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 2012 - Elective Courses

Brands and Commercial Reputation

Sam Ricketson, University of Melbourne

Protection of brands and image has become a critical part of everyday life and commerce. This subject is about the way in which legal protection for these matters arises.

It begins with a general consideration of the significance and role of brand and image protection in commercial and personal dealings, considering these matters from a range of historical, economic, critical and cultural perspectives. It then moves to a consideration of common law and statutory responses, through such actions as passing off and unfair competition, and consumer protection and other legislation. The role, scope and requirements of registered trade mark systems will then be considered. This will be followed by a discussion of a number of important issues that cut across this whole area, including the protection of famous marks and geographical appellations, domain names and the use of brand signifiers on the Internet, character merchandising and publicity rights. National and international materials will be drawn upon by way of illustration.

No prior knowledge is necessary. All comparative reading materials will be in English.

2 Credits. Evaluation: Class Participation (including presentation) (30%), Take-Home Exam (70%).

Comparative Legal Interpretation

Silvia Ferreri, University of Torino
Naomi Mezey, Georgetown Law

I shall start by the classification of the civil law system as 'written system of law' opposed to the general classification of the common law as a customary system. Having to deal with written law suggests the idea that the civil lawyers must have developed a technique to approach written legislation: one could expect a rather strict interpretation.  As a matter of fact, the principles governing interpretation both of legislation and of written contracts result more flexible in the civil law  context than in the common law tradition.

We shall consider the old maxims passed on by the Digest to the legal doctrine in the XVIII century (R. Pothier) and the codifications of the XIX century in France (and in countries following its example): we shall consider the prescriptions for inquiring into the intention of the legislator and of the contracting parties. We shall compare these rules with the Qu??bec and Louisiana legislation in their civil codes. A few contract cases will help us focus on the approach by judges belonging to the civil law tradition. We shall consider the principles governing the interpretation of legislative acts in common law and cases, comparing them with those governing the construction of written contracts, having regard to the parole evidence rule. We shall examine some cases that are usually considered as exemplary of the strict attitude of English judges when they have to apply English legislative acts and we shall follow the evolution of the House of Lords toward a 'commercial interpretation' of contracts.

3 Credits. Evaluation: Class Participation (20%), Group Presentation (40%), Essay (4000 word limit) (40%).

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%).

EU Law

Ornella Porchia, University of Torino

The course aims at providing the analytical tools for a basic understanding of European Union Law, with special reference to the EU system of legal sources, institutions and their relation with national legal systems. Moreover it will also deal with the different methods (forms and instruments) that are used within the EU to strengthen the cooperation between the European and the national levels.

  • The European integration process: From the Schuman Plan and the CECA Treaty to the Treaties of Rome (EEC and Euratom). The Single European Act. The Treaty of Maastricht on the European Union. The Treaty of Amsterdam. The Treaty of Nice. The Treaty establishing a European Constitution. The Treaty of Lisbon. The enlargement process.
  • General features and objectives of the European Union. The constitutional principles. The fundamental rights. The Citizenship of the Union.
  • The institutional architecture of the European Union. The European Council. The European Parliament. The European Commission. The Council. The Court of Justice of the European Union. The European Central Bank. The Court of Auditors.
  • EU competences. The principle of conferral of competences. The flexibility clause. The principles of proportionality and subsidiarity.
  • EU Legal Acts. The Treaty-constitution. Regulations, directives and decisions. Non binding acts. Soft law. General principles.
  • The EU Judicial System. The infringement procedure. Annulment Proceedings and Preliminary rulings.
  • Relationships between European Union Law and national law (the supremacy of EU law).
  • The adaptation of national law to European Union Law.
  • Methods of cooperation in the EU Legal System.

3 Credits. Evaluation: Class Participation/Other Exercises/In-Class Moot (50%), In-Class, Open Book Exam (50%).

Intellectual Property Law: A General Introduction

Sam Ricketson, University of Melbourne

Intellectual property law is concerned with the legal rights that attach to intangible creations of the mind, such as inventions, literary and artistic productions, industrial designs and confidential information. These rights are of enormous practical significance in everyday life, both personally and commercially.

The subject commences by situating these rights within the system of private law and discussing their broader economic, social and context. Following this, there will be an examination of the individual legal regimes that protect these rights, namely patents for inventions, copyright and related rights, industrial designs, trade secrets and confidential information. This will be a general introductory survey course that will concentrate on fundamental principles, drawing on national and international materials by way of illustration. In this regard, particular attention will be given to the principal international conventions that apply here, including the Paris Convention for the protection of Industrial Property 1886, Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works 1886 and the WTO-annexed Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights,

No prior knowledge is necessary. All comparative reading materials will be in English.

3 Credits. Evaluation: Class Participation (including presentation) (30%), Take-Home Exam (70%).

International Courts and Tribunals

Yuval Shany, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

The course explores the variety of international courts and tribunals functioning at the inter-state or supra-national level, and addresses a range of theoretical and practical issues relating to their creation and operation. It concentrates in particular on systematic concerns common to all existing tribunals. The course???s underlying hypothesis is that a loosely organized 'system' of international courts and tribunals has emerged in recent years and that international adjudication plays a role of growing importance in the settlement of international disputes, as well as in international governance and in the development of an 'international rule of law'.

        The course is divided into three principle parts. Part I situates international adjudication on a continuum of international dispute settlement techniques and addresses, in a critical manner, the reasons for the recent proliferation of international courts, as well as the implication and limits of this trend. The second part of the course maps the world of international courts and tribunals. It introduces the main groups of tribunals (public international law, economic integration, human rights and criminal law) and examines central features of their work from a comparative perspective. The third part, which constitutes the core of the course, discusses a variety of vexing issues which reflect upon the efficacy and legitimacy of international courts and tribunals and upon their systematic features. These include questions of jurisdiction and admissibility, multiple proceedings, relations between international and national courts, judicial independence and judicial effectiveness.

2 Credits. Evaluation: Class Participation (10%), Take-Home Exam (90%).

International Economic Law: Norms and Institutions

Yuval Shany, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Moshe Hirsch, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

The first part of the course investigates the institutional infrastructure of international economic law ??? describing the move from state-centered, bilateral and ad hoc modes of norm-creation, cooperation-administration and dispute settlement, to structures which tend to be more accessible to private economic operators, and multilateral and permanent in nature. Special attention would be devoted to developments relating to institutionalization and adjudication in the context of the WTO, World Bank (in particular, ICSID) and regional economic integration regimes. The relations between such regimes and other areas of international law will also be explored.

          The second part of course focuses in particular on principal substantive topics relating to international trade law and developing countries, and their relationship with other areas of international economic law, such as investment law and regional integration. In this part of the course we will address the basic theories of international trade (comparative advantage, import substitution, and economics of scale), major approaches to economic developments in developing countries (i.e., why some countries managed to become 'developed' while the other remained underdeveloped?),the major principles of the GATT/WTO system (tariffs, non-tariff barriers, the most-favored nation clause and it's exceptions, and national treatment), trade in agricultural products, regional trade agreements, rules of origin, and intellectual property protection (under the WTO TRIPS Agreement). The discussion on each trade topic will involve an examination of the particular position of developing countries.

3 Credits. Evaluation: Class Participation (10%), Essay (4000 word limit) (90%).

Secured Transactions in Transnational Perspective

Michael Schillig, King's College London

The course is set against the background of the globalization of the flows of goods, services and capital and the internationalization of business practices. Whereas contract law is a well researched and widely taught topic in this context, the implications of personal property law are often neglected. This course aims to close this gap.

It focuses on the nature and characteristics of rights in personal property in Common law (England and Wales, United States) and Civil law (Germany, France) as well as at transnational level. It will cover the transfer of title in chattels, debt receivables and investment securities; the creation and transfer of security interests and the legal nature of modern funding techniques. In this context we will look at Articles 8 and 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code and the EU Settlement Finality and Financial Collateral Directives. We shall also consider Article 2A UCC (on equipment leases), the UNIDROIT Convention on International Financial Leasing, the UNIDROIT Convention on International Factoring, the UNIDROIT Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment, and the UN Convention on the Assignment of Receivables in International Trade, as well as the proprietary aspects covered by the Draft Common Frame of Reference. As far as industry practices are concerned, we shall look at the financial industry's Swap and Repo Master Agreements and their use and status especially in the area of the netting of exposures.

2 Credits. Evaluation: Class Participation (20%), 2hour In-Class, Open Book Exam (80%).

Transnational and Multicultural Citizenship

Francisco Ibarra Palafox, UNAM

The course will invite students to relate transnational and multicultural perspectives of citizenship. At the same time, it will combine a theoretical approach with practical cases of citizenship and human rights. The main issues are the following: a general introduction to citizenship; models of citizenship; nationality, identity and citizenship; democracy and citizenship; acquisition and lost of citizenship from an international perspective; citizenship as a human right; multicultural citizenship; gender and citizenship; aboriginal people and citizenship; migration and citizenship; transnational and global citizenship.

2 Credits. Evaluation: Presentation (10%), Class Participation (20%), Essay (4000 word limit) (70%). 


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