Course Descriptions


Professor Susan Tiefenbrun

This course is an introduction to the law of international trade and finance. Students consider the problems of conducting business in the global community. The approach is primarily transactional and combines the legal theory and practice of doing international business. Topics include the formation of agreements required for the international trading of goods, such as the documentary sale, the letter of credit, the contract of sale and the consequences of wars and other frustrations of contract, and the bill of lading or sale without a letter of credit. Students will study the regulation of international business by import and export controls, tariffs and non-tariff barriers, and customs classification and valuation. The transfer of technology by means of franchising and licensing agreements leads to a discussion of the pirating of intellectual property. Students will study the legal framework for establishing a foreign direct investment abroad or a joint venture. Other topics include the resolution of international disputes by trial or international arbitration, the role of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, the WTO, TRIPS, NAFTA, China, and the European Union in regulating international business. This course focuses on the cultural differences that influence the establishment of international business ventures.


Professor K.J. Greene

This course provides a basic overview of international aspects of the global entertainment industry and legal regimes governing intellectual property such as copyright, trademark and publicity rights on a global scale. The course will also explore international contract transactions and the pervasive problem of piracy in the international context.


Professor Aaron Schwabach

The Internet is a medium for the transmission of information, and Internet law is the law of control of information.  This control can take forms as varied as censorship and copyright.  While the First Amendment and the Patent & Copyright Clause of the U.S. Constitution define the limits of this control in the United States, other limits apply beyond U.S. borders.  The situation is complicated by the international nature of the Internet; content forbidden by U.S. law may be legal elsewhere, and content legal in the U.S. may expose U.S. web content publishers to civil or criminal penalties in other countries. This course will provide an overview of some of the areas in which the domestic and international legal systems have been placed under the greatest stress by changes in information technology, including the regulation of obscenity and other offensive speech, defamation, anonymity, trademarks, copyrights, privacy, and territorial jurisdiction.


Professors Yongxin Song, Hongdao Qian, Leslie Kuan-Hsi Wang, and Jun Zhao

This is an introduction to the Chinese legal system taught within the framework of the thirty-six year economic reform that has brought dramatic change to the Chinese economy and to the lives of the Chinese people. Students will learn about recent legal reforms in intellectual property legislation and in several other areas of the law. This course is team-taught in English by four distinguished Chinese professors of law from Zhejiang University Guanghua School of Law. No prerequisites are needed for this course.


Professor Amy Day

This course will examine issues impacting the welfare of children in a rapidly globalizing world, and will emphasize group discussion and practice-based problems.  Topics covered will include international child custody and abduction, international child support enforcement, international adoption and child trafficking, the economic impact of child soldiering, and child amnesty.  The course will include a special focus on issues concerning the present refugee crisis in Europe and its impact on children.