Academics - Course Descriptions
The following alphabetical list of course descriptions are proposed for the academic year. Specific details regarding which courses will be offered during a particular term are available from the program director.
Lecture hours per week, laboratory and/or tutorial hours per week, and credits each term are in parentheses.
The Law School Administration reserves the right to alter the course offerings to meet faculty interest, student interest, and the administrative needs of the Law School and the London Law Program.
The aim of this course is to provide students with an opportunity to study Admiralty law and to gain an insight into the important role it plays in to carriage and international trade relationships. Although Admiralty law (or Shipping law) is known as “wet law”, in that it considers the relationship and liabilities arising out of the ship’s adventures, it is important to appreciate the crucial impact that its ramifications may have on carriage and incidental sale liabilities. We look in depth at the procedure of ship arrests – the in rem action – and compare arrest procedure in the UK with that in other jurisdictions. This will enable us to understand the considerations that face those parties who have an interest in the ship itself and/or the carriage contracts under which the goods on board are being carried. Students will develop an understanding of how the shipping world operates, and how the variables of trade practice and underlying financial considerations affect the decisions that shipowners and charterers will make. The course aims to enable students to develop an ability to recognise and to apply the law to the complex issues that shipping adventures can raise.
Business Associations – Law 74101
Studies American agency, partnership and corporate law. The first part of the course explores what makes a business entity a corporation, but includes consideration of other business forms such as sole proprietorships and partnerships. The second part of the course addresses the operation of the corporation, and considers internal and external forms of control and regulation. Both parts of the course emphasize the substantive law as well as compliance with statutory formalities such as are contained in the Delaware Corporation Code.
Carriage of Goods by Sea– Law 74453
This course looks at the carriage of goods in international trade. We live in a world in which the transportation of goods is a fundamental part of both international and domestic business, and litigation in respect of these carriage disputes is inevitable. The course is based on English Law, with comparisons made with practice under other jurisdictions where appropriate. English law is frequently chosen to govern shipping contracts, the common law nature of English law allowing for judicial “creativity.” We see, therefore, the development of this area of contract law, which aims to meet the needs of those involved with the international shipment of goods. The course predominately covers contacts for the carriage of goods by sea and charterparties, as most goods are shipped by this mode of transport, although carriage by air and land is introduced. The course also considers difficulties that arise when goods are the subject of a multimodal contract of carriage, and problems that arise when carriage contracts are negotiated by freight forwarders. The combination of the intellectual rigors of the law and trade realities make this a rewarding subject.
Analyzes comparatively: legal concepts; law-making and law-finding in civil law and in common law; the purposes and functions of the comparative method; the history, methods and uses of comparative law; the legal families of the world; and the spirit and style of various legal systems.
Comparative US/UK Products Liability – Law 74912
(3-0-3) – Tidmarsh – Fall London
This course examines liability of manufacturers and other for injuries allegedly caused by product design, manufacture, or inadequate warnings. Doctrines covered include negligence, strict liability, misrepresentation, and warranty, as well as causation, damages, and affirmative defenses. Basic theoretical justifications for products liability will also be considered.
The Course focuses on civil advocacy. Trial briefs are provided and replicate real briefs in cases which recently qualified counsel might make. In the first part of the course students act as counsel in several applications (motions), opposed as well as unopposed, set both in the County Court and the High Court. The second part of the course deal with trial, and students will open, examine in chief (direct), cross examine and close. The final class will be run as a trial. The course includes attendance with the class professor at the Royal Courts of Justice in London to observe advocacy in the higher courts.
This course introduces students to the many legal and regulatory issues related to the generation, distribution, and consumption of energy. Particular attention will be given to the emerging law of renewable energy as it compares to the established legal frameworks for energy from fossil fuels. Course readings will include generous coverage of the political, environmental, and economic concerns that shape energy law in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Europe.
English Legal History – LAW 74836
This course looks at three main developments: (1)Common Law. The rise of private law through the writ system and the centralisation of justice by the Angevin kings. The protection of land by writs of right and the possessory assizes and the development of other actions as offshoots from this via Trespass and Actions upon the Case. The common law courts at Westminster and the development of Equity. The growth of a legal profession, a professional judiciary and legal literature. (2)Public Law.The King as Head of state and the making of law with his council, the Curia Regis. The development of Parliament and the growth of the Commons. The Council in Tudor times and conciliar courts such as Star Chamber. Change and reaction in Stuart times. The English Civil War, the Glorious Revolution and the development of democratic institutions and universal franchise.(3)Criminal Law. How criminal law developed from a personal wrong into a breach of the King’s Peace. The development in the middle ages from a system based on providence to one where man judged the actions of others. Conflict with the Church and clerical privilege. Specific offences, the burden of proof and the maintenance of order. Political opposition as treason and sedition and Tudor developments. The uses of punishment as vehicles of social control. Protection of property, especially in the eighteenth century. The reforming initiatives of the nineteenth century.
English Legal System
Introduces the basic elements of the modern English legal system. Examines and analyzes: the source and the importance of English law; the court structure and the people involved in it; civil and criminal procedure; alternatives to the court; and access to justice.
European Employment Law
This course has three parts. In the first part, we will look at European Labor Law. In doing that, we will consider the relevant treaty provisions and the relevant provisions of European Directives relating to Equality, Working Conditions, Employee Rights on Restructuring Enterprises and Worker Representation. In the second part, we will examine aspects of Private International Law relating to Labor Law, including the Brussels Regulations and the Rome Convention on Applicable Law. In the third part, we will consider international labor standards and the work of the International Labor Organization.
European Union Law – Law 74459
(3-0-3) Horspool and Humphreys
This course introduces students to the legal system of the European Union (EU) and the substantive law of the internal market. Constitutional, administrative, commercial and trade law of the EU are all covered. The topics which will be discussed in this course include the political and economic origins of the EU, its institutional structures (with emphasis on the Court of Justice of the European Union), the Treaties, the interrelationship between Union Law and the laws of the twenty seven member States, and the four freedoms: the free movement of goods, workers, capital and services. The course will concentrate on the transnational protection of economic and social rights, the jurisprudence of the Court of Justice and the particular contribution made by the Court in the development of the four freedoms. There will also be a brief examination of other subjects that are intertwined with the market and European Union policy: competition law, environmental protection, discrimination, and external relations.
Studies the American system of rules and standards that regulates the admission at trial of proof to establish controverted facts. Considers the traditional rules at length, and examines the U.S. Federal Rules of Evidence in this context.
Freedom of Speech – Law 74307
(3-0-3) Kozel – Fall London
Examines First Amendment precedents and doctrines, and also those associated with other speech-protecting legal texts. Questions to be considered include: How, and why, do we define and protect the Freedom of Speech? What are the benefits, and what are the costs, of free speech? When is the regulation or censorship of expression justified? Are courts and legislators ever justified in assigning greater value to some messages and forms of expression than to others, or in silencing some speakers in order to amplify the voice of others? Does the government have a role to play in creating the conditions necessary for the freedom of speech to flourish, or is the freedom of speech best considered as a constraint on government? Is the freedom of speech primarily an individual right or a structural feature of constitutional government? Will also cover comparative US/UK law. May not have taken Law 70307.
Intellectual Property Law
This course introduces students to the three main intellectual property regimes (copyright, patents and trade marks), along with other important rights (including moral rights, passing off and confidential information). In addition to covering key matters in relation to the subsistence, exploitation and enforcement of rights, it also analyses broader questions in relation to justifications for intellectual property protections, the relationship between different intellectual property regimes, and how intellectual property law should reflect other rights and interests (such as free speech). This course will include analysis of both UK/European and US laws, and situate these laws within the broader international framework of intellectual property treaties.
International Human Rights
International Human Rights Law is a survey course which includes a description of the international and regional instruments and institutions and their mechanisms and remedies, followed by consideration of substantive rights and their interpretations by those bodies. The relationship between international and national standards is also considered. Students are expected to participate in classes and to be aware of current developments and issues concerning human rights. Use of online resources is encouraged.
Studies: the nature and sources of international law; the role of municipal rules in international law; international personality; recognition; territorial entities; jurisdiction; immunities; state responsibility; the law of treaties; and settlement of international disputes.
Covers the contractual relationships that arise in international trade, and the trade terms that arise and are unlikely to appear in other contractual areas. This area of law developed in the mercantile courts, which developed the law merchant in response to disputes that arose between parties who frequently were trading from different countries and who needed speedy resolution of their disputes. The law merchant comprised a mixture of local trading customs and law as well as foreign rules the substance or recognized trading practice. The course includes discussion of topics such as jurisdiction, arbitration, bills of lading, remedies, insurance, and payment and finance.
Introduction to the American Legal System
Surveys American legal institutions and principles of the American common-law system. Includes a study of the role of the three branches of government — judicial, legislative and executive — in making, interpreting and enforcing law; the role of precedent, statutes, secondary sources, etc., in determining law; the structure of the American court system; the nature of the American federal system and the relationships between state and federal governments; the differences between civil and criminal laws; the role of the U.S. Constitution in defining legal relationships, rights and duties; and a description of the processes of both civil and criminal litigation in American courts, from initiation of an action through trial and appeal.
This course is required of all students in the London LL.M. Programme who did not graduate from an American law school. American law-school graduates cannot take this course for credit toward the LL.M. degree.
Introduction to the Russian Legal System – LAW 74462
This course aims to give the student an understanding of the Russian Legal System from a developmental perspective. It allows the student to appreciate within the context of the Soviet and Russian legal systems different views of the role of law in society, how these may change over time, and see the development and working of a codified legal system with a tradition of a strong social ideology.
Jurisprudence – LAW 74821
Considers philosophical aspects of the law involving questions such as: whether a necessary condition of a legal system is that it possess some moral quality; what morality the law should enforce — whether solely a majority view or whether unpopular deviant groups should be protected as well; the meaning of justice; and whether the law and the courts fulfill their social function. Considers various schools of thought, including the views of the Naturalists and Positivists as well as Sociological Jurisprudence, American Realism and Marxism.
The Law of War – Law 74468
An introduction to the Laws of War in contemporary international law and International practice. Studies the legal framework of conduct of hostilities, Jus ad bellum and jus in bello under the UN Charter, International Humanitarian law and International Human Rights Law. Also considers the different types of armed conflicts including the concept of armed conflict, the distinction between international and non-international armed conflicts, reasons and relativity of the distinction and comparison of the two regimes, and contemporary problems of qualification and practical consequences.
Theory of Statutory Interpretation – Law 74370
This seminar explores and critically evaluates leading contemporary approaches to statutory interpretation, paying particular attention to the constitutional, public-choice, and jurisprudential theories that drive the modern debate. Topics include intentionalism, purposive interpretation, dynamic statutory interpretation, textualism, canons of construction, and the relationship between common law and statutes. The seminar will include a component comparing interpretive practice and debates in the United States and United Kingdom.
Seminar devoted to topics of interest to LL.M. students. Features lectures by and discussions with visiting speakers.
This course is required of and limited to students in the LL.M. program in international comparative law.
Requires written work of substantial quality completed under the direction of a faculty sponsor.
This course is limited to students in the LL.M. program in international comparative law. It may be taken for 1 to 4 semester credits.