Each year, the Berkeley Law faculty offers several courses that provide a thorough introduction to the main themes in international law.
The core public international law course, open to both first-year and upper-division students, is recommended for all who wish to concentrate their studies on international affairs. Those who wish to pursue public international law can choose further from a menu of advanced offerings, such as international civil litigation, resolution of international disputes, international environmental law, human rights, the laws of war, and international organizations.
Berkeley Law also provides an unusually comprehensive curriculum in private international law that prepares students interested in international economics and business. Basic courses such as international trade, international business transactions, international finance, and international tax are regularly offered. Students wishing to pursue advanced studies can take seminars on international intellectual property, international securities regulation, international banking, international financial markets, and international commercial law.
For advice on a plan of study at Berkeley Law, see A Tour of International Course Offerings.
Admiralty Law (2): This course covers selected topics in maritime law, including jurisdiction, practice, maritime liens, charters and carriage of goods, maritime injuries, marine casualties, salvage, average, and limitation of liability.
American Foreign Relations Law (3): This course examines the constitutional allocation and exercise of the foreign relations power. The bulk of the course will focus on the roles of the executive branch, the legislature, and the courts in foreign affairs. After a brief review of the separation of powers, we will examine the constitutional division of the war power both as a matter of the original understanding of the Constitution and as a matter of tradition and practice. Recent conflicts, such as Vietnam, the Persian Gulf War, and Kosovo will be discussed. The course will then turn to the roles of the branches in the making of international agreements. Particular attention will be paid to treaties: their making and implementation, their limits, and the constitutional relationship between the United States and international organizations. The course will then focus on the role of the federal courts in foreign affairs, especially their activities in the incorporation of international law a federal common law. If time permits, we will also examine the role of the states in foreign affairs, by using recent examples of efforts by states and localities to sanction foreign nations for human rights abuses.
European Law (3): A basic survey of the law and legal institutions of the European Union and the decisions of the European Court of Justice.
International Agreements & Institutions (3): The post-Cold War world is facing a variety of complex and pressing global issues: human rights, ethnic conflict, environmental degradation, financial crises, arms control, and terrorism, to name a few. To address problems like these, we will need to design, draft, and put into place a series of far-reaching and effective international agreements and institutions. The good news is that scholars from disciplines like law and political science are coming to have a much better understanding of how international agreements and institutions work and what is needed to make them effective. (The bad news is that, even in the United States, there is considerable reluctance to put this understanding into practice.) In this course, we will try to draft an international treaty and structure an international institution to address a significant current policy problem.
International Aspects of Intellectual Property Law (2): The global economy is highly integrated. Goods and services move with limited regard for national borders, and the innovative component of goods and services increasingly defines their value. In this environment, the protection of intellectual property rights (IPRs) on an international basis assumes great importance for investors, authors and artists, and business enterprises. This course will examine the international system for the protection of IPRs. Subject matter includes the institutional framework of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the World Trade Organization (WTO), the European Patent Office (EPO) and other multilateral and regional institutions; the rule system established by the Paris and Berne Conventions, TRIPS Agreement, European Patent Convention and other agreements; the mechanisms for securing protection, including the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), the Madrid Agreement and Protocol and EPO systems; and the means for enforcing IPRs and resolving disputes, on both an intergovernmental and private basis, including TRIPS dispute settlement and WIPO arbitration. Important policy issues will be explored, including implications of the disparate interests of developed and developing countries in IPRs protection, how competitive markets in IPRs-dependent goods and services can be maintained, how the Internet might be regulated internationally, and under what circumstances IPRs should be exhausted on the international plane. The course is structured to accommodate the interests of students who are knowledgeable regarding the various forms of IPRs, and those without background in the field.
International Business Transactions (3): Following two or three preliminary sessions in which the assigned reading materials will be discussed, the sessions will emulate the functioning of a law firm. Participants will self-select themselves to the cooperative efforts characteristic of law firm practice. Each team will select a problem from among the problems distributed at the first class session, will analyze it, research it, and prepare and submit a response in the form of an advice letter, intrafirm memorandum or opinion of approximately 15 or more double-spaced pages in length. After everyone has had an opportunity to review the responses, the teams will present and discuss the responses in class. This cycle will be repeated until each participant has participated in preparing responses to 3 problems. The participants will organize new teams for each problem; this is required. The problems will involve the roles of lawyers advising United States clients with foreign business transactions; foreign clients with United States and foreign business transactions; and occasionally, foreign governments. The subject matter covered will include: (1) transnational practice issues (including advising on foreign law); (2) dispute resolution (including personal jurisdiction and enforcement of foreign judgments); foreign sovereign immunity; choice of forum and choice of law; and arbitration); (3) trade and trade finance (including letters of credit and guarantees; and illicit trade); (4) technology transfer and licensing; (5) transnational investment; and (6) public law issues (including antitrust, securities regulations, bankruptcy, and labor law).
International Civil Litigation (4): As business transactions, government activities, travel and communications, and social relations have become global in scope, litigation in American courts has come to encompass international civil disputes. This course will provide an introduction to the civil procedure issues that arise in American courts when international matters are involved. It will examine how international parties, events, and laws alter (or not) the manner in which American federal courts handle initial civil procedure issues such as choice of forum and choice of law. It will examine how factors such as the separation of powers, federalism, and American notions of due process and trial litigation affect the manner in which international disputes are resolved. This course will cover the same topics as those offered in Civil Procedure II - personal jurisdiction, subject matter jurisdiction, venue, forum non conveniens, and choice of law - and serves as a substitute for the course. In order to duplicate Civil Procedure II's coverage, this course will also review the doctrine of Erie Railroad v. Tompkins. Other topics unique to international litigation, such as the Act of State doctrine, the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, and international conflicts of law, will also be covered.
International Development Law and Policy (2): This seminar will explore legal issues, institutions, and strategies pertaining to international development. It will pay considerable attention to the role of foreign aid regarding laws and legal systems development, ranging from law-oriented World Bank loans to donor-funded grassroots legal services. We accordingly will examine efforts to strengthen foreign legal systems through such devices as improved judicial administration, alternative dispute resolution, and legal aid. We also will focus on substantive legal issues pertaining to such matters as human rights, the status of women, the environment, and economic reform. At the nexus of these systemic and substantive concerns, the seminar will in part be a legal profession course: it will scrutinize how Western and non-Western lawyers affect development. But we also will look at the roles of non-lawyers regarding legal issues. And we will examine underlying social, economic, political, and cultural forces that shape legal systems and development. The seminar will focus substantially, though not exclusively, on Asia.
International Finance (3): This course is concerned with the operation of the international capital markets, their operation and regulation. Who are the participants in this market (issuers, investors and intermediaries), what do they want and what kind of regulation is needed, and how can it be achieved and enforced? In this connection we will focus on the international aspects of US and European Union securities regulation, the main financial products in the international capital market like eurobonds, asset securitizations and derivatives (swaps, options and futures), the market mechanisms that have developed in them, and the supervision of these markets and the protection of the international investor.
International Human Rights (3): The seminar provides an introduction to the law and institutional mechanisms for the international protection of human rights. It examines the theory and history of the field, together with key United Nations documents. The course will cover international treaty and non-treaty mechanisms for protecting and promoting human rights, including regional systems and the role of non-governmental organizations. It also will address the use of international human rights standards in the United States. Discussions will focus on contemporary human rights issues, with specific emphasis on some of the following topics: women's human rights, human rights and disabled persons, prevention of torture and inhuman and degrading treatment, death penalty, and bioethics.
International Law (3): The basic introductory course deals with the rules governing the international community, including customary international law and rules established by treaties. A substantial portion of the course focuses on the role of international and national tribunals in the lawmaking process of the international community. Emphasis is placed on modern developments in the fields of jurisdiction and immunities from jurisdiction, international agreements, the law of the sea, and international economic law. In addition, special consideration is given to the impact of the United Nations on the development of international law. This course is also a first-year elective.
International Law II: International Relations, Theory, and Law (3): This seminar will focus on the intersection of international legal studies and international relations theory, with particular focus on treaties. The course is intended to provide a framework for advanced writing in the area; students will be expected to write a major paper. Those who sign up for 3 units will also be expected to do additional work for the class. There are no prerequisites for this course and its material does not overlap with the material of the basic International Law course.
International Law II: International Law and Ethics (3): Recent developments have brought issues of international law, politics, and morality to the fore. NATO's bombing in Kosovo, the attempted extradition of General Pinochet, the collapse of WTO negotiations in Seattle, the Russian invasion of Chechnya, ever-greater disparities between the prosperity of the developed world and the poverty of the undeveloped, and the increasing recognition of the global nature of environmental problems -- all these raise profound questions of law, justice, and the nature of national interests. This Course will examine these developments by attempting to develop a legal and ethical framework for the analysis of international affairs. We will ask how different theories of justice ought to apply to international affairs, or whether international politics is governed only by considerations of power and national interest. We will consider the question whether international law is really law or whether other methods of analysis provide better explanations of international behavior. The course will then examine how these different theories of justice and international affairs apply to specific examples of international politics. Areas that may be examined include: military intervention and just wars, the foundation and applicability of international human rights, collective responsibility for violations of international law, foreign assistance and international redistribution of wealth, environmental conservation, and the relationship between international and domestic law. Readings will be drawn from a range of legal and philosophical sources.
International Tax (2): This course studies the law of international taxation, that is the taxation of foreign-source income and of foreign persons with domestic-source income. In other words, the course covers the income taxation of international business transactions, investment and work. This can mean taxation by one country, the other country or, possibly, both. It emphasizes the underlying problems with which the law attempts to deal and on present or proposed solutions. We will investigate the tax problems faced by U.S. citizens and residents investing or doing business in foreign countries, especially the U.S. taxation of income earned by U.S. taxpayers abroad. We also will cover the U.S. taxation of foreign persons on U.S.-source income. Topics include international jurisdiction to tax, tax treaties, international double taxation and methods of relieving it, such as exemptions or foreign tax credits, tax harmonization or tax unions, tax havens, tax incentives, transfer pricing, anti-avoidance measures, developing countries, economic effects, tax planning, the role of international organizations, multinational corporations, and proposals for reform or advancement.
International Trade (3): This course examines the legal system governing international trade at the multilateral, regional, and national levels. It begins with a review of the economic underpinnings of the multilateral trading system, including recent insights into the theory of comparative advantage. The main multilateral institution governing international trade, the World Trade Organization (WTO), is examined in detail, including the GATT, GATS and TRIPS Agreement, and the Dispute Settlement Understanding (DSU). The course will focus on recent decisions of the WTO Appellate Body, such as the Shrimp-Turtles, Banana, Beef Hormones and India-Mailbox cases. These decisions consider the relationship between trade and environmental rules, the way that developing countries' interests are accounted for at the WTO, and the protection of intellectual property rights. Attention will turn to regional integration arrangements, with particular attention to the NAFTA and European Union. The institutional structures of the NAFTA and EU will be examined, their trade characteristics will be explored, and the relationship between regional and multilateral trade institutions will be analyzed. Attention will be directed to the U.S. legal framework regulating international trade, examining the constitutional allocation of trade regulation authority (with reference to the fast track process and other mechanisms for authorizing and concluding trade negotiations), the institutional structure (USTR, Treasury, State, federal courts), and legislation providing trade remedies (e.g., Section 301, Special 301 and Section 337). Specific policy issues, such as those raised by China's prospective accession to the WTO and a Millennium Round of WTO negotiations, will be discussed.
Japanese Law & Society (2): The course will introduce students to some aspects of the legal system of Japan. The emphasis is on how that system actually works in the Japanese social, historical, and cultural milieu and how it is changing at present. The main topics that may be examined are the Japanese legal system, its historical and cultural legacy, the legal profession, the judiciary, civil dispute and litigation processes, criminal processes, administrative guidance, and law in response to social change. Issues relating to judicial independence, judicial reform, divorce, gender equality in employment will be touched upon.
Law and Anthropology (3): This seminar will begin by reviewing anthropological theories as a foundation for discussing law and addressing questions of what law is, if it differs from custom and morality, if all societies have law, if the law of different societies can be compared, and which analyses have to be applied for such comparison. We will read ethnographies of various cultures, including Native American tribal law and courts, and discuss the concepts of acculturation, colonialism, modes of thought, economic spheres, aboriginal land, and kinship systems, among other things.
Law and the Making of Modern South Asia (3): Law has been one of the most influential tools in building the social and political systems of modern South Asia, yet it has remained a relatively unexplored filed of inquiry. Starting with a comparative study of community law (religious and secular), this course will then examine the clash which occurred between different ideas of law beginning with the British colonial period. Issues such as the ban on sati (widow burning), child marriage, and widow remarriage will be analyzed as they evolved from calls for social reform to demands for legal protection. Other issues will include the police, corruption, charitable endowments, the continuation of community law amidst calls for a universal civil code, and the emergence of constitutional government in each of the South Asian states. Particular attention will be given to the legal aspects of caste discrimination, and women's rights. The relationship between the courts and the politics at the national and local level will be examined as well. International treaties and agreements, such as Indian intervention in Sri Lanka and East Pakistan, the political subordination of Nepal's foreign policy to that of India, the status of Kashmir, the role and influence of foreign or international NGOs, and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty will be covered, as will broad issues such as human rights and cross-border population movements.
Law of War/International Humanitarian Law (2): This course examines the development of international humanitarian law from the Hague Convention of 1907 on Laws and Customs of War on Land until the adoption of the Statute for the International Criminal Court in July 1998. We shall consider how atrocities have triggered the development of the law, for both international and non-international armed conflicts, and the law's enforcement through national, and particularly international tribunals, including those for former Yugoslavia and for Rwanda. We shall discuss the Hague and the Geneva Conventions and Protocols, the statutes of the international criminal tribunals, the principal war crimes, the crime of genocide and crimes against humanity, the principal decisions of the Hague tribunal for former Yugoslavia, and the relationship between crimes under international humanitarian law and the criminalization of serious violations of human rights. We shall critique the differentiation in the treatment of international and internal armed conflicts and compare the advantages and disadvantages of national with international prosecutions. Modern Chinese Law (2) This course examines the full range of legal concepts in Modern China. It will concentrate on post-1949 developments in the People's Republic of China, but will touch upon earlier concepts which have shaped the post-1949 developments. Special attention will be paid to the Maoist version of the law, and the post-1978 developments towards economic modernization through the legal structure. The topics selected for discussion will depend on the interests and experience of those in attendance.
Ocean and Coastal Law & Policy (3): The Ocean and Coastal Law and Policy seminar is unique among such classes nationally in integrating the study of both the international law of the sea and specific U.S. legal regimes governing the oceans and coastal zones. This seminar examines ocean law in historical perspective and will also provide a survey and analysis of ocean-resource issues both in contemporary international relations and in U.S. constitutional law and public policy. Specific topics to be considered include the modern global movement for extension of the territorial seas and economic zones; U.S. coastal resources conflicts and their management; offshore mineral exploitation; and federal-state relations since World War II; and the evolution of national agencies and international agreements that govern the management of marine fishery resources.
Regulation of International Economic Activity (2): This course will examine the ways in which the United States chooses to regulate cross border business activity. We will study areas of law that have well developed substantive domestic law, including intellectual property, antitrust, securities, and bankruptcy. In each area, we will focus on the jurisdictional tests in place under American law, changes made to the substantive law in order to accommodate international economic activity, and the policy issues behind the existing rules. Throughout the course we will ask: Are the jurisdictional tests an effective way to implement the goals of the substantive law? How do these tests impact the laws and policies of other countries? Are the tests sound policy from the American perspective? Are they good policies from a global perspective? What alternatives exist and why aren't they used? Finally, why are so many different tests used? Would it be better to adopt a consistent test across all substantive legal topics? Toward the end of the course, we will consider the extent to which United States has responded to the challenges of globalization and assess the work that remains to be done by lawmakers.
Regulation of Global Financial Markets (3): This seminar explores the regulation of international capital markets. We will focus on the legal provisions in place in the United States as well as on the academic and theoretical debates that surround these issues. Topics to be covered include the international regulation of securities markets, international banking regulation, and other topics related to the international flow of capital. Students will be expected to participate in class discussion and complete a research paper on a topic related to international finance.
Resolution of Private International Disputes (2): This course explores the more prominent issues faced in resolving a transnational dispute. The course is structured around a contract dispute and a tort claim. Throughout the course, we shall consider these problems in the contexts of international arbitration and transnational litigation. The first part of the course will consider pretrial and pre-arbitration issues such as service of process, jurisdiction, forum non conveniens, forum selection clauses, enforceability of arbitration agreements and arbitrability. During the second part of the course we will turn to issues arising during the proceedings, in particular arbitral proceedings. These issues include evidence and expert testimony, multiparty arbitration, and choice of law. We will also examine certain aspects of judicial assistance, including interim awards, discovery orders, and letters rogatory. Finally, we will look at post-proceeding issues such as challenging arbitral awards, appeals, and the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments and arbitral awards. If time permits, we will also examine other mechanisms for dispute resolution such as diplomatic protection, conciliation and mediation, and the evolutionary interplay between all of these various mechanisms.
Tribal Legal Systems (3): This seminar will examine Tribal Legal Systems of the past and present. Changes and continuity in tribal law since European contact will be one area of interest. In effect, this is a comparative law seminar, with comparisons made among tribes and with U.S. law. To understand particular tribal systems, it will be necessary to learn something about the broader tribal cultures and to incorporate materials that we have been taught to consider "non-legal"-such as traditional narratives and clan structures. Whenever possible, we will consider accounts of tribal law provided by tribal members themselves. Several guest speakers and videotapes will be included. The seminar will provide a brief historical and legal outline of the federal Indian law context within which tribal courts function. The focus of the seminar, however, will be upon the laws developed by Indian tribes and tribal courts rather than the laws which have been imposed upon Indian tribes. The development of tribal common law -- the body of tribal legal traditions and customs and the underlying cultural norms and values applied by the tribal courts will be a primary focus. The specific tribal laws and cultures to be examined will include the Iroquois Confederacy, the Cheyenne Tribe, the Cherokee Nation, and the Navajo Nation.
The World Trading System and Regional Economic Integration (2): This offering is a seminar dealing with the World Trade System created by the multinational trade negotiations during the Uruguay Round and having entered into force on 1.1.1995, and with the systems of Regional International Economic Integration, as recognized by GATT 1994 art. XXIV, in particular those operating in Europe (EU) and in the Western Hemisphere (NAFTA, MERCOSUR, Andean Common Market and ALADI). The seminar focuses on the organization, resources, institutions and processes of the European Union, the application of the trade laws of the U.S. and the European Community, the resolution of disputes in the World Trade Organization and the organization of and dispute resolution in NAFTA.