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Susan Tiefenbrun

Susan Tiefenbrun

Professor Emeritus

J.D., New York University School of Law;

Ph.D., Columbia University, magna cum laude;

M.S., University of Wisconsin, magna cum laude;

B.S., University of Wisconsin, magna cum laude

Professor Tiefenbrun has a J.D. degree from New York University School of Law, a Ph.D in French from Columbia University summa cum laude, a Master of Science from Wisconsin University, and a Bachelor of Arts from Wisconsin University (Phi Beta Kappa as a junior) where she majored in French, Russian, and Education. Professor Tiefenbrun taught French language and literature for many years in Columbia University and Sarah Lawrence College. She now teaches international law in Thomas Jefferson School of Law where she is the Director of the Center for Global Legal Studies and the former Director of the LL.M. Programs in International Trade and in American Legal Studies. She practiced law and worked on international business transactions at Coudert Brothers in New York for many years. At Thomas Jefferson School of Law, she continues to direct and teach in the study abroad program in France (which she founded twenty years ago) and in China (which she founded seven years ago). For her efforts at fostering educational and cultural cooperation between France and the United States, she was awarded the French Legion of Honor medal by President Jacques Chirac in 2003. Her special interests are international law, corporate law, securities law, international intellectual property, women and international human rights law, and law and literature. She is the President of the Law and Humanities Institute West Coast Branch. She has written extensively on human trafficking as a form of contemporary slavery. She speaks ten foreign languages including Mandarin, Chinese. Among her numerous written works are a book-length study of Chinese, Russian and Eastern European joint venture laws and numerous articles on international intellectual property, international law issues, and human trafficking. She has ed three books on law and the arts, war crimes, and legal ethics. Her most recent books are Decoding International Law: Semiotics and the Humanities (Oxford University Press, 2010), Women’s International and Comparative Human Rights (Carolina Academic Press, 2012) and Tax-Free-Trade Zones of the World and in the United States (Edward Elgar Press, 2012).

To access Professor Tiefenbrun’s publications,

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Download Professor Tiefenbrun's Curriculum Vitae (in PDF format).

Courses include:

Business Planning, European Union Law, International Business Transactions, International Human Rights, International Law and the Humanities, Securities Law, Women and International Human Rights Law


Women's international and Comparative Human Rights (Carolina Academic Press, 2012)

Women and Human Rights Law (Carolina Academic Press, 2012)

Tax-Free Trade Zones of the World and in the United States (Edgar Elgar Press, 2011)

Decoding International Law: Semiotics and the Humanities (Oxford University Press 2010)


War Crimes and War Crimes Tribunals: Past, Present, and Future, 3 Law & Policy Symposium, 1999) (with Leon Friedman)

Legal Ethics: Access to Justice (2 Journal of the Institute for the Study of Legal Ethics) (with Roy Simon, 1999)

Law and the Arts (Greenwood Press, 1999)

Articles, Book Chapters, And Article-Length Works

China's Employment Laws and Their Impact on Women Working in China, 23 UC Davis J. Int'l L. & Pol'y 253 (2017)

Foreign Trade Zones of the United States, Free Trade Zones of the World, 16 Waseda Asia Rev. 66 (2014)

U.S. Foreign Trade Zones, Tax-Free Trade Zones of the World, and Their Impact on the U.S. Economy, 12 J. Int'l Bus. & L. 149 (2013)

Semiotic Defination of "Lawfare", 43 Case W. Res. J. Int'l L. 29 (2010)

Gendercide and the Cultural Context of Sex Trafficking in China, 32 Fordham Int’l L.J. 731 (2009) (with Christie J. Edwards)

Child Soldiers, Slavery, and the Trafficking of Children, 31 Fordham Int’l L.J. 415 (2008)

Human Trafficking in China, 6 UST L.J. 247 (2008)

The Legal Right to Wear the Veil and Its Multiple Meanings, in Proceedings of International Law and Literature Conference (Oxford University Press, 2008)

Updating the Domestic and International Impact of the U. S. Victims of Trafficking Protection Act of 2000: Does Law Deter Crime?, 38 Case W. Res. J. Intl. L. 249 (2007)

The Domestic and International Impact of the U.S. Victims of Trafficking Protection Act of 2000: Does Law Deter Crime?, 2 Loy U. Chi. Int'l L. Rev. 193 (2005) Symposium Issue 193 (Spring/Summer 2005), Reprinted in 38 Case W. Res. J. Int'l L. 249 (2007)

The Semiotics of Women's Human Rights in Iran, 23 Conn. J. Int's L. 1 (2007)

William J. Clinton's Legacy to Women's Rights, Symposium Issue Hofstra University (2006)

The Cultural, Political, and Legal Climate Behind the Fight to Stop Trafficking in Women: William J. Clinton’s Legacy To Women’s Rights, 12 Cardozo J.L. & Gender 855 (2006)

Why the Medieval Trial of Joan of Arc is of Particular Interest Today, 21 J.L. & Religion 469 (2006) (reviewing Daniel Hobbins, The Trial of Joan of Arc (2005))

The Failure of The International Laws of War and the Role of Art and Story-Telling as a Self-Help Remedy for Restorative Justice, Symposium Issue, 12 Tex. Wesleyan L. Rev. 91 (2005)

Le Droit de Resistance a l'Oppression, Le Genre Humain 159 (2005)

Sex Slavery in the United States and Its Law to Stop it Here and Abroad, 11 Wm. & Mary J. Women & L. 317 (2005)

Civil Disobedience and the U.S. Constitution, 32 Sw.n U.L. Rev. 677 (2003), also in French as La Désobeissance Civile et la Constitution des États-Unis, in L’Droit De Resistance a L'Oppression, Collection "Le Genre Humain," 380 (ions du Seuil, 2005)

Representation of International Humanitarian Laws in the Film "The Pianist": On the Curative Role of the Arts During Genocidal War, 28 T. Jefferson L. Rev. 43 (2005)

Copyright Infringement, Sex Trafficking, and the Fictional Life of a Geisha, 10 Mich. J. Gender & L. 327 (2004)

A Semiotic Approach to a Legal Definition of Terrorism, 9 ILSA J. Int'l & Comp. L. 358 (2003)

The Saga of Susannah – A U.S. Remedy for Sex Trafficking in Women: The Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000, 2002 Utah L. Rev. 107 (2002)

Business and Trade Law, in Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems, Social Sciences and Humanities: Law, § (UNESCO-Eolss, 2002) (published online,

Preface to the Second Annual Women and the Law Conference, 24 T. Jefferson L. Rev. 191 (2002)

Sex Sells But Drugs Don’t Talk: Trafficking of Women Sex Workers and an Economic Solution, 24 T. Jefferson L. Rev. 161 (2002), reprinted in Women and the Law (Carol H. Lefcourt, ed., Thomson-West, 2003), updating Sex Sells But Drugs Don’t Talk: Trafficking of Women Sex Workers, 23 T. Jefferson L. Rev. 199 (2001)

The Paradox of International Adjudication: Developments in the International Criminal Tribunals for the Former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, the World Court, and the International Criminal Court, 25 N.C.J. Int'l L. & Com. Reg. 551 (2000)

Free Trade and Protectionism: The Semiotics of Seattle, 17 Ariz. J. Int'l & Comp. L. 257 (2000)

Legal Ethics: Access to Justice 2 Journal of the Institute for the Study of Legal Ethics (Roy Simon and Susan Tiefenbrun, Eds., (1999)

War Crimes and War Crimes Tribunals: Past, Present, and Future, 3 Law and Policy Symposium (Leon Friedman and Susan Tiefenbrun, Eds. 1999)

A Hermeneutic Methodology and How Pirates Read and Misread the Berne Convention, 17 Wis. Int'l L.J. 1 (1999)

On Civil Disobedience, Jurisprudence, Feminism and the Law in the Antigones of Sophocles and Anouilh, 11 Cardozo Stud. L. & Literature 35 (1999)

Peace With Justice, 3 Hofstra L. & Pol'y Symp. 1 (Leon Friedman & Susan Tiefenbrun, eds., 1999)

Introduction to Interdisciplinarity and Retrial of Shylock in Law And The Arts 149 (Susan Tiefenbrun, Ed., 1999)

On the Tenth Anniversary of Cardozo Studies in Law and Literature, 10 Cardozo Stud. L. & Literature 139 (1998)

The Piracy of Intellectual Property in China and the Former Soviet Union and Its Effects Upon International Trade: A Comparison, 46 Buff L. Rev. 1 (1998)

The Role of the World Court in Settling International Disputes: A Recent Assessment, 20 Loy. L.A. Int'l L & Comp. L. Rev. 1 (1997)

The Lie, The Law and La Fontaine's Fables, 25 Metaphore 109 (1996)

State and Federal Foreign Affairs Power in the United States, in Government Structures in the U.S.A. and the Sovereign States of the Former U.S.S.R. 156 (Greenwood Press, 1996)

Land Ownership in the Russian Federation: Laws and Obstacles, 37 St. Louis U. L. J. 235 (1993)

A Comparison of International Arbitral Rules, 15 B.C. Int'l & Comp. L. Rev. 25 (1992)

Semiotics and Martin Luther King's 'Letter from Birmingham Jail, 4 Cardozo Stud. L. & Literature 255 (1992)

New Soviet Fundamentals of Law on Land Ownership, 4 N.Y. Int'l L. Rev. 92  (1991)(cited in publication of World Bank)

A Legal Framework for Soviet Privatization, 18 Pepp. L. Rev. 849 (1991)

Joint Ventures in the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe and The People's Republic of China as of December, 1989, 21 N.Y.U. J. Int'l L .& Pol. 667 (1989) (monograph)

Legal Semiotics, 5 Cardozo Arts & Ent. L.J, 89 (1986)

Other Scholarship:

Child Soldiers, Slavery, and Human Trafficking, New Voices in Human Rights Program, American Association of Law Schools, New York, NY, Jan. 6, 2008

Trafficking, Slavery, and the Jews, Chavurah Group in Del Mar, Del Mar, CA, Nov. 18, 2006

Is Slavery Really Dead? Global Human Trafficking, TJSL Women's Law Association, Nov. 16, 2006

Human Trafficking, a Contemporary Form of Slavery, Twelve-Thirty Club, La Jolla Country Club, Nov. 8, 2006

Chaired panel, International Law & Literature, American Branch of International Law, New York. elected member of the executive committee of ABILA, Oct. 26-28, 2006

The Trafficking of Women, The Women's Commission at UCSD, University of California San Diego, San Diego, CA, Apr. 2006

Sex Slavery Here and Abroad, UCSD International Affairs Group, University of California San Diego, San Diego, CA, Apr. 2006

Film as Remedy for Human Rights Violations, University of Houston Law School, Houston, TX, Apr. 2005

Sex Trafficking in the US and Abroad, Loyola Law School, Chicago, IL, Feb. 2005

The Thomas Jefferson School of Law faculty is highly prolific in the field of legal scholarship and our professors are in demand as speakers and panelists at legal events in the U.S. and abroad.