Law Schedule of Classes

NOTE: Course offerings change. Classes offered this semester may not be offered in future semesters.

Apart from their assigned mod courses, 1L students may only enroll in courses offered as 1L electives. A complete list of these courses can be found on the 1L Elective Listings page. 1L students must use the 1L class number listed on the course description when enrolling.

261.7 sec. 001 - Disputes with Sovereigns (Spring 2022)

Instructor: David William Bowker  (view instructor's teaching evaluations - degree students only)
View all teaching evaluations for this course - degree students only

Units: 1
Grading Designation: Credit Only
Mode of Instruction: In-Person


Th 6:25 PM - 9:00 PM
Location: Law 170
On 2022-03-31

F 10:00 AM - 12:30 PM
Location: Law 170
On 2022-04-01

F 3:10 PM - 5:30 PM
Location: Law 170
On 2022-04-01

Sa 10:00 AM - 12:30 PM
Location: Law 170
On 2022-04-02

Sa 2:10 PM - 5:10 PM
Location: Law 170
On 2022-04-02

Course Start: March 31, 2022
Course End: April 02, 2022
Class Number: 31872
This course is open to 1Ls.

Enrollment info:
Enrolled: 32
Waitlisted: 1
Enroll Limit: 37
As of: 07/19 11:58 AM

This course provides a comprehensive overview of how the international legal order enables the peaceful resolution of international legal disputes with governments and their agencies and instrumentalities through national and international courts, international arbitration tribunals, and other dispute resolution mechanisms.

The course begins with an overview of basic public international law concepts, including the legal status of sovereigns and their authority, rights, and duties vis-à-vis individuals, corporations, and other legal entities. Following an overview of the different types of disputes that may arise with sovereigns, we will examine the various methods of dispute resolution, spanning conciliation, negotiation, mediation, arbitration, litigation and even armed conflict.

We will focus on the subject of legal disputes with sovereigns, including especially international investment disputes, international commercial disputes, breaches of contract, takings in violation of international law, denials of justice, treaty violations, torts (including wrongful detentions and deaths, human trafficking, terrorism, and torture), the recognition and enforcement of arbitration agreements and award, and violations of international human rights and humanitarian law. At that same time, we will address potential sovereign defenses to such claims, ranging from lack of jurisdiction, sovereign immunity, the act of state doctrine, forum non conveniens, and the political question doctrine.

In the context of our discussions regarding practice of international litigation in international tribunals and national courts, we will discuss particular landmark cases and examine how the law is evolving. We will also discuss how to litigate an action against a sovereign in U.S. court under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, and how to litigate such an action in other national courts, international arbitration tribunals, and other international fora.

The course will also cover bilateral investment treaties ("BITs") and investor-state arbitrations under the framework of the International Centre on the Settlement of Investment Disputes ("ICSID"), including key rights, duties, and theories of liability. We will also survey sovereign-related disputes in other international venues, including the International Court of Justice, ad hoc and United Nations tribunals, and the World Trade Organization.

Finally, we will conclude with a discussion of what it is like to practice in the field of international disputes and what jobs and career opportunities are available to new lawyers with an interest in public or private international law.

This class will meet over the course of three days:
Thursday, March 31st 6:25PM-9:00PM
Friday, April 1st 10AM-12:30PM and 3:10PM-5:30PM
Saturday, April 2nd 10AM-12:30PM and 2:10PM-5:10PM

Attendance at the first class is mandatory for all currently enrolled and waitlisted students; any currently enrolled or waitlisted students who are not present on the first day of class (without prior permission of the instructor) will be dropped. The instructor will continue to take attendance throughout the add/drop period and anyone who moves off the waitlist into the class must continue to attend or have prior permission of the instructor in order not to be dropped.

Exam Notes: (TH) Take-home examination
Exam Length: 4 hours
Course Category: International and Comparative Law

If you are the instructor or their FSU, you may add a file like a syllabus or a first assignment to this page.

No reader.

Instructor has not yet confirmed their textbook order, please check back later.

Go to Course Search