The Center for Global Legal Studies was established to examine the legal implications of the globalization of the world economy and the gradual erosion of national sovereignty in areas as diverse as business, the environment, criminal justice and human rights. These are trends that are transforming the foundational principles of national legal systems dating from the 17th century.
The presence of the Center at Thomas Jefferson reflects San Diego's location at the southern and western borders of the continental United States. San Diego sits adjacent to the busiest border crossing in the world and has become a leading example of the regional economic integration that typifies the globalization of the economy.
The Center for Global Legal Studies prepares students for careers in international law, but perhaps more importantly it also prepares them to address the increasingly common international dimension of more traditional areas of practice. Examples of the latter range from the business lawyer whose client has a foreign subsidiary or purchaser, to the criminal prosecutor seeking extradition of an accused, to the civil litigant who must conduct discovery in a foreign country or appear before an international arbitral tribunal.
The CGLS offers a Certificate Program in Global Legal Studies for students interested in focusing their electives in the area of international law. The CGLS sponsors study abroad programs. Students who sign up for TJSL study abroad programs can earn up to four credits in international law courses in each study abroad program.
Current or recent faculty research relating to the work of the Center for Global Legal Studies includes topics such as:
- environmental damage resulting from the war in Yugoslavia
- legal protection of foreign investment in Third World countries
- war crimes tribunals
- piracy of intellectual property in China and the former Soviet Union
- the legality of NATO bombing in Yugoslavia
- tax policy under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
- the role of foreign investment in economic development
- environmental harm to international waterways
- Sex Trafficking
- International Law and Terrorism