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The First Week of the 2013 Nice Program by Professor Susan Tiefenbrun

July 9, 2013

TJSL's Summer Study Abroad Program in Nice, France
Old Nice Coastline
The Boat Docks in Nice, France

Dear Students, Professors, and Staff at TJSL:

This is our 22nd year of the Nice International Law Study Abroad Program located at the University of Nice Law School on the sunny French Riviera. We are all having a wonderful time. We have about 44 American students from 6 different law schools and 21 French, Italian, Polish, Dutch, and German students all studying international law together. The European students and our American students are really enjoying each other’s company, meeting together after class, learning together in class, and getting to know firsthand the big differences that exist in the laws and societies of these different countries. It is definitely working.

During the first week of the Nice Program, I invited all the European and American law students and professors to my apartment for a Welcome Reception, and Adam Edel, my able assistant, along with Gabriel and Jake, his friends, helped me buy the wine and cheese for the party. It was a smashing success where everyone got to meet everyone and share experiences about travel in Europe.

Classes started on Monday, and from what I have heard, all the classes are very exciting and informative with exceptional teaching by Professors Alex Kreit, Richard Winchester, Ben Templin and myself. Students are here to learn about international law in an international and highly cosmopolitan setting. Our first Distinguished Guest Lecturer, Examining Magistrate (Juge d’Instruction) Caroline Charpentier from the Tribunal de Grande Instance in Marseille, came on Wednesday to deliver a mesmerizing and personal talk about her rise to power as a judge and examining magistrate and the powers of such a judge in the French Civil Law system compared to our Common Law system. Amazing!

We had a fun French class taught by me on Thursday, and private French conversation classes are given every day by French professors in the law school itself. On Friday we all went to the French court in Nice, heard a short but incisive presentation by the former Vice President of the Nice Court and the current President of the highest court in Amiens, France (who came down from northern France just to host this visit of the Nice court for our group). We all saw a trial conducted (about tax evasion), and we watched an incredibly talented French tax lawyer defend his client brilliantly, even though we all thought the defendant was guilty! Lots of fun to see the French lawyers in black robes with a white bib, the judges in robes with ermine fur on their sleeves, and the panel of three judges attentively listening to the lawyer plead for mercy for his client. Really good stuff! This weekend students are traveling near and far to Paris, Barcelona, Rome, Florence, London and elsewhere, and they are returning on Sunday to start the second week of our Nice Study Abroad Program in international law.

On Monday I offer another French class, and on Tuesday we have an important lecture by Dr. Chen Ke from Shanghai on Financing a Chinese Nuclear Power Plant Project that he and his Chinese international law firm in Shanghai are working on. The weather in Nice has been beautiful, and the sun shines bright everywhere. No wonder Matisse, Chagall, Renoir, and Manet came here to paint. We look forward to the arrival of Dean Rudy Hasl and Lisa Ferreira next weekend. I will keep you all posted.


Professor Susan Tiefenbrun

Founding Director Nice Program