Shangjun Tan
National University of Singapore

"CTLS is a fantastic opportunity for building friendships and networks across cultural, linguistic, and transnational boundaries. Whilst other exchange programs usually involve students immersing themselves in a foreign university, CTLS is unique in that it brings together students and professors from over 20 schools on five continents. CTLS is a synergistic combination of legal perspectives from many brilliant minds. We could very well be contemporaries in a particular field of law in the near future, and building bonds of friendship now makes the prospect of future collaboration or interaction even more interesting."

Required  Courses - Fall 2015/Spring 2016

Global Practice Exercise

CTLS Faculty

Each semester will begin with an intensive, multi-day exercise in transnational and/or comparative law. The exercise will provide an opportunity for the diverse students and faculty at CTLS to work together on a common legal problem. All faculty and students will participate in the exercise. The objectives are to give students and faculty a quick start working together on a real legal practice problem, which will highlight the importance and challenges of communicating across transnational legal and cultural boundaries; draw CTLS participants into active roles in their own learning and academic exchange; and introduce students to the process of tackling real-world legal problems that transcend national boundaries, learning both transnational variations in substantive law and legal processes.

1 Credit, required.

New Perspectives in Transnational Law (Colloquium)

Coordinated by Jürgen Kurtz, University of Melbourne and Franz Werro, Georgetown Law and University of Fribourg

This colloquium will meet weekly for presentations by leading academics and practitioners on topics of current international, transnational or comparative law interest. Each meeting will involve the presentation of a paper, brief comments, and a discussion with the author/presenter among all participants. Attendees will be the Center's students, faculty and invited guests. Students, who will be divided up and each assigned to attend a sub-set of the colloquia, will write short responses to the papers in advance of the meeting.

1 Credit, required.

Core Course: Transnational Law and Global Governance (Fall 2015 only)

Michael Ewing-Chow, National University of Singapore and Jürgen Kurtz, University of Melbourne

This course will explore the role of law in our globalized, complex and interdependent world from a transnational perspective. The course will examine what a transnational approach offers in comparison to national, international and comparative perspectives.

Methodologically, we will explore how the transnational perspective helps us understand and address issues that involve multiple actors (states, corporations, indigenous groups. NGOs), multiple laws (national laws, international agreements, contracts) and multiple jurisdictions (national courts, international tribunals, supra national arbitration panels). We will also explore the limitations of the nation state as the primary source of law, looking at alternative and competing sources of norms such as private self-regulation, global indicators, community customary laws, or religious law. Under this legal pluralist perspective, the state is only one, albeit a key one, actor and source of law among many.

Substantively, we will explore this perspective at play in areas such as investment, trade, development, business transactions, the family, the environment, human rights, labor, drug trafficking, piracy, and terrorism. The course will show how effective lawyers, be they transactional lawyers, activists or regulators understand the mosaic of relevant legal materials and the levers they can use to structure a deal, promote a cause, or influence behavior of relevant actors.

Throughout the course we will reflect on what this perspective contributes to our understanding of global governance, including how new forms of regulation transform the relationship between public interest and private power, and challenge values such as national sovereignty, individual autonomy, traditional practices, distributive justice, and cultural diversity. We will discuss how this transnational perspective may help us see the role of law in structuring power relations and policy choices, pressing us to address important ethical and political questions.

3 Credits, required. Evaluation: Class Participation (20%); Reaction Papers (20%); Final take-home exam (8 hours) (60%).

Core Course: Transnational Legal Issues and Legal Diversity (Spring 2016 only)

Franz Werro, Georgetown Law and University of Fribourg

This course will explore how law evolves in our globalized, complex and interdependent world. In the first part of the course, we will begin with a survey of the various legal traditions, and analyze the ways in which they still play a role despite globalization. The course will then explore how and to what extent comparative law can be used to better understand foreign law and the diversity of legal systems. It will finally analyze how a transnational perspective may change the traditional understanding of national and international law. In the second part of the course, we will address concrete transnational issues and look at the ways in which public, criminal and private international law tend to solve them. Substantively, the course will explore areas such as investment, trade, development, health, human rights, and terrorism.

Methodologically, the course will show how effective lawyers, activists or regulators understand the mosaic of relevant legal materials and the levers they can use to promote a cause, or influence behavior of relevant actors. The course will also explore how the transnational perspective helps understand and address issues that involve multiple actors (states, corporations, indigenous groups. NGOs), multiple laws (national laws, international agreements, contracts) and multiple jurisdictions (national courts, international tribunals, supra national arbitration panels).

3 Credits, required. Evaluation: Class Participation (20%); Reaction Papers (20%); Final take-home exam (8 hours) (60%).


Center for Transnational Legal Studies
37-39 High Holborn
London WC1V 6AA, United Kingdom