Michael D. Ramsey

              Professor of Law, University of San Diego Law School

International Law in U.S. Courts, Spring 2013 Course Webpage

COURSE OVERVIEW

 

Class Meetings:  Monday & Wednesday, 2:30 pm – 3:45 pm; Room 3D, Warren Hall

 

Office Hours:    3:45 pm – 4:45 pm Monday & Wednesday          

1:30 pm – 4:30 pm Tuesday

 

Course Materials:  There is no assigned casebook.  Assignments will be made from materials available on-line.  The following are suggested optional materials for background in international law:

 

                Mark W. Janis, An Introduction to International Law (Aspen, 4th ed. 2003), or

                David J. Bederman, International Law Frameworks (Foundation, 3rd ed. 2010)

 

                The following are suggested optional materials for background in international civil litigation:

 

                George A. Bermann, Transnational Litigation in a Nutshell (West 2003), or

                Harold Hongju Koh, Transnational Litigation in U.S. Courts (Foundation 2010)

 

The following is suggested for advice on writing seminar papers:

 

Eugene Volokh, Academic Legal Writing (4th ed., Foundation, 2010)

 

INFORMATION REGARDING COURSE SCHEDULE

 

This space will be used for announcements regarding class cancellations, make-ups, optional events of interest, and other updates regarding the course schedule.

 

Paper assignments are available here.

 

Final papers are due at the end of the day on Monday, May 13, 2013.  Penalties will apply to late submissions.  Requests for extensions will be considered only if submitted in advance and only on the basis of exceptional circumstances.

 

 

COURSE ASSIGNMENTS

 

This space will be used to post assignments for each class meeting; these assignments will also be announced in class.  Numbered assignments are available for download below.

 

Assignment for Monday, April 29, 2013

 

             Read the rough drafts for topic #8 (one paper circulated; one pending) and be prepared to ask questions.

 

Assignment for Wednesday, April 24, 2013

 

Read the rough drafts for topic #7 (circulated 4/22) and be prepared to ask questions.

 

Assignment for Monday, April 22, 2013

 

Read the rough drafts for topic #6 and be prepared to ask questions

 

Note: for those interested, the opinion in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum is here.

 

Assignment for Wednesday, April 17, 2013

 

Read the rough drafts for topic #5 and be prepared to ask questions.

Also, watch for the possible announcement of the Supreme Court’s decision in Kiobel Tuesday or Wednesday morning.

 

Assignment for Monday, April 15, 2013

 

Read the rough drafts for topic #4 and be prepared to ask questions.

 

Assignment for Wednesday, April 10, 2013

 

Read the rough drafts for topic #3 (circulated 4/8) and be prepared to ask questions.

 

Assignment for Monday, April 8, 2013

 

Read the rough drafts for topic #2 (circulated 4/3) and be prepared to ask questions.

 

Assignment for Wednesday, April 3, 2013

 

Read the rough drafts for topic #1 (to be circulated April 2).

Reminder: Rough drafts for topic #1 are due Tuesday, April 2, at 2:30 pm.

 

NO CLASS MEETING Monday, April 1, 2013 (Easter Monday)

 

NO CLASS MEETING Monday, March 25, 2013 or Wednesday March 27, 2013 (Spring Break)

 

Note: no further assignments until after Spring Break.  Please sign up for an individual meeting regarding papers.  A sign-up sheet is posted on the door of my office, Suite 319, Warren Hall.

 

No new assignment for Wednesday, March 6, 2013.  (We will listen to the Kiobel arguments).

 

Assignment for Monday, March 4, 2013

 

Read the briefs of petitioners, respondents, and the United States as amicus curiae in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co.  For discussion, the left side of the classroom (that is, professor’s left) should focus on the petitioners’ brief; the center of the classroom should focus on the respondents’ brief; and the right side of the classroom should focus on the United States brief.

 

Briefs are available here (via SCOTUSblog):

             Petitioners’ brief

             Respondents’ brief

             United States brief

 

Assignment for Wednesday, February 27, 2013

 

Handout on writing strategies, part 3.  Available here.

 

Assignment for Monday, February 25, 2013

 

Handout on writing strategies, parts 1 and 2.  Available here and here.

 

Assignment for Wednesday, February 20, 2013

 

Reading #11: Customary International Law and Executive Power.  Available here.

 

Assignment for Monday, February 18, 2013

 

Reading #10: Using International Law to Interpret U.S. Law.  Available here.

 

Assignment for Wednesday, February 13, 2013

 

Reading #9: Enforcing Customary International Law outside the Alien Tort Statute.  Available here.

 

Assignment for Monday, February 11, 2013

 

Reading #8: Customary International Law under the Alien Tort Statute (part 2).  Available here.

 

Assignment for Wednesday, February 6, 2013

 

Reading #7: Customary International Law under the Alien Tort Statute (part 1).  Available here.

 

Assignment for Monday, February 4, 2013

 

Reading #6: International Agreements and the Constitution.  Note: this reading is now available here.

 

Assignment for Wednesday, January 30, 2013

 

Reading #5: Treaties and Statutes

 

Assignment for Monday, January 28, 2013

 

Reading #4: Treaty Interpretation

In addition, read the handout on Paper Topics and email your topic selections to me by 12 pm on Monday, January 28.

 

Assignment for Wednesday, January 23, 2013

 

Reading #3: Treaties and Private Rights

 

 

NO CLASS  Monday, January 21, 2013 (King Holiday)

 

 

Assignment for Wednesday, January 16, 2013:

 

Reading #2: Self-executing Treaties (download below)

 

 

Assignment for Monday, January 14, 2013:

 

Reading #1: Introduction to International Law in U.S. Courts (download below).

 

Consider and be prepared to discuss the following:

 

(1)  Is international law the type of law that can be applied by U.S. courts in the same way they apply statutes and the Constitution?  What are the potential differences that might pose challenges for courts?  What are some strategies for overcoming (or at least mitigating) these challenges?

 

 (2) Even assuming international law can be applied easily by U.S. courts, should it be?  Why might some people feel very strongly that it should not, and how might their concerns be addressed?

 

 

COURSE DOWNLOADS

 

Syllabus

Tentative Course Schedule

 

Reading Assignment #1: Introduction to International Law in U.S. Courts 

Reading Assignment #2: Litigating Treaties (Part 1)

Reading Assignment #3: Litigating Treaties (Part 2)

Reading Assignment #4: Treaty Interpretation

 

Paper Topics handout

Paper topic assignments

 

Reading Assignment #5: Treaties and Statutes

Reading Assignment #6: International Agreements and the Constitution

Reading Assignment #7: Customary International Law under the Alien Tort Statute, Part 1

Reading Assignment #8: Customary International Law under the Alien Tort Statute, Part 2

Reading Assignment #9: Enforcing Customary International Law outside the Alien Tort Statute

Reading Assignment #10: Using International Law to Interpret U.S. Law

Reading Assignment #11: Customary International Law and Executive Power

 

Writing Strategies, Part I

Writing Strategies, Part II

Writing Strategies, Part III

 

Presentation Schedule

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