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.
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.
Chinese Law – Law 74455
This course provides an introduction to the domestic legal institutions, processes and laws of the People’s Republic China. Principal attention is given to the current legal system and its relationship to economic, social and political changes in the post-Mao era, although relevant features of the historical foundations of the legal system are also considered. The course examines the jurisprudential framework and institutional dimensions of the Chinese legal system in weeks 1 to 3, and then in the final 2 weeks analyses key selected areas of reform in procedural and substantive law including civil and administrative dispute resolution, enterprise law, family law, and population control.
Criminal Procedure Law 74450
In its recent terms, the Supreme Court decided well over a dozen cases significantly affecting fourth, fifth and sixth amendment jurisprudence, and decided them according to jurisprudential approaches that illustrate the Court’s doctrinal split over the relationship of the fourth, fifth and sixth amendments to an adversarial criminal justice system in which the government and the defendant are represented by skilled (?) counsel. Is it a constitution we are expounding? See M’Culloch v. Maryland, 17 U.S. 316 (1819), in the light of the knowledge we gain from the mistakes we make, see Graham v. Florida, USSCT No. 08-7412 (May 17, 2010) (Stevens, J., concurring: “Knowledge accumulates. We learn, sometimes, from our mistakes . . ..”), or does the Bill of Rights “consign this Nation to a static legal existence,” McDonald v. Chicago, 561 U.S. ___ (2010) (Stevens, J., dissenting at 55)? The goal of this course is to provide a basic familiarity with the theory, doctrine and practice of the fourth, fifth and sixth amendments and the Court’s jurisprudential approaches to Constitutional decision-making in this area. We will cover search and seizure, self-incrimination/involuntary confessions, the right to counsel, and the role of counsel generally in the adversarial system.
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.
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 – Spring 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.
Human Rights in the Aftermath of Conflict – Law 74467
The main focus of this course is on legal and jurisprudential issues arising in the ending and aftermath of conflict. The course will examine the peculiar difficulties posed by a legacy of internal conflict and will give special attention to the problems faced by developing countries in dealing with the past and reconstructing fractured societies and damaged institutions. By reference to country case studies, different national approaches to dealing with human rights violations underlying and resulting from periods of internal conflict will be illustrated and compared, and the factors influencing the choice of approach analysed. Differing understandings of key concepts such as justice, truth, reparation, reconciliation and reconstruction will be discussed and examined in cross-cultural perspective. The empirical experience of post-conflict peacebuilding and reconstruction in the countries forming the case-studies will be critically examined, using material from other societies for comparative perspective. Whilst the main focus of the course will be on national approaches and initiatives, the course will stimulate discussion of the relationship between the national and the international: national approaches will be measured against existing international law standards and the contribution of national initiatives to the development of international law in this area will be considered. The role of the international community will be critically examined.
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 Commercial Arbitration – LAW 70435
Covers various aspects of international commercial arbitration, including: the arbitrability of a dispute under domestic law; the jurisdiction of an arbitral panel; the choice of procedural and substantive law to govern an arbitration; the appointment of arbitrators; the possibility of interim protective measures and the enforcement of an arbitral award. Throughout, considers how the law can best balance the claims of party autonomy in international business with the role of the state in prescribing rules of commercial law and in supervising dispute-resolution mechanisms.
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.
Latin American Trade Law
Focuses on international business transactions in Latin America. Topics include both the legal structures and the business structures that dominate those transactions. Also discusses the relationships between Latin America and the world trading system, including trade liberalization and the creation of regional markets such as MERCOSUR, the Andean Community and WHFTAA.
Law and Cultural Heritage – LAW 74402
Art and antiquities cause problems. Private collectors and museum directors and curators and boards of trustees, professional and amateur archaeologists, scholars and academics, politicians and legislators and military commanders, native cultures, indigenous peoples, religious groups, conservers and restorers – all have interests in the rare and the beautiful. Those interests may be artistic or scientific, economic, political, cultural or religious. Art and antiquities are also commodities.
They can be owned or possessed, loaned or sold, stolen or looted, legally or illegally exported and imported.
The primary objectives of this course is to develop an appreciation for cultural property and its value to human life in general and to your life particularly, and to understand the legal, political, ethical and moral issues raised by the variety of interests in cultural property.
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.
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.
Theory of Statutory Interpretation – Law 74370
(2-0-2) Spring London
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.