Course Descriptions

Professor Susan Tiefenbrun

This course examines the global human rights movement that grew out of World War II and how international human rights laws, instruments and institutions respond to human rights violations.  International human rights include civil and political rights, economic rights, social and cultural rights, women’s rights and children’s rights.  These rights are reflected in legal norms, political contexts, moral ideas, international relations, and foreign policy.  This course uses an interdisciplinary approach to examine the laws and policies of international human rights as applied to all individuals in general and to women in particular.  The course reviews applicable international human rights laws, instruments, U.N. treaty organs, regional and international tribunals, and the role of NGOs in the human rights movement.  The course analyzes state and international policies, practices, and attitudes in order to understand the causes and consequences of discrimination and abuse perpetrated on individuals.  Gender justice and the empowerment of women to facilitate full enjoyment of their human rights, accountability, and enforcement are a central themes of the course.  Special attention is paid to the universal crime of sex slavery, human trafficking, and rape as a weapon of war in the development of massive human rights violations.  The prevalent use of children as soldiers is also examined.  Students analyze the rules and standards of contemporary human rights as expressed in states’ constitutions, laws, practices, international treaties, customs, court decisions, investigative reports, and recommendations of international institutions, and governmental and non-governmental actors in order to understand the ongoing development of international human rights laws.

International and Comparative Employment Law (2 credits)
Professor Susan Bisom-Rapp

This course compares the labor and employment laws of two countries important to the global economy, the United States and France, which take radically different approaches to regulating the labor market. Each has its fans and its critics. The former has relatively few rights and protections for workers, and relies on the market to set the terms and conditions of employment. The latter is characterized by strong protections and a rigid set of rules governing the employment relationship. How each system is reacting to 21st century challenges related to technology, the gig economy, and changing demographics, will be considered. The course will also cover the major tools of global labor governance, including international labor standards promulgated by the International Labour Organization (ILO), as well as the rulings and standards that emerge from the labor provisions of US free trade agreements, and the legislation and jurisprudence of the European Union (EU). These international, supra-national, and bi- and multi-lateral sources of law assist in analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of the American and French systems of employment law. A major theme in the course will be identifying which labor rights should be considered human rights.

International Sports Law (2 credits)
Professor Randy Grossman

This course covers the general process of international sports law - especially within the Olympic Movement - and provides a comparative perspective on sports law.  Specific topics include the institutional framework; arbitration and litigation of disputes within and outside the sports arena, including consideration of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (via in-depth case studies of recent dispute resolution); the rights, duties and eligibility of athletes; problems of doping, violence, corruption, and commercialization; and the role of politics in international sports.  Other topics include the human rights of athletes, the use of instant replay cameras and computers to resolve disputes during competition, corruption in the sports arena, the emerging lex sportiva derived from arbitral awards and ambush marketing.

International Trade and Finance Law (2 credits)
Professor Richard Winchester

This course will introduce the student to the legal regime that applies to international letters of credit, the principal mechanism for financing imports and exports. The course has no prerequisites and assumes no prior knowledge of international trade or finance.  Instead, the student will be introduced to the basic structure of an international transaction that employs a letter of credit to finance the sale of goods.  The student will also study the various contractual relationships that arise out of the transaction and the connection that each relationship has to the financing arrangement.  The overarching objective is to help the student understand the various facets of the financing arrangement, the role that each party plays in the arrangement, the legal exposure that each party might assume whenever a letter of credit is used to finance the transaction, and the potential ways for managing any inherent risks.