Courses offered Fall 2010 - Elective Courses
Comparative Civil Procedure and Dispute Resolution
Chiara Besso, University of Torino
This course seesk to acquaint students with the principles of civil procedure common to many systems of law and to examine the role of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) in these systems. The focus of the first part of the course is the description and discussion of the principles. A short introduction to basic elements of civil procedure (e.g. features of a fair procedural system, jurisdiction over parties, phases of a lawsuit, effects of prior adjudication, complex litigation, alternatives to formal adjudication) is provided so that students not familiar with the subject will soon acquire a working knowledge. Students will then be encouraged to consider how the principles and ideas discussed in previous lectures can play a part in their own home litigation systems. The second part of the course analyses ADR from a comparative perspective. Against the background of the United States experience (where the ADR techniques have been developed), the focus will be on the spread and on the features that mediation presents in different countries and cultures. Students will explore basic questions involving informal justice, consider the circumstances in which mediation is an appropriate form of dispute resolution and the role of the lawyer in the mediation process, and learn about the mediation process by experiencing it in role plays.
4 credits. Evaluation: class preparation/participation (40%), seminar paper (presentation 10%, paper 50%).
Comparative and Transnational Constitutional Law
Imer B. Flores, UNAM
This course examines constitutionalism and constitutional law from a comparative and a transnational perspective. Topics include: a general introduction to constitutionalism and comparative/transnational jurisprudence; models of constitutions and its relationship to democracy and the rule of law; comparison of constitutional systems: protection of human rights and separation of powers; parliamentary, presidential, and hybrid systems; federal and unitary systems; forms and limits of constitutional law-making and constitutional adjudication; judicial review of legislation and of administrative action; constitutional courts and the protection of human rights. Although the focus is mainly comparative, it will highlight some transnational trends in the process not only of reconstituting constitutions via constitutional amendments or reforms but also of reinforcing them via constitutional adjudication or mutation. Students will gain a general knowledge of several problems of constitutional design and constitutional interpretation, as well as the different alternative approaches to solve them.
2 credits. Evaluation: Class participation (25%), Written Assignment/Report (25%), Essay (3000 word limit) (50%).
Comparative Human Rights Law
Satvinder Juss, King's College London
This course will set out to engage the students in a genuinely comparative, problem-driven, and inference-oriented study of human rights law. Many human rights courses tend to overlook basic methodological principles of controlled comparison and case-selection. This course will invite the students to trace causal links among pertinent variables. This will result in being able to 'explain' and not merely classify, describe, criticize, or endorse comparative human rights phenomenon. Why, when and where should one learn from comparative human rights law? Are students able to engage in theory building through causal inference? Can they clarify concepts and offer causal explanations for the observed phenomena of comparative decision-making? The course approach will be of a cases-and-materials one from different European jurisdictions that operate under the European Convention of Human Rights, but the case-selection will also focus on leading examples from US constitutional law. The ultimate aspiration will be to explain, and not just describe, established propositions about the world of human rights. Evaluation to be confirmed, includes a substantial writing component.
3 credits. Evaluation: Class Participation (20%), Essay (5000 word limit) (80%).
Comparative Professional Responsibility
Peter Tague, Georgetown Law
How can lawyers represent clients whose goals or the means needed to achieve those goals are at odds with the lawyer's own morals or that threaten to harm third parties? That question is of growing interest in the United States. Is it one that vexes lawyers in other countries? Does the structure of practice elsewhere render the question less relevant? The question will be examined in various settings in counseling, litigation and negotiation. The course will also attempt to provide an introduction to financial aspects of law practice. Can lawyers form partnerships with non-lawyers (accountants or other experts)? Can non-lawyers buy an interest in litigation or even buy law firms? Can a law firm become a corporation publically traded on a stock exchange?
3 credits. Evaluation: class participation (25%) and an examination (75%).
This course meets the Professional Responsibility requirements of Georgetown Law.
International Criminal Law in Context
Cheah Wui Ling, National University of Singapore
This course will introduce students to the substantive and procedural framework of international criminal law. Using case studies, we will analyze its historical origins, its evolution, and its present-day implementation. Among others, we will study post-WWII tribunals, the ad hoc international tribunals of Yugoslavia and Rwanda, hybrid tribunals, and the International Criminal Court. We will also examine alternative institutional responses to international crimes, such as the establishment of truth and reconciliation commissions. Students are expected to critically explore and interrogate the pros and cons of international criminal justice.
3 credits. Evaluation: assignment/presentation (30%), Essay (4000 word limit),
International Refugee Law
Satvinder Juss, King's College London
How can we categorise the movement of people? What are the legal and geo-political ramifications of such classifications? What are some of the factors which determine flows of refugees? What are the roots of modern refugee law? Are these roots still reflected in contemporary legal discourse? What is the relationship between refugee law and broader human rights law? Is the divide artificial? Where does refugee law fit within international law? This course sets out to provide answers to these intractable modern questions be focusing on several specific objectives: to examine the origins and evolution of refugee law and the refugee 'regime' during the past century; to understand who is protected by international, regional and domestic refugee law; to assess the scope and limits of the refugee's rights; to investigate various legal and policy impediments to asylum-seeking; and to explore international and regional approaches to the protection of forced migrants. The course will explore the overlap between International Refugee Law, Human Rights, International Humanitarian Law and Humanitarian Assistance, the phenomenon of legal and illegal Migration, including Human Trafficking in the context of refugees, persons displaced within states during armed conflict, legal and illegal migrants. Evaluation to be confirmed, includes a substantial writing component.
3 credits. Evaluation: Class Participation (20%), Essay (5000 word limit) (80%).
Transnational Business Law
Qingxiu Bu, Queen's University Belfast
The course examines from a transnational perspective both the public and private dimensions of business law, using case studies that originate in the United Kingdom, continental Europe (with a particular reference to France and Germany), the United States, and Asia, but involve a significant cross-border dimension. The course focuses primarily on legal challenges to multinationals companies' operation, such as jurisdiction and extraterritoriality, recognition of foreign judgments, judicial cooperation, and conflict of laws. Cutting-edge issues arising from cross-border insolvencies, merger and acquisitions (M&As), and corporate criminal liability are studied in a global context. A secondary focus is on the interplay between international and national legal frameworks as well as soft initiatives, all of which are indispensible to an understanding of the globalisation of business law. Special attention is paid to the cultural, economic and political underpinnings of transnational laws, which will also be examined in case studies.
3 credits. Evaluation: Presentation (10%), participation (20%) and a 4000-word research essay (70%).
Transnational Corporate Governance
Dmitri Dedov, Moscow State University
This course considers principles of corporate governance from a global perspective. It brings together legal approaches and methods to identify an effective legal mechanism lying beyond the functioning of a corporation by determining the interests to be protected by law. In the modern corporate world it is not enough to know what kind of governing bodies and governing systems are recognized in different jurisdictions. We need to know which factors determine their difference and similarity. This is important because corporate law has a similar economic basis in each country. Therefore, if we want more information about any corporate structure first we need to know how its business is organised. During this course the students will analyze critical legal issues, such as: compensation and bonuses for senior management, corporate control and responsibility, hierarchy of interests in corporations (minor and major shareholders), corporate democracy, good faith in corporate law, duties of loyalty and care, conflict of interests, and the role of ethical codes. A better understanding of corporate governance helps to prevent conflicts within a corporation, to save the shareholdersâ€™ capital and even to make the corporate business more effective. 3-week intensive course.
2 credits. Evaluation Class Participation (30%) Essay (4000 word limit) (70%).
Transnational Labour Law
Brian Langille, University of Toronto
At the heart of any economy are people at work. The law which regulates working life is crucial not simply to any durable economy but to a just society. It is well known that labour law is difficult precisely because it cannot avoid basic controversies regarding the virtues and limits of markets in labour. But in the world as we now know it labour law must also confront the dynamics visited upon it by an integrated global economy. Many say that this puts great strain upon the ability of any nation state to regulate labour markets and that a â€œrace to the bottomâ€? in labour standards is the end-game labour law is destined to play. Others say that international labour law is the answer to this dilemma. Still others deny that this is the real problem and that the role of global labour law lies elsewhere as a positive aspect of development. The ambition of this course is not simply to provide an overview of global labour law but to explore the basic issues of its fundamental purposes and true possibilities. The course aims to be philosophical as well as practical. The course has two complementary components. In general, one of the sessions every week will be conducted as a seminar. The other session every week will, in general, be a seminar with a guest, who will be a leading practitioner or theorist of transnational labour law, who will present for discussion recent papers and works in progress on a variety of relevant and current topics in the field of labour rights.
4 credits. Evaluation: Weekly seminar and workshop brief written comments (or questions) on readings and class participation, including presentation of assigned materials as scheduled (50%). Essay on topic assigned by or agreed with the instructor (which may include extended commentary on visitors papers) (2500-3000 words) (50%).