INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS TRANSACTIONS (2 credits)
Professor Susan Tiefenbrun and Judge Pierre Leval of the United States Court of Appeals 2nd Circuit
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.
COMPARATIVE TRIAL ADVOCACY (2 credits)
Dean Rudy Hasl
Since the principal method for resolving civil disputes continues to be litigation, it is important for American and Chinese law students to be aware of the differences and similarities in what constitutes admissible evidence in trial proceedings in China and in the United States. The course will begin with a comparison of the civil trial processes under Chinese and American law, with an emphasis on the Civil Law roots of the Chinese system and the Common Law roots of the American system and then analyze the impact of those systems on issues of the admissibility of evidence. Materials will be self-contained and made available to students prior to their travel to China.
INTERNATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL LAW (2 credits)
Professor Aaron Schwabach
Environmental problems are international, often global, in scope. Oceans, aquifers, watercourses, and, of course, the atmosphere are not restricted by political boundaries; pollution crosses easily from one state to another. Resource depletion may harm the interests of all states, as in the case of fisheries. Loss of biodiversity and wildlife habitat, even when it occurs entirely within the boundaries of a single state, affects the interests of all of the world's peoples. This course serves as an introduction to international environmental law. The course will give an overview of several areas of conventional and customary law affecting the international environment, including international environmental agreements and "soft law" documents, the role of international organizations, the practice of states, and, where appropriate, U.S. law. Particular attention will be paid to the interaction between domestic and international environmental laws, and to the ways in which the legal process has solved (or failed to solve) international environmental problems.
WTO LAW AND CHINA (2 credits)
Professor Claire Wright
This course will review the major World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreements and WTO dispute cases to date, using the WTO dispute cases between the U.S. and China as a focus for the class. China joined the WTO in 2001, and since that time the U.S. has filed several WTO dispute cases against China (regarding, for example, China’s allegedly weak enforcement of its intellectual property protection laws, censorship of U.S. media products, export restrictions on rare earth elements, and subsidization of various “green industries”). In the last few years, China has also filed several WTO dispute cases against the U.S. (regarding, for example, the U.S.’ imposition of anti-dumping and countervailing tariffs on numerous Chinese products and subsidization of the automobile industry). The U.S.’ enormous trade deficit with China, the outsourcing of many U.S. jobs to China, China’s censorship restrictions on media products and services, the counterfeiting of numerous U.S. products in China, and the U.S.’ regular imposition of anti-dumping and countervailing tariffs on Chinese products all continue to be contentious issues between the U.S. and China. In addition, China’s huge market renders it an important player in the international economy and many consider China to be the unofficial leader of the developing countries in the WTO. As a majority of WTO members are developing countries, China is in a very powerful position to influence the on-going Doha Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations as well as the future of the WTO in general. For all of these reasons, the WTO dispute cases between China and the U.S. provide an excellent case study of WTO law.
CHINESE LEGAL SYSTEM AND ITS REFORMS (2 credits)
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 twenty-eight 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.