Institute Courses

Classes will meet on weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 3:55 p.m. Each class will be seventy minutes in length (with the exception of Introduction to American Law, which will be sixty minutes in length), and no courses will be offered simultaneously. Classes will be limited in size in order to facilitate interaction between faculty members and students. Foreign students considering further study or the practice of law in the United States will benefit especially from the Introduction to American Law course, from the case method of teaching and from frequent interaction with faculty members and fellow students. Classroom instruction will be supplemented by special seminars, panel discussions and site visits.

Courses will be divided into two two-week terms, each of which will be taught by a separate faculty member from a different legal culture in order better to expose participants not only to comparative law studies but also to different teaching methods. Students may enroll in as many as three courses for a maximum of six semester-hours of credit. Students must enroll in the same courses for both terms of the program. Geneva lawyers may, however, attend a single course for one or both terms.

All instruction will be in English. Written materials for each course will be supplied at no extra charge at the time of registration at the Institute. Any additional reference materials will be made available at the program site. Library facilities will be available at the University of Geneva Law Faculty. Students will also have access to computer facilities.

Those participants who are matriculated at the Duke University School of Law may apply academic credits earned in the program toward their degree requirements. Member schools of the Association of American Law Schools normally will award J.D. credit for any course satisfactorily completed in the program as well. The program of study is offered as part of the fully accredited curriculum of the Duke University School of Law and is approved by the American Bar Association.


An important feature of the Institute in Transnational Law is the series of special presentations that are an integral part of the academic program. Experts from the international legal community will speak on a range of significant topics designed to deepen as well as broaden the learning experience provided by the Institute. Students are expected to attend the presentations as part of the educational program and will have the opportunity to interact informally with the speakers at a social hour at the conclusion of the session. In conjunction with these events, special visits will be scheduled to the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, and to other specially selected sites such as the International Committee of the Red Cross.

2017 Course Descriptions


The Institute will open with registration and orientation on the afternoon of Sunday, June 25, 2017. Classes will meet Monday through Friday for four weeks, beginning on Monday, June 26. Classes will end on Friday, July 21. Students seeking academic credit will sit for written final examinations conducted from July 23-25.

2017 Courses:

  • Bioethics, Law, and Policy
  • Financial Intermediaries: Markets, Regulation, and the Law
  • Fragmentation and Complexity in International Environmental Law
  • International Commercial and Intergovernmental Arbitration
  • Introduction to American Law
  • Introduction to International and Comparative Taxation