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All VLS Courses

Course Name

Introduction to Chinese Law

International Law

An introduction to contemporary Chinese legal system and institutions in historical and comparative perspective.  Studies diverse aspects in the legal development of the PRC, including the legislature, sources of law, the legal profession and the judiciary, administrative law, the criminal justice system, dispute resolution, and the efforts and challenges of addressing China's environmental degradation and energy problems through law.

Law of International Organizations

International Law

Focuses on the law of treaty-based intergovernmental organizations (IGOs), including their constitutive laws, the laws governing their internal functioning, and the "laws" they promulgate in the form of binding and nonbinding agreements and regulations. The course examines the United Nations and its specialized agencies as well as other other IGO in diverse fields.

National Security Law

International LawPublic

Explores lawyers' involvement in the formulation and implementation of United States foreign and national defense policy through the examination variety of domestic, constitutional, and international law issues such as authority for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, intelligence gathering at home and abroad, detention and interrogation of terrorist suspects, planning for the next terrorist attack, protection of sensitive government information, and other current topics.

Ocean and Coastal Law

EnvironmentalInternational Law

A review of domestic and international laws and treaties relating to coastal management, pollution, protected areas, endangered species, fish, marine mammals, wetlands, and seabed mineral and hydrocarbon resources. The course considers how effectively these legal authorities blend together to provide rational and comprehensive management and protection of marine resources.

PDF LogoDownload the 2014 Course Syllabus - updated 6/2/14

Peace, War, and the Environment

EnvironmentalInternational Law

This course explores environmental protection during armed conflict and analyzes the role of environmental management in peacekeeping and state reconstruction. It considers current challenges in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, and discusses how environmental obligations may be incorporated into the laws of new states.

PDF LogoDownload the 2014 Course Syllabus

Regulating the Marine Environment

EnvironmentalInternational Law

Examines the interaction of state, federal, and international regimes in the regulation of the marine environments through the examination of issues such as the marine environment as a source of energy; the nonrenewable resources of the seabed; and the winds, waves, currents, and temperatures of the sea itself.

Spanish Constitutional Law

International Law

An introduction to the study of comparative law that provides students with an opportunity to compare the Spanish and the American approaches to constitutional law.   The seminar focuses on similarities and differences in constitutional structure, methodology, and values.  Students attend lectures by leading Spanish legal scholars at VLS and at the University of Seville in Spain.  

Study Abroad Seminar: Canadian Legal System

International Law

Designed to increase study abroad opportunities for students, the specific content taught at VLS is based on the Canadian Legal System.

Transnational Issues in the Practice of Law

International Law

Examines the broad range of transnational issues that practitioners can expect to encounter in their law practices, such as international contracts, importing, exporting, inbound and outbound foreign investment, business immigration, protection of intellectual property, international aspects of criminal and family law, international enforcement of judgments, arbitral agreements and arbitral awards, and ethics.

Wildlife Crimes: Nature, Scope, and Response

EnvironmentalInternational Law

An introduction to the domestic statutes and international treaties that regulate and/or prohibit particular types of unlawful wildlife taking and trafficking, with emphasis on the enforcement schemes and methods used to address these crimes. The course includes a discussion of the most common types of wildlife crimes and an examination of the CITES treaty.