International and Comparative Law Courses
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 2019-20 and 2020-21 school years. Not all of these courses are offered every year, but this list will give you a representative sample of the variety of courses we might offer over any two-year period. Other new courses will likely be offered during your time at the Law School.
PLEASE NOTE: This page does not include courses for the current academic year. To browse current course offerings, visit my.UChicago.
American Indian Law
This course will consider two distinct bodies of law regarding the 565 federally recognized Indian tribes in the United States. First, we will study the law governing the relation between non-tribal law and tribal law. This is the law of treaties, federal jurisdiction, and sovereignty. The Supreme Court has several cases on tribal issues each year, and with the rise of gaming and natural resources as major sources of wealth, the stakes in these cases for tribe members and non-members is increasing. The materials for the course will be mostly Supreme Court cases, as well as some historical materials necessary to understand the context of the judicial consideration of tribal jurisdiction. The flavor for this part of the course will be international law, although with a decidedly American approach. Second, we will study the law within several prominent tribal areas. The Hopi, for instance, have a court system that is roughly parallel to the American one, but with key differences for handling crimes, contracts, torts, and so on. The flavor for this part of the course will be comparative law, since we will compare how different legal rules develop in distinct but related legal systems. This course is mandatory for students interested in participating in the Hopi Law Practicum (serving as clerks to justices of the Hopi Appellate Court on live cases), but it is open to all students with an interest in tribes, federal jurisdiction, sovereignty, or comparative law.
- Autumn 2019, M. Todd Henderson
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.
- Autumn 2019, William M. Landes and Anthony Hirschel
- Autumn 2017, William M. Landes and Anthony Hirschel
- Autumn 2018, William M. Landes and Anthony Hirschel
The Big Problems course will use multidisciplinary approaches to try to understand and tackle the most important problems facing our country or the world. The first 8 weeks will be taught by the instructors and outside experts, focusing on problems such as the Zika virus, Syrian migration to Europe, cybersecurity, nuclear waste storage, opioid addiction, sex trafficking, and policing and race relations. Students will work in teams of 2 business and 2 law students to develop feasible policy or private sector solutions to a problem of their choosing and make a presentation in the last 2 weeks. Presentations will be made to instructors, outside experts and fellow students. Final grade will be based on the presentations and a companion paper (20-25 pages). Participation may be considered in final grading.
- Spring 2020, David Weisbach and Anup Malani
- Spring 2019, David Weisbach, Anup Malani, Robert Topel, and Kevin Murphy
- Spring 2018, David Weisbach, Anup Malani, Robert Topel, and Kevin Murphy
Buddhism and Comparative Constitutional Law
This two-credit seminar will explore the relationship between Buddhism and constitutional law in contemporary Asia. It will begin with a review of precolonial Asia and an exploration of the traditions of monastic law. It will then examine current Buddhist practices and constitutionalism in a variety of Asian countries, including those of the Theravada tradition (Thailand, Myanmar and Sri Lanka) and those in the Mahayana (Northeast Asia) as well the Himalayas. The emphasis is on how legal and religious institutions have mutually informed and transformed each other throughout different periods in history. This comparative study is especially significant as Buddhist actors are playing increasingly important roles in the design, interpretation, and reformation of Asian constitutional law. In addition, while existing literature explores legal practices in secular, Islamic, and Christian contexts, few studies provide such comparative analysis in a Buddhist context.
The format of the seminar will include discussions led by the professors as well as several guest presentations of papers by other participants in a joint research project, with backgrounds in history, politics, law, religion, and anthropology. Students will prepare a series of reaction papers to these presentations, due a week before the respective session. Grading will be on the basis of these papers and class participation. The course is open to interested students from throughout the university. This class will begin the week of January 4, 2021.
- Winter 2021, Thomas Ginsburg and Benjamin Jacob Schonthal
Comparative and European Corporate Law
The globalization of commerce underscores the importance of European corporate law, especially for multinational enterprises. This course covers the fundamentals of European corporate law in an international and comparative perspective. It aims at providing an introduction to the most important corporate law issues and problems encountered by firms that do business in the European Union (EU). At the same time, the course seeks to introduce students to the complex interplay between EU rules and those of the 28 Member States. Frequent comparisons will be drawn to the relationship between state and federal law in the United States. The course adopts a life-cycle approach to corporations, i.e. it tracks the European rules on company formation, going public and restructuring/insolvency in a comparative perspective.
The course is divided into five parts. The first part introduces the institutional framework of EU business law. This part will focus on the law-making process in the EU, the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality and on the four freedoms that are fundamental to the common market. The second part covers key corporate law issues such as company formation and corporate governance, creditor protection and financial reporting, structural changes (including cross-border mobility and regulatory competition between the Member States), and European Corporate Entities (especially the Societas Europaea). The third part on capital markets covers control transactions and golden shares, the governance of primary and secondary financial markets and (briefly) banking. The fourth part on bankruptcy deals with key elements of the European bankruptcy framework, namely, the European Insolvency Regulation and the European Restructuring Directive. An important theme here will be forum shopping and regulatory competition. Finally, the fifth part addresses two key challenges for the further development of the European law governing business organizations: the departure of the United Kingdom from the EU ('Brexit') and technological advances, in particular associated with 'Artificial Intelligence'.
The primary focus of the course will be on the existing legal framework. However, policy issues will also be discussed were appropriate (proportion of law to policy approximately two to one). The European legal framework will be compared frequently to other jurisdictions. Within Europe, the focus will be on the UK, France, and Germany. Comparisons will also be drawn to the legal position and the policy debates in the US. Students planning to register for the course should have a basic prior knowledge of corporate law. This is a short class meeting from Friday, October 25 through Friday, December 6. Class will not meet on Friday, November 8. A make-up class is scheduled for Thursday, November 14 from 6:10pm-7:55pm.
- Autumn 2019, Horst Eidenmueller
- Autumn 2017, Horst Eidenmueller
Comparative Legal Institutions
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.
- Spring 2021, Thomas Ginsburg
- Spring 2019, Thomas Ginsburg
- Spring 2018, Thomas Ginsburg
Corporate Governance in Emerging Markets
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.
- Winter 2020, Dhammika Dharmapala
- Winter 2019, Dhammika Dharmapala
- Spring 2018, Dhammika Dharmapala
Cross-Border Transactions: Law, Strategy & Negotiations
This seminar is a survey of cross-border transactions and how successfully negotiating a transaction may vary across boarders. We will first examine negotiation strategies and key terms in commercial contracts. Next we will review how these transactions vary globally. Lastly, the course will also discuss the increasingly important issue of bribery, focusing primarily on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the UK Bribery Act. We will then put all this together to discuss multi-jurisdictional transactions and how to best negotiate cross-border legal, procedural and cultural differences. Final grade will be based on: Substantial out of classroom work, a short paper, an in-class negotiation and class participation.
- Autumn 2020, Tarek Sultani
- Autumn 2019, Tarek Sultani
- Autumn 2017, Tarek Sultani
Cross-Border Transactions: Lending
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.
- Winter 2020, Richard M. Kohn
- Winter 2019, Richard M. Kohn
Current Issues in Criminal and National Security Law
This seminar covers a series of current issues in criminal and national security law, often comparing and contrasting the two approaches, with a focus on war power and uses of military force, drone strikes, challenges arising from acts of terrorism and national security prosecutions (including a focus on substantive terrorism offenses, espionage offenses as well as the leaking of classified information), a discussion of criminal investigative tools and intelligence activities, 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), and in other select topics, including the Classified Information Procedures Act, 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 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. Participation may be considered in final grading. Guest speakers may be invited to help facilitate discussion on certain topics. Criminal law is prerequisite.
- Winter 2021, Michael Y. Scudder and Patrick J. Fitzgerald
- Winter 2020, Michael Y. Scudder and Patrick J. Fitzgerald
- Winter 2019, Patrick J. Fitzgerald
The Effectiveness of International Law
This class will explore when and why international law changes state behavior. While traditional scholarship on international law focused on normative and doctrinal questions-like why countries are obligated to comply with agreements and the legal requirements contained within those agreements-recent interdisciplinary scholarship on international law has focused on descriptive and empirical questions-like why countries sign agreements and how those agreements change behavior. We will explore how these insights can explain the effectiveness of international law.
This class requires a series of reaction papers. Students enrolled in the course for three credits will write a 20 to 25 page research paper on a topic related to international law. The paper will be due before the start of the Spring quarter. Participation may be considered in final grading.
- Spring 2020, Adam Chilton
- Spring 2019, Adam Chilton
Enforcement Risk in Cross-Border Transactions
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.
- Spring 2020, Asheesh Goel, Kim Nemirow, and Nicholas Niles
- Spring 2019, Asheesh Goel
Equality as a Human Right
This seminar will examine equality within the context of human rights. The general principles of equality and non-discrimination are fundamental elements of international human rights law and most of the world's constitutions. However, legal definitions of equality and non-discrimination differ globally as do perspectives on how human rights principles (and the concept of rights more generally) promotes and impacts equality. We will explore legal definitions of inequality based on protected classes, attributes and identity such as race, gender, ethnicity, nationality and sexual orientation. We will also discuss socio-economic inequality and its intersection with the human rights system. Students may take the course for two or three credits. All students will do a short presentation. Students taking the course for two credits will write two 4-5 page reaction papers. Students taking the course for three credits will write a reaction paper and a longer final paper. Grades will be based on the presentation, participation and papers submitted.
- Winter 2021, Claudia Maria Flores
European Legal History
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.
- Winter 2021, Richard H. Helmholz
- Autumn 2018, Richard H. Helmholz
- Winter 2018, Richard H. Helmholz
Global Human Rights Clinic
The Global Human Rights Clinic works for the promotion of social and economic justice around the world and in the United States. The Clinic uses international human rights laws and norms, transnational and comparative 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. 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, unless they have faculty permission prior to registration. Participation may be considered in final grading. Prerequisites: International Human Rights Law (recommended but not required); Public International Law (recommended but not required) *This clinic will have limited in person meetings.
- Spring 2021, Claudia Maria Flores and Mariana Olaizola Rosenblat
- Winter 2021, Claudia Maria Flores and Mariana Olaizola Rosenblat
- Autumn 2020, Claudia Maria Flores and Mariana Olaizola Rosenblat
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.
- Winter 2021, Martha C. Nussbaum and David Weisbach
- Winter 2019, Martha C. Nussbaum and David Weisbach
Greenberg Seminar: Global Poverty
This seminar will focus on how legal regimes can be improved to reduce global poverty by promoting economic and social development. For each session, we will watch a documentary film that explores a different issue related to poverty and development around the world. These issues will include topics like migration, housing, health, labor markets, and education. We will focus on discussing how existing laws contributed to the emergence of current problems and how laws can be reformed to promote development. We will also discuss the extent to which the films we watch are successful at identifying and conveying development challenges and opportunities.
- Spring 2020, Adam S. Chilton and Anup Malani
- Winter 2020, Adam S. Chilton and Anup Malani
- Autumn 2019, Adam S. Chilton and Anup Malani
Greenberg Seminar: Law and Politics in the Irish Literary Renaissance
* All meetings will take place in Winter and Spring quarters of 2021.*
Just over a century ago, Ireland underwent a tumultuous period of rebellion and civil war, generating a body of literature that captured the law and politics of a new nation. In this Greenberg, we will read the following selection of classic works for their insight into the history of a society attempting to slough off imperial and colonial legacies to define itself anew. Perhaps Ireland's most celebrated author, James Joyce, published two of his greatest works -- Dubliners (1914) and Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916) -- during World War I and the Easter Rising. Ireland's first Nobel laureate, William Butler Yeats, was a leading force in the Irish revival, founding the Abbey Theatre and chronicling the age in poems such as Easter 1916, An Irish Airman Foresees His Death, Sailing to Byzantium, and The Second Coming. One of the first plays to open at the Abbey was Playboy of the Western World, by J.M. Synge, which led to riots in Dublin during its opening run in 1907; we will read it together with another celebrated play that also debuted at the Abbey: Juno and the Paycock by Sean O'Casey. To close the moment, we will read Ireland's leading modernist and third Nobel laureate, Samuel Beckett: specifically, his novel, Molloy, and landmark play, Waiting for Godot. What do these works tell us about how societies capture political moments in art and what makes them lasting parts of literary history? Graded Pass/Fail.
- Spring 2021, Martha C. Nussbaum and William Anthony Birdthistle
- Winter 2021, Martha C. Nussbaum and William Anthony Birdthistle
Greenberg Seminar: Reconciliation in Ireland and South Africa
Despite its apparent peace and prosperity today, Ireland is an island with a long history of division and conflict, from the sectarian Troubles in Northern Ireland to religious cruelties in the Republic of Ireland. This Greenberg looks at a collection of those ordeals, compares them with other paths to reconciliation in South Africa, and then considers where the two Irish nations are today. We will begin by reading two non-fiction accounts: SAY NOTHING by Patrick Radden Keefe about the Troubles in Northern Ireland and THE MAGDALEN LAUNDRIES by James M. Smith about cruelties inflicted upon unwed mothers in the Republic of Ireland. Then we will look at writings by Nelson Mandela (LONG WALK TO FREEDOM), Desmond Tutu (NO FUTURE WITHOUT FORGIVENESS), and Martha Nussbaum (ANGER AND FORGIVENESS) to examine ideas of reconciliation, anger, and forgiveness in other contexts. Next, we'll look at a celebrated fictional account of the Troubles in the north (MILKMAN by Anna Burns) before concluding with an account of ordinary life in the Republic today through NORMAL PEOPLE by Sally Rooney. Have the Irelands reconciled with their past, or does they still need to?
- Spring 2020, Martha C. Nussbaum and William Anthony Birdthistle
- Winter 2020, Martha C. Nussbaum and William Anthony Birdthistle
- Autumn 2019, Martha C. Nussbaum and William Anthony Birdthistle
History of the Common Law
A survey of the development of Anglo-American legal institutions. Among the subjects covered will be the origins and growth of the legal profession, the origin and use of royal writs, the growth of the court system and the nature of trials at common law, law reporting, and the development of the common law in the American colonies and the new Republic.
- Spring 2020, Richard H. Helmholz
Human Trafficking and the Link to Public Corruption
This course provides a comprehensive, practical introduction to the history and present-day reality of human trafficking both domestically and internationally. In the year of the 20th anniversary of the Palermo Protocol, the course will look back on how far individual states have come in their efforts to fulfill their obligations under the Protocol. By reviewing the challenges to criminal prosecution first, the course will explore alternative paths to eradicating this transnational human rights crime that impacts over 40 million individuals annually. Reviewing the array of supply chain laws domestically and internationally first and then exploring industry-wide practices, students will learn to examine solutions from an array of laws that reach beyond merely criminal prosecution. Recognizing that public corruption plays a significant and powerful role in aiding the crime to continue with little societal repercussions, the course will explore ways in which the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the TVPRA have mechanisms to enforce these violations that provide billions of dollars to the traffickers. Taught by federal district court judge, Hon. Virginia M. Kendall. This class requires a final paper of 20-25 pages. Participation may be considered in final grading.
- Winter 2021, Virginia Mary Kendall
- Winter 2020, Virginia Mary Kendall
Immigrants' Rights Clinic
The Immigrants' Rights Clinic provides legal representation to immigrant communities in Chicago, including individual representation of immigrants in removal proceedings, immigration-related complex federal litigation, and policy and community education projects on behalf of community-based organizations. Students will interview clients, develop claims and defenses, draft complaints, engage in motion practice and settlement discussions, appear in federal, state, and administrative courts, brief and argue appeals, and engage in media advocacy. In the policy and community education projects, students may develop and conduct community presentations, draft and advocate for legislation at the state and local levels, and provide support to immigrants' rights organizations. The seminar will meet for two hours per week and will include classes on the fundamentals of immigration law and policy as well as skills-based classes that connect to the students' fieldwork. Both 2L and 3L students are encouraged to apply. Students must enroll for either 2 or 3 credits each quarter and must enroll for all three quarters. Instructor note: while many clinic activities can be conducted remotely, there may be some fieldwork activities, such as client interviews and court hearings, that must be conducted in-person. Students who will not be geographically located in Chicago for some or all of the year should speak with Professor Hallett before bidding. Students with questions may contact Professor Hallett at email@example.com to learn more. Participation may be considered in final grading.
Students will be evaluated on the fieldwork portion of course on the basis of whether they:
- Fulfill professional obligations to clients
- Work diligently and zealously towards accomplishing the clients' goals
- Collaborate with team members and supervisor effectively
- Show willingness to learn new skills and confront new legal problems
- Show improvement in legal writing, oral advocacy, and other lawyering skills
- Willingly incorporate feedback into your work
- Use reflection to learn from clinic experiences
- Display responsibility, collegiality, and professionalism
- Meet internal and external deadlines
- Attend class prepared to discuss readings and regularly participate in classroom discussions
- Practice excellent file management and time-keeping
- Spring 2021, Amber Nicole Hallett
- Winter 2021, Amber Nicole Hallett
- Autumn 2020, Amber Nicole Hallett
- Spring 2020, Amber Nicole Hallett
- Winter 2020, Amber Nicole Hallett
This seminar provides a basic foundation in the law and mechanics of international commercial arbitration and international investment treaty arbitration. It will give students an understanding of the substantive and strategic issues that frequently confront international arbitration practitioners. The Seminar covers, among other things, the crafting of international arbitration agreements, the relative advantages and disadvantages of ad hoc UNCITRAL-Rules arbitration and institutional arbitration (e.g., ICC, LCIA, ICDR, ICSID). The seminar also addresses the rules of procedure that commonly govern international arbitration, including procedural issues that commonly arise in international arbitration, including the availability and extent of discovery, pre-hearing procedure, the presentation of evidence, and the enforcement of international arbitral awards. The Seminar also will cover the fundamentals of international investment arbitration, including the jurisdictional issues that commonly arise in investor-state arbitration and the types of treaty claims that are commonly asserted under international law. While there will be a fair amount of traditional lecture, the format of the Seminar will depend heavily upon active student participation, including a mock arbitration exercise. Students will be graded based upon the quality of their preparation for and participation in the Seminar, as well as the quality of a required 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.
- Winter 2021, Javier Rubenstein
- Autumn 2019, Javier Rubenstein
- Autumn 2018, Javier Rubinstein
- Autumn 2017, Javier Rubinstein
International Business Transactions
This seminar provides a detailed review and analysis of a number of business transactions in a complex international setting. The documents underlying these transactions include: (i) an acquisition agreement, (ii) a joint venture agreement, (iii) an outsourcing agreement and (iv) a distribution agreement for the sale of goods. These documents will be reviewed in the context of these transactions, which involve business entities in several countries. Students will be asked to identify and address key legal issues. They will be asked to analyze, draft and revise key provisions of these agreements and determine whether the drafted provisions achieve the objectives sought. Students will also be asked to prepare one short paper and one longer paper addressing key legal issues underlying provisions of these agreements and the transactions involved. Students will be graded based upon (i) the quality of their preparation for and participation in the seminar (ii) their work product in connection with several drafting assignments and (iii) the quality of the short paper and longer paper addressing specific issues. There will not be a final examination. Participation may be considered in final grading.
- Spring 2021, Alan D'Ambrosio
- Spring 2020, Alan D'Ambrosio
- Spring 2019, Alan D'Ambrosio
International Humanitarian Law
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. A series of research papers (20-25 pages) is required. Participation may be considered in final grading. Public International Law and International Human Rights Law are recommended, but not required.
- Winter 2021, Darryl Li
- Winter 2019, Darryl Li
International Investment Law
Foreign investment is a central feature of the world economy, and plays an essential role in economic development. It involves a transaction in which an investor in one country (home state) sends capital to another (host state). But in many cases the transaction is subject to what is called in economics a dynamic inconsistency problem, in which the host state's incentives change once the investment is sunk, and it may want to renege on its promises to the investor. Furthermore, neither side is likely to want any disputes adjudicated in the courts of the other's country. The global investment regime has arisen to help resolve these problems. The regime includes bilateral investment treaties (known as BITs) as well as multilateral agreements that are embedded in broader treaty structures, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) or the Energy Charter Treaty. This seminar will introduce students to the operation of the investment law regime, with an emphasis on the tensions between home and host states, the impact of the regime on development outcomes, and the relationship between law and arbitration. This class will have a final take-home exam or major paper option. Participation may be considered in final grading.
- Autumn 2019, Thomas Ginsburg
International Trade Law
This course focuses on the law governing international trade. It will specifically focus on the laws established by the World Trade Organization. This will include an in-depth analysis of the treaties, regulations, and case law that govern international trade. The course will both cover the basic principles governing trade law, as well as the trade laws governing intellectual property, environmental regulation, food safety, trade in services, and technical standards. The course will also examine the implication of the international trading regime for developing countries, and the political economy of trade negotiations. This class has a final exam.
- Winter 2021, Adam Chilton
- Spring 2020, Adam Chilton
- Spring 2019, Adam Chilton
- Spring 2018, Adam Chilton
Islamic Law: Foundations and Contemporary Issues
Since its inception, Islamic Law has grown from a set of rules governing life in 6th century Arabia to a global body of law developed across time and place with application to religious, civil, criminal, constitutional, commercial, and international law. The primary objective of the seminar will be to give students a basic understanding of Islamic Law and the issues faced in applying Islamic Law in the modern context, including current political and social events globally that have roots in Islamic Law issues. The seminar will cover the origins and historical development of Islamic Law, Islamic legal theory, scope and application of Islamic Law, and selected current issues such as Islamic Finance. Modern constitutional law issues regarding sources of law, religious freedom, public interest, and related issues in Muslim majority countries will be reviewed as well as the debates around the application of Islamic Law for Muslim minorities living in secular states. This is a one semester seminar for 2L and 3L students. There are no pre-requisite courses required in Islam. Weekly readings will be assigned in English language source materials. A series of research papers is required (20-25 pages). Participation may be considered in final grading.The seminar will draw on the lecturer's extensive personal experience with the subject matter and knowledge of the legal systems of Muslim majority states such as Saudi Arabia, Turkey, UAE, Pakistan, Egypt, Malaysia, and elsewhere. Professor Kamran Bajwa studied classical Islamic Law and Islamic Theology at the Al-Azhar seminary in Cairo, Egypt. Professor Bajwa currently heads the Middle East regional practice for Kirkland & Ellis and travels regularly to the region.
- Autumn 2020, Kamran Bajwa
- Autumn 2019, Kamran Bajwa
- Autumn 2018, Kamran Bajwa
- Autumn 2017, Kamran Bajwa
The Law and Economics of Trump Trade
This seminar will explore the law and economics of U.S. Trade Policy under the Trump Administration. The seminar will include readings, lectures, and discussions on (1) the economic theory of trade, (2) how recent developments in U.S. trade policy fit into this economic theory, (3) the historical and legal background of current U.S. trade regulation, and (4) the domestic and international legal frameworks that enable and/or constrain recent developments in U.S. trade policy. This class requires a series of short reaction papers.
- Spring 2020, Cree Lane Jones
Legal Elements of Accounting
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 final 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. This is a 9 day short class that will meet 1/11-1/15 and 1/19-1/22.
- Winter 2018, John R. Sylla
- Winter 2019, John R. Sylla
- Winter 2020, John R. Sylla
- Winter 2021, John R. Sylla
This course is designed principally to provide a broad overview of the legal issues that confront the U.S. military and its servicemembers. The course will touch on military justice, administrative law, operational law, servicemembers' rights, and fiscal law (time permitting). This course is useful for anyone interested in serving as a lawyer in the military, working in the military law area as a civilian attorney, or working in the military or national security area in a policy-oriented position. It is also useful for any future public policymaker or official to have a basic understanding of the legal framework for the activities of our military here and abroad.
- Winter 2020, Adam Benjamin Spencer
Project Finance in Emerging Markets
This class will explore the principles of project finance and their application to projects in emerging markets, with a particular focus on Latin America. The class will include various case studies and will include the review of core contracts and a discussion of common legal issues that arise in the cross-border context. Grading will be based on short presentations, negotiating activities, analyzing agreements, and written work (15-20 pages total). Participation may be considered in final grading.
- Spring 2021, Jaime Emilio Ramirez
Public International Law
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, international adjudication, and various substantive fields of international law, such as the use of force, human rights, the treatment of aliens, and international environmental law. Grades will be based on a take-home examination, with marginal bonus for participation. A paper option is allowed for students who wish to write an SRP.
*Depending on the enrollment outcome, this course may qualify to be all in person.
- Autumn 2020, Thomas Ginsburg
- Autumn 2019, Eric Andrew Posner
- Autumn 2018, Eric Andrew Posner
- Autumn 2018, Mary Ellen O'Connell
- Autumn 2017, James Gathii
U.S. Taxation of International Transactions
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 2021, Julie Roin
- Winter 2020, Julie Roin
- Winter 2019, Julie Roin
- Winter 2018, Julie Roin
Women's Human Rights in the World
This seminar examines women's human rights from a global comparative perspective. We will explore legal concepts under international and domestic law that impact gender equality such as formal vs. substantive equality, non-discrimination vs. equality and inclusion vs. transformation. We will engage in a focused inquiry into areas impacting women's human rights including violence, reproduction and political participation. We will discuss the evolution of women's rights, variations in state interpretation and implementation, and the social, economic, political and cultural factors that impact their realization.
Students will have the choice to take the seminar for two credits and write 3 reaction papers or three credits and write a longer paper at the end.
- Autumn 2019, Claudia M. Flores
- Winter 2019, Claudia M. Flores
- Spring 2018, Claudia M. Flores
World Bank Practicum
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. The course will involve teams of two students preparing a research memo. In class participation and memo quality are used to evaluate a student's grade.
- Autumn 2017, Thomas Ginsburg
- Winter 2018, Thomas Ginsburg
- Spring 2018, Thomas Ginsburg
- Autumn 2018, Thomas Ginsburg
- Spring 2019, Thomas Ginsburg
- Spring 2021, Thomas Ginsburg