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 2011 - Elective Courses

Advanced Property Law

Daphna Lewinsohn-Zamir, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

The right to private property is a fundamental right, necessary for the safeguarding of personal freedom and autonomy, and for human flourishing. In the course, we will discuss several issues involving property rights - such as the good faith purchase doctrine, the numerus clausus principle, takings compensation, 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 (contrasting mental-state and preference-satisfaction theories with objective ones), economic analysis of law, the personhood theory, game theory, behavioral law and economics, and theories of distributive justice.

      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.

2 Credits. Evaluation: Class Participation (20%) and Final in-class Exam (80%).

Comparative Law: A European Perspective

Helmut Grothe, Free University of Berlin

This course will introduce you to the fascinating fields of Comparative Law. A comparative overview of the legal traditions in Europe and Common Law countries shall be given. It will examine selected legal issues in different jurisdictions, with particular emphasis on Germany and the United Kingdom, as well as some cutting-edge problems in European Harmonized Law. Students are asked to participate actively by contrasting these to the approach of their own jurisdiction. The most important issue of Civil Law today is its Worldview and its perspectives on Citizenship. In other words, particularities of the Civil Law sustain a worldview that stems from Roman Law-traditions and practices of the Roman Empire. These pertain to more recent legal developments taking place in a unifying Europe. The profiles of the major functionaries in today's Civil Law domain: judges, attorneys, EU civil servants and administrators mirror such traditions. The trend goes even further: National civil law shall be harmonized within Europe, starting with contract law, and the first projects like the Common Frame of Reference or PECL are just the beginning.

      This Course is not restricted to a traditional comparative perspective. Means are provided for a correct and effective transnational communication between legal professionals. Where also Common Law lawyers have to direct themselves to EU Civil Law colleagues and counterparts, they should possess knowledge and skills to understand both civil law concepts and EU harmonized civil law.

2 Credits. Evaluation: Class Participation (25%), Presentations (15%) and Essay (4000 word limit) (60%).

Conflict of Laws and Transnational Procedural Law from a Comparative Perspective

Helmut Grothe, Free University of Berlin

Transnational issues are more and more present in a globalized world. Disputes between parties from different states or countries and disputes having contacts with multiple jurisdictions raise a host of challenging legal questions, including: which jurisdiction's law will govern the dispute; whether and in what circumstances a judgment rendered in one state or country will be recognized and enforced in other jurisdictions. State laws, European Law and international and foreign law all play a role in deciding these issues, which can have a profound impact on the ultimate resolution of the controversy. This class will take a comparative look at these issues with a focus on the European point of view. The course deals in depth with one of the most complex issues of Private International Law directly affecting the process of harmonization of Private Law and Private International Law in Europe: the application of foreign law by judicial and non-judicial authorities. During the last decade Europe has undertaken an active and broad process of harmonization of Private International Law. Many areas of law of diverse nature have been influenced by this trend to the point that nowadays a growing set of common choice-of-law rules exist within the EU.  The course closes with an overview of the procedural rules both on a European and International level.

3 Credits. Evaluation: Class Participation (25%), Presentations (15%) and Final Exam (60%).       

EU Law

Alexander Türk, King's College London

This course will focus on the constitutional principles and institutional structures which underpin the European Union and examine some of the substantive areas of the law of the EU. This law is a vast area encompassing commercial law and the four freedoms which underpin the internal market, social policy, financial services, and many other areas in which domestic law is, in effect, set by the EU's institutions. This course will look at case studies of particular branches of substantive EU law, and the advances made by the EU in the area of equal rights.

3 Credits. Evaluation: Class Participation (20%) and Final in-class Exam (80%).

International Arbitration Law

Rémy Gerbay, London Court of International Arbitration
Maxi Scherer, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr

International arbitration is the preferred dispute resolution mechanism for transnational disputes. This course introduces students to the fundamental principles of international commercial and investment arbitration, with particular reference to their practical and strategic application. Students experience some of the most important steps in an international arbitration by putting themselves in the shoes of a counsel or arbitrator in a simulated arbitration. The majority of the subject involves 'learning-by-doing' exercises, supervised and guided by the subject leaders, including for the students to:

  • Draft an arbitration agreement and a request for arbitration;       
  • Participate either as counsel or arbitrator in a procedural hearing;       
  • Argue the challenge of an arbitrator and for/against the recognition or annulment of an award; and       
  • Recognise the key tactical considerations involved at the different stages of the international arbitration process.       

2 Credits. Evaluation: The overall grade will be composed of a grade on Part I (International Commercial Arbitration) and a grade on Part II (International Investment Arbitration).  Part I will count 60% towards the final grade and Part II will count 40% towards the final grade. The grade for each of Part I and II will be composed as follows: 30% oral class participation and 70% written practice exercises.

International Criminal Law: The ICC and the Emerging System of Criminal Justice for Atrocities

Morten Bergsmo, Georgetown Law and University of Oslo     

The International Criminal Court (ICC) is one of the more significant new international institutions since the establishment of the United Nations. The initial operation of the ICC demonstrates the importance of the emerging system of criminal justice for core international crimes since 1994. This course covers the historical development of criminal justice for atrocities as well as its theoretical and legal foundations. The course also gives insight into international criminal law, procedure and related fields. It focuses on key developments in the case law of the internationalized criminal jurisdictions, including the ICC. The course addresses the central issues of contemporary international criminal law, namely, general principles of criminal law, as well as the structure and elements of the crime of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and aggression. It also examines current debates concerning the suitability of application of international criminal justice to mass atrocity, and the effectiveness of the complementarily regime of the ICC.

3 Credits. Evaluation: Class Participation: 20% and Essay (4,000-5,000 words) 80%.

International Contracts and Business Transactions

Pascal Pichonnaz, University of Fribourg
Franz Werro, Georgetown Law and University of Fribourg

The course analyzes private law norms regulating international contracts. It focuses on international conventions and uniform rules of law, such as the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sales of Goods (CISG), the UNIDROIT Principles of International Commercial Contracts, the Principles of European Contract Law, INCOTERMS, and others. The course includes some aspects of conflicts of law rules, as well as an analysis of the main international instruments governing transnational commercial arbitration.

3 Credits. Evaluation: Class Participation 30% and Final in-class Exam: 70%.

International Economic Law

Chantal Thomas, Cornell Law School

This course will survey three core areas of international economic law: first, the multilateral trade regime (the World Trade Organization); second, regional and bilateral trade and investment agreements; and third, the governance of foreign direct investment. The course will proceed in four modules. The first module will introduce key debates on concerns of efficiency, justice, democracy and development in international economic law, and their effects on the formation of particular legal rules and institutions. The remaining modules will examine the three core areas through doctrinal and theoretical analysis as well as prominent case studies. Attention will also be devoted to intersecting issues of labor, migration and human rights. Students will be evaluated on the basis of a take-home exam to be administered at the end of term.

3 Credits. Evaluation: Class Participation 20% and Final take-home Exam 80%.

Nationalism, Cosmopolitanism, Identity

Naomi Mezey, Georgetown Law

Behind the myriad distributions of legal rights and duties that we study during the course of law school is the more opaque and fundamental distribution of membership in a national community performed by our immigration and citizenship laws, language and labor requirements, census enumerations, and countless cultural and governmental acts of recognition, inclusion and exclusion.  This seminar will address, from an interdisciplinary perspective, the phenomenon of nationalism, the calls for more cosmopolitan forms of belonging, and the role of the law in the construction of cultural identity.  The course will explore various theories and manifestations of nationalism and take pains to think about how nations are distinct from states; consider how nations are imagined and invented though immigration and citizenship laws as well as national monuments and rituals; and think about alternative forms of belonging and banishment, such as cosmopolitanism, statelessness, diaspora, and global forms of citizenship.  This is a three-credit seminar that meets two hours each week with an additional credit given for the completion of a final paper.

Limited to 22 students.

3 Credits. Evaluation: Class Participation 25% and Essay (4,000 words): 75%.


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