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."

Courses offered
Fall 2008 - Elective Courses

Contract Theory in Comparative Perspective

Ronaldo Macedo, University of Sao Paolo

This course challenges traditional understandings of contract law through the lens of relational contract theories, which emphasize that the legal contract is only one element of the parties' relationship. The course will compare the highly relational contractual culture in the construction industry with the discrete structure of the typical consumer contract, in which consumers often agree to form contracts. We then develop a relational critique of both classical and economic theories of contract, as well as the new formalism inspired by the moral theories of Ronald Dworkin and Robert Alexy. The upshot is a more contextualist, broadly hermeneutic approach to contract interpretation, one that pays greater attention to domestic legal culture, values and institutions. The course will draw on comparative analysis of contract law in different jurisdictions to shed light on challenges to traditional contract theory.

3 credits. Evaluation: Final paper and seminar presentations

Globalization, Governance and Justice

Kerry Rittich, University of Toronto
Muthucumaraswamy Sornarajah, National University of Singapore

Globalization has far-reaching effects on law and legal institutions, while debates about governance are at the center of questions concerning transnational relations, sovereignty and global justice.  This course will examine different theories and approaches to global governance as well as the role played by both international and multi-lateral institutions and private actors in the development of regulatory norms and the diffusion of the 'rule of law' in a globalized world.  WTO, the World Bank and the IMF all regulate aspects of global trade and transnational production. However, corporations, standard setting bodies, NGOs and others are also involved in the regulation of transnational issues ranging from corruption to intellectual property, investment protection and human rights. Special consideration will be given to biotechnology, gender equality, environmental concerns and other questions that raise complex questions around efficiency and social justice.

4 credits. Evaluation: Take-home exam

International Investment Law

Muthucumaraswamy Sornarajah, National University of Singapore

This course focuses on the nature of risks to foreign investment and the reduction or elimination of those risks through legal means. As a prelude, it discusses the different economic theories of foreign investment, the rules and practices governing the formation of foreign investment contracts, and the methods of eliminating potential risks through contractual provisions. It then examines different types of potential interferences with foreign investment and explores the bilateral and regional treaty protections available against such interference. It concludes by examining different methods of dispute settlement, including international arbitration.

3 credits. Evaluation: Final take-home exam

The Law of Work in the Global Economy

Nina Pillard, Georgetown Law
Kerry Rittich, University of Toronto

Legal standards and norms governing work must adapt to a world where production and investment cross borders and "standard", stable employment is increasingly displaced by short-term and legally precarious jobs.  Patterns of gender, racial and ethnic segmentation in the workplace, and stratification between 'good' and 'bad' jobs, formal and informal sectors, pose additional challenges.  Many factors - such as trade and migration flows, capital mobility and changing modes of production - are driving workplace change.  How is the law responding, and how might it do better?  This course considers how to address traditional regulatory concerns for equality, workplace standards and protection of collective action against a backdrop of intensified focus on global competitiveness, growth and flexibility.  What new regulatory strategies - public, private, hybrid, transnational and national - are emerging?  What is similar and what is different in regulating work in developed and developing states?  How do larger economic, political and moral commitments affect policy debates and regulatory options?

3 credits. Evaluation: Participation 20%; Written Short Comments 20%; Research Paper 60%

The Theory and Practice of Copyright Law:  Comparative and Transnational Aspects

Guy Pessach, Hebrew University  of Jerusalem

Copyright law provides a paradigmatic example of the robust diversity of legal approaches to the regulation and protection of intangible goods. Copyright, a matter of domestic law, is also increasingly governed by international law making, which alters the contours of domestic copyright fields. This course will provide a comprehensive and multidimensional analysis of the intersections between the global copyright order and different national copyright regimes. The course begins with a critical examination of different theoretical justifications for copyright law, and will trace the origins of each theory within different cultural traditions and jurisdictions. The second part of the course draws on this background to provide a comparative analysis of central doctrines and principles in copyright law, including originality thresholds for copyright protection; exemptions from and limitations of copyright protection; authors’ moral rights; third-party liability for copyright infringements; and constitutional dimensions of copyright law. The final part of the course moves to the global regime of copyright law and the manner in which international intersects with national copyright law. Our discussion in this context will focus on the impact of a global (western) copyright regime on different local traditions of cultural production. Topics to be discussed include traditional knowledge, the copyright-free speech interface, database protection and the development agenda of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

4 credits. Evaluation: Final Paper

Transnational Issues in Art, Culture  and Law

Guy Pessach, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

As art increasingly travels across borders, transnational and comparative legal issues in the regulation of art and culture have grown increasingly important and complex.  This course examines the intersections of law, culture and the "art world," with a focus on these transnational and comparative aspects.  Among the topics to be discussed are: (1) the artist's moral and economic rights in works of art; (2) artistic freedom and its limits; (3) government patronage and support of the arts and culture; (3) legal aspects of museums, libraries, and other cultural institutions; (4) regulation of creative industries; (5) regulation of archives and other "memory institutions"; (6) distinctions between the legal treatment of "popular culture" and "high culture"; and (7) the critical cultural studies movement. Each topic will be discussed and analyzed through the dimensions of international law, comparative law and the impact of digitization and the Internet on the practice, theory and legal regulation of the topic.

3 credits. Evaluation: Final Paper

World Trade Law

Lorand Bartels, University of Cambridge
Federico Ortino, King's College London

World trade law, as a specific sector of international economic law, is developing rapidly and increasingly occupying a central role in international law. This course focuses on the law of the World Trade Organisation within several contexts: political, economic, and jurisprudential. The course will cover various areas of WTO law: institutions; dispute settlement; essential GATT principles; the TBT and SPS Agreements; trade protection; trade in services; IP protection; treatment of developing countries; and constitutional issues.

4 credits. Evaluation: Take-home exam


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