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 and the Core Course 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 Miri Gur-Arye, Hebrew University and Carlos M. Vázquez, Georgetown Law

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. Participation in seven assigned colloquia and submission of two response papers (900-1000 words each).

Core Course: Globalization, Legal Diversity and Transnational Law (Fall 2018 only)
Pascal Pichonnaz, University of Fribourg; Carlos M. Vázquez, Georgetown Law and Franz Werro, University of Fribourg/Georgetown Law

This course will explore the role of law in a globalized, complex and interdependent world.

The course will discuss the various legal traditions and examine the ways in which these traditions remain in place despite globalization. The course will also analyze how and to what extent comparative law can be used to better understand foreign law and the diversity of legal systems and cultures. It will further consider how a transnational perspective may change the traditional understanding of national and international law. The course will address concrete transnational issues and look at the ways in which public and private international law address them. Substantively, the course will explore areas such as trade and investment, human rights, the role of corporations, and drug trafficking.

Through a series of case studies, experiential exercises and discussions of scholarly work, we will reflect on 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: Reaction paper (10%), Class participation (20%), Final take-home exam (70%).

Core Course: Globalization, Legal Diversity and Transnational Law (Spring 2019 only)
Ernest Lim, National University of Singapore and Shaun McVeigh, University of Melbourne

As the core course on the CTLS program, this course will explore the role of law and its institutions in a globalized, complex and interdependent world. The course will discuss the ways in which  legal traditions have developed and understood ‘transnational law’ as a distinct body of law scholarship developed in the context of globalization. It will also analyze how and to what extent the disciplines of comparative law, pluralist legal studies can help developed accounts of the diversity of legal systems and cultures that characterise transnational legal thought. It will further consider how a transnational perspective may change the traditional understanding of national and international law give shape to the current understanding of the transnational domain.

The course will be conducted through seminars and guest lectures. It will address both methodological questions in the elaboration of transnational legal thought and concrete case studies in areas such as  such as trade and investment, human rights, the role of corporations, and drug trafficking. Finally it will address and reflect on how effective scholars, lawyers, activists or regulators might  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 (Students will be assessed on active participation in class. Small group participation: Acting as designated respondents to topics and as small group facilitators in two classes) (30%), Final take-home exam (8 hours) (2,500 words) (70%).

Spring 2019 – Elective Courses

The deadline for Spring 2019 registration is November 23, 2018 (via CTLS Course Request Form- Spring questionnaire on Studio Abroad).

Comparative Corporate Law
Ernest Lim, National University of Singapore

The course consists of a comparative study of the major areas of corporate law in the Anglo-American and common law Asian jurisdictions. We will examine a series of key problems with which any system of corporate law must deal, and we will analyse the solutions that have been adopted by these systems from a theoretical, doctrinal and empirical perspective. This comparative study aims to equip students to critically evaluate the corporate law system in their own jurisdictions. Students will be exposed to the key debates and cutting-edge literature. A basic understanding of corporate law is presupposed.

2 credits. Evaluation: Class participation (20%), Class presentation (40%), Final take-home exam (8 hours) (40%).

Comparative Contracts
Catherine Valcke, University of Toronto

This course will review the major English (and a few Canadian) cases on enforcement of promises and agreement and draw comparative parallels with the equivalent doctrines at French law. The matters considered include the requirements of enforceability, remedies for breach, the effect of contracts on third parties, the effect of writing, and some excuses for non-performance, namely, unfairness and mistake. Evaluation will be through a sit-down, three-hour open book examination.

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

Comparative Foreign Relations Law
Carlos M. Vázquez, Georgetown Law Center

A nation’s “Foreign Relations Law” refers to that part of its law that addresses how the nation interacts with the rest of the world. It is primarily part of each nation’s constitutional law, although it also includes statutory law, regulations, and customs and usage. Among other issues, a nation’s Foreign Relations Law addresses such questions as: How are international agreements negotiated, ratified, and terminated? What is the legal force of treaties and customary international law have in the nation’s domestic legal system? What is the role of the nation’s judiciary in enforcing treaties and customary international law? What are the respective roles of the executive and legislative branches in conducting the nation’s foreign relations? How is the responsibility for conducting foreign relations distributed between the national government and sub-national units, such as states or provinces. What are the roles of the executive, legislative and judicial branches in authorizing and directing the use of military force abroad?

In this course, we will examine these questions from a comparative perspective. For each issue, we will consider how these questions are addressed under the law of the United States (which is my area of primary expertise) as well as under the law of various other countries.

2 credits. Evaluation: Class participation (20%), Research paper (4,000 words) (80%).

One-plus option:

For 1 extra credit, up to six 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 6,500 words, not including footnotes.

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

Criminal Law Defenses: Theory and Comparative Perspectives
Miri Gur-Arye, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
John Stanton-Ife, The Dickson Poon School of Law, King’s College London

The course will discuss and analyze the various criminal law defenses. It will offer a theoretical basis for analyzing the defenses in criminal law and will address the rationales of the various defenses and the dilemmas that have arisen regarding some of the defenses. Debated issues, such as whether either duress or necessity should excuse an actor who has sacrificed the life of an innocent person in order to save her own life, will be elaborated.

In addition to the discussion of “classic” defenses, the course will point out contemporary developments, such as a modified self-defense for battered women who kill their attacker while asleep or in otherwise non-confrontational situations.

Throughout the discussion, the different approaches of the Common law and German law will be highlighted.

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

Environmental Litigation: Transnational Issues
Elisa Ruozzi, University of Torino

Environmental law is among the fast-growing areas of litigation at all levels: international, regional as well as national. The judicial enforcement of norms and rights aimed at the protection of the environment and at the rational utilization of natural resources poses similar challenges regardless of the context where litigation occurs: causality between conduct and environmental damage, locus standi, assessment and reparation of damage are examples of issues that any tribunal is called to face. The course will show the emergence and convergence of patterns in environmental litigation, having special regard to the scientific uncertainty characterizing the whole sector and to the new area of climate change litigation.

2 credits. Evaluation: Attendance and class participation (20%), Presentation (20%), Final take-home exam (8 hours) (60%).

Transnational Labour Law
Elisa Ruozzi, University of Torino

The centrality, in the employment relationship, of private actors, matched with the fact that occupational activities growingly take place across different legal orders, makes labour law a transnational more than a national or international discipline. Given the application, in this area, of legal sources of different origin, the course will focus, first of all, on choice-of-law issues, with particular regard to those contexts where the transnational element is inextricably linked with the nature of the activity performed. From a more substantive perspective, corporate social responsibility will be addressed, together with universal (ILO, human rights treaties) and regional standards promoting decent work. Specific attention will be finally devoted to transnational collective bargaining and conflicts, including the role of trade unions as transnational actors of employment relations.

2 credits. Evaluation: Attendance and class participation (20%), Final take-home exam (8 hours) (80%).

Transnational Legal Theory
Shaun McVeigh, University of Melbourne
Catherine Valcke, University of Toronto

This course investigates the ways in which forms of law, governance and conduct are given shape as transnational legal thought. It does so both as a matter of comparative law and jurisprudence. The present, globalized, sense of transnational legal ordering offers great challenges for legal thought. Awareness and understanding of legal plurality – in terms of rules, forms of reasoning, legal cultures and central actors – indeed serves to question both the possibility and desirability of endeavouring to explain all world law through a single model. In this course we investigate the resources of comparative law in developing fields of transnational legal thought and consider the methods and discipline of comparative jurisprudence in developing ways of conducting ourselves as jurists and lawyers within transnational legal orderings. The course will be based on a close reading of a limited number of texts rather than a general survey or research course.  Particular attention will be placed on the ways in which the discipline and methods of comparative law address issues involved in understanding foreign law and actors, the value of the concept of ‘legal systems’ and their delineation, the object of comparative law and transnational legal theory, and the role and ethos of transnational legal actors (whether citizens, lawyers or officials). It will address how the methods and discipline of comparative law and jurisprudence might train a transnational lawyer.

3 credits. Evaluation: Class participation (10%), 3 Reaction papers (30%), Final take-home exam (8 hours) (60%).

Fall 2019 – Elective Courses

The deadline for Fall 2019 registration is July 5, 2019 (via CTLS Course Request Form- Fall questionnaire on Studio Abroad)
Students will receive an email when the Course Request Form becomes available.

“Black Lives Matter” at Home and Abroad: Criminal Procedure, Policing and Race
Ekow N. Yankah, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law – Yeshiva University

The last few years in America, with its heartbreaking litany of names of unarmed black men killed by police in full public few, has placed American policing practices under intense scrutiny.  The “Black Lives Matter” movement that has arisen from those incidents, has in turn spawned related international policing protest movements. In some case, these movements draw inspiration form the American model; in other cases, they build upon longstanding protest traditions.  While most attention is understandably focused on the homicide or civil rights violations that apply to each tragic individual death, less attention is paid to the law of policing that frames and arguably perpetuates such deadly encounters and historic tension between the police and the policed.

This class will focus on American criminal procedure and the volatile intersection of policing and race relations.  The material questions the extent to which the American Supreme Court’s Fourth Amendment doctrine, which governs American policing, allows policing of persons of color in ways that would never be permitted if more widely applied.  These rulings create a legal regime in which citizens in poor neighborhoods, particularly citizens of color, are often policed by unchecked “stop and frisk” regimes.  Further, one may question whether current Fourth Amendment doctrine contributes to the disproportionate carceral harms born by African-American and Hispanic individuals, neighborhoods and racial stigmatization generally.

Further, this class will explore the forms of legal and civil protest that have arisen internationally. The class will explore the ways Black Lives Matter has been translated in different countries and circumstances as well as the unifying features in these movements.

Lastly, understanding the current legal regime is not merely a matter of surveying individual legal doctrines piecemeal.  Doctrinal discussions of the law of policing cannot be understood without a deeper inspection into the underlying philosophical.  Thus, this class brings together philosophical inspection and doctrinal examination as a single project.  Exploring the underlying philosophical theories permits richer assessment of the justifiability of the current policing regime, highlights needed critical changes and may offer lessons to be applied in broader contexts such as in analogous challenges facing Israeli policing challenges.

2 credits. Evaluation: Class preparedness and participation (20%), Research paper (4,000 words) (80%).

One-plus option:

For 1 extra credit, up to six 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.

Corporate Governance: International Perspectives
Cally Jordan, University of Melbourne

Corporate governance is the system by which publicly traded and listed companies are directed and controlled.  The modern discourse in corporate governance is inherently international, coinciding as it has with the internationalization of finance

Substantive topics covered may include theories of the corporation and their implications for corporate governance; the role of institutional shareholders; board diversity; corporate social responsibility; and dual class share structures, among others. These topics will be examined from multiple perspectives, looking at legislation, case law, corporate governance codes and international standards in  the UK, the United States, Europe and emerging markets such as Brazil and China.  In particular, the course considers the role and significance of international standards, the tensions between regulation and self-regulation, the role of market forces in corporate governance,  the effectiveness of traditional corporate governance mechanisms in emerging market economies and corporate governance country assessments under the Financial Sector Assessment Programme of the IMF and The World Bank.

Working in teams, students will be given the opportunity to make in-class presentations on selected topics in the latter part of the course.

2 credits. Evaluation: Class participation and class presentation (Students (working in teams) will prepare and present in-class presentations in the last three or four weeks of class on designated topics) (30%), Final take-home exam (8 hours) (70%).

International Agreements to Protect Children
Wallace Mlyniec, Georgetown Law Center

All nations believe they have a duty to protect children within its borders. Although the family law and the law regarding children are generally thought of as purely domestic concerns, some parent and child activities and some criminal enterprises involving children cross borders. As such, bilateral, regional, and multilateral treaties exist to protect children who move from nation to nation. Some agreements also attempt to control purely domestic concerns. Moreover, the general acceptance of U.N. sanctioned human rights initiatives has culminated in the Convention on the Rights of the Child, a treaty that has been ratified by every nation in the world except the United States.

This seminar will focus the emergence of international agreements concerning children, explore the legal and philosophical relationships between children and parents and between families and nations and consider the principal critiques made of these instruments. It will also probe the difficulties of using these instruments to protect children and enhance their well-being. Specific topics covered will be the place of children in the international order, juvenile justice systems, unfair labor practices concerning children, kidnapping and trafficking, the role of children in armed conflict, and child migrants. It will also explore advocacy on behalf of children by international human rights lawyers, nongovernmental organizations, and international bodies.

The required textbook for this course is Trevor Buck, International Child Law, 3rd edition.

2 credits. Evaluation: Attendance and class participation (20%), Research paper (3,500 to 4,000 words) (80%).

International Capital Markets: Law and Institutions
Cally Jordan, University of Melbourne

This subject will examine the phenomenon of the internationalization of capital markets over the last 30 years from a regulatory perspective and the role it played  in the Global Financial Crisis (2008- ).  An introductory section will look at  the Global Financial Crisis and international capital markets. The course will then proceed to place regulatory developments in context by examining the history, trends and issues associated with internationalization of the markets and the regulatory techniques that have developed in response to them.

The course will consider international financial institutions, such as The World Bank and quasi-regulatory bodies such as the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO), their role as capital raisers, standard setters and the Financial Sector Assessment Program (FSAPs)..

Part of the course will be devoted to specific US regulatory responses to the internationalization of capital markets:  FPI or foreign private issuer exemptions, Regulation S, Rule 144A, Mutual Recognition Systems and ADRs.

Several other different markets will be studied, regulated and unregulated, developed economies as well as developing or emerging markets, the Euromarket, London, the European Union, China, and possibly others.

The latter part of the course will focus on the changing role of exchanges and significant new areas of international finance such as Islamic finance and “green finance”.

The course will include case studies, such as the international offering of the Bolsa Mexicana and the IFFIm capital raising.

If possible, invited guest lecturers from “the City”, the financial press, regulators and exchanges will bring their real world perspectives to the course.

In the last two or three  weeks of the course, students preferably working in teams will make presentations on various topics.  The presentations will be worth 30% of the final mark.

The required textbook for this course is C. Jordan, International Capital Markets: Law and Institutions (Oxford University Press: 2014).

2 credits. Evaluation: Class participation and class presentation (Students (working in teams) will prepare and present in-class presentations in the last three or four weeks of class on designated topics) (30%), Final take-home exam (8 hours) (70%).

International and European Refugee Protection
Sarah Progin-Theuerkauf, University of Fribourg

Refugee protection and asylum are one of the most pressing societal and legal topics of our times. The course will deal with the international foundations of refugee protection, especially the Geneva Convention relating to the status of refugees. The questions of whether other categories of persons (for example environmentally displaced persons) should be included in the Geneva Convention will also be discussed.

Furthermore, the legal instruments forming the Common European Asylum System will be analyzed, among them the highly disputed Dublin Regulation. The course will finally enquire how the future Common European Asylum Law System should look like. All along the course, a special focus will be put on the discussion of relevant case-law of the European Court of Justice.

2 credits. Evaluation: Class participation 20%, Class presentation 20%, Final take-home exam (8 hours) 60%.

Law and Religion in Transnational Perspective
Arif Jamal, National University of Singapore

Within the widespread phenomenon of the (re)emergence of religion into issues of public debate, one of the most salient issues confronting contemporary societies is how religious considerations might, if at all, impact the formulation of legal norms and how the law may deal with issues of freedom of religion and freedom of religious expression.  In contemporary short-hand these issues are referred to under the rubric of religion in the public sphere (or public square).  Undoubtedly, the law acts as a critical regulator of these issues as well as being the site where many of these debates take place.

This course explores these issues through three focal points. First, we will examine the ideas of some major thinkers in legal and political theory who have theorised about the relationship of law and religion.  Our starting point for this will be the seminal contribution of John Rawls’s work Political Liberalism. After looking at Rawls’s theory we will turn to responses and reactions to Rawls from other prominent thinkers.

Second, we will examine ‘religio-legal’ cultures and traditions to understand how they express and represent the relationship of law and religion.

Finally, we will look at selected case studies – instance where law and religion have directly encountered each other – as points of reflection and discussion.

2 credits. Evaluation: Class participation (10%), Class presentation (20%), Research paper (4,000 words) (70%).

Migration and Human Rights
Sarah Progin-Theuerkauf, University of Fribourg

Migrants form the most vulnerable part of our society and often have a precarious legal status. Therefore, human rights play an important role for the protection of their rights. Especially the non-refoulement principle is of extraordinary importance, but other human rights like the right to family life also have a special meaning for migrants.

The course will analyze the application of human rights to a migrant’s life cycle – from departure in the country of origin to arrival and stay in a host country and a possible return. The special situation of asylum seekers, refugees, regular and irregular migrants will be highlighted. The course will also take into account existing case-law of the European Court of Human Rights and other international instances.

2 credits. Evaluation: Class participation 20%, Class presentation 20%, Final take-home exam (8 hours) 60%.

Paradigms of National and International Order
Sergio Dellavalle, University of Torino

No social life is possible without order. Order being the most constituent element of society, it is not surprising that so many theories have been developed to explain what social order is and how it is possible, as well as to explore the features that social order acquires in its different dimensions. This course unit presents, first, the most significant understandings of social, political and legal order that have been elaborated and established in the past. To that purpose, the vast field of the many theories of social, political and legal order is led back to a few main matrices for the use of theoretical and practical reason, which are defined as “paradigms of order”. On that basis, the plurality of conceptual constructs regarding social order is reduced to a manageable number of theoretical patterns and an intellectual map is produced in which, in an almost synoptic way, the most significant differences between paradigms are clearly outlined. Furthermore, the course unit addresses the “paradigmatic revolutions” that marked in past centuries – and are still marking in our time – the most relevant turning points in the way a “well-ordered society” is understood. Against this background, the course unit concentrates then, in a second step, on how the growing number of transactions beyond the borders of the nation states, identified by the concepts of globalization and supranational continental integration, has been addressed by political and legal theorists, with particular reference to the interpretations elaborated by the public law scholarship. In general, the challenges of the 21st century have been met by the leading public law scholarship through an extension of the domestic public law categories to the international domain, as well as through the introduction of new categories encompassing both the domestic, the supranational and the international level of public law. More specifically, the course unit presents, in the light of an in-depth analysis of many of the most influential recent contributions, how these strategies are leading to a redefinition of the traditional “paradigms of order”, or even trigger a new paradigmatic revolution in the theories of order. As a result, well-established concepts, like sovereignty, national identity and constitutionalism are reshaped, while entirely new notions – such as lex mercatoria, global governance, global administrative law, or legal pluralism – are introduced. According to the most radical interpretation, even the positive value of the Western idea of order is utterly denied.

2 credits. Evaluation: Class participation (10%), Class presentations (15%), Reaction papers (15%), Research paper (4,000 to 4,500 words) (60%).

One-plus option:

For 1 extra credit, up to six 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 to 6,500 words, not including footnotes.

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

Transnational Litigation
Elena D’Alessandro, University of Torino

The course is designed for students with interests in civil and commercial law in a transnational context and covers all major aspects of the conduct of cross-border cases in national courts.

In particular, students will be introduced to the most important issues involved in the resolution of a transnational dispute, such as:

  • Advantages and disadvantages of court litigation vs. international arbitration;
  • Jurisdiction of national courts (in cross-border cases) including choice of court agreements;
  • Forum shopping;
  • Service of process abroad;
  • Impact of third-party financing on transnational litigation;
  • Obtaining evidence abroad;
  • Actual or potential relationship with other legal proceedings in the same or similar claim (e. g. forum non conveniens, anti-suit injunctions, lis alibi pendens);
  • Transnational provisional relief;
  • Recognition and enforcement of foreign countries judgments.

2 credits. Evaluation: Class participation (30%), Research paper (4,000 words) (70%).

One-plus option:

For 1 extra credit, up to six 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 6,500 words, not including footnotes.

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