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Post-JD LL.M. Curriculum
The program of study for the LL.M. in Democratic Governance and Rule of Law is specifically designed to provide lawyers with the tools necessary to become more effective advocates and engineers of change in transitional countries. The combination of courses is unique among LL.M. programs in its focus and design. In order to graduate with an LL.M degree, lawyers with the JD degree are required to take a minimum of 24 credit hours during the calendar year. This includes the fall and spring semesters, the three-week January Term, and the six-hour summer externship.
- Comparative Constitutional Law (3 credits)
- Comparative Administrative Law (3 credits)
- Competitiveness and Corruption (3 credits)
- International Law (3 credits) – unless previously taken
- International Protection of Human Rights (3 credits) – unless previously taken
- International Criminal Law (2 credits, alternate years)
- International and Comparative Law of NGOs (3 credits)
- Legal Issues in Transitional Democracies - Private Law (3 credits)
- Legal Issues in Transitional Democracies - Public Law (3 credits)
- Rule of Law Seminar (2 credits)
- Terrorism and Criminal Law (2 credits, alternate years)
- International Externship (6 credits)
Comparative Administrative Law (3 credit hours)
A study of the role of administrative law in different states with an emphasis on how the nations address common issues of the administrative state. Different approaches to the role of government agencies in both individual decision-making, such as licensing and adjudication, and rule-making or adoption of normative acts will be discussed. Topics will include the role of judicial review and legislative oversight of the bureaucracy, accountability of individual government officials, and rights of individuals within the bureaucracy.
Comparative Constitutional Law (3 credit hours)
Analysis of critical common elements of constitutional regimes and their variations. Constitutions of the United States and European Union states will be reviewed along with newly drafted constitutions of Central and Eastern Europe, Africa, and Asia. Issues addressed will include basic structures of government, separation of functions, and guarantees of individual rights.
Competitiveness and Corruption (3 credit hours)
Study of the causes and consequences of corruption, the experience of various countries in reducing corruption, the reasons why anti-corruption measures often fail, and ways to effectively combat corruption. Emphasis on the effect of free market and competition on reducing the level of corruption and discussion of ways to increase competitiveness, ensure property rights, develop businesses, and otherwise reduce conditions favorable to corruption.
International Criminal Law (2 credit hours)
Study of the prosecution of crimes with an international character in national criminal justice systems and the prosecution of international crimes in an international criminal justice setting. Focus on multinational criminal conduct in such areas as cybercrime and financial misconduct as well as the International Criminal Court and international crimes such as genocide and crimes against humanity. Comparative analysis of procedural questions relating to jurisdiction.
International and Comparative Law of Non-Governmental Organizations (3 credit hours)
Overview of the legal environment for non-governmental organizations and the role of NGOs in society. A comparison of international and municipal laws relating to the existence and operation of NGOs in both developed and developing countries. The legal foundations of NGOs, structure and governance, economic activities and taxation, and reporting requirements. Emerging trends occurring in civil society, which include NGO and government relations, advocacy, ethics and accountability, social partnership, and the prevention of foreign NGOs.
International Law (3 credit hours)
Public international law, its nature, sources and subjects. A comparative study of state, international organization, and non-state actors. Their respective processes for national, inter-state, regional and global dispute settlement, diplomacy, justice, development, and conflict transformation. State sovereignty, avenues for societal and individual claims for protection, redress and normative change. The international role of epistemic communities in safeguarding the environment and common practices.
International Protection of Human Rights (3 credit hours)
The course explores the concept of human rights, the normative foundation of international human rights, national security and limitations on human rights, universalism, and cultural relativism in human rights. The course also focuses on international human rights organizations, mainly the United Nations system of protection of human rights, and different regional systems of human rights protection, such as the European, African and Inter-American systems.
Legal Issues in Transitional Democracies - Private Law (3 credit hours)
Treatment of critical issues for developing democracies relating to private law. Topics covered may include the business environment, investment, dispute resolution, property rights, employment and labor law, and other topics depending on specific class interests.
Legal Issues in Transitional Democracies - Public Law (3 credit hours)
Discussion of the critical issues for developing democracies. The class covers issues related to how developing democracies deal with their past and build their future. Topics include accountability for gross human rights violations, truth commission, lustration, constitution drafting, legal and judicial reforms, election laws, and free market laws. Other topics will be considered depending on individual class interests.
Rule of Law Seminar (2 credit hours)
Preparation of a 25-page research paper devoted to a critical area of legal reform in the student’s home country. Topics will be selected in consultation with the instructor. Classroom sessions will provide opportunities for students to present their ideas and comment on those of other participants.
Terrorism and Criminal Law (2 credit hours)
An examination of international approaches to combating terrorism, including international organizations and treaties as well as customary international criminal law. The course utilizes a comparative approach to examine the manner in which a number of domestic jurisdictions attempt to address the issue of terrorism.
International Externship (6 credit hours)
Under the supervision of attorneys or senior program officers in governmental or non-governmental organizations dealing with democracy, governance and law reform, students will engage in research, writing and other activities in the planning and implementation of government and legal reform projects. Placements will be outside the United States.