Fall 2021 – Required Courses

All students are required to take the below two courses. Students who attend the program in both the Fall and the Spring semester may only take the Global Practice Exercise in their first semester at CTLS.

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. Evaluation: Participation in the plenary sessions and breakout groups.

Transnational Law Colloquium
Coordinated by Yvonne Tew, Georgetown Law and Walter Stoffel, University of Fribourg

The Transnational Law 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. Participation in seven assigned colloquia and submission of three response papers (900-1,000 words each).

Spring 2022 – Required Courses

All students are required to take the below three courses. Students who attend the program in both the Fall and the Spring semester may only take the Global Practice Exercise in their first semester at CTLS.

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. Evaluation: Participation in the plenary sessions and breakout groups.

Transnational Law Colloquium and Lectures in Transnational Justice
Coordinated by Walter Stoffel, University of Fribourg and Carlos M. Vázquez, Georgetown Law

The Transnational Law 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 two of the papers in advance of the meeting.

The Lectures in Transnational Justice are similar to the Colloquia; however, they are more formal, have a higher profile, and are aimed at the wider CTLS community within London. There will be two lectures each semester delivered by scholars or practitioners with significant transnational experience. Students must attend both lectures and write a short response to one of the lecture papers.

1 Credit, required. Participation in seven assigned colloquia and submission of two response papers (900-1,000 words each). Participation at two lectures and submission of one response paper (900-1,000 words each).

Core Course
Elena D’Alessandro, University of Torino and
Carlos M. Vázquez, Georgetown Law

Full course description to be confirmed.

3 Credits, required.

Fall 2021 – Elective Courses

The deadline for Fall 2021 registration is Monday, July 19.

Please note that some of these courses will be offered virtually (via Zoom) only. For details, please see the Fall 2021 Schedule.

Students are expected to be in London to attend classes in person. In cases where the professor is teaching remotely via Zoom from their home country, students will be expected to participate from the CTLS classroom.

Comparative Constitutional Law
Yvonne Tew, Georgetown Law

How do we lose and save a constitutional democracy? How can democratic backsliding be prevented? What should we consider in designing a constitution? Can constitutions exist without constitutionalism? What is an authoritarian constitution? How do constitutions transitions and change occur? What forms of judicial review do courts employ? Is it possible to have an unconstitutional constitutional amendment? How do courts across the world interpret constitutions? Can constitutions be employed abusively?

Comparative constitutional law has exploded in contemporary constitutional practice and as a field of study. Events around the world—from Asia and the Middle East to Europe and Latin America—underscore the importance of understanding how constitutional democracies are born and how they can collapse. In this course, we will explore constitutions in global perspective, examining issues of constitutional structure and rights across comparative constitutional systems. We will cover topics like constitution-making, constitutional change, constitutional amendment, judicial review, and constitutional interpretation. Drawing on examples across the world, we will also examine individual rights issues, such as freedom of religion, as well as constitutionalism in fragile democracies and in times of emergency and during the COVID-19 pandemic.

2 Credits. Evaluation: Class participation (30%), Class presentation & discussion leadership (10%), Response posts (four posts of 1,000 words each) (60%) OR
Class participation (30%), Response posts (four posts of 350 words each) (10%), Final research paper (60%).

ONE-PLUS OPTION:

3 Credits. Class participation (30%), Response posts (four posts of 350 words each) (10%), Final research paper (6,000 words) (60%).

For 1 extra credit, a limited number of students who need to fulfill a graduation requirement at their home university may write a major research paper. To obtain the extra credit, the student must (a) turn in a written outline of the paper for faculty comment relatively early in the semester, (b) turn in a complete first draft for faculty comment two-thirds of the way through the semester, and (c) write a paper of 6,000 words, not including footnotes.

Please note that this course has been approved as a WR course for Georgetown students.

Competition Law
Walter Stoffel, University of Fribourg

This course gives an overview of competition law. It focuses on the European system, but includes outlooks at other competition law systems, especially the one of the United States.

The course is divided into two parts. The first part analyses the institutional and procedural framework, with respect to both administrative and private enforcement. The second (and larger) part deals with substantive competition law where an increasing convergence of the systems can be observed in the last twenty years. Based on case studies, the course presents the three pillars of competition law, i.e. agreements restricting competition (both horizontal and vertical), abuse of dominance and – to a lesser extent – merger control.

Recommended course book: GERBER David, Global Competition: Law, Markets, and Globalization, Oxford University Press, Oxford 2010.

2 Credits. Evaluation: Class Participation (20%), Final take-home exam (8 hours) (80%).

Criminal Law: Theory and Comparative Perspectives
John Stanton-Ife, King’s College London

The course explores some of the principles and doctrines underlying the criminal law.  It examines selected themes in the notion of culpability, for example the role of intention, knowledge, recklessness, negligence and the legitimacy or otherwise of strict liability and constructive crime. It also looks at various defences, for example self-defence, duress, necessity and the insanity defence. Subject to time constraints it may examine inchoate offending and/or complicity.  Beyond these questions of the ‘general part it aims to examine at least one specific offence.

Throughout, the course aims to stay mindful of the fact that different legal systems face the same or similar problems.  Various comparisons will be made between the different (and sometimes similar) approaches to the relevant criminal law issues of different legal systems.

2 Credits. Evaluation: Class participation (20%), Final take-home exam (8 hours) (80%).

Cultural Appropriation: Innovation or Theft?
Madhavi Sunder, Georgetown Law

Innovation thrives on borrowing from creators, past and far-flung. When does cultural exchange cross the line into cultural misappropriation or theft decried as “cultural appropriation”? Notably, today’s culture wars increasingly turn on intellectual property claims, with calls for attending to the legal and ethical implications of dominant cultural creators taking and profiting from the innovations of disadvantaged and minority creators. From claims of copyright in dance moves sold on the blockbuster video game Fortnite and peddled on apps like TikTok, to the use of trademark law to upend registration of racist brands, to protests over cultural appropriation in fashion, diverse citizens contest ownership and authorship of our common culture. This seminar considers the particular role of intellectual property in promoting free cultural exchange, albeit on fair terms in a global marketplace of ideas marked by sharp differences in power, wealth, and knowledge. The seminar seeks to facilitate respectful and meaningful intercultural dialogue about identity, recognition, and semiotic and distributive justice.

1 Credit, short-course. Evaluation: Attendance and participation in all sessions, Final take-home exam (8 hours).

Intellectual Property and Popular Culture
David Tan, National University of Singapore

This course is designed to offer an interdisciplinary and transnational cultural studies perspective on the enforcement of intellectual property (IP) rights with a focus on the relevance of an understanding of cultural production and semiotic consumption to legal doctrine. It discusses the application of intellectual property laws to aspects of popular culture such as movies, television, music, sports, fashion, and lifestyle. The course covers caselaw from the United States, United Kingdom, European Union, Australia and Singapore.

Students will be exposed to using relevant insights from cultural studies to evaluate how an understanding of the contemporary production, circulation and consumption of such cultural products like celebrities, fictional literary characters and status symbols could ultimately assist in a more nuanced development of copyright, trademark and personality rights laws.

3 Credits. Evaluation: Class participation (20%), Final take-home exam (8 hours) (80%).

Judicial Review of Administrative Action in the EU Countries
Silvia Mirate, University of Torino

What are the features of citizens’ judicial protection towards the public administration? Is there a special protection system because of the special Courts or because of the public nature of the dispute?

The course focuses on the two questions in order to analyse the main characteristics of the judicial review of the administrative action in the EU Countries (especially in the French, Italian, German and Spanish legal systems). Traditional comparative studies generally distinguish between monist and dualist systems, depending on the attribution of disputes between public administration and citizens to the circuits of one or two Courts, ordinary and special (administrative). However, this monism-dualism alternative is not exhaustive of all possible judicial structures, as the EU legal systems show significant differences in their organizational and institutional features. The course will explore such differences, with particular reference to the topics of the access to courts and the types of judicial protection afforded to citizens. A special attention will be paid to the influence of the EU Court of Justice and of the European Court of Human Rights case law, which often play a key role in bringing convergent improvements in the effectiveness of the national judicial systems.

2 Credits. Evaluation: Class participation (20%), Class presentation of a topic discussed in the course (30%), Research paper (4,000 words) (50%).

Law and Policy of Technological Innovation
Riccardo de Caria and Cristina Poncibò, University of Torino

The course examines selected issues about the law and policy of technological innovation from a public law and private law perspectives.

Precisely, it covers the following topics:

  • Freedom of expression on the Internet
  • The regulation of the sharing economy
  • The law of the surveillance state
  • Blockchain and smart contracts

Topics will be addressed with respect to EU Law, also in comparison with other relevant jurisdictions.

Across the different topics, the course aims at going beyond the description of existing law and case-law, in order to encourage critical reflection and discussion on what is the most preferable approach that the law should follow in dealing with the current technological revolution

The main goal is to foster the ability of students to engage in a critical analysis of existing and proposed regulations in the tech field, applying what they will learn in the areas covered to all other areas of tech law. The comparative approach will help in this endeavor, helping to appreciate the relativity of regulatory approaches

2 Credits. Evaluation: Attendance & Class participation (20%). Final research paper, due on the deadline date for written work (4,000 words) (80%). In the final research paper, students are asked to comment on some relevant excerpts from scholarship, case-law or newspaper articles (with which they will be presented for the first time), based on the materials assigned and discussed in class, and on their independent research. The assignment will be handed out to the students after the final class.

ONE-PLUS OPTION:

For 1 extra credit, a limited number of students who need to fulfill a graduation requirement at their home university may write a major research paper. To obtain the extra credit, the student must (a) turn in a written outline of the paper for faculty comment relatively early in the semester, (b) turn in a complete first draft for faculty comment two-thirds of the way through the semester, and (c) write a paper of 6,000 words, not including footnotes.

Please note that this course has been approved as a WR course for Georgetown students.

Law meets Film
Walter Stoffel, University of Fribourg and Lucie Bader, film and media expert, Bern (Switzerland)

For further information about this course, please navigate to the University of Fribourg webpage.

The course confronts law as a form of scientific analysis of the society with film as one form of artistic expression. Participants will watch and discuss films in which law and legal protagonists play or should play a role, analyse the narration of the film as well as the legal problems involved. They will reflect on the function of the law in the society and the role of the professionals that they are about to become.

The stories of many movies have an untold background relating to the role of law and lawyers that the course shall try to uncover. The course will deal with fundamental topics of law and society in an international perspective, with a special focus on corporate social responsibility of multinational undertakings and on the international protection of fundamental rights and freedoms.

The films will include BlacKkKlansman (Spike Lee, USA, 2018, 135’), Denial, (Mick Jackson, United Kingdom, 2015, 109’); The Cleaners (The Cleaners, Hans Block/Moritz Riesewieck, Germany 2018, 90’); Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri (Marin McDonagh, Great Britain/USA 2017, 115‘); The People vs. Fritz Bauer (Der Staat gegen Fritz Bauer, Lars Kraume, Germany 2015, 105‘); The Secret in Their Eyes (El secreto de sus ojos, Juan José Campanella, Argentina/Spain 2009, 205’).

“Law meets film” is a 2-credit course, including an introduction into the topics and in film narration as well as a sample of cinematic and legal analysis of the films and the issues they raise. One or two special events will be organized in connection with BFI (British Film Institute) London Film Festival (6-17 October 2021).

Required textbook: David Bordwell, Kristin Thompson, Jeff Smith: Film Art – An introduction. Twelfth edition, international student edition. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education, 2020

2 Credits. Evaluation: Class participation (33 1/3 %), Final research paper on a film and a topic & its presentation in class (3,500-4,000 words) (66 2/3 %).

ONE-PLUS OPTION:

For 1 extra credit, a limited number of students who need to fulfill a graduation requirement at their home university may write a major research paper. To obtain the extra credit, the student must (a) turn in a written outline of the paper for faculty comment relatively early in the semester, (b) turn in a complete first draft for faculty comment two-thirds of the way through the semester, and (c) write a paper of 6,000 words, not including footnotes.

Please note that this course has been approved as a WR course for Georgetown students.

Spring 2022 – Elective Courses

The following list is in progress and additional course descriptions are expected.

Comparative Constitutional History
René Pahud de Mortanges, University of Fribourg

Modern constitutions are the result of many influences in history: theoretical and philosophical concepts, political disputes and constitutional conventions, revolutionary overthrows and many more.

This seminar style course explores the rise of constitutionalism as well as the backgrounds and making of modern constitutions in a range of states.

Furthermore, it looks at important constitutional principles, how they evolved and how they are implemented in different constitutions.

It deals with questions such as: What are the different models and the basic principles of modern constitutions and how did they evolve throughout history? Can we see correlations, differences or mutual influences when we look at the constitutional history of states? An intense exchange of constitutional ideas existed since the late 18th century between England, America and Western Europe, but what about later periods and other parts of the world? Up to what extend do we see the transplant of western constitutional principles e.g. in Asian countries during and after the end of the colonial period? What is typical for Asian constitutional culture today?

Through the comparative study of these topics we will aim to better understand modern constitutions and constitutional law.

There will also be guest lectures and site visits in London.

2 Credits. Evaluation: Class participation (30%), Research paper (4,000  words) analysing one of the topics and its presentation in class (70%).

Competition Law
Walter Stoffel, University of Fribourg

This course gives an overview of competition law. It focuses on the European system, but includes outlooks at other competition law systems, especially the one of the United States.

The course is divided into two parts. The first part analyses the institutional and procedural framework, with respect to both administrative and private enforcement. The second (and larger) part deals with substantive competition law where an increasing convergence of the systems can be observed in the last twenty years. Based on case studies, the course presents the three pillars of competition law, i.e. agreements restricting competition (both horizontal and vertical), abuse of dominance and – to a lesser extent – merger control.

Recommended course book: GERBER David, Global Competition: Law, Markets, and Globalization, Oxford University Press, Oxford 2010.

2 Credits. Evaluation: Class participation (20%), Take-home exam (80%).

Cyber Law
Marta Baylina Melé, ESADE Law School

Cyber law examines the effect of the Internet on the law and of the law on the Internet. In other words, how technology interacts with and impacts and brings order as well as chaos to the law. While privacy, security, and freedom of speech issues may arise, the main focus of this course will be on intellectual property issues in cyberspace. The course is divided in three parts or modules. Module One will focus on online identity and conflicts between trademarks and domain names, Module Two will address current copyright issues on the Internet and finally, we will devote Module Three to the cutting-edge area of Artificial Intelligence (AI).

2 Credits. Evaluation: Class participation (10%), Written resolutions for 3 hypothetical cases during the course of no more than 1,000 words each (90%).

Islamic Law in a Transnational Context
Roberta Aluffi, University of Torino

Full course description to be confirmed.

Law meets Film
Walter Stoffel, University of Fribourg and Lucie Bader, film and media expert, Bern (Switzerland)

The course confronts law as a form of scientific analysis of the society with film as one form of artistic expression. Participants will watch and discuss films in which law and legal protagonists play or should play a role, analyse the narration of the film as well as the legal problems involved. They will reflect on the function of the law in the society and the role of the professionals that they are about to become.

The stories of many movies have an untold background relating to the role of law and lawyers that the course shall try to uncover. The course will deal with fundamental topics of law and society in an international perspective, with a special focus on corporate social responsibility of multinational undertakings and on the international protection of fundamental rights and freedoms.

The films will include BlacKkKlansman (Spike Lee, USA, 2018, 135’), The Cleaners (The Cleaners, Hans Block/Moritz Riesewieck, Germany 2018, 90’); Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri (Marin McDonagh, Great Britain/USA 2017, 115‘); The People vs. Fritz Bauer (Der Staat gegen Fritz Bauer, Lars Kraume, Germany 2015, 105‘); The Secret in Their Eyes (El secreto de sus ojos, Juan José Campanella, Argentina/Spain 2009, 205’).

“Law meets film” is a 2-credit course with a one-plus credit option, including an introduction into the topics and in film narration as well as a sample of cinematic and legal analysis of the films and the issues they raise (13 blocks of 2 hours).

Required textbook: David Bordwell, Kristin Thompson, Jeff Smith: Film Art – An introduction. Twelfth edition, international student edition. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education, 2020

2 Credits. Evaluation: Class participation (33 1/3 %), Presentation in class and final essay on a film and a topic (3,500-4,000 words) (66 2/3 %).

ONE-PLUS OPTION:

For 1 extra credit, a limited number of students who need to fulfill a graduation requirement at their home university may write a major research paper. To obtain the extra credit, the student must (a) turn in a written outline of the paper for faculty comment relatively early in the semester, (b) turn in a complete first draft for faculty comment two-thirds of the way through the semester, and (c) write a paper of 6,000 words, not including footnotes.

Please note that this course has been approved as a WR course for Georgetown students.

Legal Pluralism in Action: Religious Marriage Laws and the State
Roberta Aluffi, University of Torino and
René Pahud de Mortanges, University of Fribourg

Legal pluralism exists e.g. when several legal systems address themselves to one and the same person. This is the case in the area of matrimonial law, where religious norms often exist alongside state law. In most Western countries, marriage law has been secularised: the state has its own marriage law and can adapt it to changing values and family patterns. Religious marriage law belongs here to the private sphere. In many other countries exists a personal law system: the state leaves marriage to regulation of the religious communities. There the state intervenes with its own regulation to protect the interests of the weaker part in relationships and to safeguard negative religious freedom. In the field of matrimonial law, different strategies for dealing with legal pluralism can thus be observed.

This seminar style course gives an introduction to various religious marriage laws and to state strategies in dealing with them. Special attention is given to Islamic law and the Arab countries. It aims to sensitise participants to the issue of legal pluralism, which also exists in other areas of law.

The course does not overlap thematically with the course “Islamic Law in a Transnational Context” (Prof. Roberta Aluffi), but is designed to be complementary to it.

There will also be site visits in London.

2 Credits. Evaluation: Class participation (30%), Research paper (4000  words) analysing one of the topics and its presentation in class (70%).

The Executive Branch: Theoretical, Comparative and Political Aspects
Margit Cohn, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

How should presidents in the mould of Donald Trump and Joe Biden, and prime ministers such as Boris Johnson in the UK, and other heads of the executive branch be considered? In today’s ‘populist democracy’, should our conceptions regarding executive power be changed? In particular, what should be our attitude towards unilateral action and other disputed forms of governance exercised by heads of executive branches? Beyond extensive research on presidencies, especially in the US, and some studies of prime ministers, legal scholars and political philosophers have curiously granted limited attention to the general theory of this branch of government. In the current era, marked by the ascent of heads-of-state as dominant players that may disregard, to different extents, some of the tenets of liberal, representative democracy, it is time to further our understanding of the nature and role of the executive branch.

Based on my extensive research on the executive power in several democratic systems, and on my experience as a law professor who has taught courses in administrative law, comparative constitutional law, and various aspects of the intersection between law and politics, the course offers a basis for the development of a renewed thinking of executive power. Addressing the structures in the US and the UK, with some attention to other systems, against their distinct historical backgrounds, we will address different streams of research on the proper extent of executive powers that range from the support of unfettered power under a political framework to arguments for cabining power under a formal-structural rule of legality. In the process, we will examine the ways law accommodates and enhances executive dominance, and assess possible restraining mechanisms.

The course is aimed at students interested in the intersection between law and politics, looking to practice public law as private practitioners or as counsels in the public sector or in international bodies. It will also benefit students for whom knowledge of different constitutional structures and solutions to shared questions will advance their academic and professional careers.

2 Credits. Evaluation: Class participation (10%), Submission of one paper before Unit 4 (20%), Final take-home exam (70%).

The Jurisprudence and Political Philosophy of Colonialism
Jonathan Gingerich, King’s College London

Full course description to be confirmed.