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 2017-18 and 2018-19 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.

Art Law

Autumn 2018, 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.

Previously:

  • Autumn 2017, William M. Landes and Anthony Hirschel

Big Problems

Spring 2019, David Weisbach, Anup Malani, Robert Topel, and 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. Class participation may be considered in final grading. Final grade will be based on a major paper (20-25 pages).

Previously:

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

Child Exploitation, Human Trafficking & the Supply Chain

Winter 2019, Virginia M. 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 of 20-25 pages. Class participation may also be considered in final grading.

Previously:

  • Winter 2018, Virginia M. Kendall

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

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%).

Corporate Governance in Emerging Markets

Winter 2019, 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 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). Class participation may also be considered in final grading.

Previously:

  • Spring 2018, Dhammika Dharmapala

Cross-Border Transactions: Lending

Winter 2019, 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 secured transactions 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 UNCITRAL Expert Group in developing various secured transactions law reform texts, including the UNCITRAL Model Law on Secured Transactions. Because cross-border lending touches upon many areas of law, the seminar provides a useful introduction to international commercial transactions in general.

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

Autumn 2018, 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.

Previously:

  • Autumn 2017, Tarek Sultani

Current Issues in Criminal and National Security Law

Winter 2019, 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 on certain -requisites: Criminal Law

Previously:

  • Winter 2018, Patrick Fitzgerald and Michael Y. Scudder

The Effectiveness of International Law

Spring 2019, 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.A series of reaction papers will be required. Class participation may also be considered in final grading.

Enforcement Risk in Cross-Border Transactions

Spring 2019, Asheesh Goel

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. A major paper of 20-25 pages is required for this class. Class participation may also be considered in final grading.

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: 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?

Previously:

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

Greenberg Seminar: Stories of Migration

Spring 2019, Emily Buss and Claudia M. Flores

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).

Previously:

  • Autumn 2018, Emily Buss and Claudia M. Flores
  • Winter 2019, Emily Buss and Claudia M. Flores

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.

Previously:

  • 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.

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

International Arbitration

Autumn 2018, 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, 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 paper (20-25 pages). 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

International Business Transactions

Spring 2019, 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 Human Rights

Spring 2019, 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.

Previously:

  • Winter 2018, Thomas Ginsburg

International Human Rights Clinic

Spring 2019, 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. Returning students may enroll for one credit each quarter.International Human Rights Law and Public International Law are recommended but not required co requisites.

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

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 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 2019, 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 negotiation.

Previously:

  • Spring 2018, Adam Chilton

Islamic Law: Foundations and Contemporary Issues

Autumn 2018, 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'ah 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 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 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 the law firm of Kirkland & Ellis 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 Kirkland & Ellis 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. Non-law students who seek to enroll in this class should email Professor Bajwa at: Kamran.bajwa@kirkland.com.

Previously:

  • Autumn 2017, Kamran Bajwa

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 2019, 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 exam. 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

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 2018, Mary Ellen O'Connell

International law is the system of rules, principles and procedures that regulate activity at the inter-state level. The system plays a critical role in contemporary life, effecting issues of war and peace, the global economy, human rights, and the natural environment. International law is a complete system of law, distinctive from national legal systems.  The main objective of the course is to provide a comprehensive overview of the system by introducing how international law is made, applied, and enforced. The course will also introduce the four major subfields. Additional objectives include:•    Learning about the nature and purpose of international law by comparing international law to other legal systems and by reviewing various theories of law;•    Understanding the relationship between the general principles and processes that characterize the system as a whole and the subfields of war/peace, economy, human rights, and environment;•    Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of the systems as well as creatively considering how to enhance the effectiveness of the international legal system; and  •    Preparing for the practice of international law.

Previously:

  • Autumn 2017, James Gathii

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.

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).

U.S. Taxation of International Transactions

Winter 2019, 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.

Previously:

  • Winter 2018, Julie Roin

Women's Human Rights in the World

Winter 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 of 20-25 pages at the end. Class participation may also be considered in final grading.

Previously:

  • Spring 2018, 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