Professor John Yoo

Boalt Hall School of Law

510-643-5089 (voice)

510-642-3728 (fax)


Foreign Relations Law

Spring 2000



                This Course meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 1:45 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. in Room 124.  The course examines the law governing the conduct of American foreign relations.  First, we will consider the distribution of the foreign affairs power between the executive, legislative, and judicial branches.  Special attention will be given to the original understanding of the foreign affairs power and how the constitutional design has (or has not) changed over time.  War powers and the treaty process will be the focus of this part of the course.  Second, we will examine the statutory distribution of authority in foreign affairs, with emphasis on the conduct of international economic relations.  The course will conclude with a review of legal constraints on the foreign affairs power imposed by the states, the judiciary, and by international law.


There are two required books: Thomas Franck & Michael Glennon, Foreign Relations & National Security Law: Cases, Materials & Simulations (2d ed., 1993); and Louis Henkin, Foreign Affairs and the Constitution (2d ed. 1996)


            These readings will be supplemented by cases, presidential and congressional materials, and scholarly articles.  In order to reduce the financial burdens of taking this course, there will be no course reader.  Instead, the supplemental materials will be available in two places: at the reserve desk in the Law Library, where the readings will become available at least one week before the assigned class; and at the course’s website, where students may download the readings.


            Class announcements, the syllabus, and the reading assignments will also be available on the course website.  Students are urged to check the site once a week for changes in meetings times, places, etc.  Professor Yoo will hold office hours immediately after class on Tuesday and Wednesday.


Class participation is required and will constitute 10 percent of the grade.  As to the other 90% of the grade, it may be satisfied in one of two ways: a paper or an exam.  Writing a paper in this class will fulfill the writing requirement, but all paper topics must be approved after consultation with the instructor.