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 2013 - Elective Courses

Comparative Constitutional Law

Antoni Abat i Ninet, Esade

The course will deal comparatively with constitutional texts and constitutional issues that arose in a significant way around the world. The course is divided methodologically in five segments to provide a broad view to the student of the major considerations and topics related to comparative constitutionalism.

Part one ("On general considerations") lays down the theoretical baseline of the origins, nature, issues and methodology of comparative constitutionalism.

Part two ("Constitutions and constitutionalism") defines from a comparative perspective the concept of "Constitution" and the relations between constitutionalism and democracy. We pay special attention to the constitutionalization process in the European Union.

Part three deals with the separation of powers and how States accommodate this legal and political guarantee. Specific issues in this section will include the theory of checks and balance, the presidential - parliamentary debate, judicial review and judicial activism.

Part four, "Constitutional Human Rights", covers the relations between universal human rights and the constitutional codification and development of these rights. Death Penalty, religious pluralism, ethnic and language minorities protection are analyzed in this part.

Finally, Part five examines a new phenomenon in comparative constitutionalism ("Global economic constitutionalism") that seems to marginalize national economic constitutionalism. In this segment we also deal with the relations between the WTO, IMF, NAFTA and MERCOSUR, on the one hand, and the States on the other hand.

3 Credits. Evaluation: Class Participation (25%) and paper presentation in class by the students and a final paper of 4000 words  (75%).

European Competition Law

Walter Stoffel, University of Fribourg

This course will survey three core areas of European competition law: first, it will examine the principal rules applying to the behavior of undertakings in the European market, in particular, the rules on anticompetitive agreements and on the abuse of a dominant position. In addition to the Treaty rules, it will focus on detailed Regulations and Directives in the light of the case-law and economic theory. Second, the course will introduce key concepts of antitrust procedure. Third, it will explore the challenges of globalization for the application of European competition law, including transatlantic cooperation in competition matters.

3 Credits. Evaluation: Class Participation (20%), Take-home exam (8 hours, 80%)

European Consumer Law

Joasia Luzak, University of Amsterdam

Imagine you live in Spain and you know that a new, state-of-the-art eBook reader is sold €100 cheaper in Poland. You are interested in getting this bargain online, but you are unsure what you could do if after you purchased the eBook reader it would not be delivered or would be faulty. Surveys show that EU consumers identify doubts as to the level of legal protection they would receive in case of non-performance of a cross-border contract as one of the reasons for not concluding such contracts. EU institutions want to encourage consumers to enter into cross-border transactions in order to strengthen the internal market and to improve competition. This could be facilitated by the harmonization of EU consumer law. Therefore, the EU has enacted several directives in different areas of consumer protection, such as: doorstep/distance selling, consumer sale, timeshare, package travel, unfair contract terms, unfair commercial practices, product liability, data protection and consumer credit.
This course focuses on these (and other) consumer directives and their national implementation, as well as pertinent rulings from the Court of Justice of the European Union. The aim of this course is for students to be able to identify problems in European Consumer Law at both the European and the national level. At the end of this course students should be able to evaluate existing EU consumer protection measures. Students' insights from other than EU legal systems as well as from law and economics perspective on consumer protection will be welcomed.

3 Credits. Evaluation: Class Participation (20%), Two Reaction Papers (each 15%), Take-Home Exam (8 hours, 50%).

Global Justice and Health Seminar

Trudo Lemmens, University of Toronto
Judith Lichtenberg, Georgetown University

In the first part of the course we will examine general moral and philosophical questions about global justice. What makes a moral issue an issue of justice, rather than something else? What ethical standards should govern our interactions with people in societies outside our own? Do these standards differ from those we have within a society, to our own compatriots? Do rich countries (or well-off people within them) have duties to poor countries (or poor people within them)? If so, on what basis or bases? Prior harm? Exploitation? Agreements they have entered into? Pure humanitarianism?

In the second part of the course, we will explore how, in light of these theories and arguments, law, regulation, and policy should deal with specific health-related issues. We will touch upon the respective role of national governments and international organizations such as WHO, and the potential impact of law (including human rights law) and governance mechanisms on the promotion of justice in the global health care context. Topics to be covered may include: access to essential medicines; medical research on vulnerable populations; the human organ trade; and medical tourism.

3 Credits. Evaluation: Attendance and Class Participation (25%) and Final Paper of 4,000 words  together with the proposal for a paper topic and a first draft (75%).

One-plus option

        This course is being offered for three credits. We will accept a maximum of eight students for the "one-plus option", giving priority to students who are fulfilling a writing requirement at their law school. Students taking this option will receive four credits; they will write a paper of at least 6,000 words, excluding footnotes.

Human Rights

Satvinder Juss, King's College London
Antoni Abat i Ninet, ESADE

The first part of the course is an introductory section that will examine the different levels (national and international) of legal protection of human rights. We will pay special attention to the bill of rights of national constitutions and to the international human rights treaties.

The second part of the course will study topics chosen from several international conventions (including those of Europe and Latin America) and the UK's Human Rights Act of 1998, as a case study of national implementation of human rights. The topics will include substantive rights (the right to life and the death penalty; the prohibition of torture; freedom of religion; freedom of expression; freedom of assembly and association). We then turn to principles of criminal procedure (non-retroactivity, investigations (privacy of spaces), arrests (deprivation of physical liberty), and trials (illegally obtained evidence and entrapment), privacy of decisions and the prohibition of discrimination .

The last section will examine human rights in emergency situations.

3 Credits. Evaluation: Attendance and class participation (25%) and a final paper of 4,000 words together with the proposal for a paper topic and a first draft (75%).

One-plus option

        This course is being offered for three credits. We will accept a maximum of eight students for the "one-plus option", giving priority to students who are fulfilling a writing requirement at their law school. Students taking this option will receive four credits; they will write a paper of at least 6,000 words, excluding footnotes.

International Criminal Law

David Luban, Georgetown Law
Peter Rush, University of Melbourne

Modern international  criminal law was born at the end of World War II at the Nuremberg and Tokyo trials of what were then described as "major war criminals". The  subject lay dormant until the 1990s, when the United Nations created  international tribunals to try atrocity crimes in former Yugoslavia and  Rwanda; soon there were also tribunals for Sierra Leone, Cambodia, Timor Leste, and Lebanon. The International Criminal Court began operating in 2002, and its docket contains cases and investigations concerning half-a-dozen countries. It has indicted high-level suspects that include a sitting national president.

At the same time, national  judicial systems have tried cases involving perpetrators of the same "core crimes" as the international tribunals: war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide, and aggressive war. Over the past two decades, a complex jurisprudence has emerged, dealing with fascinating issues of both substance and procedure. Possibly for the first time in history, violence against women has become a central focus of post-conflict criminal justice.

International criminal law has also drawn significant criticisms. Its hand falls unevenly: powerful countries and their officials are seldom if ever the targets, and ever  since Nuremberg accusations of "victor's justice" have accompanied  international criminal trials. Some critics charge that the ICC is a court that tries only Africans; along the same lines, critics have observed that transnational cases often involve prosecutors from former colonial powers investigating their own former colonies. Other critics believe that international criminal accountability violates basic principles of state sovereignty. More fundamentally, deep questions have emerged about whether criminal justice is an effective way to restore social order, heal post-conflict societies, and relieve the agony of surviving  victims.

This course will address the institutional framework of international criminal law and its representation of law, crime and justice. It gives students a grounding  in the basic doctrines of international criminal law, as well as their contemporary significance for responding to atrocity and massive crimes.

3 Credits. Evaluation: Class Participation (20%) and Final Take-Home Exam (8 hours, 80%). 

Tax Policy in an Era of Globalization

Ilan Benshalom, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

The course will examine how principles of law, philosophy, economics, and politics should and do influence the design of modern tax systems. The first part of the course emphasizes the growing global market pressures that tax policymakers face when trying to advance distributive concerns through their domestic tax systems. In particular, it focuses on those outstanding issues emerging in a world in which, because of globalization, there is a growth in intra-state inequality and a greater need for a state provided social safety net. However, in this new global economy states also find themselves more limited in their abilities to collect tax revenues - especially from mobile tax bases such as capital (and, to a lesser extent, high skilled labor). The second part of the course covers briefly the history and basic structure of international taxation, double tax treaties and issues of international tax avoidance. The course explores the way in which current tax arrangements correspond with issues of trade and notions of distributive justice. The instructor would try to leave some time at the end of the course for students to elect additional topics that would be studied.

        There are no prerequisites for this courses - only an interest in tax policy, globalization, and the tension between efficiency and distributive considerations. Some of the material will be straightforward, but some will require a bit of time and attention to fully understand. If you find you are struggling with any of the reading assignments, please do not hesitate to raise questions during our classroom discussion or in private with the instructor.

2 Credits. Evaluation: Class Participation (mostly based on small group discussions) (25%), Final Paper  (75%).

Transitional Justice

Peter Rush, University of Melbourne

Transitional justice is an enterprise that engages the law and politics of social transformation in the aftermath of conflict and trauma. Over the last four decades, more than thirty truth commissions have been created in the countries of Central, Latin and South America, of Asia, Australia and the Pacific, and of Africa and Europe. These have often been accompanied by trials (both criminal and civil), amnesties, pardons and apologies, and reparation regimes. Strongly shaped by law, this panoply of institutions and practices has been concerned to correct the historical record, redress the wrongs committed and reconcile the conflict.

        After setting out the contours of the contemporary transitional justice project, the course moves to a series of in-depth case studies of the legal response to trauma and atrocity in post-conflict transitions. The studies will be drawn from a range of countries, including Argentina, South Africa, Germany and Australia. They will be selected to exemplify the variety of legal institutions and processes that shape transitional justice. (Students will have the opportunity to research their own case study in their paper for the assessment.)

Drawing on interdisciplinary legal materials, the course will address the dilemmas of law and justice in transitional societies These include the limits and possibilities of transitional justice in responding to situations of mass atrocity; the complexities of historical memory and forgiveness; the difficulties of communal responsibility in the aftermath of historical trauma and social conflict; and the shaping of testimonial practices by legal institutions such as truth commissions, amnesties and apologies.

2 Credits. Evaluation: Attendance and Class Participation (20%) and Final Paper of 4,000 words  together with the proposal for a paper topic  (80%).

Transnational and Comparative Health Law and Policy

Trudo Lemmens, University of Toronto

The increasingly global nature of health care, health research and health product development creates specific challenges for law and policy. The growth of border-crossing health care and research practices renders it difficult, for example, to develop legal norms and standards in isolation and highlight the mutual influence of national legal systems. In some areas of health research and health care practice, transnational collaboration and international health governance appear inevitable. Building on selected health law topics, the course will explore, from a comparative law perspective, the development of national legal norms and governance mechanisms in the context of health, the creation of new transnational legal and regulatory tools, and the role of international legal instruments.

Topics to be covered may include: the right to health and its justiciability; compensation for injury; organ donation; abortion; assisted human reproduction; euthanasia; the protection of human research subjects; health information privacy and biobank research; and the regulation of pharmaceuticals.

2 Credits. Evaluation: Attendance and Class Participation and a short Presentation (30%) and Final Paper of 3,500 words (topic to be agreed on with the instructor) (70%).

The presentation schedule will be determined in the first class and will involve a brief critical review of the national legal norms of the students' jurisdiction in relation to one of the topics.

One-plus option

This course is being offered for two credits. A maximum of six students can opt for the "one-plus option", with priority to students who are fulfilling a writing requirement at their law school. Students taking this option will receive three credits; they will write a paper of between 6,000 and 8,000 words, excluding footnotes. Students using this option have to submit a detailed plan and a draft.


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