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."

Required  Courses - Fall 2016/Spring 2017

Global Practice Exercise

CTLS Faculty

Each semester will begin with an intensive, multi-day exercise in transnational and/or comparative law. The exercise will provide an opportunity for the diverse students and faculty at CTLS to work together on a common legal problem. All faculty and students will participate in the exercise. The objectives are to give students and faculty a quick start working together on a real legal practice problem, which will highlight the importance and challenges of communicating across transnational legal and cultural boundaries; draw CTLS participants into active roles in their own learning and academic exchange; and introduce students to the process of tackling real-world legal problems that transcend national boundaries, learning both transnational variations in substantive law and legal processes.

1 Credit, required.

Transnational Law Colloquium

Coordinated by Serena Quattrocolo, University of Torino, Franz Werro, Georgetown Law and University of Fribourg (Fall 2016) and Julie O'Sullivan, Georgetown Law (Spring 2017)

This colloquium will meet weekly for presentations by leading academics and practitioners on topics of current international, transnational or comparative law interest. Each meeting will involve the presentation of a paper, brief comments, and a discussion with the author/presenter among all participants. Attendees will be the Center's students, faculty and invited guests. Students, who will be divided up and each assigned to attend a sub-set of the colloquia, will write short responses to the papers in advance of the meeting.

1 Credit, required.

Core Course: Transnational Legal Issues and Legal Diversity (Fall 2016 only)

Franz Werro, Georgetown Law and University of Fribourg

This course will explore how law evolves in our globalized, complex and interdependent world. In the first part of the course, we will begin with a survey of the various legal traditions, and analyze the ways in which they still play a role despite globalization. The course will then explore how and to what extent comparative law can be used to better understand foreign law and the diversity of legal systems. It will finally analyze how a transnational perspective may change the traditional understanding of national and international law. In the second part of the course, we will address concrete transnational issues and look at the ways in which public, criminal and private international law tend to solve them. Substantively, the course will explore areas such as investment, trade, development, health, human rights, and terrorism.

Methodologically, the course will show how effective lawyers, activists or regulators understand the mosaic of relevant legal materials and the levers they can use to promote a cause, or influence behavior of relevant actors. The course will also explore how the transnational perspective helps understand and address issues that involve multiple actors (states, corporations, indigenous groups. NGOs), multiple laws (national laws, international agreements, contracts) and multiple jurisdictions (national courts, international tribunals, supra national arbitration panels).

3 Credits, required. Evaluation: Class Participation (20%); Reaction Papers (20%); Final take-home exam (8 hours) (60%).

Core Course: Transnational Perspectives on Law (Spring 2017 only)

Serena Quattrocolo, University of Torino

The course offers a path to explore the multifold issues related to the idea of transnational law. The current debate on this topic, in fact, follows several different patterns, some of them aimed to scrutinize the very sense and extent of the concept itself.

Facing transnational law means, first of all, to reconsider the role of nations in producing law, either domestic and non-domestic. This issue has a different impact on statutory and non-statutory systems: thus, the course will first focus on the traditional distinction between these two legal families. Moreover, several different reasons along the centuries brought nations to settle their interests by means of common arrangements: from the basic tools of bilateral agreements, to the more sophisticated instruments of supranational law, that is produced, today, by some organization. The course will thus consider the different levels of integration between States, producing international and supranational law, as concepts that are different from transnational law. The readings assigned and the discussion in class will focus on the tools and methods that we can use for this analysis: comparative law, translation, transplant of models will be considered in their usefulness, as instruments for the circulation of legal ideas throughout national borders.

Second. The task to grab the meaning of transnational law will imply also a reconsideration of what is law in itself. This speculation will be led through the inquiry of some normative systems that seem to have developed regardless of national boundaries and borders. In the light of these examples, the readings and the in-class-work will focus on some recent cases implying transnational perspectives.

3 Credits, required. Evaluation: Class Participation (20%); Reaction Papers (20%); Final take-home exam (8 hours) (60%).


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