2015 Course Descriptions - Coming Soon!

Fiduciary Aspects of Corporate Law

The law concerning fiduciary obligations provides important boundaries on the exercise of discretionary powers by persons entrusted with them, including agents and trustees as well as company directors and officers.  This course considers key fiduciary principles and the significance they have within the commercial sphere, providing comparative insights into the varying approaches adopted throughout the common law world.  It also considers statutory and regulatory developments in the EU and US and common law world that complement or supplant general fiduciary principles.  The first term of the course begins with an overview of the historical development of fiduciary duties in English law from the law on trusts.  It goes on to consider key duties owed by fiduciaries such as the duty to act in the interests of the beneficiary and the duty to avoid conflicts of interest.  Focusing on case law developments in the UK, Canada, and Australia, the application of these duties in a commercial context is then considered with a particular emphasis on the duties of directors of corporations and the duties of commercial agents. The second term of the course examines how fiduciary duties have been applied in a particular commercial setting, which is investment management and execution of transactions in investment securities.  In both the United States and the EU, investment managers and transactional intermediaries (such as brokers) are subject to detailed regulatory rules and institutions, which operate in significant ways against a backdrop of general law, including fiduciary principles.

Taught by Ahern and DeMott

Introduction to American Law

This course is intended to provide an introduction to essential elements of the American legal system.  Emphasis will be placed on exploring contemporary problems in American law that reveal key issues and concerns within the American legal system.  The first term of the course will focus on the U.S. civil litigation system, including the jury, and specific matters of constitutional interpretation and enforcement, using the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution as a launching point.  The second term of the course will explore the scope and limits of the power of the federal government, using topics from environmental law and the question of the government’s capacity to regulate private economic wealth and power.  Evolving conceptions of citizenship through the lens of constitutional equality will also be examined.

Taught by Miller and Purdy

Introduction to International Tax

Taught by Schmalbeck and TBA

Law of the Atmosphere

This course will take a comprehensive look at the “regime complex” of transnational legal regulation for the Earth’s atmospheric resources. Unlike the international Law of the Sea as codified in the 20th century, there is as yet no over-arching constitutive instrument applying to all human uses of the atmosphere. Instead, there is a patchwork of regimes in existence or under negotiation, covering different portions of the atmosphere, geographic regions, sectors, economic activities, and diverse types of harmful impacts on the atmosphere, air quality and climate (over and above a widely diverse range of national legal systems and jurisprudence dealing with potential hazards, liability and access to justice). The course will focus on some of the key topics of relevant legal regulation (such as airspace and sovereignty; stratospheric ozone layer; greenhouse gases and climate; radiation sources; ambient air quality; emissions trading systems; technical standards; and monitoring of air quality). As a special feature, students will have an opportunity to witness the ongoing coordinating and/or preparatory work by visiting or hearing from several Geneva-based international organizations active in this field, related to an ongoing project of the International Law Commission on the law of the atmosphere.  The course will seek to evaluate the uneasy prospects of moving from the current fragmented “regime complex” towards a future integrated “law of the atmosphere.”

Taught by Wiener and Sand

The Law of War

Taught by Bodansky and Gaggioli/Kolb

The Role of International Organizations in the Protection of Human Rights

Taught by Levrat and Huckerby

Studying at the Duke-Geneva Institute was an amazing experience which not only broadened by academic horizons, but also gave me a chance to meet other students and lawyers from all over the world. Learning about other law systems and cultures in such a setting is invaluable. I left Geneva with unforgettable memories, great friendships, and a desire for further study abroad. My one regret is that the Institute was only a month long.”

—Roi Bejerano, participant from Israel