Classes will meet on weekdays in the mornings and afternoons, 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 visits to international organizations and law firms.
Courses will be divided into two two-week terms, each of which (except for Introduction to American Law) will be taught by faculty members from different legal cultures 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. Netherlands 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 Leiden University. Students will also have access to computer facilities.
Those participants who are matriculated at 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.
Richard Schmalbeck and Irma Johanna Mosquera Valderrama
This course is an introduction to international income taxation of business transactions. After a brief explanation of basic income tax concepts, the principal rules of taxation relating to international business will be examined. The course will then focus on how the United States’ rules interact with taxation systems in other countries, exploring the concepts of source of income and residence of the taxpayer, and their role in the tax rules relating to international trade. The second term of the course will focus on bilateral tax treaties as a means of promoting crossborder investments and international trade through the avoidance of international double taxation. The OECD model treaty will be examined as an illustration of the interaction between double tax treaties and domestic regulations. Finally, the course will explore recent developments in the international effort to reduce tax-base erosion and income shifting among taxing jurisdictions.
Helen Duffy and Jayne Huckerby
This course provides a framework for understanding strategic human rights litigation and advocacy, assessing its limitations and challenges, as well as positive impacts. As advocates around the globe increasingly resort to litigation and advocacy—in national, regional, and international courts and/or forums—to protect and promote human rights, this course will explore what difference this litigation and advocacy makes in the real world, when and why. It will grapple with the legal, strategic, and other choices that are made around issues such as which rights’ violations to focus on in a given context; how to frame rights’ claims; where to lodge claims and choice of forum; building the evidence-base for claims (e.g., through fact-finding); remedies sought; and the ways in which strategic litigation and advocacy feature a range of human rights methodologies (e.g., documentation and messaging). The course will examine the multiple actors against whom strategic human rights litigation and advocacy is directed, from governments to non-State actors (e.g., corporations), to inter-governmental actors (e.g., the United Nations), considering how these different targets affect the legal claims and forums available to advocates. Issues ranging from the role of social movements, victims, and their representatives, in human rights litigation and advocacy to the challenges in the enforceability of judgments, will also be addressed. This course will draw heavily on case studies to illustrate these issues and to provide insight into the broader question of how to assess and enhance the effectiveness of strategic human rights litigation and advocacy in the future.
Joris Larik and Rachel Brewster
This course will explore how trade relations between states are negotiated and governed in regional and multilateral institutions. The course highlights the pluralistic and overlapping structure of modern international trade law where dozens of preferential trade agreements supplement and compete with the WTO’s multilateral trade rules. The course will focus on two specific challenges to the international trade system – the question of how to negotiated food security concerns and issues related to resolving disputes over trade agreements. In the first half, the course will explore how shifting food prices can leave vulnerable populations without access to sufficient food resources and how regional and multilateral agreements have separately addressed such food security concerns. This part of the course examines how specific trade policy tools, such as subsidies, export restrictions, and stockpiling regimes, are negotiated between governments and affect the availability of food resources. The second half focuses on how states resolve disputes once agreements have been negotiated, both in the food security context and for other issues. This part continues the course’s examination the interaction between regional regimes and the multilateral system. Issues include who has standing to bring claims, the remedies available when breaches occur, and how to manage similar and competing claims in different institutional fora. This part also examines a range of possible mechanisms to enforce agreements, including retaliation, monetary penalties, voluntary financial compensation, and renegotiation. In particular, this part will focus on the limits of dispute resolution for issues such as food security and innovative means for addressing such crises.
Pinar Ölçer and James Coleman
This course will use comparative law methodology to examine contemporary criminal justice issues, including over criminalization, corporate criminal liability, prosecutorial discretion, and bribery and corruption. The course materials will explore how the U.S. system and other national systems respond to contemporary challenges. Readings also will consider how over-arching norms are transposed within supranational and international frameworks and down to national and subnational governments, from Europe to the United States (and vice versa) and back up to international treaties. Deeply and intricately tied into local legal frameworks and realities, criminal and criminal procedural law concerns an area of positive law in which it is famously difficult to gain consensus, even within one national sphere. Thus, what behavior should be criminalized, how law enforcement should be arranged, what constitutes fairness and just punishment all concern sensitive issues in the context of which “sharing” law can be difficult. Nevertheless, a great deal of “borrowing” or diffusion of law does take place, either informally or formally via international and supranational treaties or joint law enforcement efforts, in order to effectively combat crimes which are held to endanger international and transnational interests. Adopting similar rules – either by conscious decision or informal (judicial or executive) borrowing – does not always mean however that transplanted law will work, or work in the same manner in every environment, where contextual factors may have an impact on the way in which the law operates. By turning to distinct substantive and procedural themes within the domain of criminal justice, the aim is to gain understanding of the manner in which this type of law can be transposed to different contexts, what types of bottlenecks can be encountered therein and how issues of transposition can and should be dealt with.
The first part of this course will introduce students to some distinctive aspects of United States law and legal institutions. Students will explore the interrelationship between state and federal law, as well as the various sources of law, including constitutions, common law, statutes, and treaties. Three issues involving significant public debate – gun control, same-sex marriage, and the Executive “travel bans” – will be used as lenses through which to examine the interplay between state and federal law and the respective roles of judicial, legislative, and public lawmaking, all against the backdrop of the US Constitution. This part of the course will close with a consideration of the role of the lawyer in the US legal system by examining the education, bar admission, and regulation of lawyers, as well as the ethical obligations of lawyers. The second part of the course will shift its focus to the trial court, looking at the role of the jury in US civil litigation. Students will learn the history of the jury trial in American jurisprudence, and will explore relevant rules of evidence, discovery, and legal ethics. Students also will have an opportunity to practice advocacy skills through a simplified mock trial, as well as understand the role of the jury in interpreting facts and seeking truth.
Carsten Stahn and Laurence Helfer
There are two dozen international courts (ICs) in operation today with jurisdictions covering a broad array of subjects. ICs have issued myriad rulings on issues including the conduct of individuals during armed conflicts, respect for human rights, the legality of trade restrictions, territorial claims in the oceans and on land, and the protection of health, safety, and the environment. How have ICs established and maintained their authority and their legitimacy? Do different institutional design features—such as jurisdictional provisions, access rules, and standing requirements—affect whether ICs are effective in changing the behavior of states? What role do lawyers, national judges, and NGOs play in filing cases and promoting compliance with international judicial rulings? And what are the risks of backlash against ICs that overreach? This course explores these questions through a comparative analysis of global and regional ICs. Students will be exposed to different theoretical perspectives on international adjudication and to the decisions of a range of judicial bodies, including the International Court of Justice, the International Criminal Court, human rights courts in Africa, the Americas and Europe, and regional economic integration courts. More generally, the course analyzes the opportunities and challenges associated with building an effective system of adjudication in international law.