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LL.M. in International and Comparative Law

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  • Course description
    Lawyers from around the world converge at the University of Notre Dame’s London Law Centre to earn an advanced law degree—the LL.M. in International and Comparative Law. The program is designed for graduates of law schools from EU countries who seek additional legal training or who wish to pursue studies comparing their legal systems with those of the United States and Great Britain.
    Established in 1986, it is the only overseas graduate-degree program offered by an American law school.

    Anglo/US Intellectual Property
    (2-0-2) Adams
    The term ‘intellectual property’ principally includes patents, trade marks, copyright and designs. These rights make a very significant contribution to the gross national product of all advanced economies. However, although trade is global, these rights are all national (with the exception of the European trade mark and design). This means that in the case of patents, trade marks and registered designs, companies seeking protection in their markets around the world have to file with local patent offices. Accordingly, practising trade mark and patent attorneys have to have a working knowledge not merely of their own system, but of that in operation in the major markets of the world. Fortunately, that is not as difficult as it sounds, as the two largest world markets today, are the United States and Europe. The most important intellectual property rights in the United States are federal. Moreover, Europe has been in the process of harmonising the intellectual property laws of member states for the last thirty years, and significant progress has been made through the European Patent Convention, the trade marks directive and various copyright directives. In addition to these, regulations have introduced the European trade mark and the European design. This course will focus on Europe, but will note where European law diverges from that of the United States.

    Business Associations
    (4-0-4) Slaughter
    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
    (2-0-2) Hawker
    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
    (2-0-2) Palmer
    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.

    Climate Change Law
    (2-0-2) Nagle
    Climate change has become the dominant problem in discussions of environmental law today. The area has generated a substantial amount of litigation, legislation, and scholarship in recent years, so there is now ample material for a course on the subject. My goal for this course is to provide an opportunity for an in-depth study of a problem that has become so prominent in our society. The readings combine theory and practice, the law and other disciplines, and domestic and global approaches. The course is intended to teach not just about the specifics of climate change, but also how different institutions employ the law and other tools to address evolving societal problems.

    Comparative Law
    (3-0-3) Banakas
    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 Sales Law
    (2-0-2) Adams
    This course examines the common origins of UK and US sales law, and the separate developments of the present versions of the respective codes. Similarities and differences are emphasized, and an explanation for the differences attempted. A special feature of the course is that it deals specifically with on-line sales using the Internet. Throughout the course conflict of laws issues are raised, both in relation to internet sales, and in relation to ordinary sales. Attention is drawn to the not infrequent cases where courts have ignored conflicts issues.

    English Legal System
    (2-0-2) Darbyshire
    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 Union Law l
    (2-0-2) Horspool
    This course introduces students to the legal system of the European Union (EU). Emphasis will be placed on the constitutional, administrative and commercial law of the EU. 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 European Court of Justice), the Union (Maastricht) Treaty, the Amsterdam Treaty, the interrelationship between Union Law and the laws of the fifteen member States, and the free movement of goods, workers, capital and services. The course will concentrate on the transnational protection of economic and social rights and the jurisprudence of the European Court of Justice.

    European Union Law II
    (2-0-2) Horspool
    In EU Law II attention will be paid to substantive areas of law and the application of legislative and institutional processes to the major fields of community law. Particular attention will be paid to the role of the European Court of Justice in the development of community law. There will be discussion of the four freedoms, especially freedom of movement of goods, persons and services, as well as freedom of capital. These will also be a brief examination of the important subject of competition law.

    (4-0-4) Bennett
    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.

    Human Rights in the Aftermath of Conflict
    (2-0-2) Jenkins
    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.

    International Commercial Arbitration
    (2-0-2) Stanic 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.

    International Law
    (3-03) Reece-Thomas
    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.

    International Trade
    (2-0-2) Hawker
    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
    (2-0-2) Bennett
    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
    (2-0-2) Henderson
    Examines the premises of legal systems through the prism of other systems. Although the course concentrates on Russian law, it also addresses the legal systems of Eastern Europe and China.

    (3-0-3) Finnis
    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
    (2-0-2) Haines-Ferrari
    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 .

    LL.M. Seminar
    (2-0-2) Faculty
    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.

    LL.M. Thesis
    (V-0-V) Faculty
    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.

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