William and Mary Law School

Course Descriptions

 
M01 Human Rights in Europe   1 credit

A survey of European human rights and freedoms, both under the European Convention of Human Rights and the legal system of the European Union. Special attention shall be devoted to differences in the legal framework and techniques used under the two European systems, as well as its main enforcers: the European Court of Human Rights, in Strasbourg, and the Court of Justice of the European Union in Luxembourg.

 

M04 The Legal System of the European Union 2 credits

After a brief introduction on the motives and history of European integration, the course provides an accurate portrait of the general framework and functioning of the legal system of the European Union, with special emphasis on the decision-making process, the distribution of power between member states and the EU, and the principles that govern the relationship between the legal systems of the EU and its member states. Additional study will follow on the legal setting of the European Common Market. Attention will be paid to the economic liberties guaranteed by the Treaty of Rome, as well as the other rights and duties shaping the legal environment of any corporation conducting business in Europe. (Students may enroll in M04 or M05, but not both.)

 

M05   European Union Law and Politics 1 credit

An introduction to the European Union (EU) legal system and the political work of its institutions, with an appendix on NAFTA. The course studies EU decision-making, focusing on the Commission, the Council and European Parliament.  Attention will be given to the Community's system of legal remedies and the European Court of Justice, its constitutional principles, and the expansion of Community powers.  Finally, the course covers rules on free movement of goods inside the European market. (Students may enroll in M04 or M05, but not both.)

 

M12 International Environmental Law 2 credits

The course considers topics such as liability in transboundary pollution; institutional framework of international environmental regimes; the cooperative system of management of global environmental problems (climate change, biodiversity loss...) and of the global commons (atmosphere, oceans, Antarctica...); debt for nature swaps; environmental restraints on international aid and technology transfer; international trade and the environment (WTO and the environment; unilateral environmental measures and trade sanctions; shipping of hazardous waste; CITES...); international environmental torts and human rights; and environmental issues in transnational contracts, mergers and acquisitions.

 

M13 Securities Regulation in Europe 2 credits

The course examines the European framework regulating the provision of financial services and markets, from the initial Financial Services Action Plan (FSAP) to the regulations recently enacted as a result of the financial crisis. The aim of the course is to give participants an understanding of the concepts underlying the regulation and a sense of its general framework.  This framework can be used to understand the specific regulations, from internal organization requirements to the treatment of conflicts of interest.

 

M16 Comparative Corporations 2 credits

An exploration of the legal structure of corporate institutions both in the United States and Europe, emphasizing the control of managers in publicly held corporations. The course initially focuses on topics such as the different business organizations; the mechanisms to establish US/European corporations; and the distribution of authority among shareholders, directors and officers. The course then moves to the differing views of the corporation's proper role in society and the present debate, on both sides of the Atlantic, about the ideal corporate governance structure.

 

M18 European Internet Law 2 credits

An overview of this increasingly globalized area of the law through an examination of how the European Union (EU) and European countries, together with their respective courts, have addressed it. After the study of the Internet itself and of Internet law and governance, the course will cover two main areas: first, the  basis of the regulation of the physical network for information and communication technologies in Europe according to the telecom policies; second, the regulation of Net contents by focusing on the following aspects: civil rights in cyberspace (including its projection on labor relations), substantive and jurisdictional problems arising from cybercrime, the law of intellectual property in the Internet and electronic commerce. Finally, we will address future trends in the Internet world (such as big data, the Internet of Things and cloud computing) as well as their respective legal implications.

 

M22 Introduction to Civil Law and Comparative Constitutional Law 1 credit

Structured in two parts, the course begins by introducing the particular approach to the law and the distinct way of legal thinking that characterize the civil law legal tradition and mark the contrast with the common law legal culture. It explores how and why these two legal paths developed and examines the contemporary trend towards convergence. The second part focuses on major aspects of comparative constitutional law. Against the background of successive waves of democratization after the Second World War and the collapse of the Soviet Union, consideration will be given to the issues of constitution-making, designing democracy, constitution-interpreting and constitutional courts. The phenomenon of judicial globalization will also be given special attention.

 

M30 Public International Law 2 credits

This course examines the nature and sources of international law and municipal law; the law of treaties; principles of jurisdiction; statehood and recognition of states and governemnts; sovereign immunity; rights of aliens; human rights; environmental issues; and regulation of international coercison.