richard M. Kohn

The worlds of corporate finance and secured transactions law reform interact to make cross-border lending a dynamic, cutting-edge field of law. Due to the rapid globalization of U.S. business, U.S. banks and other lenders are increasingly asked to finance the international business activities of U.S. middle-market companies, often in countries that have laws incompatible with U.S. secured transactions laws. At the same time, the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), the World Bank and other international organizations are actively encouraging developing countries, where access to capital is limited, to modernize their laws to make low-cost secured credit available to small and medium-sized enterprises, thereby creating jobs, raising standards of living and contributing to a country's overall economic growth and political stability. This seminar explores both worlds. Students will examine the broad array of legal and practical issues encountered by U.S. lenders as they make loans to foreign companies, obtain security interests in foreign collateral and finance foreign corporate acquisitions. They will also study recent initiatives in secured transactions law reform, and consider how these initiatives exert a profound influence on cross-border corporate finance in developed as well as developing countries. Richard Kohn, a founder of the Chicago law firm Goldberg Kohn Ltd., specializes in representing lenders in cross-border lending transactions, and has been active for over a decade as a member of the Expert Group assisting UNCITRAL in developing various secured transactions law reform texts, including the UNCITRAL Model Law on Secured Transactions (2016). Because cross-border lending touches upon many areas of law, this seminar provides a useful introduction to international commercial transactions in general.

Previously:

  • Winter 2019, Richard M. Kohn

Current Issues in Criminal and National Security Law

Winter 2020, Patrick Fitzgerald and Michael Y. Scudder

This seminar covers a series of current issues in criminal and national security law, often comparing and contrasting the two approaches, with a particular focus on challenges arising from acts of terrorism and other national security prosecutions (including a focus on substantive terrorism offenses, espionage offenses as well as the leaking of classified information), a discussion of criminal and intelligence investigative tools (comparing Title III electronic surveillance with Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act ), application of constitutional principles to terrorism investigations and prosecutions (particularly the First, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendments and the application of Miranda, Quarles and Corley decisions and certain state bar rules in that context), the President's war powers and congressional oversight (including discussions of drone strikes, law of war detention, and Presidential and Congressional authority to use military force), and in other select areas, including the Classified Information Procedures Act, and economic sanctions, and national security leaks. Each class will focus on a different topic, with advance reading assigned around each topic, and grading on the basis of two short reflection papers (3-5 pages each) and a final paper preferably written in the form of a U.S. Supreme Court opinion (20-25 pages, including a majority and dissent) on a select issue in criminal and national security law. Guest speakers will help facilitate discussion. Prequisites: Criminal Law.
Participation may be considered in final grading.

Previously:

  • Winter 2018, Patrick Fitzgerald and Michael Y. Scudder
  • Winter 2019, Patrick Fitzgerald and Michael Y. Scudder

The Effectiveness of International Law

Spring 2020, Adam Chilton

This class will explore when and why international law changes state behavior. While traditional scholarship on international law focused on normative and doctrinal questions-like why countries are obligated to comply with agreements and the legal requirements contained within those agreements-recent interdisciplinary scholarship on international law has focused on descriptive and empirical questions-like why countries sign agreements and how those agreements change behavior. We will explore how these insights can explain the effectiveness of international law.

This class requires a series of reaction papers. Students enrolled in the course for three credits will write a 20 to 25 page research paper on a topic related to international law. The paper will be due before the start of the Spring quarter. Participation may be considered in final grading.

Previously:

  • Spring 2019, Adam Chilton

Enforcement Risk in Cross-Border Transactions

Spring 2019, Asheesh Goel, Kim Nemirow, and Nicholas Niles

This seminar will examine enforcement risk and mitigation strategies encountered in international and cross-border transactions. In particular, we will spend time considering the contours of risk flowing from bribery, corruption, economic sanctions and money laundering issues.  We will focus on legal and reputational risk, as well spend some time on financial risk incident in these transactions.  Students will gain an in-depth understanding of key U.S. and foreign laws (like the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the U.K. Bribery Act) relating to cross-border enforcement, explore common red flags found in global transactions, explore how different transactions (including LBOs, real estate, credit, and other alternative investment vehicles) impact international risk mitigation strategies, and how to structure deals based on the varying risks presented. This class requires a paper of 20-25 pages. Participation may be considered in final grading.

Previously:

  • Spring 2019, Asheesh Goel

European Legal History

Autumn 2018, Richard H. Helmholz

This seminar aims to give students an appreciation of the basic themes and most important events in European (as opposed to English) legal history. It begins with the Roman law formulated under the Emperor Justinian and moves forward to the 19th century. Among the subjects covered are Germanic law, the rise of legal science beginning in the 12th century, the nature of the ius commune, legal humanism, the reception of Roman law, the natural law school, and the movement towards Codification. In addition to the text book, students are expected to read one law review article each week and to share it with the class. They are permitted to write a research paper (20-25 pages), but a final examination will also be offered as an option.

Previously:

  • Winter 2018, Richard H. Helmholz

Foreign Relations Law

Spring 2019, Eric Posner

This course examines the constitutional and statutory law regulating the conduct of American foreign relations. Topics include the allocation of foreign relations powers between the three branches of the federal government, the status of international law in U.S. courts, the scope of the treaty power, the validity of executive agreements, and the power to declare and conduct war. Grades will be based on a final examination. Class participation may also be considered in final grading.

Previously:

  • Spring 2018, Daniel Abebe

Global Inequality

Winter 2019, Martha C. Nussbaum and David Weisbach

Global income and wealth are highly concentrated. The richest 2% of the population own about half of the global assets. Per capita income in the United States is around $47,000 and in Europe it is around $30,500, while in India it is $3,400 and in Congo, it is $329. There are equally unsettling inequalities in longevity, health, and education. In this interdisciplinary seminar, we ask what duties nations and individuals have to address these inequalities and what are the best strategies for doing so. What role must each country play in helping itself? What is the role of international agreements and agencies, of NGOs, of political institutions, and of corporations in addressing global poverty? How do we weigh policies that emphasize growth against policies that emphasize within-country equality, health, or education? In seeking answers to these questions, the class will combine readings on the law and economics of global development with readings on the philosophy of global justice. A particular focus will be on the role that legal institutions, both domestic and international, play in discharging these duties. For, example, we might focus on how a nation with natural resources can design legal institutions to ensure they are exploited for the benefit of the citizens of the country. Students will be expected to write a paper (20-25 pages), which may qualify for substantial writing credit. Non-law students need instructor consent to enroll. Class participation may also be considered in final grading.

Greenberg Seminar: Global Poverty

Spring 2020, Adam S. Chilton and Anup Malani

This seminar will focus on how legal regimes can be improved to reduce global poverty by promoting economic and social development. For each session, we will watch a documentary film that explores a different issue related to poverty and development around the world. These issues will include topics like migration, housing, health, labor markets, and education. We will focus on discussing how existing laws contributed to the emergence of current problems and how laws can be reformed to promote development. We will also discuss the extent to which the films we watch are successful at identifying and conveying development challenges and opportunities.

Previously:

  • Autumn 2019, Adam S. Chilton and Anup Malani
  • Winter 2020, Adam S. Chilton and Anup Malani

Greenberg Seminar: Reconciliation in Ireland and South Africa

Spring 2020, Martha C. Nussbaum and William Anthony Birdthistle

Despite its apparent peace and prosperity today, Ireland is an island with a long history of division and conflict, from the sectarian Troubles in Northern Ireland to religious cruelties in the Republic of Ireland.  This Greenberg looks at a collection of those ordeals, compares them with other paths to reconciliation in South Africa, and then considers where the two Irish nations are today.  We will begin by reading two non-fiction accounts: SAY NOTHING by Patrick Radden Keefe about the Troubles in Northern Ireland and THE MAGDALEN LAUNDRIES by James M. Smith about cruelties inflicted upon unwed mothers in the Republic of Ireland.  Then we will look at writings by Nelson Mandela (LONG WALK TO FREEDOM), Desmond Tutu (NO FUTURE WITHOUT FORGIVENESS), and Martha Nussbaum (ANGER AND FORGIVENESS) to examine ideas of reconciliation, anger, and forgiveness in other contexts.  Next, we'll look at a celebrated fictional account of the Troubles in the north (MILKMAN by Anna Burns) before concluding with an account of ordinary life in the Republic today through NORMAL PEOPLE by Sally Rooney.  Have the Irelands reconciled with their past, or does they still need to?

Previously:

  • Autumn 2019, Martha C. Nussbaum and William Anthony Birdthistle
  • Winter 2020, Martha C. Nussbaum and William Anthony Birdthistle

Greenberg Seminar: Stories of Migration

Winter 2019, Emily Buss

People migrate for many reasons. Some search for better lives and opportunities, others flee poverty, violence and political unrest, and still others migrate to join family and build communities.  Many family histories include a migration story, and these stories are a central aspect of modern life for people around the world. This seminar will explore these stories, from the decision to leave home, to the journey itself, to the process of finding a temporary or permanent home, through novels and films.Reading and viewing will likely include:  Americanah, by Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (2013 novel which tells the story of a young Nigerian woman who emigrates to the United States to attend university); Exit West, by Pakistani author Mohsin Hamid (2017 novel focused on themes of emigration and refugees); a selection of short stories from The Refugees (2017), by Vietnamese author Viet Thanh Nguyen; Which Way Home (2009 documentary that follows unaccompanied child migrants on their journey through Mexico toward the United States); and The Joy Luck Club (1993 film telling the story of four Chinese women who immigrated to the United States, and their relationship to their adult daughters who grew up in the United States).

History of the Common Law

Spring 2020, Richard M. Helmholz

A survey of the development of Anglo-American legal institutions. Among the subjects covered will be the origins and growth of the legal profession, the origin and use of royal writs, the growth of the court system and the nature of trials at common law, law reporting, and the development of the common law in the American colonies and the new Republic.

Human Rights: Contemporary Issues

Autumn 2018, Susan Gzesh

This interdisciplinary course presents an overview of several major contemporary human rights problems as a means to explore the use of human rights norms and mechanisms. The course addresses the roles of states, inter-governmental bodies, national courts, civil society actors including NGOs, victims, and their families, and other non-state actors. Topics are likely to include universalism, enforceability of human rights norms, the prohibition against torture, U.S. exceptionalism, and the rights of women, racial minorities, and non-citizens.

Previously:

  • Autumn 2017, Susan Gzesh, Matthew Furlong, and Kai Parker

Human Trafficking and the link to Public Corruption

Winter 2020, Virginia Mary Kendall

This interdisciplinary course presents an overview of several major contemporary human rights problems as a means to explore the use of human rights norms and mechanisms. The course addresses the roles of states, inter-governmental bodies, national courts, civil society actors including NGOs, victims, and their families, and other non-state actors. Topics are likely to include universalism, enforceability of human rights norms, the prohibition against torture, U.S. exceptionalism, and the rights of women, racial minorities, and non-citizens.

Immigrants' Rights Clinic

Spring 2020, Amber Nicole Hallett

The Immigrants' Rights Clinic provides legal representation to immigrant communities in Chicago, including individual representation of immigrants in removal proceedings, immigration-related complex federal litigation, and policy and community education projects on behalf of community-based organizations. Students will interview clients, develop claims and defenses, draft complaints, engage in motion practice and settlement discussions, appear in federal, state, and administrative courts, and brief and argue appeals. In the policy and community education projects, students may develop and conduct community presentations, draft and advocate for legislation at the state and local levels, and provide support to immigrants' rights organizations. Current projects include a first-in-the-nation challenge to immigration detention authority under the PATRIOT Act, a civil rights lawsuit against state troopers for cooperation with federal immigration authorities, and a class action challenge to new naturalization standards for immigrants with intellectual disabilities. As this is the first year of the clinic's operation, students will also have the opportunity to help develop the clinic's docket. Both 2L and 3L students are encouraged to apply. Students who enroll in Winter Term will be required to enroll in Spring Term as well. Students with questions may contact Professor Hallett at nhallett@uchicago.edu to learn more.

International Arbitration

Autumn 2019, Javier Rubinstein

This seminar provides a basic foundation in the law and mechanics of international commercial arbitration and international investment treaty arbitration. It will give students an understanding of the substantive and strategic issues that frequently confront international arbitration practitioners. The Seminar covers, among other things, the crafting of international arbitration agreements, the relative advantages and disadvantages of ad hoc UNCITRAL-Rules arbitration and institutional arbitration (e.g., ICC, LCIA, ICDR, ICSID). The seminar also addresses the rules of procedure that commonly govern international arbitration, including procedural issues that commonly arise in international arbitration, including the availability and extent of discovery, pre-hearing procedure, the presentation of evidence, and the enforcement of international arbitral awards. The Seminar also will cover the fundamentals of international investment arbitration, including the jurisdictional issues that commonly arise in investor-state arbitration and the types of treaty claims that are commonly asserted under international law. While there will be a fair amount of traditional lecture, the format of the Seminar will depend heavily upon active student participation, including a mock arbitration exercise. Students will be graded based upon the quality of their preparation for and participation in the Seminar, as well as the quality of a required 20-25 page paper. This Seminar will satisfy part of the lesser of the school's two writing requirements, if substantial research and written work is completed.

Previously:

  • Autumn 2017, Javier Rubinstein
  • Autumn 2018, Javier Rubinstein

International Business Transactions

Spring 2020, Alan D'Ambrosio

This seminar provides a detailed review and analysis of a number of business transactions in a complex international setting. The documents underlying these transactions include: (i) an acquisition agreement, (ii) a joint venture agreement, (iii) an outsourcing agreement and (iv) a distribution agreement for the sale of goods. These documents will be reviewed in the context of these transactions, which involve business entities in several countries. Students will be asked to identify and address key legal issues. They will be asked to analyze, draft and revise key provisions of these agreements and determine whether the drafted provisions achieve the objectives sought. Students will also be asked to prepare one short paper and one longer paper addressing key legal issues underlying provisions of these agreements and the transactions involved. Students will be graded based upon (i) the quality of their preparation for and participation in the seminar (ii) their work product in connection with several drafting assignments and (iii) the quality of the short paper and longer paper addressing specific issues. There will not be a final examination. Participation may be considered in final grading.

Previously:

  • Spring 2019, Alan D'Ambrosio

International Human Rights

Winter 2020, Claudia M. Flores

This course is an introduction to international human rights law, covering the major instruments and institutions that operate on the international plane. It includes discussion of the conceptual underpinnings of human rights, the structure of the United Nations System, the major international treaties, regional human rights machinery, and the interplay of national and international systems in enforcing human rights. There are no prerequisites. Grading will be on the basis of a take-home exam at the end of the quarter. Students who wish to write, in lieu of the exam, a paper sufficient to satisfy the substantial writing requirement, may do so upon approval of the topic in advance. Participation may be considered in final grading.

Previously:

  • Winter 2018, Thomas Ginsburg
  • Spring 2019, Thomas Ginsburg

International Human Rights Clinic

Spring 2020, Claudia M. Flores and Nino Guruli

The International Human Rights Clinic works for the promotion of social and economic justice globally and in the United States. The Clinic uses international human rights laws and norms, other substantive law, and multidimensional strategies to draw attention to human rights violations, develop practical solutions and promote accountability on the part of state and non-state actors. The Clinic works with clients and organizational partners through advocacy campaigns, research and litigation in domestic, foreign, and international tribunals. Working in project teams, students develop and hone essential lawyering skills, including oral advocacy, fact-finding, research, legal and non-legal writing, interviewing, media advocacy, cultural competency and strategic thinking. Some students may have the option (but are not required) to undertake international or domestic travel in connection with their projects during the Autumn, Winter or Spring quarter breaks. Students may enroll for up to three credits a quarter. New students should plan to take the clinic for three quarters for a minimum of two credits each quarter. With permission of faculty, returning students may enroll for one credit each quarter.

Previously:

  • Autumn 2017, Claudia M. Flores
  • Winter 2018, Claudia M. Flores and Nino Guruli
  • Spring 2018, Claudia M. Flores and Nino Guruli
  • Autumn 2018, Claudia M. Flores and Nino Guruli
  • Winter 2019, Claudia M. Flores and Nino Guruli
  • Spring 2019, Claudia M. Flores and Nino Guruli

International Humanitarian Law

Winter 2019, Darryl Li

This course is an introduction to international humanitarian law (IHL), otherwise known as the law of armed conflict. It will cover cover sources of IHL, including: the Hague and Geneva treaty regimes; jurisprudence of international and national courts; national legislation, especially in the United States; and the practice of both state militaries and non-state actors. The course will explore three fundamental tensions that structure recurring debates in IHL: between humanitarianism and war; between state and non-state forms of organized violence; and between the formal equality of sovereign states and the realities of an unequal international system.The class will require a series of research papers totaling 20-25 pages.

International Investment Law

Autumn 2019, Thomas Ginsburg

Foreign investment is a central feature of the world economy, and plays an essential role in economic development.  It involves a transaction in which an investor in one country (home state) sends capital to another (host state). But in many cases the transaction is subject to what is called in economics a dynamic inconsistency problem, in which the host state's incentives change once the investment is sunk, and it may want to renege on its promises to the investor. Furthermore, neither side is likely to want any disputes adjudicated in the courts of the other's country. The global investment regime has arisen to help resolve these problems. The regime includes bilateral investment treaties (known as BITs) as well as multilateral agreements that are embedded in broader treaty structures, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) or the Energy Charter Treaty.  This seminar will introduce students to the operation of the investment law regime, with an emphasis on the tensions between home and host states, the impact of the regime on development outcomes, and the relationship between law and arbitration. This class will have a final take-home exam or major paper option. Participation may be considered in final grading.

International Law of Sovereign Debt Crises

Winter 2019, James Foorman

This seminar will cover the international law that applies to sovereign debt crises, i.e., crises that occur when nation states default on their bonds or loan obligations. We will begin by discussing the elements of sovereign debt finance, the key contractual provisions of debt agreements, legal doctrines bearing on sovereign debt (such as sovereign immunity, odious debts and state succession), and the process for rescheduling or otherwise resolving impaired debt. Such recent cases as Argentina, Greece and Ukraine will provide concrete and practical context for our discussions. We also will consider the roles of various international bodies, such as the IMF and the European Central Bank, and proposed international regimes for resolving defaulted debt. We will use Lastra and Buchheit, "Sovereign Debt Management", Oxford University Press 2014 and other materials to be provided by the Lecturer. There are no prerequisites for the course. The grade will be based on a paper of approximately 25 pages, as well as on class participation.

International Trade Law

Spring 2020, Adam S. Chilton

This course focuses on the law governing international trade. It will specifically focus on the laws established by the World Trade Organization. This will include an in-depth analysis of the treaties, regulations, and case law that govern international trade. The course will both cover the basic principles governing trade law, as well as the trade laws governing intellectual property, environmental regulation, food safety, trade in services, and technical standards. The course will also examine the implication of the international trading regime for developing countries, and the political economy of trade negotiations. This class has a final take-home exam.

Previously:

  • Spring 2018, Adam S. Chilton
  • Spring 2019, Adam S. Chilton

Islamic Law: Foundations and Contemporary Issues

Autumn 2019, Kamran Bajwa

Since its inception, Islamic Law has grown from a set of rules governing life in 6th century Arabia to a global body of law developed across time and place with application to religious, civil, criminal, constitutional, commercial, and international law. The primary objective of the seminar will be to give students a basic understanding of Islamic Law and the issues faced in applying Islamic Law in the modern context, including current political and social events globally that have roots in Islamic Law issues. The seminar will cover the origins and historical development of Islamic Law, Islamic legal theory, scope and application of Islamic Law, and selected current issues such as Islamic Finance. Modern constitutional law issues regarding sources of law, religious freedom, public interest, and related issues in Muslim majority countries will be reviewed as well as the debates around the application of Islamic Law for Muslim minorities living in secular states.  This is a one semester seminar for 2L and 3L students. There are no pre-requisite courses required in Islam. Weekly readings will be assigned in English language source materials. The seminar will draw on the lecturer's extensive personal experience with the subject matter and knowledge of the legal systems of Muslim majority states such as Saudi Arabia, Turkey, UAE, Pakistan, Egypt, Malaysia, and elsewhere. Professor Kamran Bajwa studied classical Islamic Law and Islamic Theology at the Al-Azhar seminary in Cairo, Egypt. Professor Bajwa currently heads the Middle East regional practice for Kirkland & Ellis and travels regularly to the region.  Non-law students who seek to enroll in this class should email Professor Bajwa at: Kamran.bajwa@kirkland.com. This class requires a 20-25 page paper to earn 3 credits vs. 2. Participation may be considered in final grading.

Previously:

  • Autumn 2017, Kamran Bajwa
  • Autumn 2018, Kamran Bajwa

The Law and Economics of Trump Trade

Spring 2020, Cree Lane Jones

This seminar will explore the law and economics of U.S. Trade Policy under the Trump Administration.  The seminar will include readings, lectures, and discussions on (1) the economic theory of trade, (2) how recent developments in U.S. trade policy fit into this economic theory, (3) the historical and legal background of current U.S. trade regulation, and (4) the domestic and international legal frameworks that enable and/or constrain recent developments in U.S. trade policy. This class requires a series of short reaction papers.

Legal Elements of Accounting

Winter 2020, John R. Sylla

This mini-class introduces accounting from a mixed law and business perspective. It covers basic concepts and vocabulary of accounting, not so much to instill proficiency with the mechanics of debits and credits as to serve as a foundation from which to understand financial statements. The course then examines accounting from a legal perspective, including consideration of common accounting decisions with potential legal ramifications. It also analyzes throughout the reasons for and roles of financial accounting and auditing, as well as the incentives of various persons involved in producing, regulating, and consuming financial accounting information. The seminar will touch on some limitations of, and divergent results possible under, generally accepted accounting principles. Current cases, proposals, and controversies will be discussed. Attendance and participation will be very important. Grades will be based on a take-home assignment. Students with substantial prior exposure to accounting (such as students with an MBA, joint MBA/JD students, and undergraduate finance or accounting majors) may not take the course for credit.

Previously:

  • Winter 2018, John R. Sylla
  • Winter 2019, John R. Sylla

Military Law

Winter 2020, Adam Benjamin Spencer 

This course is designed principally to provide a broad overview of the legal issues that confront the U.S. military and its servicemembers. The course will touch on military justice, administrative law, operational law, servicemembers' rights, and fiscal law (time permitting). This course is useful for anyone interested in serving as a lawyer in the military, working in the military law area as a civilian attorney, or working in the military or national security area in a policy-oriented position. It is also useful for any future public policymaker or official to have a basic understanding of the legal framework for the activities of our military here and abroad.

Property and Land Use: Comparative and Theoretical Perspectives

Spring 2019, Daphna Lewinsohn-Zamir

The right to private property is a fundamental right, necessary for the safeguarding of personal freedom and autonomy, and for human flourishing. Land is one of the most important assets that an individual may own, both economically and personally. In the course, we will discuss several issues involving property rights and land use - such as the good faith purchase doctrine, the numerus clausus principle, land-use deregulation, takings compensation, buildings' conservation, encroachments, dead hand control, property exempted in bankruptcy proceedings, landlord and tenant law, and rent-control - from analytical, theoretical, and comparative perspectives. The theoretical analysis will include, among other things, subjective and objective theories of welfare, economic analysis of law, game theory, the personhood theory, libertarianism, behavioral law and economics, and theories of distributive justice. The comparative analysis will include common law legal systems (such as the United States and England), civil law systems (such as Germany) and mixed legal systems (such as Israel). The course will introduce the students to the relevant theories in philosophy, economics, and psychology. No prior knowledge is necessary. All comparative reading materials will be in English.Pre-requisites: Property; Contracts

Public International Law

Autumn 2019, Eric Andrew Posner

Public international law is the law that governs the relations of nation states. The class will cover the major concepts of international law, including treaties, customary international law, and state sovereignty; and several fields within international law, including human rights, international criminal law, the law of the sea, and the law of war.

Previously:

  • Autumn 2017, James Gathii
  • Autumn 2018, Mary Ellen O'Connell

Stoic Ethics Through Roman Eyes

Winter 2019, Martha C. Nussbaum

The major ideas of the Stoic school about virtue, appropriate action, emotion, and how to live in harmony with the rational structure of the universe are preserved in Greek only in fragmentary texts and incomplete summaries. But the Roman philosophers give us much more, and we will study closely a group of key texts from Cicero and Seneca, including Cicero's De Finibus book III, his Tusculan Disputations book IV, a group of Seneca's letters, and, finally, a short extract from Cicero's De Officiis, to get a sense of Stoic political thought. For fun we will also read a few letters of Cicero's where he makes it clear that he is unable to follow the Stoics in the crises of his own life. We will try to understand why Stoicism had such deep and wide influence at Rome, influencing statesmen, poets, and many others, and becoming so to speak the religion of the Roman world. Prerequisite: ability to read the material in Latin at a sufficiently high level, usually about two-three years at the college level. Assignment will usually be about 8 Oxford Classical Text pages per week, and in-class translation will be the norm. Note: This class has a final exam that will be scheduled by the instructor.

U.S. Taxation of International Transactions

Winter 2020, Julie Roin

This course provides a survey of the US tax treatment of both inbound (foreign investment in the US) and outbound (US investment abroad) transactions. Though the principal focus of the class is on the US tax rules, some attention is paid to the interaction between US and foreign tax systems through the operation of the tax credit and tax treaties. Introductory Income Tax is a recommended prerequisite. Students' grades will be based on a three-hour in-class examination.

Previously:

  • Winter 2018, Julie Roin
  • Winter 2019, Julie Roin

Women's Human Rights in the World

Autumn 2019, Claudia M. Flores

This seminar examines women's human rights from a global comparative perspective. We will explore legal concepts under international and domestic law that impact gender equality such as formal vs. substantive equality, non-discrimination vs. equality and inclusion vs. transformation. We will engage in a focused inquiry into areas impacting women's human rights including violence, reproduction and political participation. We will discuss the evolution of women's rights, variations in state interpretation and implementation, and the social, economic, political and cultural factors that impact their realization. 

Students will have the choice to take the seminar for two credits and write 3 reaction papers or three credits and write a longer paper at the end.

Previously:

  • Spring 2018, Claudia M. Flores
  • Winter 2019, Claudia M. Flores

World Bank Practicum

Spring 2019, Thomas Ginsburg

This practicum involves preparing memoranda on various issues for the Legal Department of the World Bank under the supervision of Professor Ginsburg. Students work in small teams to analyze an array of policy and legal issues. Past topics have ranged from an analysis of sovereign wealth, to lending in post-conflict zones, to a study of remedies. The course is limited to a small number of students each quarter.

Previously:

  • Autumn 2017, Thomas Ginsburg
  • Winter 2018, Thomas Ginsburg
  • Spring 2018, Thomas Ginsburg
  • Autumn 2018, Thomas Ginsburg