International and Comparative Law Courses

Professor Aziz Huq

The courses listed below provide a taste of the Administrative Law courses offered at the Law School, although no formal groupings exist in our curriculum. This list includes the courses taught in the 2016-17 and 2017-18 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.

Advanced Readings in Japanese Law

Spring 2017, J. Mark Ramseyer

For this seminar, we will read a variety of Japanese-language material on one or more legal topics. Typically, we will begin with a relatively accessible essay, and shift toward more difficult material - ultimately, to a court opinion. I will adjust the amount and difficulty of the material to the language ability that students bring. In general, however, students should have at least two years' Japanese language background or the equivalent. If you have any question whether this would be an appropriate course for you, please contact me directly. I will pick the topic of the readings according to student interest. Students whose first language is Japanese cannot take the class for credit, but are welcome to audit the class. If you'd like an auditor's form, please email Grades will be based on class participation, several translations, and several short essay exercises. They will take each student's beginning linguistic skills as a given - such that having a higher or lower language ability at the start of the quarter will be neither an advantage nor a disadvantage.

Art Law

Autumn 2017, Anthony Hirschel and William Landes

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. Final grade will be based on: a series of short research papers and class participation.


  • Autumn 2016, Anthony Hirschel and William Landes

Big Problems

Spring 2018, David Weisbach, Anup Malani, Robert Topel, Kevin Murphy

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. This class requires instructor consent. Interested students should email their CV to Professor Weisbach and Professor Malani at and Final grade will be based on a major paper (20-25 pages).


  • Spring 2017, David Weisbach, Anup Malani, Robert Topel, Kevin Murphy

Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking

Winter 2017, Virginia Kendall

This seminar provides a comprehensive, practical introduction to the history and present-day reality of child sexual exploitation, as well as to the interconnected web of domestic and transnational federal laws and law enforcement efforts launched in response to this global challenge. The seminar will use a text written by the professor and a colleague who have the distinctive perspective of two individuals who have spent their careers in the trenches investigating, prosecuting, and adjudicating these intricate and commonly emotional cases. The seminar will offer open debate about child sexual abuse by stripping it of its unhelpful, constricted definitions, and by candidly discussing the state of the law, the criminal justice process, and the treatment of offenders and victims. The seminar examines today's system of federal anti-exploitation laws; the connection between modern communications technologies, such as the Internet, and the rise in U.S. and foreign child exploitation; the unique challenges posed by transnational investigations; organized crime's increasing domination over the commercial sexual exploitation of children; the current state of the U.S. government's transnational anti-trafficking efforts; the myriad international legal instruments designed to enhance transnational enforcement efforts; how, during investigations and trials, to avoid re-injuring the child-victims; the hallmarks of an effective trial strategy; the most promising investigative and trial avenues for the defense; and, what contemporary research tells us about charging and sentencing-related issues, including victimization and recidivism rates. Taught by federal district court judge, Hon. Virginia M. Kendall.

Child Exploitation, Human Trafficking & the Supply Chain

Winter 2018, Virginia Kendall

This seminar provides a comprehensive, practical introduction to the history and present-day reality of child sexual exploitation and trafficking, as well as to the interconnected web of domestic and transnational federal laws and law enforcement efforts launched in response to this global challenge. The class will use a text written by the professor and a colleague who have the distinctive perspective of two individuals who have spent their careers in the trenches investigating, prosecuting, and adjudicating these intricate and commonly emotional cases. The class will offer open debate about child sexual abuse by stripping it of its unhelpful, constricted definitions, and by candidly discussing the state of the law, the criminal justice process, and the treatment of offenders and victims. The seminar examines today's system of federal anti-exploitation laws including the arrival of commercial supply chain laws; the connection between modern communications technologies, such as the Internet, and the rise in U.S. and foreign child exploitation; the unique challenges posed by transnational investigations; organized crime's increasing domination over the commercial sexual exploitation of children; the current state of the U.S. government's transnational anti-trafficking efforts; the myriad international legal instruments designed to enhance transnational enforcement efforts; how, during investigations and trials, to avoid re-injuring the child-victims; the hallmarks of an effective trial strategy; the most promising investigative and trial avenues for the defense; and, what contemporary research tells us about charging and sentencing-related issues, including victimization and recidivism rates. Taught by federal district court judge, Hon. Virginia M. Kendall. Final grade will be based on a major paper.

Chinese Law & Economic Growth

This seminar will deal with past and current debates on the role of legal institutions in promoting economic development in contemporary China. It draws on the so-called new institutionalist approach, beginning with Ronald Coase's recent contribution to understanding China's economic success in the past four decades and ending with his final warning to the Chinese for future success. The course will cover a series of topics, including property rights, contract enforcement, corporate governance and legal institutions. Reading materials draw on a range of interdisciplinary contributions. This seminar will require one 20-page final paper and active class participation.The paper can be used for SRP credit if it is at least 25 pages.

Comparative Legal Institutions

Spring 2018, 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; 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.


  • Spring 2017, Thomas Ginsburg

Constitutional Law VI: U.S. Constitutional Rights in Comparative Perspective

Autumn 2017, Rivka Weill

The course explores U.S. constitutional law's position regarding the complex burning dilemmas of the twenty first century. These include the death penalty, hate speech, terrorist kidnapping, immigration, secession and nullification, political boycott, the right to bear arms, torture, targeted killings, election integrity and the rights to vote and be elected, the right to marry, freedom of the press, equal protection and affirmative action, abortion, and religious free exercise (especially as it arises in the context of religious sacraments and religious dress). We will examine these issues theoretically and comparatively using Canada, Germany, India, Israel, South Africa and the United Kingdom as case studies. We will reveal fascinating dialogues within countries and between countries on these issues. Assessment for the course will be based on a combination of class participation (10%) and a take-home final examination (90%).


  • Autumn 2016, Rosalind Dixon

Corporate Governance in Emerging Markets

Spring 2018, 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 to be covered 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 development 2) Legal and economic aspects of tunneling and other forms of self-dealing among firms with controlling shareholders 3) The debate on the impact of historical legal origins on stock market development 4) 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 Russia 5) The distinctive context of corporate governance in China, including issues raised by the role of governmental entities as controlling shareholders 6) Regulatory dualism, as exemplified by Brazil's Novo Mercado, and the regulation of hostile takeovers in emerging markets 7) The causes and implications of the phenomenon of international cross-listing 8) 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).


  • Winter 2017, Dhammika Dharmapala

Counterintelligence and Covert Action - Legal and Policy Issues

Spring 2017, Stephen Cowen and Tony Garcia

This course uses the case method to study the practical aspects of important topics in corporate and entrepreneurial finance. We will apply the concepts and techniques of corporate finance to actual situations. The course is roughly divided into three sections: (1) financing decisions; (2) investment decisions; (3) entrepreneurial finance; and (4) private equity finance. In addition to analyzing the specific financing problems or issues, we will consider how those issues relate to the strategic objectives of the firm. It will be important to examine the "big picture" assumptions that are used in the numerical calculations. This course also places a strong emphasis on presentation and discussion skills. It will be important to explain your positions or arguments to each other and to try to argue for the implementation of your recommendations. COURSE PROCEDURES For each class meeting, I will assign study questions concerning one or two case studies. For most of the class period, we will consider the questions and the material in the cases. This includes the first meeting. You are allowed and encouraged, but not required to meet in groups outside of class to discuss and analyze the cases. Each group will submit a two-page memorandum of analysis and recommendations at the beginning of each case discussion. If you are working in a group, I will accept one memorandum from the group and count it for all students in the group. If you choose to do this, the group can include up to 3 students. Each memorandum should be typed and double-spaced. Write these as if you were writing a recommendation to the CEO or major decision maker in the case. The two page limit is for text only. You may attach as many numerical calculations as you wish. Memoranda will not be accepted after the class has met. A memorandum will be given credit if it is handed in and no credit if it is not. Initially, therefore, I will not grade them. However, I will use the memoranda to determine final grades for those students who are on the border of two grades. You should prepare a memorandum for UST, the first class. The readings and articles that I have assigned and will hand out are largely non-technical in nature and summarize the findings of academic research in corporate finance in the recent past. These articles are meant to be background material that will help you analyze the cases. They should not necessarily be cited in the case discussion. You should argue as if you were in a corporate boardroom rather than in a doctoral seminar. The process of arriving at the answer is as important as getting the answer. Because of the nature of this course (and its grading criteria), it is extremely important that you attend every class, arrive on time and be prepared to participate. To help me out, you should bring your name cards to each class. I may not remember who said what without those cards. In the past, students have asked me to hand out my case analysis after the class has discussed the case. I will not do this, because there are usually no absolute right answers. The best cases are deliberately written to be ambiguous. While there are no right answers, there are good arguments and bad arguments. This course is designed to help you learn to distinguish between sensible and senseless arguments. Handing out my analyses would reduce the ambiguity in the cases and partially defeat the purpose of doing cases. If you are uncomfortable with ambiguity, this class may not be for you.

Cross-Border Transactions: Securities, M&A, and Joint Ventures

Autumn 2017, 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 M&A, securities and financing transactions to gain comparative oversight. After covering this foundational overview, we will turn to Europe to gain an understanding of how various governance rules and local laws can impact transactions and procedures. Next, we will devote some time to Asian markets to show how recent changes in local law have expanded the opportunities for cross-border transactions, particularly for global supply chain transactions, and the implications of such changes on the legal profession. The course will cover a hands-on simulated negotiation. 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, class participation.


  • Autumn 2016, Tarek Sultani

Current Issues in Criminal and National Security Law

Winter 2018, Patrick Fitzgerald and Michael 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 on certain topics. Pre-requisites: Criminal Law


  • Winter 2017, Patrick Fitzgerald and Michael Scudder

The European Convention on Human Rights

Autumn 2016, Lech Garlicki

Lech Garlicki is a Polish jurist and former judge on the Polish Constitutional Court and the European Court of Human Rights. This course offers an introduction to the international human rights law as developed in Europe under the 1950 European Convention on Human Rights and under the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights. The European Convention represents the most developed mechanism of protection of human rights on a regional level and information on its practical operation may be relevant also for other regional and national systems. Prerequisites: Graduate or professional students: at least one Human Rights, Law, or European History course.

European Legal History

Winter 2018, Richard 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, but a final examination will also be offered as an option.


  • Winter 2017, Richard Helmholz

Foreign Relations Law

Spring 2018, Daniel Abebe

This course examines the constitutional and statutory doctrines 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. The course will also focus on the political question and other doctrines regulating judicial review in foreign relations cases. Where relevant, current events will be explored, such as ongoing controversies regarding individual rights during wartime, the post-September 11 war on terrorism, targeted killings, and drone strikes, among other topics. Grades will be based on a final examination.

Global Inequality

Winter 2017, Martha 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, which may qualify for substantial writing credit. Non-law students need instructor consent to enroll.

Greenberg Seminar: Classics in Law and Development

Spring 2018, Thomas Ginsburg and James Robinson

This Greenberg will focus on some of the early literature on the relationship of law and economic development. Readings will be drawn from early anthropology and social sciences, starting in the 19th and early 20th centuries, to try to answer an enduring question: why are some countries poor and other countries rich?


  • Autumn 2017, Thomas Ginsburg and James Robinson
  • Winter 2018, Thomas Ginsburg and James Robinson

Greenberg Seminar: What is Racism?

Spring 2018, Daniel Abebe and Aziz Huq

This seminar explores the historical, sociological, and cultural roots of racism and racial ideologies. It examines the relationship of racism and racial ideologies with different forms of political governance, including segregation and apartheid, and explores the legal mechanisms that have both permitted and prohibited racism in various settings. The seminar will mainly focus on the meaning of racism most prevalent in the United States but will also, where appropriate, consider comparative examples.


  • Autumn 2017, Daniel Abebe and Aziz Huq
  • Winter 2018, Daniel Abebe and Aziz Huq

Human Rights: Alien and Citizen

Winter 2018, Susan Gzesh

The basic notion of international human rights is that rights are inherent in the identity of human beings, regardless of their citizenship, nationality, or immigration status. This course will address how international human rights doctrines, conventions, and mechanisms can be used to understand the situation of the "alien" (or foreigner) who has left his or her country of origin to work, seek safe haven, or simply reside in another country. How native or resident populations and governments respond to new arrivals has varied tremendously in the past and present. In some situations, humanitarian impulses or political interests have dictated a warm welcome and full acceptance into the national community. In other cases, alien populations have become targets of suspicion and repression. In some extreme cases, states have "denationalized" resident populations who previously enjoyed national citizenship. We will use an interdisciplinary approach to address such questions as (1) Why do human beings migrate? What might human rights as a measuring instrument tell us about conditions that promote refugee flows and other forms of forced migration? (2) What is the meaning of citizenship? How is it acquired or lost? What rights may societies and nation-states grant only to citizens, but withhold from others? (3) Are human rights truly universal? Are rights necessarily dependent on citizenship? (4) How do differences in rights between citizens and aliens become more important during national security crises? (5) What are the principal categories used by nation states to classify foreign visitors and residents? How do these categorizations affect the rights of foreigners? (6) How do international human rights doctrines limit actions by states with respect to certain categories of foreigners such as refugees, asylum applicants, and migratory workers? (7) Given the non-voting status of foreign populations in almost all countries, how are the rights of aliens represented in societies of settlement? How do home country governments regard their expatriate communities? The student's grade is based on attendance, participation, and a major paper.


  • Autumn 2016, Susan Gzesh

Human Rights: Contemporary Issues

Autumn 2017, 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.


  • Winter 2017, Susan Gzesh

Immigration Policy 

Spring 2017, Adam S. Chilton

This seminar will explore immigration policy in the United States and other countries around the world. The seminar will specifically focus on examining which policies are effective and potential reforms to existing policies that are failing. The seminar will explore topics including the financial consequences of immigration, the impacts of efforts to police immigration, the consequences of guest worker programs, and the determinants of public opinion on immigration policy. Specific attention will be given to studying immigration policy in a comparative context.

International Arbitration

Autumn 2017, Javier Rubinstein

This seminar provides a basic foundation in the law and mechanics of international commercial arbitration and international investment 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, CAS, 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. 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 paper. This Seminar will satisfy part of the lesser of the school's two writing requirements, if substantial research and written work is completed.

International Business Transactions

Autumn 2016, 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 several short papers 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 papers addressing specific issues. There will not be a final examination.

International Commercial Arbitration 

Winter 2017, Michael Morkin

The objective of this seminar is to familiarize the student with what has emerged as the primary means of resolving cross-border and multi-jurisdictional commercial disputes in today's global economy. Through this seminar, the student will explore the similarities and differences between international arbitration and the procedures used in common law (i.e. the U.S. and U.K.) and civil law (i.e. most of Europe, Asia and Latin America) systems. The student will develop an appreciation for the cross-cultural nature of international transactions and disputes and attain a certain facility with key international arbitration rules, multi-lateral treaties, and arbitration provisions. Through review of relevant court decisions, the student will develop an appreciation for the interplay between the arbitral authority and the national courts. Students will learn when and why to enter into arbitration agreements as well as how to initiate proceedings and select arbitrators, present evidence and contest and enforce awards. This seminar will be interactive with some simulation work, including negotiating, drafting, and oral advocacy in addition to class discussion. Booth students do not require instructor consent in order to submit a registration request. The student's grade will be based upon in-class participation and a take-home final exam. This course is highly recommended for students interested in negotiating international transactions and resolving the disputes arising thereunder.

International Human Rights

Winter 2018, Thomas Ginsburg

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.

International Human Rights Clinic

Spring 2018, Claudia Maria 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. Returning students may enroll for one credit each quarter.


  • Autumn 2016, Claudia Maria Flores and Brian Samuel Citro
  • Winter 2017, Claudia Maria Flores and Brian Samuel Citro
  • Spring 2017, Claudia Maria Flores and Brian Samuel Citro
  • Autumn 2017, Claudia Maria Flores
  • Winter 2018, Claudia Maria Flores and Nino Guruli

International Human Rights Law and Advocacy

Autumn 2016, Claudia Flores and Brian Citro

This seminar considers major issues in international human rights law and advocacy. It is designed to introduce students to the promotion and protection of human rights through context-driven advocacy mechanisms and strategies. The seminar will provide an introduction to the history of human rights principles and movements, the development of international human rights norms, and an overview of the international, regional and national institutions that develop, interpret and enforce these norms. The remainder of the seminar will evaluate human rights advocacy tools and strategies applied in various political, social and economic contexts. Through case studies and simulated human rights research and advocacy projects, students will develop the skills to conduct international human rights work, including: performing situational assessments; designing and executing field-work and fact-gathering; report writing; interviewing witnesses and victims of abuses; assessing various litigation and non-litigation strategies; conducting effective legal research using diverse sources; developing cross-cultural and context-driven analysis and advocacy skills; and learning to effectively and realistically evaluate achievements and challenges. Class discussions and readings will expose students to critical perspectives on the international human rights regime, as well as current research methodologies and technologies used to monitor and promote human rights. Grading will be based on class participation, simulations and a series of short assignments.

International Investment Law 

Spring 2017, Thomas Ginsburg and Ruoying Chen

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. There are no prerequisites. This class will have two additional meetings which will be determined after the class begins.

International Law of Sovereign Debt Crises

Spring 2017, 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 2018, Adam 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.

Introduction to Japanese Law

Spring 2017, J. Mark Ramseyer

This course is designed to introduce the non-specialist law student to major features of the Japanese legal system. The course attempts to integrate the structures, processes, and personnel of the Japanese legal system with other features of Japanese society and history. Topics covered include (but are not limited to): Litigation and extra-judicial settlement, the legal services industry, economic regulation, criminal procedure, and constitutional litigation.

Islamic Law and Finance

Winter 2017, Cynthia Shawamreh

This seminar will provide students with an overview of the modern Islamic finance industry. We will review the basic sources of Islamic law and jurisprudence and consider the prohibitions on unjustified increase (riba) and excessive risk (gharar). We will explore the classical rules of Islamic contract and commercial law and their application in the modern context. The growth of the modern Islamic finance industry from the 1970's to the present will be examined. The main Islamic financial products will be reviewed. We will consider legal questions in structuring transaction documentation and enforcement. We will explore the ethical underpinnings of Islamic finance and the social justice questions highlighted by the intersection of religion and finance. Regulatory issues will be discussed. We will also consider the political environment in which Islamic finance currently operates. The course is intended to familiarize students with the essential legal framework of the rapidly emerging market for highly technical and sophisticated Islamic financial products.

Islamic Law: Foundations and Current Issues

Autumn 2016, 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. 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. Special attention will be paid to comparative law aspects of Western legal theory and Islamic legal theory in light of the historical introduction of Western legal systems to the Muslim world through Colonial and post-Colonial experiences. Current political debates around Shari law and the concept of a Caliphate will be assessed against Islamic legal theory and constitutional law, specifically in light of the Arab Spring revolutions and the phenomenon of violent extremism. As such, in addition to a theoretical understanding of Islamic Law in the modern context, students will also develop an understanding of the practical impact of legal theory on political, social, and economic realities in the Muslim world and beyond. This is a one-quarter 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 prior to attending the University of Michigan Law School where he also took advanced courses in Islamic Law. After graduating from law school, Professor Bajwa trained as a corporate transactional lawyer at a major U.S. law firm and then moved to the Middle East and practiced law in that region for 8 years. During his time working in the Middle East, Professor Bajwa continued his studies in Islamic Law and served as an advisor to major Islamic scholars and political leaders throughout the Muslim world involved in legal reform and intellectual projects. Professor Bajwa currently heads the Middle East regional practice for a major U.S. law firm and travels regularly to the region. Grading will be based on student participation and a collaborative student presentation on a sub-topic of the student's choice.

Law, Policy & International Development

Autumn 2016, Bernadette Atuahene

This course explores various law-based strategies for achieving economic and political development in poor countries. One influential school of thought claims that capitalism will not flourish in developing nations until there is a long-term, national commitment to reform property laws. Other scholars and development specialists insist that instituting the rule of law is the linchpin to attaining international development. Yet others insist that all law reform efforts are pointless unless access-to-justice issues are first addressed. This course is designed to investigate these claims and allow each student to come to her or his own conclusions about how law is most effectively used as a strategy for promoting political and economic development.

Law, Social Work, and the Legal Regulation of the Social Work Profession

Winter 2018, Israel Doron

In recent years, there has been a general shift towards integration and growing cooperation between lawyers and social workers, both professionally and ideologically. However, there are still tensions and gaps between the ways legal and social work professionals view their inter-relationships. This course will examine the different intersections between law and social work, and the ways the law attempts to regulate the social work profession. The analysis will use both American and Israeli legal examples, and will try to compare the different approaches to the legal regulation of social work in both countries.

Legal Elements of Accounting

Winter 2018, John 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.


  • Winter 2017, John Sylla

Legal Issues in International Transactions

Winter 2017, Ruoying Chen

This seminar will discuss legal issues with respect to international finance: activities involving cross-border payment and investment. Financial markets all over the world have been undergoing a higher degree of global integration in terms of service/product, capital and people. It is also an area where inter-government cooperation and coordination are mostly active, pushing for the establishment of numerous international organization and for the convergence of legal rules in many aspects. Meanwhile, regulation of financial transactions and market players and its enforcement remain largely domestic and fierce competition between sovereign states is increasing dramatically. Such a strong contrast presents exiting and complex challenges that worth intellectual reflection and discussions among lawyers. By applying useful theoretical framework and citing recent empirical studies, we will analyze these challenges and assess a few emerging legal resolutions, such as the following ones: how to control moral hazards on both creditors and debts in preventing and dealing with banking failures, how to protect individual investors among high-powered financial firms with opportunities of regulatory arbitrage around the world, and how to identify and control risks associated with debt financing raised by sovereign investors or quasi-government entities, especially those from the emerging market. Theoretical themes such as institutional competition and private enforcement will also be addressed in the light of recent development in international finance. The focus of this seminar will not be on domestic law of banking and financial institution in the US. But examples will be drawn from the US as well as Europe, Japan and a number of emerging market including China. Due to time constraints, we will not elaborate on issues relating to foreign exchange, the payment system and the clearance system for international finance. No background on finance or economics is required. Some basic understanding of banking, lending and securities regulation would be helpful for participation in class discussions. Students will be graded on a number of short research papers and class participation. Students wishing to take the seminar for three credits must submit an additional 10-12 page research paper.

Negotiating International Agreements: The Case of Climate Change

Winter 2017, Sue Biniaz

This seminar is a practical introduction to the negotiation of international environmental agreements, with a focus on climate change. Students will learn about the cross-cutting features of international environmental agreements and, through the climate change lens, explore the process of negotiating such agreements, the development of national positions, the advocacy of positions internationally, and the many ways in which differences among negotiating countries are resolved. The seminar will also examine the history and substance of the climate change regime, including, inter alia, the 1992 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, the 2009 Copenhagen Accord, and the Paris Agreement, concluded in December 2015. Grades will be based on class participation and a series of short reaction papers. With permission of the instructor, students may receive three credits for the seminar by writing an additional 10-12 page research paper.

Private Equity in Asia

Autumn 2016, Tom Manning

Private equity is expanding rapidly into new regions around the world. Asia, where profound economic change is taking place in countries such as China, India, Indonesia, and Viet Nam, offers attractive opportunities for Western firms seeking to apply their proven investment models. Leading global firms like Carlyle, KKR, and Bain Capital are bullish on Asia and expect their Asian operations to excel in both rate of growth and rate of return and eventually rival their U.S. and European operations. Such expansion is not without risk, however, and success in Asia requires private equity firms to develop new skills such as partnering with state-owned enterprises, accepting minority investment stakes, dealing with ambiguous legal frameworks, fending off fraud and corruption, and correcting weak corporate governance. Additionally, competition from indigenous firms is threatening to change the landscape - domestic funds are sprouting up in large numbers and increasingly attracting many of the best deals. This seminar will address current developments in private equity across major countries in Asia. We will examine the rise of the industry in the region, the role of private equity in economic development, and the nature of recent Asian private equity deals. Using case examples, we will evaluate deal opportunities and simulate investment decisions in eight different countries. Grading will be determined by class participation during the discussion of cases and readings and by performance across three short papers. The first paper will examine private equity in the macro-context of economic transformation; the second will focus on the evaluation of a recent deal; and the third will address the terms in a prospective deal negotiation.

Public International Law

Autumn 2017, James Gathii

This course takes up international law as a substantive body of rules, an array of processes by which law is created, interpreted, and enforced, as well as a discipline in that comprises a community of lawyers and academic jurists with a common vocabulary, a shared sense of history and a shared range of professional activities, but often with divergent views about its purposes, missions and accomplishments. This course is designed to introduce you to both the substance and process aspects of international law and how it is applied, interpreted and contested by it various participants. After focusing on two problems that demonstrate how international law has evolved and developed, the course then proceeds to focus on the traditional sources of international law and the contemporary pressures that have been placed on them. Its participants will then be considered particularly in light of the decision-making mechanisms by which international law is developed and carried out, the institutions that serve as deciders, and the legal regimes that take shape as a result. Part of the course will also engage the question of international law in the domestic system. The last part of the course will address problems related to global interdependence and integration, including but not limited to international legal challenges relating of managing the global economy (with a particular focus on dispute settlement in the World Trade Organization) as well as on efforts to regulate the use of force. Final grade will be based on: a major paper.

Public International Law: Human Rights

Autumn 2016, Thomas Ginsburg

This course is an introduction to public international law, which is the body of law that nation states have jointly created for the purpose of governing their relations. The course focuses on the sources of international law, international institutions such as the United Nations, and international adjudication. Most examples are drawn from the field of human rights so that the course can serve as an introduction to that topic as well. Grades will be based on class participation and an examination. A paper option is allowed for students who wish to write an SRP.

Right to Health International Facets and Local Application: Selected Aspects

Autumn 2016, Anand Grover

The course of 4 modules will examine the Right to Health internationally and its domestic application. The first module will deal with international treaties, the general principles and the jurisprudence, sources of human rights law, evolution of human rights treaties, differences in common and civil law countries, differences within human rights treaties and comparing them with and other treaties, including the TRIPS Agreement and Free Trade Agreements and their consequent impact. It will also deal with obligations of States internationally, nationally domestication, interpretation, sovereignty, enforcement. The second module will dealt with the principles of the Right to Health under the ICESR and its various facets as elaborated in General Comment 14 including principles of non discrimination, informed consent, vulnerable groups and participation of those affected, the application of the Right to Health in domestic jurisdictions as also the evaluation and critique of the Right to health. The third module will deal with practical application of the principles elaborated in the earlier modules as applied in the case of the HIV epidemic, the empowering and the participation of the persons directly and indirectly affected by the HIV epidemic, the concept vulnerable groups, the history of criminalisation of vulnerable groups, including sex workers, drug users and LGBTI communities and the methods adopted to deal with that. The fourth module will deal with the TRIPS Agreement and Access to Medicines, the principle of flexibility, patents on medicines, their ever greening and tools adopted by States to deal with that. It will also deal with the substantive and procedural aspects of the grant of a patent and oppositions to it; making affordable medicines through competition and the role of the generic industry in that as also future challenges to that. The fifth module will deal with the Free Trade Agreements, Trade investment Agreements the push towards TRIPS plus provisions, the reduction of policy space for the States and consequent the impact they have on access to medicines and the Right to Health. In particular the module will touch on the Investor State Dispute settlement fora as also on the human rights accountability of the Trans National Corporations and the challenges ahead to get that done.

Transnational Litigation and Arbitration

Spring 2018, Diego Zambrano

This seminar will examine some of the practicalities of litigating cases with transnational elements in U.S. courts, and their implications for fairness, access to justice, and international comity. Litigation involving foreign parties, foreign laws, or a foreign situs is now part of the day-to-day work of the federal judiciary, large law firms, and international organizations. We will explore the interaction between federal courts and foreign sovereigns, the background influence of different procedural rules, as well as the growth of commercial arbitration in this context. One important example that we will cover is the series of cases in the Second Circuit involving Argentina. For more than ten years, Judge Griesa of the Southern District of New York became a quasi-ruler of a foreign nation. We will evaluate the implications of this case, and others like it, for cross-border commerce and U.S. law. Our discussions will cross between theory and practice, but we will focus on the actual concerns lawyers deal with in these cases. To that end, we will have guest speakers from large law firms. In order to reflect the materials used by academics and practitioners in "real life," I am assigning full law review articles and unedited cases. We will meet eight times over the course of the quarter. I am looking forward to getting to know each of you better over the course of the semester. I hope our conversations together are casual and collaborative. Students will be evaluated based on class participation and a series of reaction papers (two credits).

The US-China Treaty Project

Spring 2017, Tom Manning

The United States and China appear to be heading toward an era of confrontation rather than cooperation. China is growing stronger and more influential in every domain worldwide and likely to increasingly threaten the status quo. The U.S., meanwhile, finds itself in the grips of a populist movement led by President Trump, who is openly critical of China. The relationship, which was already mistrustful, has grown even more fragile and anxious in recent weeks with talk of tariffs, Taiwan, and the South China Sea. The accusations and threats suggest that we are likely to witness greater turbulence than what we have experienced in the past forty years. The reality is that both nations need each other; both have significant economic, political, and security interests at stake. If the two nations learn how to collaborate, they could conceivably solve the world's greatest problems. Alternatively, if they elect to contest each other at every turn, the result will be global instability and crisis. Clearly, a new framework for cooperation and collaboration is needed - quite possibly "a new deal," in the language of President Trump. What will constitute such a deal? How will it work? How likely is a deal, and, if one does occur, will it survive the volatility of an America First foreign policy? This seminar will advocate that the two nations develop a new, fifty-year treaty in the form of a strategic cooperation agreement. We will define the rationale and the case for action, draft major components of the proposed treaty, outline the pathway required for adoption, and transmit our end-product to foreign policy authorities in Washington and Beijing. Grading will be determined by class participation and by performance across three short papers. The first paper will examine best practices in bilateral treaty development; the second will focus on critical factors in the future United States - China relationship; and, the third will require drafting of key components for the proposed treaty.

U.S. Taxation of International Transactions

Winter 2018, 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 examination.


  • Winter 2017, Julie Roin

Women's Human Rights in the World

Spring 2018, Claudia Maria Flores

This seminar examines women's human rights from a global comparative perspective. We will explore the concept of substantive equality under international law through a focused inquiry into three areas of women's human rights - violence, reproduction and political participation. We will discuss the evolution of these rights, variations in state interpretation and implementation, and the social, economic, political and cultural factors that impact their realization. Each student is required to write a series of reaction papers throughout the quarter. Grades will be based on these papers as well as class participation. To earn 3 credits, students will be required to write an additional 10-15 page reaction paper.


  • Winter 2017, Claudia Maria Flores

World Bank Practicum

Spring 2018, 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.


  • Autumn 2016, Thomas Ginsburg
  • Winter 2017, Thomas Ginsburg
  • Spring 2017, Thomas Ginsburg
  • Autumn 2017, Thomas Ginsburg
  • Winter 2018, Thomas Ginsburg

Young Center Immigrant Child Advocacy Clinic

Spring 2018, Kelly Albinak, Marcy Philips, Maria Woltjen, Jajah Xiaorong Wu

The Young Center for Immigrant Children's Rights gives students the unique opportunity to work one-on-one with unaccompanied immigrant children who come to the United States without a parent or legal guardian to flee violence, abuse, and/or poverty. Students in the clinic draw upon international human rights law, immigration law, and children's rights, and child welfare law to support their advocacy. Unaccompanied immigrant children come to the U.S. from all corners of the world, on their own. They are apprehended, typically at the U.S./Mexico border, then detained and placed in deportation proceedings. Students serve the most vulnerable of these children, advocating for the best interests of each child on issues relating to care, custody, release, legal relief, and safe repatriation. Because there is no federal law that affords special protections to immigrant children, students enlist state child welfare laws and international human rights instruments to support their advocacy. The Clinic also offers opportunities in legislative and policy advocacy aimed at reforming the immigration system to better protect the rights of children. Each student is trained to serve as federally-appointed Child Advocate (similar to a guardian ad litem role) for unaccompanied immigrant children detained in the Chicagoland area. Students meet weekly with the child, and advocate on behalf of the child with federal officials, including ICE officials, immigration judges, and asylum officers. The Clinic admits both 2Ls and 3Ls. We strongly encourage enrollment in the Fall Quarter, and recommend taking this course for at least two quarters. We do not require students to speak a language other than English, but we encourage students who speak Spanish, French, Mandarin, Romanian, or American Sign Language to apply. Students who enroll in the clinic must: 1. Participate in a 2-day training in October 2017; and 2. Participate in weekly class meetings throughout the course. Please contact the clinicians below if you have any questions, or would like to request an accommodation: Jajah Wu at, Kelly Kribs at, Marcy Phillips at, or Maria Woltjen at For more information, visit:


  • Autumn 2016, Kelly Albinak, Marcy Philips, Maria Woltjen, Jajah Xiaorong Wu
  • Winter 2017, Kelly Albinak, Marcy Philips, Maria Woltjen, Jajah Xiaorong Wu
  • Spring 2017, Kelly Albinak, Marcy Philips, Maria Woltjen, Jajah Xiaorong Wu
  • Autumn 2017, Kelly Albinak, Marcy Philips, Maria Woltjen, Jajah Xiaorong Wu
  • Winter 2018, Kelly Albinak, Marcy Philips, Maria Woltjen, Jajah Xiaorong Wu