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International & Comparative Law Courses

International Law, Human Rights, and Immigration

  • Advanced Issues in Private Financing - This seminar will address topics in private financing and corporate reorganization under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code. It also will cover various aspects of cross-border cooperation in the insolvency proceedings of multi-national corporations. The principal emphasis will be on student research; a written research paper (which may satisfy the senior writing requirement) will be required. Students will be required to select a paper topic and submit a brief abstract before December 1, 2008. The instructor will be available in during the fall term consult with students about the selection of a topic. There also will be one or more organizational meetings in the fall term. Beginning after spring break seminar meetings will be devoted to students' presentations of their research and discussions by the seminar participants. Students wishing credit for the senior writing requirement must submit an initial draft for my review and comment by the week following spring break. All final papers will be due no less than five days before grades are due in the Registrar's Office for graduating students. THIS IS A FULL-YEAR SEMINAR AND ALL STUDENTS MUST ENROLL FOR BOTH SEMESTERS.
  • Approaches to Islamic Law - This course aims to introduce students to the study of Islamic law, the all-embracing sacred law of Islam. In this course we will attempt to consider many different facets of the historical, doctrinal, institutional and social complexity of Islamic law. In addition, the various approaches that have been taken to the study of these aspects of Islamic law will be analyzed. The focus will be mostly, though not exclusively, on classical Islamic law. Specific topics covered include the beginnings of legal thought in Islam, various areas of Islamic positive law (substantive law), public and private legal institutions, Islamic legal theory, and issues in the contemporary development and application of Islamic law.
  • Bok Course: Executive Compensation Before and After the Crisis - What do the German Mannesmann CEO Klaus Esser and Mickey Mouse have in common? The hostile takeover of the Mannesmann AG by Vodafone in 2000 marked a turning point in the German corporate governance model. The ensuing Mannesmann case before German courts and the long-lasting Disney litigation in the US shall serve as the point of departure for the comparative study of the un¬derlying systems of executive compensation. It will shed some light on the contrast between the respective corporate governance systems and the need for comparative research. Ever since the recent global financial crisis corporate governance reform is on the political agenda again and executive compensation in particular has been the subject of fierce academic and public debate because of the potential contribution of top managers’ incentives to the upheaval. Executive pay will therefore serve as an exemplary field of study in comparative corporate governance throughout this course. This course examines recent trends in comparative corporate governance and explores fundamental differences of executive compensation in different corporate governance systems. To this purpose, this course begins with a contextual overview of ‘systems’ of corporate governance, which material is then applied in the following sessions on the topic of executive compensation. Therefore, the course will analyze the historical and theoretical context of executive pay, looking at the recent academic discus¬sion about the bargaining situation for management contracts. Furthermore, the implications for executive pay levels and its structure will be studied. At the same time, the course will focus on the interplay of governance tech¬niques, reviewing relevant corporate law in the US, the UK, Germany and possibly other jurisdictions as well as the various pieces of EU legislation in this field, and discuss the effectiveness of government regulation of executive compensation. The approach taken is both functional and comparative. The course seeks to situate these solutions in the underlying concepts and assumptions of the chosen systems, as these often provide an explanation for divergences. The class will mainly focus on listed companies. The course assumes students have some knowledge of the basic structure of corporate laws (regardless of jurisdiction). As this class meets for three weeks (10/22 - 11/9) students. The 2 week add/drop period does not apply.
  • Bok Course: The Making of European Law - This course examines the structure and process of lawmaking in the contemporary European Union. We will begin by comparing the multilevel European governance structure with traditional federalist models, particularly the U.S. We will then focus on contract law as a particularly effective case study of European lawmaking in action. We will examine the evolving combination of hard law, soft law, and privately-made law that governs contracting in the EU, and how these bodies of law emerge from legislation, the courts, and private standard setting bodies designing standard contract forms, all acting both at the European level and within the individual states. Topics to be explored include (1) allocation between the EU and the member states of the competence to legislate in the field of contract and consumer law following enactment of the Lisbon Treaty; (2) choosing between hard and soft law, and between legislation and private law making; (3) the relationship between legislation and the European Court of Justice in making contract law; (4) coordination between EU legislation, Member State implementation .
  • China & International Human Rights Law - China officially accepts the existence of universal international human rights norms and has acceded to many of the major international legal instruments governing human rights, has signed others and has participated extensively in the United Nations Human Rights Council and other components of the international human rights regime. Yet, the People’s Republic’s human rights record faces serious, extensive and multifaceted criticisms from Chinese sources, international human rights NGOs and foreign states, including the United States State Department’s annual China Human Rights Report. China’s responses (both official and unofficial) have ranged widely, from disputing over the facts, to debating the content, priority and interpretation of applicable human rights norms, to arguing about internationally legally permissible means for promoting or protecting human rights, to critiquing the record of governments that criticize China. This seminar will address and examine these issues through a brief review of Chinese approaches to human rights in the pre-1990s period and a much more extensive consideration of relatively contemporary primary sources, Chinese and foreign reports, and Chinese and foreign scholarship. Although the course emphasizes themes and patterns in Chinese approaches to international human rights, selected issues and areas of human rights and law in China will receive more in-depth attention, partly from several guest speakers expert in subfields of Chinese human rights. The principal requirement for the course is a final paper on a topic concerning China and international human rights law. Class participation also counts in grading, including through service on panels that will focus on particular weeks and topics. To accommodate guest speakers, it may on rare occasion be necessary to schedule a "make up" session outside the usual class period. These will be scheduled to minimize conflicts.
  • China & International Law - During the last three decades, China has become a principal participant in the international legal order. The PRC’s entry into the WTO in 2001 was a major milestone in its long march to membership in almost all of the major international organizations. China has enacted and repeatedly amended elaborate legal frameworks for foreign investment and trade, acceded to (or promised to accede to) major international conventions, entered into myriad bilateral agreements, engaged in the legal and political debates over international human rights and the rule of law, negotiated and disputed with other states over several of the major contemporary cases of unsettled territory, and become (directly or through its instrumentalities) a frequent party to, or focus of scrutiny in, transnational litigation. This seminar examines contemporary China's approach to international law, focusing on how China has understood and addressed key principles and doctrines of international law, and on international legal disputes and actions that have been important for China (including Taiwan and Hong Kong). Specific topics to be covered include China’s approach to sources of international law, treaties, statehood and sovereignty, the relationship between domestic and international law, state jurisdiction, immunity and responsibility, international dispute resolution, the law of the sea, human rights, the use of force and international economic law. In each of these areas, the course addresses concrete contemporary controversies as well as broader patterns and underlying issues. Introductory sessions will focus on major themes in China's earlier approach to international law.
  • Chinese Law - Since the late 1970s, Chinese laws and legal institutions have developed rapidly, if unevenly, amid—and in response to—China’s rapid economic transformation and deepening integration the outside world, and the social and political challenges and consequences that this “reform” and “opening” have produced. This course focuses on the post-1978 Reform Era, with primary attention to recent and current developments and with some consideration of the pre-Reform Era. The course focuses on key areas of Chinese law that are analogous to major areas of American law, including criminal law (and other means of social control), contracts (and other means for promoting and structuring economic relationships), property rights (and their relationship to economic change and their political consequences), torts (and torts’ relationship to public safety and health-related regulation), constitutional and administrative law (and other issues of law and public accountability), and the role of courts (including in handling civil disputes). Throughout, political, economic and social contexts are emphasized. Significant portions of the course will be co-taught with Visiting Professors Fu Hualing (University of Hong Kong) and Wang Xixin (Peking University). Cross-registrants from other schools welcome. The exam will be open-book, essay. It will be take-home with a length limit. Class participation (depending on the size of the class, possibly partly in the form of panels for specific weeks and topics) will count toward the final grade.
  • Common Law Contracts for LLMs - Although civil law and common law are different legal systems, with different origins, history, methodology and rules, today’s global market demands a global or transnational approach to contract law -- a core set of rules and principles to facilitate transactions and business. That core set of principles exists, which explains why common law and civil law oftentimes arrive at similar solutions to legal problems. The purpose of this course is to provide lawyers educated in the civil law tradition with an introduction to modern American contract law in order to assist them in arriving at that core set of principles through an understanding of both legal systems. Students will analyze and discuss certain basic core principles of the common law, and the fundamental elements of American contract law: mutual assent, enforceability, performance and breach, remedies, and defenses. Although these general principles will be discussed in a traditional, Socratic format, students are encouraged to engage in discussion about the similarities and differences between the common law of contract and the different statutory frameworks that control in their respective civil law jurisdictions. The class will discuss, among others, similarities and differences between the civil code and the Restatement and UCC, code-defined formalities and the statute of frauds, and compare common law and equitable remedies to those available under the civil codes. The course will emphasize negotiating with lawyers from different legal traditions, as well as enforcement of contracts (created under both common law and civil law) by the courts of both legal systems. The purpose of engaging in comparative analyses is for students’ questions and specific interests to be addressed by reference to concepts with which they are already familiar, transcending the realm of the theoretical. The course will focus on the practical points of contact and conflict between the different legal systems and their interactions. Drop/add must be completed by the end of the third class session. Attendance is recommended for all sessions. A final multiple choice, partial open book exam will account for 80% of each student's grade. Class participation will account for the remaining 20% of the student's grade.
  • Comparative Constitutional Law - The field of comparative constitutional law has exploded in the past decade, with many countries experiencing dramatic changes in constitutional governance, and with a sudden growth in the transnational sharing of constitutional ideas. This course will provide an introduction to those developments, and will examine some of the leading constitutional systems of the modern world. The course will be divided into three parts. We shall begin with an historical overview, examining the emergence of modern constitutionalism in the American and French revolutions. Part Two will consider the structural features of the constitutions of several influential states: France, Germany, the UK, with side-glances to South Africa, Japan, Israel, Canada, and India. We shall compare the structure and organization of the state; the nature of courts and of judicial review; the question of federalism; the scope of the legislative power; the “rigidity” of the constitution, and the problem of amendment; and the relationship of the constitution to international law. Part Three will be devoted to questions of individual rights: the protection of racial and religious minorities (e.g. the “head-scarf debate” in France); the prohibition or toleration of hate speech; the question (e.g. in India or South Africa) of “group rights”; the constitutional obligation of the state to provide its citizens with so-called “positive” rights (e.g. to welfare, to employment, to education). In the course of examining these topics, we shall also look at the debate on “global constitutionalism” that has emerged in the past decade, and consider its implications for American constitutional law.
  • Conflict of Laws - A study of the resolution of cases connected to more than one jurisdiction: when different jurisdictions (states or nations) have adopted different substantive rules of law, which should govern? Major topics will include the more significant historical approaches (vested rights and interest analysis); the Second Restatement; the role of the U.S. Constitution in interstate conflicts; international conflicts; and domestic relations.
  • Cross-Border M&A - The M&A marketplace has become increasingly global over the last 10-15 years. Companies make acquisitions outside of their home country, buy and sell global businesses and enter into joint venture transactions. The seminar will expose students to legal aspects of negotiating M&A transactions across national borders with a particular emphasis on how to structure public cross-border transactions in compliance with both the US securities laws and the laws of the acquired company’s home country, and how to negotiate private M&A transactions and joint ventures. The seminar is designed for students interested in transactional work and for those who are interested in global aspects of corporate work. The seminar will bring awareness of extra-territorial reach of securities laws and will include specific case studies of transactions in developed and developing countries. Corporations is a prerequisite. LLM students with an interest or experience in corporate law are welcome. Securities Regulation is advised, but not required.
  • Enforcement of International Law - This seminar will focus on the enforcement of public international law. The first part of the course will cover the sources of states’ obligations to obey international law and different theories as to why states do – and sometimes do not – obey international law in practice. The second part will address the most common enforcement mechanisms available under international law, including countermeasures, collective action, and dispute settlement bodies. The third part of the course will focus on case studies of current enforcement problems in areas such as the use of force, human rights, and the environment. Grading will be based on class participation, a short presentation, and a final paper.
  • European Union Law - This course will focus on the basic institutions and policies, the governmental and legal process of the European Union and its evolution. A second focus will be economic regulation: the implemetation of the basic freedoms, the harmonisation of corporate law and securities regulation, and the issues of European Monetary Union. The course should provide some comparative law experience by tracing specific European legal traditions in the development of EC law.
  • Financial Crises - This course puts the ongoing financial crisis in comparative perspective. Case studies from Asia, Europe, Latin America and the United States help identify different kinds of crises, common policy and legal challenges presented by large-scale financial distress, and the factors affecting each government’s response. The course examines economic, political and legal constraints on government actions, the allocation of authority and avenues of accountability in crisis, the respective roles of national, foreign and international actors, and institutional design for crisis management.
  • Foreign Relations Law - This course will examine the law governing the conduct of U.S. foreign relations. Structurally, we will study the respective roles of the President, Congress, and the courts in conducting and regulating foreign affairs and intersections between the federal law of foreign affairs and domestic state law. Substantively, we will cover topics such as war powers, treaties, executive agreements, and customary international law in relation to U.S. law.
  • Foundations of International Law - This course aims to investigate international law’s foundations and underlying normative structure. We will consider such topics as whether groups such as human rights organizations ought to have standing under international law; whether international law ought to apply to sub and super-national bodies such as militia groups, internal regions, and multi-national corporations; whether international law provides a legitimate constraint on the self-interested behavior of states or is just “politics by other means”; the role of human rights in the justification of international law; the conditions under which the international use of force may be justified; and other related issues. While many law students are exposed to questions from “general” jurisprudence (the basic “what is law?” question), and many will be exposed to “special” jurisprudential issues in specific areas such as tort theory or criminal law theory, there has traditionally been much less focus on foundational issues relating specifically to international law. This course seeks to remedy this deficiency. To this end we will consider both contemporary and classic sources dealing with these issues. There are no formal prerequisites for this course but some background in reading philosophical texts or international law will be useful. The course requires participation, especially being ready to discuss the assigned readings, a short presentation, and a seminar paper of roughly 25 pages. The textbooks are available at the PENN BOOK CENTER, across Sansom Street from the School. NOTE: This is NOT the University (Barnes & Noble) Bookstore.
  • Foundations of the U.S. Legal System - This course aims to provide for the entering LL.M. class an intensive introduction to the American legal system. Topics covered include American legal history, the Constitution, basic civil procedure, the law of torts, and an introduction to legal theory.
  • GRS: Islamic Finance - This course will explore contemporary Islamic finance (commerce and finance in accordance with the principles and precepts of Islamic shariah law) from a transactional vantage and with particular emphasis on structuring financial transactions and products. As part of the course, students will travel over the University’s spring break to Malaysia to meet with the Malaysian central bank (Bank Negara), the Islamic Financial Services Board (ISFB), and private sector firms and companies that are at the center of designing, implementing and overseeing the financial services products that are shaping Islamic finance now and in the coming decades. Since the earliest days of modern Islamic finance, Malaysia has played a leading role and its firms and regulators have collaborated to develop the most progressive tools in order to build important bridges between conventional and Islamic investors. In this Global Research Seminar, students will have an unparalleled opportunity to meet with the architects of these products and examine in depth the legal, religious, economic and cultural forces that underlie their design with those who are using them and regulating them on a daily basis. This course is well-suited for students who are expressly interested in Islamic law, financial markets, or transactional practice. Students will gain considerable appreciation for how financial products and transactions designed in compliance with shariah law are gaining traction not only in the Muslim world but also beyond, especially in the United States and Europe. The course is oriented towards students who are interested in transactional practice (whether Islamic, traditional or a combination of both) and is built around case studies of the structures in current use in the industry. The case studies are taken from numerous jurisdictions around the world. Goals of the Course: The course will: (a) introduce principles and concepts that need to be considered in Islamic finance and investment transactions in different jurisdictions; (b) generate awareness of the legal, business and religious issues that arise in those transactions in different jurisdictions and in different transactional environments; and (c) introduce techniques and methodologies for resolving those issues in a manner that accommodates all of the parties to the transaction and their respective risk appetites. Prerequisites: Many students have questions as to the degree of finance knowledge that is necessary as a prerequisite for this course of study. Our response has been that little or no finance background is necessary, although it is helpful. We will discuss the necessary finance principles, both interest-based (conventional) and shariah-compliant as we progress through the material. Grading and Evaluation: We anticipate that the principal deliverable for this course will be a take home exam in which the students will be asked to design a new financial product in a complex situation that is consistent with shariah principles and to discuss the business and legal issues that such a product creates. Class participation will count. Eligibility and Selection of Students: In order to be considered for the seminar, you must be a 2L, 3L, or LLM student who is able to spend ten days in Malaysia in March 2012, overlapping with Penn Law’s Spring Recess. Registration will take place in November in conjunction with registration for spring term classes. We anticipate that it will be competitive and requires the following additional materials to be sent electronically to Claire Wallace – cwallac2@law.upenn.edu by 5 pm on November 13, 2011: (i)Cover letter addressed to Professors Michael Knoll and Michael McMillen explaining your interest in the course (ii) Resume (iii) Transcript You should also list this class as your first primary request during advance registration.
  • GRS: Private Law, Nation-building & Economic Growth - This Global Research Seminar will examine the connection between different areas of private law (i.e., the law governing private interactions between citizens) and a nation’s realization of its social and economic objectives, through a comparative study of the private law of India. The course will focus on understanding the private law of India using some of the methods, techniques, and approaches used in the study of private law areas in the U.S. The seminar will approach the study of Indian private law from a comparative perspective, and examine how distinct areas of private law developed differently in the U.S. and India after they were transplanted to both countries from England. In carrying out the comparison, our focus will be on understanding how Indian courts and law-makers use private law as a mechanism of achieving certain policy goals, and what this means for the traditional divide between private and public law. The areas of Indian private law that we will discuss in this class will include: (i) tort law, (ii) contract law, (iii) the law of property, (iv) the law relating to private remedies, (v) the law of corporations, (vi) intellectual property law, and (vii) antitrust law. There are no pre-requisites for enrolling in the seminar. No prior knowledge of Indian law or of the substantive areas that we will discuss is needed. Over Spring Break in 2013, the class will undertake a 7-day field visit to India. In India, we will visit New Delhi, and meet with Indian lawyers, judges, legislators, regulators, and scholars to observe how some of the private law areas discussed in class, actually work in practice. The field trip is a mandatory part of this class, and students unable to commit to the trip over Spring break should not enroll. This class is open to 2L, 3L , and LL.M students. In order to be considered for the seminar, students must submit a short personal statement (of no more than 1,000 words) describing their reasons for wanting to take this class and their interest in the topic.
  • Global Governance - This seminar will explore the governance of the international system and the ways in which states address collective problems and challenges of the global commons. Drawing on my recent experience advising Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on global governance, the seminar will explore a series of global challenges and the often-inadequate responses states have developed to solve those challenges. Topics will include: collective security and peace keeping, global warming, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, economic conflagration, development cooperation, and energy and resource scarcity. We will examine the benefits and drawbacks of a number of methods of regulation and governance including traditional international law making, formal international institutions (such as the UN Security Council), informal groupings of states (such as the G8 and G20), unilateral action, leadership by non-governmental organizations, networked governance, and non-traditional forms of global regulation. Readings will be posted to the course portal on a weekly basis and the syllabus will evolve based on student interest. Students will be expected to undertake and present a research paper on a relevant topic of their choice.
  • Guantanamo Litigation - The course examines the history of the litigations filed by the detainees at Guantanamo Bay and, in doing so, explores the principal legal issues involved, including the applicability of law-of-war principles to the current struggle against international terrorism, the reach of constitutional protections to aliens beyond our boarders, the importance of habeas corpus as a check on executive detention and on the authority of the political branches in general, and the inter-play between habeas corpus and the individual protections in the Bill of Rights. The course will also examine certain practical issues of lawyering, including the importance of thinking strategically and creatively, the role lawyers can play in the legislative process and the use of the press to affect decisions. The class will be taught in a participatory format relying on the Socratic Method. At least one and perhaps two writing assignments will be required.
  • Human Rights Lawyering in the 21st Century - This seminar will introduce students to human rights lawyering in the present day, grounded in the historical development of human rights law and contemporary case studies. The seminar will also look at the role critical theory has played and continues to play in shaping the development of human rights. In addition to examining the law and theory underlying human rights movements and advocacy, the seminar will provide students the opportunity to critically examine the practice of human rights law through simulated and actual human rights research and advocacy projects. Students will engage in research, writing and strategic planning, and the drafting of advocacy documents, and will have the opportunity to work in collaboration with different partner organizations in doing so. There are no prerequisites, though an introductory course in international law would be beneficial. Class participation is mandatory. In lieu of mid-term or final examination, students will complete a final project of their selection, with supervision and guidance provided by the professor and fellow classmates.
  • Int'l Commercial Arbitration - This seminar provides an introduction to the theory and practice of international arbitration. The seminar is intended to introduce students to both the theoretical questions surrounding international arbitration and the hands-on issues of the practice of international arbitration. The seminar covers both international commercial arbitration and the growing field of investor-state arbitration. The professors are both practitioners who will draw on their US and international experience. The seminar begins with an introduction to the field of international arbitration, including the nature of the arbitration agreement, efforts to compel arbitration and the recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards in US courts. The seminar then proceeds to address a range of specific topics in international arbitration, such as arbitral jurisdiction, the Federal Arbitration Act, the arbitral process and hearing itself, the actors in international arbitrations, interactions between arbitral tribunals and national courts and three classes on investor-state arbitration. If time permits, there will be a mock arbitration. Students will be required to write (less than 1 page) briefing papers for at least 5 of the classes. The papers will be discussed in class. In addition, students must write one long paper for the semester on a topic to be agreed with the professors. This paper should be a maximum of twenty pages (double-spaced). The paper will be due at the end of the semester and is eligible to meet the Law School Written Work Requirement. There will be no final examination. A strong attendance record and class participation are essential. There are no formal prerequisites for the class.
  • Intellectual Property & National Econ Value Creation - This course will explore the legal structure of intellectual property laws in the United States and select foreign countries and the effect of these laws on the countries national economic development. In this process, we will explore the nature of the correlation between different types of intellectual property laws and national economic development. We will also discuss the quantification of the economic value of different types of intellectual property laws. Lastly, we will engage in a discussion as to whether intellectual property laws can be effective tools for social engineering.
  • International Business Transactions - This course provides an overview of the legal issues—domestic, foreign, and international—that arise when U.S. companies do business abroad. Transactions discussed include export sales, agency and distributorship agreements, licensing, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, privatization, project finance, and foreign government debt. The course also covers U.S., foreign, and international regulation in such areas as antitrust, securities, intellectual property, tax, and foreign corrupt practices. The course does not cover U.S. rules on import restrictions or W.T.O. matters.
  • International Civil Litigation - This course is an introduction to litigation in U.S. courts in cases involving foreign parties. The topics to be considered may include: personal jurisdiction over foreigners; forum non conveniens and other forum selection issues; discovery of evidence located outside the United States; foreign sovereign immunity; the extraterritorial application of U.S. laws, including the antitrust and securities laws; the Act of State doctrine; and the enforcement of foreign judgments. The objective of the course is to familiarize students with special procedural and substantive issues that arise in international cases.
  • International Commercial Arbitration - This seminar provides an introduction to the theory and practice of international arbitration. The seminar is intended to introduce students to both the theoretical questions surrounding international arbitration and the hands-on issues of the practice of international arbitration. The seminar covers both international commercial arbitration and the growing field of investor-state arbitration. The professors are both practitioners who will draw on their US and international experience. The seminar begins with an introduction to the field of international arbitration, including the nature of the arbitration agreement, efforts to compel arbitration and the recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards in US courts. The seminar then proceeds to address a range of specific topics in international arbitration, such as arbitral jurisdiction, the Federal Arbitration Act, the arbitral process and hearing itself, the actors in international arbitrations, interactions between arbitral tribunals and national courts and three classes on investor-state arbitration. If time permits, there will be a mock arbitration. Students will be required to write (less than 1 page) briefing papers for at least 5 of the classes. The papers will be discussed in class. In addition, students must write one long paper for the semester on a topic to be agreed with the professors. This paper should be a maximum of twenty pages (double-spaced). The paper will be due at the end of the semester and is eligible to meet the Law School Written Work Requirement. There will be no final examination. A strong attendance record and class participation are essential. There are no formal prerequisites for the class.
  • International Communication: Power & Flow - This class deals with basic questions about the relationship of the state to the flow of words and images within its boundaries. We start with a discussion of two somewhat competing paradigms--the paradigm of free expression and the paradigm (somewhat difficult to articulate) of national identity, conflict management, and sovereignty. We will discuss what I'm calling the 'institutional foundations' of the various starting points. I'll outline a more descriptive way of approaching the issues of power and flow, relying in part on my model of a 'market for loyalties. We will be interested in how systems and influences affect distribution of images and messages (some version of power), and how those images and messages impact public opinion with implications for stability, democratic growth or other political forms (some version of flow). This class deals with ways of comparing media systems and with the relationship between such systems and technological and political developments. A central issue in the class--relating to institutional foundations and overall theories of speech--has to do with the efforts of one state to affect the media space or flow of images in another. Much of the class then relates to modes of applying or observing the working of these competing forces to shape allegiances. We will take advantage of various events in the life of the Center for Global Communication Studies, visitors to the Center, and possible projects and adjust the syllabus accordingly.
  • International Environmental Law - The course will focus on the development of international law, institutions, and regimes that respond to international environmental problems. Topics will include transboundary air pollution, ozone depletion, climate change, whaling, and fisheries conservation. The course will begin with introductions to economic and ethical issues in environmental law, to the sources of public international law, and to the problem of making that law effective. The course will also examine how international trade law and institutions, including the World Trade Organization, affect efforts to protect the environment.
  • International Finance - In 1970, 90% of international transactions represented trade in goods and services. On the eve of the latest financial crisis, up to 90% of international transactions reflected movement of capital unrelated to trade. This course examines the evolving legal regime that governs cross-border capital movements in the wake of the crisis. We will consider current issues in international finance from the transactional, regulatory, and policy perspectives – reflecting the different functions of the law in this area. Beyond basic legal concepts relevant to international banking, securities and currency markets, we will address topics including crisis response, international institutions, government debt, foreign assistance and microfinance. The syllabus assumes no prior background in finance, economics, banking or securities law. It includes an overview of selected national and international legal systems for international financial transactions, and the policy environment in which they take place.
  • International Human Rights - This course provides an overview of the contemporary international human rights regime. The course includes discussion of conceptual and political foundations of human rights law; controversial topics in human rights law, such as humanitarian intervention, universal jurisdiction, and the death penalty; international, regional, and national mechanisms for the making, interpretation, implementation, and enforcement of human rights law, including civil, criminal, and non-legal methods of redress; and challenges to human rights enforcement and strategies for promoting protection of human rights. Grades are based on class participation (20%) and the final examination (80%).
  • International Tax - This is a basic course on international taxation from a U.S. perspective. The course will cover both the U.S. taxation of U.S. persons engaged in international activities (outbound taxation) and the U.S. taxation of foreign persons engaged in U.S. activities (inbound taxation). Topics will include the scope of U.S. taxing authority, source of income issues, transfer pricing, foreign tax credits, anti-deferral rules, etc. The goals of the class are to provide an overview of the relevant law, to identify and wrestle with the types of international tax issues that frequently arise today, and to become familiar with the underlying international tax policy issues that are being discussed today. A basic tax class or permission of an instructor is a prerequisite for this course. Class participation will be taken into account.
  • International Trade Regulation - This course is a comprehensive introduction to the legal framework for U.S. and international regulation of international trade in goods. The course will include: a brief introduction to the economics of trade; an examination of the World Trade Organization (WTO), the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), and related instruments; and an analysis of U.S. laws providing relief from unfairly traded imports, including the antidumping and countervailing duty laws, and of U.S. laws providing for other restrictions on imports, such as safeguards.
  • Intro to Jurisprudence - The first half of the course will provide an introduction to the main currents of thought about the nature and function of law. It will consider, among other things, the classic problem of the source of law’s authority, exploring whether an unjust law is still a law, and whether law does or ought to bear a close relation to morality. Should Nazi officials or East German border guards be punished if they were “just following orders”? What about the judges who enforced the implementation of such laws? Do the conclusions we would reach in the foregoing contexts apply to the conduct of Americans in dealing with suspected terrorists or other detainees? We will consider the divergent answers to these questions suggested by the work of J.L. Austin, H.L.A. Hart, Ronald Dworkin, Joseph Raz, and others. After addressing these traditional jurisprudential inquiries, we will turn to a more recent philosophical inquiries in philosophy of law. What is the justification for punishment and how do the various debates in this area play out in specific controversial cases? Is torture ever permissible, whether as part of a scheme of punishment or as part of a system of law enforcement? Is targeted killing a permissible part of just war theory? What should be our stance to government officials who violate the law? As we shall see, each one of these applied topics divides into deontologial theorists, on the one hand, and utilitarian, or economic, theorists on the other. We will raise the question of whether these two theories exhaust the possible moves one might make on these various topics, or whether other approaches, such as a contractarian approach, are viable options. The course will require a final, take home exam, as well as attendance, preparation and participation in discussion. The latter will count towards roughly 10% of students’ grades. This is a 1L elective course and 1Ls will receive priority in enrollment.
  • Islamic Finance - The course of study will explore contemporary Islamic finance (commerce and finance in accordance with the principles and precepts of Islamic shariah) from a transactional vantage and with particular emphasis on structuring financial transactions and products. Islamic finance will be examined both as an application of Islamic religious law and ethics (Shariah) and as an effort to create and operate a Shariah-compliant economic system, including capital markets, without riba (interest) payments and receipts and based upon a compliant risk-reward paradigm that maintains expected returns for the transactional parties. We will survey a range of Islamic investment topics and Islamic banking topics. These will include leasing, partnerships, sales, sukuk (Islamic securitizations), equity investments and funds, private equity, home ownership financings, credit cards, automobile financings and personal financings. These will be considered from the vantage of the transactional structure and Shariah principles will be derived from these case study discussions. Attendance and classroom participation are important aspects of this course. There will also be readings in each topic area covered in the course. Prior finance knowledge is not necessary; the necessary background and relevant financial concepts will be presented in the classroom presentations and discussions. Importantly, however, each student must be prepared to ask questions when they have insufficient understanding of any particular financial concept. Each segment of the course builds upon previous segments, and on the financial concepts presented in previous segments. You must stop the progression to ensure that the class does not move along until you have achieved an understanding of the then-current information.
  • Issues in Global Human Rights - Issues in Global Human Rights: Perspectives from the Left and the Right William Burke-White, Deputy Dean and Professor of Law Amy Gadsden, Associate Dean and Executive Director for International Programs Seminar, Spring 2013, M 430-630 It is often said that partisanship stops at the border, but in reality politics can define the contours of a whole range of foreign policy and international law questions and human rights is no exception. This seminar will explore key issues in international human rights from both the “left” and “right” of US politics and examine how liberals and conservatives develop agendas for addressing major human rights issues, the implications of partisan approaches for achieving progress in human rights, and how international human rights agendas are impacted by US political debates Topics for discussion will include: humanitarian intervention, democratization, transparency and accountability in the international system, corporate responsibility and labor rights, trade and human rights, rule of law, and religious freedom. In addition, the seminar will look at structural questions such as multilateral vs. unilateral approaches to human rights, the role of Congress, and the role of international institutions. Seminar readings and discussions will consider where there are areas of disagreement and where convergence may be found. Many seminar meetings will be based around guest speakers with distinct political view-points from the US government, international organizations, NGOs and academe. Students will be expected to complete a seminar paper on a topic of their choice. The seminar paper may satisfy the Penn Law written work requirement. In addition, short response emails will be expected for several of the seminar meetings.
  • Jewish Law: The Rabbinic Idea of Law - Jewish Law: The Rabbinic Idea of Law - In Judaism, law is ever present. At the practical level, it instructs a Jew how to rise in the morning, behave throughout the day, and retire at night. But the Jewish conception of law is far broader than “rules to guide behavior,” “things that happen in court,” “rules imposed by the state,” or even “rules mandated by God.” Though Jewish law embraces each of these categories, it simultaneously serves as one of the primary vehicles through which rabbinic thinkers have expressed their ideas about life’s greatest questions, including the nature of God, love, justice, morality, and community. This course will explore how in the rabbinic tradition, issues articulated by other cultures in terms of law, philosophy, ethics, politics, and theology are addressed through discussion of the detailed categories of the legal regime. To further our understanding of the unique role that legal texts, legal ideas, and fidelity to the law play within rabbinic Judaism, this course will engage in case studies that will focus on (i) the structure of rabbinic legal discourse; (ii) its centrality in organizing Jewish life and thought; (iii) the consequences, for good and ill, of framing important social questions in legal terms; and (iv) the dialectical relationship between, on the one hand, the practicable and regulatory aspects of halakhah and, on the other hand, its reflective and expressive dimensions. The course will meet every other week during the fall Semester. Grading will be based on written homework assignments (40%), class participation (40 %) and a 10 page reflection paper at the conclusion of the course (20%). Additionally, attendance at both Gruss lectures in the spring Semester (dates TBA) will be required. There will be no final in this course.
  • Law & Society in Japan - Through an examination of law and legal institutions in a non-Western setting, this course emphasizes the complex relationship between law, culture, politics and economics in advanced industrialized democracies. A special feature of the course in spring 2012 is that it will be co-taught with Bok Visiting International Professor Hideki Kanda, University of Tokyo, Japan's foremost corporate law scholar, In addition to devoting two weeks to cutting edge issues in corporate law, we will also look broadly at debates involving constitutional and criminal law, as well as more specific legal conflicts involving women’s rights, smoking, the March 11 earthqake/tsunami/nuclear meltdown, and a variety of other issues. The course reader consists of articles by legal academics, anthropologists, political scientists, sociologists and other scholars; translated cases and legal documents; and historical materials. In addition, we will view several films that offer a valuable perspective on Japanese law and society. There are no prerequisites for this course, and students with no background in Japanese or Asian studies are welcome. This is a 1L elective course and 1Ls will receive priority in enrollment.
  • Law and the Holocaust - This course draws together the fields of comparative law, constitutional law, criminal law and procedure, jurisprudence, conflicts of laws, international law, human rights and legal history, and then superimposes them on the history of the Holocaust, to examine the Nazi philosophy of law, emanating from the egregious racial ideology, and how it was used to pervert Germany’s legal system in order to discriminate against, ostracize, dehumanize, and ultimately eliminate, certain classes of people; and then, to study the role of international law in rectifying the damage by bringing perpetrators to justice and constructing a legal system designed to prevent a repetition. The course considers the following topics: 1.) The Holocaust: “Lawful Barbarism”. Overview of the Holocaust, by way of background, and the ways in which it was “anchored” in law. 2.) The Ideology That Made It Possible. Nazi theories of race and the nature and role of the State, and the legal system as an instrument of both. 3.) The Nazi Legal System In Action. Laws passed to give effect to the theories of race, and the role of the judges in interpreting and applying those laws. 4.) Jurisprudential Issues. Parts 2 and 3 above will form the foundation for an exploration of the role of morality in a system of law, through a consideration of academic writings and judicial reflection. An example of the former is the celebrated Hart-Fuller debate, in the pages of the Harvard Law Review; and an example of the latter is the controversial Bernstein litigation, in which the Courts grappled with the effect to be accorded in the US to expropriations of property by the Nazi regime. 5.) Measure For Measure: The Response Of The International Legal System. Consideration of the whole system of international human rights of the post-World War II era, revolving around five major pillars, each of which is a measure-for-measure reaction to the Holocaust: the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; the Genocide Convention; articulation of the two most egregious crimes in the international legal lexicon, Crimes against Humanity and Genocide; the creation of an international forum for bringing perpetrators to justice, namely the Nuremberg Trials; and the United Nations system. 6.) Lessons For The 21st Century. At each point, the perversion of Germany’s legal system will be the launching pad for extraction and consideration of critical lessons for contemporary democracies, as well as for the system of international law as a whole. Teaching in the course revolves around special materials prepared and edited by Professor Reicher. These consist of both primary documents as well as secondary writings. All this is supplemented by video excerpts of original archival footage, documentaries and movies, illustrating a range of themes dealt with in the course. These include: film of the actual Nuremberg Laws being read out; footage of a Nazi criminal court in action: scenes of the Nuremberg and Eichmann Trials; a re-enactment of the Wannsee Conference; a biography of Dr. Josef Mengele, excerpts from Leni Riefenstahl’s classic propaganda film, “Triumph of the Will,” and cross-examination scenes from Stanley Kramer’s classic movie, Judgment at Nuremberg.
  • Privacy and Data Protection - This lecture and discussion course explores the role of the law in the regulation of privacy, personal autonomy and access to personal data. Part I of the course examines the origins of state common law privacy law and its subsequent growth. We will consider recent uses of the four common law invasion of privacy torts recognized in most states and by the American Law Institute’s Restatement of (Second) of Torts. Part II takes on the voluminous privacy jurisprudence spawned by the Bill of Rights-- most importantly, the First and Fourth Amendments’ jurisprudence of associational, physical, and informational privacy. What are the values at stake in constitutional privacy controversies; are they the same values at issue in the common law and in discussions of social networking, web-based commerce, cloud computing and government surveillance? Part III explores the federal privacy statutes, a dynamic source of privacy and data protection law. It surveys nearly a dozen federal privacy statutes, covering government record management; health, education, and financial data; video rentals; communications; the internet; and government surveillance. Course evaluation will be based on the final exam. Class attendance is mandatory for all students.
  • Public International Law - This course introduces students to the legal rules and institutions that govern the international political system. The course provides a formal introduction to international law and emphasizes the relationships between law and politics in the behavior of states, institutions, and individuals in world politics. International law is both more relevant and more interesting today than ever before. From the war against terror to the war in Iraq; from the challenges of free trade to the dangers of environmental destruction; from prisoners in Guantanamo Bay to former heads of state appearing in court, international law has a direct bearing on many of the key issues in international affairs. This course examines how international law is created, how it operates, and what effect it has on these and other issues in contemporary international relations. The course begins with an introduction to the nature and structure of the international legal system. Topics include: the subjects and forms of international law, the key institutional actors, the theoretical background to the international legal system, and the relationships between international law and international relations. The second part of the course turns to substantive legal issues. Topics include: international economic law and the debates surrounding the WTO; international criminal law and the International Criminal Court; the protection of human rights; the use of force and the invasions of Kosovo and Iraq; the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the future of the United Nations. Additional topics may be added or substituted if international events and student interest so warrant. This is a 1L elective course and 1Ls will have a max of 80 seats (of 110) in the course.
  • Refugee Law - This course will explore the origins of “refuge” or “asylum” including the myriad of human rights violations that force people to flee and seek protection, public policy issues such as US laws and regulations that govern asylum, and international agencies that are involved in the process of granting protection. The course will cover both the international refugee law and human rights context of State practice with reference to international treaties and customary international law. The course will begin with a review of The United Nations 1951 Convention and 1967 Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees - the standard against which refugee protection will be measured. We will study the dimensions, responsibilities and realities of the Office of the United National High Commissioner for Refugees which monitors implementation of this treaty. We will then cover regional practice relating to refugees in Europe, Latin America and Africa and Asia and briefly discuss root causes reasons of current and potential population displacements The major portion of the course, however, will deal with US statutory, regulatory and case law determining who is and is not a refuge vis-a-vis the 1980 Refugee Act, implementing regulations, and administrative and judicial decisions law. To better understand and see how theory is put into practice, especially as it relates to deterring refugees from entering the US through their detention students may be involved in interviewing asylum seekers. The course will conclude by looking at the international institutional response to refugee problems. We will conclude with a discussion of ancillary refugee issues such as, restricted employment and welfare entitlements, expedited procedures, and returns to safe countries. By the end of the course, students should be able to: 1. Understand the international framework for refugee determinations 2. Understand the US domestic framework including legislation, regulations and judicial decisions, for refugee and asylum related issues. Develop practice skills including: 3. Client interviewing skills 4. Show competency in conducting an intake of an asylum seeker and developing a case analysis 5. Research Country Conditions regarding human rights violations 6. Prepare An Application for Asylum, Form I-589 and understand US regulations dealing with asylum adjudication 7. Prepare an Affidavit attesting to the asylum seeker's claim for asylum 8. Prepare a packet with evidence to support the claim for asylum
  • Research in Foreign & International Law - This course will familiarize students with the basic sources in international law and the national law of key foreign jurisdictions, and help students develop the necessary skills to efficiently research transnational legal questions. Students will learn how to find international treaties, decisions of international courts, United Nations and European Union documents, and legislation and court decisions of selected common law and civil law jurisdictions. International trade, human rights and foreign constitutional, criminal, intellectual property and tax law research will also be singled out for special attention. As much as possible, the emphasis will be on English language materials and reliable online sources for foreign and international law. The format will be 60% lecture, 40% participatory. The course will be graded credit/no credit. To meet the course requirement, students must complete four short (1- to 2-page) assignments consisting of questions designed to provide practice with the resources presented in class, and a final paper (8 to 10 pages) describing a sample research problem in international or foreign law, and detailing the research steps and resources the student found most useful in addressing that problem. There will be no final exam. Because successful completion of assignments will depend upon demonstrating familiarity with the resources and skills introduced and practiced in class, attendance is mandatory. No prerequisites are necessary to enroll in this course. The course is strongly recommended for journal editors, for participants in the Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition and other international competitions, and for students considering careers in international law.
  • Terrorism and International Law - The campaign by numerous states and international organizations against Al Qaeda and other non-state terrorist actors raises several critical questions for international law. This seminar provides an introduction to several of the most important debates. Topics covered include: the definition of terrorism; multilateral counter-terrorism treaties; the role of the UN in global counter-terrorism; the use of military force against terrorist organizations and the states that support them; the detention and treatment of suspected terrorists; the prosecution of suspected terrorists in various fora; and the rendition of suspected terrorists outside normal law enforcement channels. In the process, we examine aspects of the law of armed conflict, human rights law, the law of international organizations, and international criminal law. Grades are based on class participation (30%) and the seminar writing requirement (70%). Students may fulfill the seminar writing requirement with either: (1) four 5-page response papers to the weekly readings; or (2) a 20-page paper on a topic related to the course materials.
  • Transitional Justice - This seminar will introduce students to the field of transitional justice. Transitional justice as a field refers to a wide range of approaches that societies undertake to reckon with legacies of widespread or systematic human rights abuse as they move from a period of violent conflict or oppression towards peace, democracy, the rule of law, and respect for individual and collective rights. In theory and practice, the aim of transitional justice mechanisms is to confront legacies of abuse and repression in a broad and holistic manner that encompasses criminal justice, restorative justice, social justice, and economic justice. As a field, transitional justice focuses on at least five primary approaches to confronting the past, including: trials, truth-seeking mechanisms, reparations, reform of abusive institutions and memorialization. The seminar will also explore several crosscutting issues, including the role of amnesty during transition, initiatives aimed at engendering reconciliation by examining traditional/religious mechanisms of dispute resolution as well as other approaches to addressing human rights violations such as civil liability and universal jurisdiction. Class attendance is mandatory and attendance and participation will be graded.
  • Transnational Legal Clinic - PLEASE SEE IMPORTANT ENROLLMENT PROCEDURES FOR CLINICS AVAILABLE ON THE REGISTRATION INSTRUCTION PAGE. The Transnational Legal Clinic is designed to prepare students for practice in a globalized world, through hands on experience in immigration and international human rights legal advocacy. Students are vested with the primary responsibility in representing and working alongside individuals and organizational clients in cases and advocacy projects that cross cultures, languages and legal systems, while working under the close and individualized supervision and mentoring of faculty with years of practice experience. Through a mix of seminar, simulations, live-client representation, case rounds and weekly team supervision sessions, students gain training and practice in fundamental lawyering competencies, such as interviewing, counseling, case theory and narrative theory development, fact investigation, research and legal analysis, strategic planning, teamwork and coalition building, negotiation, and multiple forms of persuasive written and oral advocacy, all through the lens of cross-cultural lawyering. Throughout their TLC experience, students are challenged to engage theory in practice, and explore the ways in which practice informs theory. Grounded in their own case and other real-world experiences, students explore the competing interests underlying the development of immigration law in the U.S. and in other countries and its relationship to international law, the role of international and comparative law in effectuating change at the domestic level, law and organizing, and the role of the lawyer and the client in larger human rights/impact litigation cases. At the same time, students are trained in developing their own learning and critical reflection skills that will serve them as they transition from student to lawyer and will provide them with a strong foundation upon which to build throughout their career. More information on the TLC and the kinds of work that students do through the clinic is available at: https://www.law.upenn.edu/clinic/transnational/. While there are no prerequisites, substantive immigration law and international human rights law is not the focus of the seminar, and students – with guidance from the faculty supervisor – research and learn the underlying law(s) and procedure(s) as needed in their client representations. Grading criteria are provided in detail in the syllabus. Class participation is mandatory. Students enrolled are required to read prior to the start of classes The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, by Anne Fadiman. The book explores the relationships between the American medical system, doctors and social workers, and a young Hmong girl and her refugee family. It raises several issues of cross-cultural communication that will serve as the basis for discussions throughout the semester and for student reflection and reference during interactions with their own clients. N.B. You may not enroll in this course if you are enrolled in another clinical course or an externship in the same semester. In order to avoid being replaced by a student on the wait list, you must appear by the first meeting of the class. Students who elect to use their enrollment in this clinic toward their public service requirement will receive one less credit for this course. The drop/add period for this course ends at 4 p.m. on the first Friday after the start of the course.
  • UN Security Council in the 21st Century - This seminar is an introduction to the functions and operations of the UN Security Council, the only body of the United Nations capable of compelling action by a Member State. The intent of the course is to expand the student’s understanding of the strengths and limitations of the Security Council; the legal and political framework within which it operates; the practical aspects of advocating for Security Council action; and proposals for reform. Students will become equipped with the analytical tools to assess if a country situation falls within the jurisdiction of the Security Council as well as understanding the complex interplay between the Council and other UN and international organizations. To help make the subject as tangible as possible, the instructor will use a variety of techniques including role-playing, case study examples, video clips, discussions, lectures, and an occasional guest speaker. International law would be a helpful background to taking this course.