ILO Courses


This introductory course deals with structural aspects of the international legal system, including the jurisprudence of international law and differing cultural and philosophical perspectives; the history of the international legal system; customary international law; treaty law; statehood and recognition; the United Nations and international organizations; and the relationship of the international legal system to domestic legal systems, using the United States as a primary example.
This course will be taught during Fall 2017 and Fall 2018 by Professor Michael Glennon


This course will offer an introduction to the international legal system’s principal subfields, including international dispute resolution, the law of state responsibility, the use of force and counter-terrorism, the law of war, international criminal law, human rights, and jurisdiction and immunities. Time permitting; we may also cover selected issues in arms control, international environmental law, and international economic law. We will also explore how these subfields relate to domestic law, focusing on the U.S. legal system as the primary example. Open to students who have completed L200 or equivalent.
This course will be taught during Spring 2018 and Spring 2019 by Professor Michael Glennon


This seminar examines treaty behavior over a broad spectrum of subject areas—including security, environment, trade, and human rights. Approaches to international agreements affect economic, security, and foreign policy in this interdependent world. The seminar examines IL and IR theories of compliance. It explores exceptionalism in treaty behavior—American and other nations. A simulation will familiarize students with the process of treaty negotiation and drafting. The seminar offers students the opportunity to do research in depth on one or more treaties, or the behavior of a given nation or group of nations under several treaties. Prior law courses helpful but not required.
This course will be taught during Spring 2018 by Professor Antonia Chayes


An introductory survey of international human rights law and procedures, including detailed examination of global, regional, and national institutions to protect human rights. The course traces the development of contemporary concepts of human rights, including issues of universality, whether or not certain categories of rights have priority over others, and the means of creating and enforcing human rights law. The role of non-governmental organizations in fact- finding and publicizing human rights violations is also addressed.
This course will be taught during Fall 2017 by Professor Kathleen Hamill and Fall 2018 by Professor Hurst Hannum


This seminar analyzes in greater depth a limited number of issues that are of contemporary interest in the field of international human rights law. While specific topics vary, those addressed in recent years have included equality and non-discrimination; democracy; economic and social rights; business and human rights; and humanitarian intervention. The seminar requires a substantial research paper that analyzes a human rights issue in depth, the topic to be determined in consultation with the instructor. Open to students who have completed L210 or equivalent.
This course will be taught during Spring 2018 by Professor Kathleen Hamill and Spring 2019 by Professor Hurst Hannum


This seminar explores the evolution of the concepts of self-determination and minority rights from the nineteenth century to the present. The focus is on changing legal norms, including interpretation of the principle of self-determination by the League of Nations and United Nations; protection of the rights of ethnic, religious, and linguistic minorities; and the articulation of the rights of indigenous peoples. The seminar requires a substantial research paper that analyzes a contemporary situation in which these issues are significant. Open to students who have completed L200, L210 or equivalent.
This course will be taught during Fall 2018 by Professor Hurst Hannum


Following a long fallow period after Nuremberg, the demand for accountability for mass atrocities in the 1990s and since has catalyzed the creation of a range of mechanisms of international criminal justice. This course explores the contours of international criminal law and the institutions that apply it. We will consider the scope and boundaries of the core international crimes - genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes - and the range of actors potentially liable for those violations. In so doing, we will examine the application of this body of law through international courts, such as the International Criminal Court and the UN tribunals for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia, hybrid or special courts, such as those in Sierra Leone and Cambodia, and domestic courts exercising universal jurisdiction. The course will examine the reach and limits of these bodies in confronting impunity, the tension between state sovereignty and international criminal justice, and the problem of selectivity.
This course will be taught during Spring 2018 and Spring 2019 by Professor Thomas Dannenbaum


This seminar considers the range of processes and mechanisms available to ensure accountability for large-scale human rights violations and achieve reconciliation, including criminal justice, truth and reconciliation commissions, and mechanisms, which incorporate local custom, such as gacaca in Rwanda. It reviews some of the philosophical, moral and political considerations pertaining to the challenge of reconciliation in these contexts. This course is taught remotely by the professor. One-half credit.
This course will be taught during Fall 2017 and Fall 2018 by Professor Cecile Aptel


Many of an individual’s most morally significant decisions and actions occur at work. This is true whether one works in the private sector, the public sector, or the NGO sector. The normative weightiness of such decisions is particularly high in many of the careers to which Fletcher students aspire. At the same time, it is well established that social and organizational context plays a key role in shaping behavior, including by shaping an individual’s behavior in ways that can run contrary to her independent ethical judgment. In other words, it is extremely difficult to think and act ethically at work. Detached from the professional context, graduate school provides a crucial opportunity for moral reflection at a moment when that reflection can have a real impact in shaping future action.  Seizing on that opportunity, this course wrestles with the key dimensions of moral difficulty likely to face those working at the transnational or international level (broadly construed). We begin with philosophical foundations, covering the three key modes of moral reasoning: consequentialism, deontological ethics, and virtue ethics. We then turn in the second part of the course to thinking through problems at the intersection of morality and psychology, understanding the concept of moral dimensions (culpability, blame, and burden), and clarifying the distinction between justification and excuse. The third and dominant part of the course isolates and focuses on the most vexing normative issues and challenges likely to arise for those working in the transnational realm. Among others, this will include wrestling with the dilemmas involved in negotiating with criminal or terrorist actors, doing business in a context of mass corruption, prioritizing recipients of humanitarian aid, engaging in whistleblowing or disobedience, and deciding whether to serve in an administration engaged in nefarious.  The objective of the course is to empower students with the philosophical tools to shape their professional lives in such a way that they can ultimately reflect back upon their careers and endorse them morally from a position of honest and searching self-evaluation.


This course explores the doctrine and key tenets of international humanitarian law (variously termed the jus in bello, the law of armed conflict, and the laws of war) while also interrogating that doctrine and considering how developing practices and technologies of war challenge the existing framework. It presumes that students will develop an understanding of the jus ad bellum (the law governing the resort to force, or when we fight) from the International Legal Order (ILO L200) and Public International Law (ILO L201). The focus here will instead be on the jus in bello (the law governing how we fight).  We will reflect on the independence of the jus in bello from the jus ad bellum and come to grips with the differences between international, non-international, and transnational conflicts. Several weeks will be devoted to examining the core issues in this regime: the distinction between combatants and civilians, proportionality, weapons bans, precautions in attack, and detention. We will also examine the interaction between human rights law and humanitarian law, the protection of humanitarian assistance in war, the regulation of private military contractors, the connection between IHL and war crimes, and other related issues.
This course will be taught during Fall 2017 and Fall 2018 by Professor Thomas Dannenbaum


Using the case method, this course explores the key court decisions that have helped establish the legal principles that empower and regulate international organizations. Analysis of these cases illuminates the relationship and tension between international law and politics in this area, as well as shows how courts help and hinder the development of international organizations, sometimes in the same case. Additional case studies will focus on contemporary problems facing a variety of international organizations. The debates and assessment exercises will strengthen students’ critical reasoning skills, in addition to fostering a sophisticated understanding of the law created for and by international organizations.
This course will be taught during Fall 2017 and Fall 2018 by Professor Ian Johnstone


This seminar is designed to explore in a comparative mode various actors in global governance: global organizations, regional organizations, groupings of states, non-governmental organizations, private sector actors, and networks. The first part of the seminar is devoted to theoretical, institutional, and legal issues. Each student then develops and presents to the class an outline for a “Reform Report” on an institution of their choice, taking stock of its performance and offering a vision for the future. Based on feedback from the class, constituted as the ‘senior management group’ of the institution, the report is finalized and submitted as the major assignment for the course.
This course will be taught during Fall 2017 by Professor Ian Johnstone


This module is an exploration of current issues implicating the Law of the Sea (and in particular the Geneva Convention on Territorial Seas and United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea) with a focus on the South China Sea and Arctic Ocean. It explores the interaction of an international legal regime with the challenges posed by geography, climate change, history, military rivalry, trade and politics, and in turn how an international legal regime can itself influence the course of national conduct, whether through negotiation, adjudication or “lawfare”. We will also discuss how the ambivalent attitudes of leading military and commercial powers affect the rule of law in the oceanic context.  One-half credit.
This course will be taught during Spring 2018 by Professor John Burgess


This course addresses the nature, content, and structure of international environmental law. The course commences with an introduction to international environmental problems, together with basic principles of international law and environmental regulation. Specific topics include global warming, stratospheric ozone depletion, and exports of hazardous substances. Other topics may include marine pollution, transboundary pollution, trade and environment, and development and environment. The course evaluates the role of international and non- governmental organizations; the interrelationship between international legal process and domestic law; and the negotiation, conclusion, and implementation of international environmental agreements.
This course will be taught during Fall 2017 and Fall 2018 by Professor David Wirth


This course looks at peace operations both as instruments for the management of conflict, and as a lens for understanding major issues in contemporary international affairs. Combining a thematic and case study approach, we consider the law, politics and doctrine of peacekeeping. Select cases are examined to draw out recurring themes and dilemmas, such as sovereignty v. intervention, peace v. justice and the UN v. regional organizations. In addition to lectures and structured discussion, the format of the course includes student presentations and a simulation exercise.
This course will be taught during Spring 2018 and Spring 2019 by Professor Ian Johnstone


This course provides a critical overview of the development of global health law and the institutions that manage it, within the context of contemporary international law, as well as the structures and features of global governance. The course will focus on the main issues leading the development of international law and governance in the field of health, such as the role of WHO and other international institutions; the complex interactions of public health concerns with international regimes such as those regulating international trade and investments, human rights, international security, and environmental protection; and what the prospects are for further future developments. One-half credit. 
Not offered AY 2017-2018, 2018-2019


This course provides an examination of private and public law aspects of international business transactions, including conflicts of law and comparative law issues. It examines the selection of the optimal business format for international operations, including branch, subsidiary, joint venture, technology license and distributorship; international commercial law, including sales contract, and commercial documents; international contracts and dispute resolution issues, including governing law, and choice of forum, force majeure, and treaty issues; and the United States Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
This course will be taught during Fall 2017 by Professor Joel Trachtman


This half-credit module explores the nature and application of international arbitration as a method of dispute resolution in international economic and political relations. A widely used but not generally well-known process, international arbitration is basically a method of dispute settlement that involves the referral of the dispute to an impartial tribunal or panel for a binding decision according to agreed-upon norms, often on the basis of international law. It is applicable to three general types of disputes: 1) disputes between states (interstate arbitration); 2) disputes between states and private parties (e.g. investor-state arbitration); and 3) disputes arising out of international business transactions either between private parties or between private parties and governmental entities (e.g. international commercial arbitration). This module will examine all three types of international arbitration and will consider their legal basis, their methods of operation, and their potential advantages and disadvantages both for the disputants and the wider international community. A student’s final evaluation in the course will be based on a paper of not more than 3000 words (65%) and participation in class sessions (35%). The course is relevant to the academic interests of LLM students, because of its legal component, MIB students, because of arbitration’s key role in the settlement of international business disputes, and MALD students with interests in international conflict resolution. The course is listed in the fields of Public International Law and International Negotiation and Conflict Resolution and has no required pre-requisites.
This course will be taught during Fall 2017 by Professor Jeswald Salacuse


This seminar examines the laws, policies, and legal institutions influencing cross-border investments, with special emphasis on emerging markets and developing nations. It studies the nature of international investment and multinational investors, the international legal framework for international investment with particular emphasis on rapidly evolving treaty law, such as bilateral investment treaties (BITs), NAFTA, and the Energy Charter Treaty, as well as arbitration and judicial decisions applying them. It also considers national regulatory frameworks for foreign investment, the contractual and legal mechanisms for structuring, financing, and protecting international investments, and methods for settling investment dispute.
This course will be taught during Spring 2018 by Professor Jeswald Salacuse


This course is intended to introduce students to the legal and regulatory context of international finance. It covers selected domestic and international aspects of (i) corporate law relating to finance, (ii) bank financing and regulation, (iii) securities financing and market regulation and (iv) insolvency law. It also addresses the process of innovation in international financial law, with coverage of emerging market debt, swaps and other derivatives, privatizations, and securitization. These topics will be reviewed from the standpoint of domestic law of the United States and other selected jurisdictions, as well as from the standpoint of applicable international law and practice.
This course will be taught during Spring 2018 by Professor Joel Trachtman


This course will provide an introduction to basic principles of intellectual property law concepts, specifically patents, trademarks, and copyrights. We will examine examples of how intellectual property is infringed and various defenses available to an accused infringer. We will also consider how licensing plays a role in intellectual property business development and disputes. From there, the course will examine the impact of various international conventions and treaties on intellectual property rights. Particular attention will be paid to the protection of intellectual property rights in selected legal regimes; and to the competing interests of intellectual property owners in global commercial transactions. The rapid development and widespread adoption of Digital Technology and the Internet pose serious challenges to long accepted doctrines of copyright and trademark law, and these will also be addressed.
Not offered AY 2017-2018, 2018-2019


This module will review the evolution of securities regulation regimes in North American and European jurisdictions. We will evaluate differing models relating to the regulation of public offering of debt and equity securities, issues of securities disclosure and enforcement, and the regulation of investment banking and broker/dealer activities across borders. In addition to comparing different substantive approaches, we will review and analyze the increasing convergence in international disclosure and accounting standards and their implications for international markets, as well as continuing challenges relating to the regulation of markets and their participants on a worldwide basis, particularly in light of the global financial crisis. One-half credit.
Not offered AY 2017-2018, 2018-2019


This seminar reviews the structuring, negotiation, and implementation of cross-border merger and acquisition transactions, taking into account applicable issues of international law, and national practice. The seminar discusses alternative forms of transaction structure and the underlying tax and legal considerations considered for choosing particular approaches. We will also analyze different forms of acquisition agreements, review the role and application of key transactional concepts, and analyze how they are addressed in the context of specific transactions. We will take the opportunity to review the typical areas of negotiation in the acquisition of private and public companies, and evaluate how those negotiations are affected by international regulatory, legal, and fiscal considerations. The seminar will review trends in deal terms drawing on recent transactions involving North American, European, and Asian companies.
This course will be taught during Fall 2017 by Professor John Burgess


This module explores business, financial, and legal issues affecting corporate governance and management of risk, both in industrialized and developing countries. Students will examine the nature of the corporation, management roles and board responsibility, the role of regulatory authorities, as well as corporate culture, corporate social responsibility, and capital market development. The course will focus on policy implications, including widespread efforts to produce corporate governance reforms and set standards in the wake of corporate scandals and systemic risk. Also listed as B239m. One-half credit.
Not offered AY 2017-2018, 2018-2019


This course examines the law of international trade in goods and services, focusing principally on the law of the World Trade Organization and its General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, as well as on the foreign trade law of the United States. This sector of international law includes specialized negotiation and dispute settlement processes, as well as particular types of rules, restraining national restrictions on trade. These rules address tariff and non-tariff barriers, discrimination, regionalism, anti-dumping duties, countervailing duties and safeguards measures. This course will pay particular attention to how this legal system manages various facets of globalization. 
This course will be taught during Fall 2017 by Professor Joel Trachtman


This seminar examines the role of law and legal systems in the economic and social development of developing nations, emerging markets, and countries in transition. It explores how law may both inhibit and foster change and the ways that legal institutions may be organized to achieve national goals. It first considers the nature of law, the nature of development, and the theoretical relationships of law to the development process. It then explores the links between law and development through case studies on land tenure, foreign investment, environment, governance, constitutionalism, corruption, judicial reform, enterprise organization, and the rule of law.
This course will be taught during Fall 2017 by Professor Jeswald Salacuse


This course covers the two principal legal traditions in the world—the common law and the civil law traditions with exposure to the Islamic tradition and European Union law as well. It is intended for diplomats, international civil servants, business executives, and lawyers. Students will study the historical evolution of the traditions in comparative perspective with emphasis on France and Germany in the civil law and on the United States and the United Kingdom in the common law. The methodology entails study of the underlying legal philosophies of these traditions through analysis of the sources of law, judicial process and judicial review, and through learning constitutional law, contracts, and criminal and civil procedure.
Not offered AY 2017-2018, 2018-2019


This course studies methodologies used by international actors in promoting the rule of law postconflict. It focuses on eight aspects: constitutional development, code reform, legal drafting, judicial reform, accountability for past abuses, fighting corruption, democratic policing, and local custom. These are strategies for building the basic institutional framework strictly necessary for the maintenance of peace and security in the immediate aftermath of conflict. The course will therefore deal with the restoration/reestablishment of the justice sector and only minimally with economic issues. It includes case studies of East Timor, Kosovo, South Africa, Cambodia, Rwanda, Iraq, and Afghanistan. 
Not offered AY 2017-2018, 2018-2019


This course deals with the intersection of international law and United States constitutional law, focusing upon the separation of powers doctrine and the allocation of decision-making authority, international law as part of United States law, treaties and other international agreements, the war power and terrorism, the appropriations power, federalism, the role of the courts, and current national security issues. Open to students who have completed L200 or its equivalent, or with permission of the instructor.
This course will be taught during Fall 2017 and Fall 2018 by Professor Michael Glennon


Existing non-proliferation regimes center around three important multilateral treaties and the verification mechanisms associated with them: the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the Chemical Weapons Convention, and the Biological Weapons Convention. Recent developments, including concerns about weapons of mass destruction falling into the hands of non-state actors, have raised questions about the viability of existing regimes. The objective of this seminar is to explore these developments from a legal and institutional perspective. Situated in the broader context of the politics and policies of non-proliferation, we will look at the past, present and future of each regime, drawing on current cases to illustrate their strengths and weaknesses. We will look at the key legal instruments, the institutional arrangements for monitoring compliance, and the enforcement mechanisms. Special attention will be devoted to new initiatives that seek to complement existing regimes. More generally, we will consider what – if any - is the impact of international law and institutions in a field that goes to the core of national and international security.
This course will be taught during Fall 2018 by Professor Ian Johnstone


Directed reading and research for credit, providing an opportunity for qualified students to pursue the study of particular problems within the discipline of International Law and Organizations under the personal guidance of a member of faculty. The course may be assigned to a Field of Study according to the topic selected. By consent of the professor and petition.


Noncredit directed reading and research in preparation for PhD comprehensive examination or dissertation research and writing on the subjects within this division. By consent of the professor.