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FALL SEMESTER – September to December

 

Comparative Tort Law (3 credits or 1.5 US credits)

The course aims at providing students with tools enabling them to understand and address tort law issues in a comparative perspective, in the light of traditional doctrine, recent developments, and ongoing evolutions. Much reference is made to European and non-European harmonization projects.

Part 1 of the course addresses general aspects of tort law:  functions of tort law (compensation, loss-shifting, deterrence, and prevention), compensation and prevention of hypothetical damage and connection with the precautionary principle, scope of tort law including borderline issues with contract and unjustified enrichment, organization of tort law (Anglo-American, French, and German approaches; shifts in categories), and loss of a chance and proportional liability.

Part 2 visits some cutting edge issues, such as protection of personality rights and privacy, product liability, and compensation of disaster victims.

Part 3 is an attempt to identify suitable models for the harmonization of tort law, and liability for climate change. Students will be asked to read theoretical and comparative texts as well as cases or excerpts of cases decided in various jurisdictions. On each topic, a leading hypothetical case will help identify the issues and possible solutions, and discussions will be conducted in an interactive manner.

EU Public Contracts, Procurement and State Aid Law (3 credits or 1.5 US credits)


Description

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Objectives

  • under construction

International Commercial Arbitration (3 credits or 1.5 US credits)

International commercial arbitration is believed to be the most popular alternative dispute mechanism outside national courts to settle disputes arising from international commercial transactions.  The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the operation of arbitration, the relationship between arbitration and national courts and issues arising from various aspects of international commercial arbitration. The course has a comparative approach between national legal systems (with some emphasis on English law), international treaties, and international/transnational Model laws.

International Dispute Resolution (3 credits or 1.5 US credits)

International Dispute Resolution raises a series of difficult questions. Which domestic judge is to exercise adjudicatory authority over the litigation? Which domestic law should be selected to govern the case? How should international conflicts of litigations be addressed? Those questions are time and money consuming and one shouldn’t engage in international litigation without a sound strategy and a deep knowledge of the different systems potentially in charge with providing an answer. This course will focus on business activities and mainly deal with jurisdiction in matters relating to contract (including consumer contracts, contracts of employment, and insurance contracts), tort, property, patents, company, insolvency, etc. The European model (Regulation (Eu) No 1215/2012 of The European Parliament and of the Council of 12 December 2012 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters (recast); Council regulation (EC) No 1346/2000 of 29 May 2000 on insolvency proceedings; Regulation (EC) No 805/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 April 2004 creating a European Enforcement Order for uncontested claims; etc.) will be used to illustrate theoretical and practical difficulties regarding jurisdiction in an international context. But it will not be forgotten, on the one hand, that this model is only regional, competed by international treaties (such as the Hague Convention (30 June 2005) on Choice of Court Agreements), and on the other hand, that it is still incomplete, leaving room for domestic private international law to apply on many occasions.

Objectives

Provide the students with the means to foresee international litigations difficulties, and make accurate and strategic choices, as a plaintiff’s or as a defendant’s counsel. This objective requires addressing different questions in a methodological manner.

International Intellectual Property Law (3 credits or 1.5 US credits)

The operation of the intellectual property law, in the variety of global legal situations, has its own dynamism. It cannot result from the mere application of a method or a legal solution at a given moment, in a predetermined space and on a predetermined level, by a duly identified actor. It must be grasped in one movement. In a single situation, several laws must sometimes be mobilised, alternatively, cumulatively, at the same time or at different moments, in or on one or several spaces or levels, by one or by multiple actors.
This distinctive dynamic, which the lawyer must be conscious of when passing from one context – national, international or European – to another, has an influence over the law, its uses and, sometimes, its content.
This lecture proposes to make explicit, through a range of situations and concrete examples, the analysis the lawyer engages in every time he is confronted by  situations in which several intellectual property laws formulated in a national (French or foreign), international (WTO, WIPO) or European (EU) environment may be applied together to a given case.
Several tools of a pluralistic application of the law are used in this operation. They are organised according to a basic three-step approach, consisting of the comparison (Part 1), then the combination (Part 2) and, finally, the hierarchization (Part 3) by the lawyer of the methods and solutions of national, international and European law that he is to use to solve his case.

International Tax Law (3 credits or 1.5 US credits)

In contemporary world no business lawyer can ignore tax consequences of his or her acts. In real life, the appropriateness of any conclusion of contract, any company restructuring or any other business action must be tested against tax considerations. This is particularly true in a cross-border context where tax jurisdictions overlap, causing additional burdens but also creating new opportunities.
This course is aimed at providing the students with a working knowledge of fundamental concepts of international tax law, with particular focus on international taxation of income.
Special attention will be given to the OECD Model Tax Treaty as well as, primarily, to French and US domestic rules pertaining to cross-border taxation of income.
In particular, students will be expected to understand the operation of the provisions of the OECD Model Tax Treaty.

Internet and Digital Copyright Law (3 credits or 1.5 US credits)

Description

The course aims to discuss hot topics of copyright law in the digital age from a comparative perspective. Students will get familiarized with the legal treatment of the covered topics in the United States, and under the law of the European Union.

The module starts with a theoretical introduction, where the effects of technological innovation and social needs upon the development of copyright protection are highlighted. Likewise, comparative and digital basics of copyright law will be introduced. The course uses the example of limitations and exceptions to stress how significant differences exist between the Anglo-Saxon “copyright” and the Continental European “Urheberrecht” and “droit d’auteur” systems.

The module continues with the analysis of the several digital copyright issues. The first is related to the doctrine of exhaustion (first sale doctrine in the U.S. copyright law). Under this concept the lawful acquirer (purchaser) of a lawfully sold work (or a copy thereof) shall have the right to dispose of the property of the said work without any permission of the rightholder. This concept will be discussed from a digital copyright perspective as well.

The course includes a session on musical sampling, which is about the use of pre-existing copyrighted sound recordings (and musical compositions) in new sound recordings. The case law of the United States and the Continental European countries show a significant difference with respect to this topic.

The United States and the EU Member States treat the legal problems related to P2P file-sharing differently. There isn’t any similar concept like the U.S. contributory and vicarious liability in the European countries, where – on the other hand – the public law and technological control turned out to be the most effective tool to settle disputes related to file-sharing.

Finally, the interplay of electronic commerce rules and copyright law will be address. As a part thereof the liability for offering e-commerce services, such as linking, hosting (including cyberlockers) or streaming will be discussed. The course introduces the partially different treatment of “safe harbour” provisions of electronic commerce service operators.

Objectives

The main objective of this course is to provide the students a practice-oriented, analytical aspect on some hot topics of the current (digital) copyright law regimes. The comparative legal aspect allows the students to understand the major differences between the common law and the continental legal systems to be able to study or criticize the different legal solutions. This approach will help the students to use European, American and international copyright law rules in their future career at law firms or at courts, and to undertake independent research on the subject, using both traditional and internet resources.

The Law and Policy of the WTO (3 credits or 1.5 US credits)

Description

This course provides an overview of the law of the World Trade Organization (WTO). The emphasis will be put on the dispute settlement system and the « quasi-judicial » function of WTO. Policy considerations will also be highlighted to the extent that they underpin the WTO positive law and its evolution.

Objectives

At the end of the course, the participants should:

1. be sensitized to the various functions fulfilled by WTO institutions and the role they play in globalization and development processes;

2. understand the legal principles and concepts around which WTO substantive law is organized;

3. be acquainted with the mechanics of WTO dispute settlement as well as the dynamics of the multilateral trade negotiations;

4. through case studies and practical exercises, be able to apply the WTO Agreements and understand how they operate;

5. have the capacity to undertake independent reading and research on the subject, using both traditional and internet resources.

6.have the capacity to develop a reasoned, critical thought on WTO law and institutions.

The Law of the EU’s Internal Market (3 credits or 1.5 US credits)

The aims of the course are to:

  1. Give the students an understanding of European Union law and its trade policy within the broader international framework, focusing notably on internal market issues.
  2. Enable students to analyse and discuss contemporary issues of EU law.
  3. Provide students with an historical overview of the evolution of the internal market mechanisms.
  4. Learning objectives

By the end of the course students should demonstrate:

  1.  An ability to define the key concepts of EU law: positive and negative integration, harmonisation, quantitative restrictions and measures having an equivalent effect, principle of non-discrimination, public policy justifications, proportionality principle, intra-Community trade, etc.;
  2. Knowledge of the key principles underpinning the EU internal market and its freedoms;
  3. Knowledge of the rules regulating free movement contained in the Treaty of Rome and subsequent secondary legislation including the rules relating to the free movement of persons;
  4. A basic knowledge of the ECJ judgments interpreting the rules governing the four freedoms;
  5. An ability to apply their knowledge to hypothetical problems in internal market law;
  6. An ability to define and explain problems which have arisen in the course of the evolution of the four freedoms polices regimes.

 

SPRING SEMESTER – January to April

 

Advanced Issues in Transnational Crime and Criminal Law (3 credits or 1.5 US credits)

Description:
under construction

Ojectives:

under construction

Comparative Contract Law (3 credits or 1.5 US credits)

Description

The course introduces students to some important similarities and differences in several basic principles of contract law in France and in the US.  Similarities include:

  • Shared Western European historical development;
  • Mutual manifestation of assent as the foundation of contractual obligation; and
  • Free will as the basis of contract law.
  • Differences include:
    • Divergent historical development of English common law and continental Civil Law;
    • Different meanings assigned to the term “unilateral contract” in each system;
    • Cause versus consideration;
    • Common law notion of reliance/estoppel;
    • Civil law notion of good faith; and
    • Treatment of contracts of adhesion.

Reading materials include selected academic commentaries on comparative contract law, US judicial decisions, and US Restatement of Contracts and UCC Sections, as well as English translations of the French Civil Code.

In class, ideas will be introduced, applied during class discussion and then applied to written practice exam problems.  By the end of the course, students should be able to:

  • Recognize the impact of historical and cultural differences on modern American and French contract law;
  • Distinguish contract law doctrines that are substantially similar in both American and French contract law from those that differ significantly;
  • Write a case brief of an American judicial decision and apply the holding of that case to a hypothetical fact pattern in order to state a legal outcome;
  • Identify some of the economic and political forces supporting and opposing harmonization of contract law across national borders and between regions; and
  • Relate differences in private law regimes such as contract law to larger questions of the global competitiveness of national economies.

Comparative IP Law (3 credits or 1.5 US credits)

Description

under construction

Environmental Law (3 credits or 1.5 US credits)

This course is aimed at students with an interest in legal developments in the field of environmental law, climate change policy and energy.  No prior knowledge of environmental law is required.
International regulators and global industry is attributing increasing importance to the protection of the environment and this value shift is materialised heavily, amongst others in the energy sector, leading to the development of energy law as an important sub-discipline of environmental law.  This course will introduce students to all key areas of international and EU environmental law by tracing legal developments surrounding the use and environmental impact of fossil fuels and nuclear power through to the growth of green  n.  The course will provide students with a basic understanding of international and EU environmental law, the EU energy industry and regulatory regimes and will give an insight into the practicalities of legal work in the energy sector.

European and Comparative Private International Law (3 credits or 1.5 US credits)

During the course, we shall be focusing on the institutional development of private international law in the European Union, its role in the internal market and some of the instruments which have been adopted since the Community first acquired specific power in this field thanks to the Amsterdam Treaty.

The course will be taught in English and students should have a sufficiently good grasp of the language to be able to follow the lectures, participate actively in discussion and sit a written examination.

Institutional Law of the EU (3 credits or 1.5 US credits)

Course description and objectives

This course will study the institutions of the European Union under a dynamic and comparative angle. In fact while EU institutions may seem static as a concept, they are the living constitutional structure of what is neither an international organization neither a State.

Students will learn to decipher the institutional provisions of the EU Treaties, the role and competences of each institution while understanding the interplays between them.

Parallels between the functioning of the EU, the United States of America and EU Member States will be drawn to better grasp the similarities and differences that form the specific legal characteristics of the EU.

Student active participation is expected and encouraged, by asking questions throughout the class, as well as interdisciplinary approaches and examples.

International and Comparative Competition Law (3 credits or 1.5 US credits)

Course description and objectives:

The purpose of the course is to focus on jurisdictional issues resulting from the implementation of domestic competition rules to international operations and anticompetitive behaviors.

Thus, the course will consider certain aspects of competition law and policy, including the application of the provisions dealing with:

– Cartels (Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, “TFEU”),

– Abuses of dominant position (Article 102 of the TFEU),

– and some aspects of Mergers (Regulation (EC) No 139/2004).

In doing so, the course will insist on the following specific topics:

– Extraterritoriality,

– Effects doctrine,

– International cartels,

– Leniency policy,

– Relevant market concept,

– National champion theory,

– Bilateral agreements on the application of competition law, and the two generations of cooperation agreements, and

– International instruments dealing with competition rules and policy (International Competition Network (ICN), and the postponed calendar for a multilateral –or rather plurilateral– agreement within the WTO framework).

Contrasts between E.U. Competition Rules and U.S. Antitrust Law will be drawn.

Competition cases having an international dimension will illustrate the discussion, such as:

the Boeing/Mc Donnell Douglas merger,

the Vitamins Cartel case,

the European Microsoft decision, and

the more recent Intel and Google cases.

International Investment Arbitration (3 credits or 1.5 US credits)

The course is focused on the rapidly developing field of investment treaty based arbitration. Those treaties lay down substantial and procedural rules to protect investments made by a national of one country in another country. The course will be dedicated to the understanding of the core elements of the international protection of foreign investments. The approach will be based primarily on a case study and on the reading of a number of international awards rendered by investment tribunals which implement this regime set up to protect foreign investments.