Course Information

Course Number




Law and the Global Economy

The goal of this course is to provide students with a broad overview of how international rules shape global transactions. It will serve as a foundation in international law for students who never plan to take another international law course but also serve as a roadmap of the possibilities for international law study (and careers) for students who want to do more with international law. Many students come to law school thinking that international law is just for those who want to work for the State Department. One of the goals of the course is to demonstrate that international law is relevant to almost every area of practice today – from divorce and adoptions to corporate mergers to securities law litigation.

The course begins with private, cross-border contracting, then moves on to public international law agreements as well. We start with conflict of law rules as well as international treaties designed to coordinate contract law (CISG). From there we dive into the world of private international arbitration, including questions of when state should not permit international arbitration. The course will also covers torts claims, particularly under the Alien Torts Claims Act. We will examine the Bhopal litigation before moving on to some of the cases that have been brought against major oil companies by citizens of developing countries. At that point, the course pivots towards more public law issues that govern international transactions. We look at the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act as well as the OCED Anti-bribery Convention. Finally, we turn to the major treaty regimes on economic subjects, including multilateral trade agreements and the network of bilateral investment treaties.

GRADING: Grades are based on an exam.

Please note that course organization and content may vary substantially from semester to semester and descriptions are not necessarily professor specific. Please contact the instructor directly if you have particular course-related questions.