International Law / Public

LAW 091 v10 Comparative Constitutional Law Seminar

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2-3 credit hours

How are constitutions created? What should we consider in designing a constitution? Can we have constitutions without constitutionalism? What is an authoritarian constitution? What influences constitutional revolutions and transitions? Is there such a thing as an unconstitutional constitutional amendment? Why have judicial review? How do judges interpret constitutions? Do courts protect rights guaranteed by their constitutions?

Comparative constitutional law has expanded exponentially in contemporary constitutional practice and as a field of study. Events around the world—from the Middle East to Asia, from Europe to Latin America—highlight the issues of constitutional design and constitutional rights at stake. This seminar examines issues of constitutional structure and rights adjudication in comparative constitutional contexts around the globe, from Western liberal systems to fragile democracies. We will explore fundamental questions on constitutional design, constitutionalism, constitutional change, judicial review, and the role of courts and constitutional interpretation. Drawing on examples from diverse constitutional cultures, we will also examine the protection of constitutional rights—such as religious freedom and individual liberty—from a global perspective.

3 credit JD students will be required to write a paper that meets the JD upperclass legal writing requirement. Students taking this seminar for 2 credits will be required to submit a final paper (no draft is required) of 18-20 pages.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and the Comparative Constitutional Law course.

Note: This seminar requires a paper. J.D. students must register for the 3 credit section of the seminar if they wish to write a paper fulfilling the Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement. The paper requirements of the 2 credit section will not fulfill the J.D. Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement.

LAW 1251 v00 Delaney Public Policy Scholars Program

J.D. Seminar | 5 credit hours

The Delaney Public Policy Scholars Program is designed for students who will be working in a public policy-related internship/job in the summer of 2016 and who wish to simultaneously develop their expertise and skills in this area through a related course. This course is open to students who have completed their first year.

SEMINAR: The Delaney Public Policy course will be taught by Professor Laurie Rubiner, Chief-of-Staff to Senator Richard Blumenthal. Through the course, Delaney Public Policy Scholars will develop skills in how to be an effective public policy lawyer. Specifically, the course will focus on the intersection between emerging legal issues and how those issues are best pursued in the context of public policy coalition building, legislative and media strategy, and grassroots advocacy. The course will meet on Thursdays from 5:45-9:05 p.m. throughout the eight-week summer session.

FIELDWORK: Delaney Public Policy Scholars must find their own public policy-related internships and commit to working 30 hours/week. For the purpose of this program, the definition of public policy is broad; we ask that applicants explain how their work relates to public policy in the application (see below).Students must be supervised by a lawyer.

APPLICATION PROCESS: To apply to be a Delaney Public Policy Scholar, please send the following documents to Rachel Taylor, Assistant Dean of Experiential Education (rst@law.georgetown.edu) by 9:00 a.m. on Friday April 1, 2016:

  1. A resume
  2. Responses to the following questions:
  • Where is your placement?
  • Who will be supervising you? Is this person an attorney? What is their position within the office?
  • What will your responsibilities be? Will your work be legal in nature?
  • How many hours/week will you be working?
  • How will your work relate to public policy?
  • Why are you interested in taking this course?

Any student who has not secured a placement by the April 1 deadline may still apply and should discuss the status of their potential fieldwork options in their application materials. Seats will be awarded first to those students who have placements lined up; if space permits, however, others may be admitted as placements are subsequently confirmed.

All Delaney Public Policy Scholars must attend the seminar sessions in-person. It is not possible to participate in this program remotely

All Delaney Public Policy Scholars will receive two credits for the seminar. Those Scholars who work for a non-profit or government entity and are not being paid may elect to earn three additional pass/fail credits for their fieldwork.

Delaney Public Policy Scholars may not simultaneously receive EJF funding. Full-time students will pay no tuition for this program. Part-time students will pay by the credit hour.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for this course and for the program D.C. Advantage: Public Policy (formerly D.C. Advantage: Congress).
 

Students may not concurrently take this course and an externship.

LAW 145 v00 International Environmental Law

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

This course focuses on international law applicable to environmental and natural resource issues. It develops a framework for analyzing the issues and gives special attention to how to implement and comply with international obligations. The course covers climate change, ozone depletion, transboundary pollution, hazardous wastes and chemicals, biodiversity, fresh water, human rights and environment, environment and trade, and financing sustainable development.

Learning goals for this course:

To understand international legal issues in a multi-disciplinary context, to know the intricacies of multilateral negotiations, and to be able to apply legal concepts effectively in domestic contexts.

LAW 814 v00 International Human Rights Law

LL.M Course (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

Out of the ashes of World War Two and the Holocaust arose the recognition of individual criminal responsibility for crimes against humanity under international law and a concomitant recognition of internationally protected human rights. This course provides an intensive survey of international human rights law and practice, with a principal focus on interpretation and implementation of human rights norms in the practice of states. The course examines the development of the substantive law of human rights (including international treaty instruments, "soft law," and customary international law) and international, regional, and domestic systems of oversight and enforcement, focusing on UN organs such as the Human Rights Council and treaty bodies. The course includes treatment of the principles of international humanitarian law, and highlights selected contemporary and ethical problems in international human rights law such as genocide and torture, application of human rights norms to non-state actors (including corporations), universality of human rights norms and cultural relativism, and the need to protect human rights while countering terrorism, including issues relevant to U.S. law and practice. Along the way we examine issues related to international immunities, impunity, human rights litigation under the U.S. Alien Tort Claims Act and Torture Victim Protection Act, and international criminal tribunals. We also review the more recent treaty texts adopted by the United Nations General Assembly such as the Convention to Protect Against Enforced Disappearances and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Recommended: International Law I: Introduction to International Law.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and International Human Rights Law, or the J.D. course, International Human Rights.

LAW 235 v08 International Law I: Introduction to International Law

J.D. Course | 3 credit hours

This introductory course deals with the nature, sources and operation of "public international law," with some of the most important contemporary challenges to the international legal system, and with the international community’s evolving responses to those challenges. It includes such topics as the law governing treaties and other international agreements; the recognition of states and governments; methods for international dispute resolution including litigation in the International Court of Justice; the United Nations and other international and regional entities; international human rights and international criminal law; law of the sea and international environmental law; and the rules governing the use of force. Some attention is also given to the role of international law in the U.S. legal system; questions of jurisdiction, foreign sovereign immunity and the act of state doctrine; and the allocation of foreign affairs powers between the President, the Congress, and the Judiciary. We will discuss a few of the most pressing illustrations of the operation – or shortcomings – of the international legal system in the context of current problems or crises. As a first-year elective, this course is intended to offer a contrast or a complement to the bulk of the first year curriculum, by exposing students to dispute resolution mechanisms other than litigation in U.S. courts, including through international courts and tribunals as well as international arbitration.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for this course and the upperclass course by the same title, or the LL.M. course International Law Essentials: The U.S. Perspective.

Note: This course is a first-year elective. First-year day students select an elective offered in the spring.

There will be an in-class exam on May 11, 2018 at 9:00 am.

LAW 235 v18 International Law I: Introduction to International Law

J.D. Course | 3 credit hours

This course provides a broad introduction to the nature, sources and operation of international law. The aim is to provide you with a solid understanding of the basic principles, instruments and institutions of “public international law,” both as a framework for further study and for dealing with the international legal issues you are likely to encounter in practice.

Accordingly, we will survey the law governing treaties and other international agreements, the nature and content of customary international law, the recognition of states and governments, the role and operation of international and regional organizations such as the United Nations and the OAS, issues of state responsibility, international human rights, the law of the sea and outer space, international dispute resolution mechanisms (including the role of the International Court of Justice and other courts and tribunals), and international peacekeeping and principles governing the use of force (including counter-terrorism efforts).

We will also spend some time on the role international law plays in the U.S. legal system as reflected, for example, in concepts of (and restrictions on) civil and criminal jurisdiction, diplomatic and foreign sovereign immunity, and enforcement of foreign judgments.

Without any question, developments during the summer will give us ample opportunity to discuss a number of “hot topics” as they arise (in such areas as international refugee law, rules on the use of force, responding to acts of terrorism, trade relations, cyber warfare, environmental law, cyber-crime, trafficking in drugs and persons, trans-border corruption, UN actions and sanctions, Brexit, etc.).

The course is appropriate for both J.D. and graduate students, both beginners who have never studied international law as well as those who have some prior exposure or experience. We welcome students who received their initial legal training in other countries.

It is important to attend all class sessions, especially the first class session where we will give an overview of the course and explain our expectations for attendance and performance.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and the LL.M. course International Law Essentials: The U.S. Perspective.

LAW 076 v00 International Migration and Development

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

This seminar is intended for students interested in preparing a research paper on a topic related to international migration. The course will focus on trends in international migration, including future economic, social, demographic, political, and other factors that will influence population movements; the elements of a normative and legal framework on which coherent migration policies could be based; the relationship between international migration and such issues as economic development, economic growth and competitiveness, poverty alleviation, trade, national and international security, social support systems, human rights, transnational organized crime, and public health; and institutional arrangements that will enhance international cooperation to promote safe and orderly migration.

Note: Priority is given to students fulfilling the requirements of the Certificate in Refugees and Humanitarian Emergencies and to students enrolled in the Certificate Program in International Human Rights Law.

See the schedule of courses on the Main Campus Registrar's website for room assignments. Law Center students may register only through the Law Center's registration system.

This seminar requires a paper. J.D. students must register for the 3 credit WR section of the seminar (LAWJ-076-09) if they wish to write a paper fulfilling the Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement.

LAW 958 v00 International Negotiations Seminar

LL.M Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

Examines the concept and technique of international negotiations, including substantive aspects of international agreements. During a portion of class time, the seminar will divide into teams for simulated negotiations, including transnational negotiations between private commercial parties and with governments.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may receive credit for this course and International Business Negotiations. Students may NOT receive credit for both this course and the J.D. course, International Negotiations Seminar.

Note: First class attendance is mandatory. All enrolled and waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to be eligible for a seat in the class. The first class session will be held in MCD 337.

LAW 966 v01 International Trade Law & Regulation

LL.M Seminar (cross-listed) | 2-3 credit hours

Examines U.S. trade laws and regulations and World Trade Organization agreements affecting international trade, and the relationship of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994 and other international agreements to U.S. law and practice. Considers, in detail, the U.S. antidumping, countervailing duty, escape clause (Section 201) laws and regulations and the WTO agreements that establish multinational standards applicable to the use of those remedies. Examines the WTO agreements on services, intellectual property, and technical barriers to trade. Examines the statutory remedies, particularly Section 301, that are available to address foreign restrictions on U.S. exports of goods, capital, services, and intellectual property. Evaluates the role of Congress, the U.S. Trade Representative, and other U.S. agencies in setting trade policy and overseeing administration of the trade laws. Analyzes the WTO procedures for dispute resolution and key WTO panel and Appellate Body decisions. Reviews free trade agreements, including the North America Free Trade Agreement and the recent Trans-Pacific Partnership, as well as bilateral investment treaties. The course includes a weekly discussion of current events affecting international trade law and regulation.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and the J.D. course, International Trade or World Trade Organization: Law, Policy and Dispute Settlement.

Note: The 3-credit section of this course meets the "Category 1" requirement for the WTO certificate program.
The two-credit class requires a final exam; the three-credit class requires a paper. J.D. students must register for the 3 credit section of the seminar if they wish to write a paper fulfilling the Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement for JD students. The paper requirements of the 2 credit section will not fulfill the Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement for JD students.

LAW 936 v03 Law of War

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This survey course covers the law of armed conflict and customary international law as applied on today’s battlefields. Is there really law in combat? When does the law of war apply? Does it apply to non-State actors? What is a war crime, and who decides? How is proportionality determined? What is the difference between a combatant, a terrorist, and a criminal? Is torture ever lawful? Is targeted killing lawful? What constitutes a cyber attack? What is the jurisdiction of military commissions and why is that a difficult question for Guantánamo? Can a superior’s order constitute a defense to war crime charges? Is indefinite detention lawful? Can the U.S. ever lawfully kill a U.S. citizen in a foreign state with which we are not at war? Such questions are the subject of the course. It is not a philosophy course, nor is it national security law, nor human rights law, although those topics are inextricably related. Our focus is on the law applicable in today’s non-international armed conflict battlefields. Military experience is not required to do well in this course.

Recommended: Completion of International Law I prior to enrollment in this course.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and the Law of War Seminar or War Crimes and Prosecutions.

LAW 936 v01 Law of War Seminar

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This seminar surveys the law of armed conflict and customary international law as applied on today’s battlefields. Is there really law in combat? What constitutes a “battlefield”? When does the law of war apply? Does it apply to non-State actors? What is a war crime, and who decides? Was Nagasaki a war crime? How is proportionality determined? What is the difference between a combatant, a terrorist, and a criminal? Is torture ever lawful? Is targeted killing lawful and how do we know? What constitutes a cyber attack? What is the jurisdiction of military commissions and why is that a difficult question for Guantanamo? Are superior orders a defense to war crime charges? Can a superior’s order constitute a defense to war crime charges? Is indefinite detention lawful? Such questions are the subject of the seminar.

It is not a philosophy course, nor is it national security law, nor human rights law, although those topics are inextricably related. Our focus is on the law applicable in today’s non-international armed conflicts, and military experience is not required to do well in this course.

Strongly Recommended: Completion of International Law I prior to enrollment in this seminar.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this seminar and the International Law of Armed Conflict Seminar or War Crimes and Prosecutions.

LAW 440 v03 Refugee Law and Policy

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This course examines international and domestic refugee law and policy, with a strong emphasis on the adjudication of asylum claims in the U.S. Immigration Court system. This participatory class highlights practical applications of international refugee concepts to the U.S. legal system, with particular focus on refugee-related claims in U.S. Immigration Court. We will learn as a group through focused dialogue, persuasion, issue identification, and concise, well-organized writing on the take-home final examination. After looking at the nature of forced migration, the course concentrates on the origins of modern refugee law, the institutional framework for refugee protection in the U.S., and the history of U.S. refugee policy. We will examine the definition of "refugee" in international conventions and under U.S. law, with emphasis on such topics as: What constitutes persecution? What forms of persecution support an asylum claim? What conduct renders an applicant ineligible for asylum? How does fraud affect the asylum system? How are persons fleeing violence (rather than persecution) treated? We will also discuss procedures for adjudicating asylum claims, rights of asylum seekers, detention, temporary protection for those fleeing civil wars or natural disasters, and the toughest issues facing judges, other asylum adjudicators, and policy makers at all levels of the U.S. system. We will consider asylum claims based on gender and domestic violence. Beyond the substantial normal class work, this course requires students to observe 4-6 hours of refugee-related hearings (during normal business hours) at the U.S. Immigration Court in Arlington, Virginia (Crystal City Metro stop).

Note: Priority is given to students fulfilling the requirements of the Certificate in Refugees and Humanitarian Emergencies.

LAW 440 v04 Refugee Law and Policy

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This course examines international and domestic refugee law and policy, with particular focus on refugee-related claims that arise in our legal system. After examining the nature of forced migration, the course will trace the history and development of the United Nations 1951 Refugee Convention, the 1967 Protocol, and the U.S. Refugee Act of 1980. Students will become familiar with the key actors in the asylum and refugee law arena, including the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, international non-governmental organizations, the U.S. Congress, the Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security, and the federal courts.

The course objectives are: (1) to equip students with an understanding of the international refugee system and of asylum law and procedures in the United States, and (2) to provide students with an academic foundation for future clinical study, employment, pro bono work, and internship opportunities within the U.S. government and the NGO community.

In addition to focusing on the refugee definition as interpreted by U.S. courts, we will examine the processes for adjudicating asylum claims, the rights of asylum seekers, detention, and forms of humanitarian immigration relief related to, but different from, asylum. We will also seek to understand the limits of asylum law and explore the toughest issues facing asylum adjudicators and policy makers today.

Note: Priority is given to students fulfilling the requirements of the Certificate in Refugees and Humanitarian Emergencies.

LAW 373 v00 Seminar on Humanitarian Crises

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

This research seminar will provide an opportunity to critically examine a number of humanitarian crises, including Afghanistan, Bosnia, Colombia, Haiti (earthquake -2010), Iraq, Myanmar, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria, Ukraine, West Africa (Ebola-2014), and Yemen. Each of these crises will be analyzed in terms of: their causes; efforts to prevent, respond to and recover from the crisis; the extent to which international legal frameworks were applied and the impact of the crisis on legal principles; the engagement of different actors (from military forces to local faith-based communities); the extent to which humanitarian principles of neutrality, independence, and impartiality were compromised in humanitarian response; the relationship between refugees, internally displaced persons and ‘trapped populations’ as determinants of international attention; and difficult operational issues around access, negotiations with non-state actors, and the relationship between security concerns and humanitarian response.

Prior to the first class, law students must read the 1951 Refugee Convention and a very short excerpt, pp. 30-39, from a chapter he wrote on "Improving Legal Frameworks" in The Uprooted: Improving Humanitarian Responses to Forced Migration (2005).

Recommended: At least one course in Refugee Law, International Human Rights Law, or International Humanitarian Law. 

Note: See the schedule of courses on the Main Campus Registrar's website for room assignments. Law Center students may register only through the Law Center's registration system.

This seminar requires a paper. J.D. students must register for the 3 credit WR section of the seminar (LAWJ-373-09) if they wish to write a paper fulfilling the Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement.