872 Legal Issues: North America & East Asia - §001, Spring 2017

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Instructor(s) Smithka, Chris

As its name implies, the Seminar on Legal Issues Affecting North America and East Asia will focus on contemporary topics involving Russian or East Asia economic, political, or legal relations with the United States. Examples of topics covered include China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea, the challenges and opportunities of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, increased tensions in U.S.— Russia relations, Thailand’s political crisis, and the creation of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.
There will be an organizational meeting of the seminar early in the semester (date and location TBD) to discuss the course requirements, especially the 20-page research paper. The seminar itself will have eight sessions held on Wednesday evenings from March 1 through April 26. The first seven sessions, to be held in the Cisco TelePresence Room in the Discovery Building, will be a videoconference format with students at Far Eastern Federal University in Vladivostok, Russia. (Note that, due to Russia no longer observing daylight savings time, the sessions on March 1st and March 8th will be from 6:10-7:40p, with the final five sessions on March 15th, March 29th, April 5th, April 12th, and April 19th being held from 7:10-8:40p.) Each of the seven sessions will consist of initial presentations originating in either Madison or Vladivostok and followed by questions and discussions from both sides. The eighth and final session will be held on the evening of April 26th and will be a presentation of final papers (time and location TBD).

The seminar will be taught in Madison by Chris Smithka and in Vladivostok by Professor Natalia Prisekina. There may also be lectures by visiting scholars from countries in East and Southeast Asia. The course will be offered for two credits. Due to the space limitations of the Cisco TelePresence Room, this course is capped at ten JD students and seven LLM-LI students.

Learning outcomes:
1. Upon completion of this course, students should have acquired an understanding of East Asian legal systems and of current legal, economic, political, and social issues in East Asia.
2. Upon completion of this course, students should have acquired in-depth knowledge of a discreet area of international law through research and writing.
3. Upon completion of this course, students should have developed sensitivity for effective communication with law students from different cultural and legal backgrounds.

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