918 SP International Law, Spring 2011 to Fall 2018

Categories: International and Comparative Law Business, Corporate, Commercial Law

Climate Change, Human Rights & the Environment

Course Page for Fall 2018 - Atapattu, Sumudu

Description of the seminar:

The link between climate change and human rights has received considerable attention in recent years. Increased calls for the inclusion of human rights in climate agreements culminated in the inclusion of a reference to human rights in the Paris Agreement on Climate Change adopted by the international community in December 2015. This seminar will discuss the link between climate change and human rights, the pros and cons of using a human rights approach and the specific challenges that climate change poses to the international legal system such as the disappearance of states, migration and adjudication. It will also discuss the plight of vulnerable populations especially, indigenous peoples and climate “refugees.”

Learning outcomes:

Upon completion of this course, the students would have acquired:

• An understanding of the relationship between environmental degradation, climate change and human rights;
• An understanding of the pros and cons of using a human rights approach to climate change;
• Knowledge of the relevant international law principles and mechanisms applicable to global climate change;
• Knowledge of how a claim under international human rights law can be brought for damage caused by environmental issues in general and climate change in particular; and
• An understanding of the linkages with other areas such as economic development, poverty, socio-economic rights, and sustainable development.

Recent Offerings of this course by this instructor

Globalization of Capital Markets

Course Page for Fall 2013 - Davis, Kenneth

This course examines the legal issues created by the internationalization of markets for capital, and the removal of the historic barriers to cross-border transactions. After a brief survey of the US approach to investor protection, the course will consider a variety of topics in depth, including enforcement, insider trading, market efficiency, cross-border offerings and cross-listing on stock exchanges, and the extraterritorial application of law. A recurring theme will be the efforts underway for countries to harmonize their laws and for national regulators to cooperate with one another.

This course is being offered for the first time and students are advised to approach it as a “work in progress.” One of the advantages of that status is that there remains some flexibility to fit the structure and content of the course to the size of the class and the specific interests of the students.

Recent Offerings of this course by this instructor

International Commercial Arbitration

Course Page for Fall 2018 - Yackee, Jason

This course provides a hands-on, experiential introduction to international commercial arbitration, the most important means of resolving international commercial disputes. Anyone interested in business law and practice or international law should consider taking this course.

The course integrates traditional classroom teaching with a substantial skills-development component. The course is organized around the Vis Moot Arbitration contest, a premier international student moot. If you would like to participate in the Vis Moot Arbitration, you must first take this course. Try-outs for the Vis will be integrated into the course.

During the first month of the fall semester we will examine in detail the rules governing international commercial arbitration. Then, in October and November, students will break out into litigation teams and each team will be responsible for researching and writing a professional-quality claimant's memorandum based on the current problem for the Vis Moot Arbitration contest. Finally, each litigation team will argue a portion of its brief orally to a panel of student "arbitrators". Students will receive three credits for the course.  The course is mandatory for students who wish to try out for UW Law School's official Vis team, which competes in the Vis contest in Vienna and Hong Kong during the spring semester.

NEW TO THIS YEAR: Lectures will be based around an inexpensive arbitration hornbook, rather than a traditional casebook, saving the students substantial money.

Learning Outcomes:

1. The student will be able to draft a high-quality, enforceable arbitration clause, suitable to govern an international commercial dispute;
2. The student will be able to conduct research (identifying relevant arbitral awards and scholarly commentary) on international commercial arbitration using the UW law library and the Kluwer Arbitration online resource;
3. The student will be able to draft a high-quality legal argument in the style and formatting of the Vis Moot Arbitration contest.

Recent Offerings of this course by this instructor

International Environmental Law

Course Page for Spring 2018 - Atapattu, Sumudu

We have now entered the geological epoch called the Anthropocene in which human beings have become the major player in affecting the global environment. The unabated quest for economic development and the over-exploitation of natural resources have given rise environmental degradation and created new environmental problems such as ozone depletion, climate change and disposal of hazardous waste which have repercussions for the health of people and the planet. This seminar will discuss the root causes of global environmental problems, the international legal framework and principles, and the role of sustainable development in addressing these environmental issues. It will discuss specific international environmental issues such as biodiversity, movement of hazardous waste, climate change and international trade as well as governance mechanisms, the role of non-state actors and dispute resolution.

Learning outcomes - Upon completion of this course, the students would have acquired:
1. An understanding of the role of international law in protecting the global environment;
2. Knowledge of existing international mechanisms and law in protecting different segments of the environment;
3. An understanding of the interdisciplinary nature of environmental protection and linkages with issues such as economic development, poverty, trade and investment, and socio-economic rights
4. Knowledge of the role of sustainable development in addressing intersecting issues.

Recent Offerings of this course by this instructor

International Environmental Law & Policy

Course Page for Spring 2013 - Atapattu, Sumudu

International Environmental Law

Evolution of international environmental law; its sources (formal and informal) and general principles; relevance of traditional principles of international law; survey of emerging principles (sustainable development, precautionary principle, polluter pays principle, common but differentiated responsibility principle, and inter-generational equity principle); institutions and global governance; discussion of special issues of relevance - global pollution problems, international trade and intellectual property issues, its relationship with human rights law; poverty, environmental refugees and the impact of armed conflict; and discussion of the future of international environmental law.

If the majority of the students interested in the course have not had international law before, a \\"crash course\\" in international law can be a part of the IEL course.

Recent Offerings of this course by this instructor

International Investment Law

Course Page for Spring 2012 - Yackee, Jason

Over the past twenty years, global flows of foreign direct investment (FDI) have increased at an astounding annual growth rate of over 25 percent. Multinational corporations (MNCs) and their overseas investment activities are an immensely important and often contentious aspect of globalization. This seminar analyzes the developing global legal framework for regulating relations between foreign investors and the states hosting their investments. The course focuses on the international law relevant to the resolution of investment disputes much more so than on the law of “doing deals.” This is a litigation course, not a transactional course. The course also slights the important subject of how international investment disputes are settled between private parties. That latter subject occupies the bulk of most standard courses in international commercial arbitration, which I teach in the fall semester, and will not be covered here.

Over the course of the semester we will examine the sources of international legal rules governing the treatment of FDI and including primarily Bilateral Investment Treaties, or BITs, and Chapter 11 of NAFTA. We will also spend considerable time studying the ways in which investment disputes are settled, paying particular attention to international arbitration before the World Bank’s International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).

Final grades will be based entirely on a substantial writing project.

The seminar may be taken pass-fail. There are no prerequisites to the course, though familiarity with principles of public international law may be helpful.

There is no casebook assigned, as there are no high-quality casebooks in this field. Instead, you should purchase the coursepack from the law school’s copy shop. The first half of the coursepack will be available for purchase at the beginning of the semester

Recent Offerings of this course by this instructor

International Law of Foreign Investment

Course Page for Spring 2016 - Yackee, Jason

This seminar provides an introduction to one of the most dynamic and active areas of international law today: the law and process regulating the settlement of disputes between foreign investors and the states (governments) hosting their investments. This field—“international investment law”—concerns such important issues as the right of the state to expropriate or nationalize foreign investments; the right of the investor to enjoy certain minimum standards of treatment from the host state; and the ability of the state to respond freely to financial emergencies in ways by modifying contracts with investors. The field also raises the deeper question of the extent to which strong international law protections for the “property rights” of foreign investors are necessary in order to promote economic development. International investment law disputes are decided by a special international court, based in the World Bank, called “ICSID”. ICSID’s caseload has exploded since the 1990s, and new developments in the field occur virtually every day. Major law firms are increasingly establishing investor-state dispute settlement litigation units, and the field offers perhaps the best opportunity for new lawyers to actually “practice” international law in a non-trivial way. International investment law has also proven highly controversial as a matter of public policy, as critics argue that it threatens the “policy space” (or sovereignty) of democratic states. That controversy is likely to re-emerge as the United States considers ratifying major new commercial treaties with Europe and Asia. Students who take this course will gain an in-depth understanding of this exciting body of international law and the controversy surrounding it.

The course is organized as a seminar. We meet every week, and address a number of key readings. As with other seminars, we also will complete a research & writing project. This year's project is a "moot arbitration" exercise structured around a realistic moot problem. Students will research, write, and argue a cutting-edge issue of IIL. The seminar offers students a true "experiential" opportunity practice international law. There is no final exam.

Law of Armed Conflict

Course Page for Spring 2013 - Kelly, Kevin

Selected Problems in International Law: Law of Armed Conflict
When is it lawful for a nation to go to war and, notwithstanding this question, how may a war be lawfully fought?  Where do these two questions come from, and how are they to be answered?   Even before the attacks of September 11, 2001 and the subsequent debates over military tribunals for accused terrorists and the combatant status of captured Taliban fighters and Al Qaeda members, the laws and customs governing armed conflict and the conduct of military operations were receiving attention unprecedented since the Nuremberg and Tokyo war crimes trials. For example, the post-Cold War increase in American military operations has led, within the US armed forces, to a greater focus on international legal norms and requirements; the civil wars in the Balkans and Rwanda have resulted in the first viable war crimes tribunals since the end of the Second World War; and a
permanent International Criminal Court to address war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity has been established in the Hague. This course will address these topics, as well as: the nature of modern warfare and its impact on the on-going development of the laws of armed conflict; the Just War tradition; international law and custom governing warfare, military operations,
and humanitarian intervention. If there is time we will also discuss domestic War Powers (presidential and congressional).

Recent Offerings of this course by this instructor

Vis Competition

Course Page for Spring 2018 - Yackee, Jason

Topics reflect interests of instructor and students.

Recent Offerings of this course by this instructor