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
Spring 2010 - Elective Courses

Comparative Constitutional Law

Margit Cohn, Hebrew University Jersusalem

This course is aimed at students looking to practice public law, as private practitioners, in the public sector and in international bodies, as well as to other students whose knowledge of different constitutional structures and solutions will assist them in future transnational practice. Topics include: a general introduction to comparative law and comparison of constitutional structures; models of constitutions; models of sovereignty and separation of powers: parliamentarism, presidentialism, hybrid systems; federal and unitary systems; the executive branch and its relations with the legislature; separation of powers case study: state power in emergencies; constitutional courts and judicial review of legislation; judicial review and the protection of human rights; judicial review of administrative action. Students will gain a general knowledge of several types of constitutional structures and analyze a variety of issues approached and resolved in different ways and under different traditions.

3 credits. Evaluation: 20% participation and exercise; 80% final paper

Comparative  Law, Culture and Religio

Shimon Shetreet, Hebrew University Jersusalem

The course will examine contemporary issues of comparative law with a focus on culture and religion. The course will offer an analysis of the legal and constitutional aspects of religion and culture in modern society in the broad context. Among other issues the course will deal with a comparative analysis of the models of the interrelations between church and state (total separation; no separation- recognized religions, established church-, theocratic state; secular state). The course analyzes the protection of individual right for religious freedom under the various models of state and church relationship analysis. In this context a number of issues will be discussed in comparative analysis including state funding of religious institutions. The voucher system for social services in the US, days of rest, providing civil remedies in the general courts for religious matters such as resolving disputes between churches, religious symbols and dresses in public space and government institutions (such as headscarf), ritual slaughter of animals (kosher and halal). The role of law and the judiciary in protecting religious liberty and attaining equality in a multi-cultural society is very significant. Therefore special attention will be paid to the role of the judiciary in democracy and to the culture of judicial independence and constitutionalism. Attention will also be given to the impact of international law on domestic jurisdictions in the protection of religious and human liberty, and to the issues of interrelation between religion and national security matters.

2 credits. Evaluation:  70% for the paper and 30% for the oral presentations of papers and Role Plays.

Class discussions will also be based on role play assignments. Students will be asked to write a paper on topic to be assigned.

Developing Countries in the WTO Legal System

Jürgen Kurtz, University of Melbourne

This course focuses on the economic and legal issues facing developing countries in their engagement within the World Trade Organization. A central organizing theme will be the evolving theory and practice on the role of economic liberalization in the developmental processes of these states. The subject will then examine the extent to which the legal framework of the General Agreement on the Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and later the WTO has reflected both developing country concerns and contemporary theories on development. The final component of the subject will look to the future and assess the on-going process of reform within the WTO from a developmental perspective.

2 credits. Evaluation:  20% class participation; 80% final paper (maximum of 4000 words)

European Human Rights Law

Lorenzo Zucca, King's College London

This course deals with the multifaceted architecture of human rights in Europe. Starting from the basic fact that there are at least three competing sources of Human Rights in Europe (The EU, the European Council and nation states), the course will explore the possible tensions between them at the institutional and at the substantive level. Unraveling those conflicts will bring to light some of the more fundamental issues about the nature of the European project, its constitutive values and the role of law in the interplay between the international, supranational and national level.

3 credits. Evaluation: 30% class participation and exercises; 70% final paper

International Business Transactions

Christiana Fountoulakis, University of Basel
Franz Werro, Georgetown Law and University of Fribourg

The course analyzes private law norms regulating international business transactions. 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 the study of conflicts of law rules, as well as analysis of the main international instruments governing transnational commercial arbitration.

3 credits. Evaluation: Participation 20%, final exam 80%

International  Humanitarian Law and International Criminal Justice

Edoardo Greppi, University of Torino

Topics to be treated in this course include basic principles and sources of international humanitarian law and human rights law, the law of International and Non-International Armed Conflicts; the scope of application of international humanitarian law, the conduct of hostilities, the definition of combatants, the wounded, sick, shipwrecked, prisoners of war, the protection of civilians and occupied territory, the implementation of IHL and the role of the International Committee of the Red Cross. Included in topics on International Criminal law are sources of law, individual criminal responsibility, war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, crimes of aggression. The course will study the International Criminal Tribunals from Nuremberg and Tokyo to the ad hoc Tribunals (Former Yugoslavia and Rwanda) and also consider the Rome Statute and the International Criminal Court.

2 credits [Short intensive course held over the 3 weeks listed on the Spring 2010 Schedule]. Evaluation: 30% class participation, 70% final paper (4000 words)

International Investment Law and Arbitration

Jürgen Kurtz, University of Melbourne

International investment law regulates the entry and operation of foreign investment and is one of the fastest growing fields of public international law. The last decade has seen exponential growth in the negotiation of investment treaties and the invocation of their unique forms of arbitral dispute settlement against developed and developing states alike. This course offers comprehensive analysis of the substantive rights and procedural protections afforded under key bilateral, regional (including the NAFTA) and multilateral (WTO) investment treaties. It begins by tracing the nature, evolution and context of customary and treaty protections for foreign investors. The course then examines a sample of critical treaty provisions, drawn from select instruments. The final part of the course moves to the manner in which investor-state arbitral tribunals have interpreted key obligations including guarantees of national treatment, the "fair and equitable" standard and compensation in the event of direct and indirect expropriation.

3 credits. Evaluation: 20% class participation; 80% 24 hour take-home examination

Islamic Law in Transnational Perspective

Roberta Aluffi, University of Torino

The course offers a general introduction to Islamic law, the sacred law of Islam, and it examines the role it plays both as one of the multiple factors shaping the contemporary legal systems in the Muslim world and as a key element of globalized Islam. The main focus will be on the legal experience of Arab States and on the issues raised by the increasing presence of Muslims in Europe.

3 credits. Evaluation: Participation 20% and exam 80%.

The Protection of Language: A New Frontier in Human Rights Law

Denise Réaume, University of Toronto

Although language protections have often taken a back seat to other human rights, constitutional and human rights theorists have recently begun to turn their attention to the issue of language policy, partly in response to the heightened significance that language is likely to take on in European politics in future. This seminar will explore four competing models for dealing with language issues:

  • The negative liberty or anti-discrimination model characteristic of many domestic legal systems, such as the U.S., and adopted by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights
  • The linguistic diversity model more recently instituted in Europe through the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages
  • The territorial model adopted by some multilingual countries such as Belgium and Switzerland
  • The Canadian 'Official Languages' model

The study of these models is aimed at uncovering the normative foundations for the protection of language. Should we recognize language rights? Are language rights human rights? Is it speakers or languages themselves that should attract protection? What are the concrete policy implications of protecting language? What are the most effective legal mechanisms for providing protection? Debates concerning language provide for a case study in a range of cutting edge issues in human rights law.

Evaluation will be by means of a final 4000 word paper comparing and commenting on selected aspects of the competing models. Possible topics will be provided by the instructor. Extra research beyond the course materials will typically not be necessary. As preparation for the final paper, students will be required to submit a brief description of the main issue(s) they plan to address, the jurisdictions to be considered, and the main sources to be used.

3 credits. Evaluation: 20 % class participation; 80% of the final paper

World Trade Law

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 Organization 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 linkages between trade and social policies.

Seminar-style with practical exercises (or mini-moots); Course materials: Textbook

3 credits. Evaluation: 30% class participation and 70% exam


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