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Global and Transnational Law Summerschool

Duke-Leiden Institute in Global and Transnational Law


by Prof. Timothy Meyer and Dr. Joris Larik

This course will consider some of the legal issues common to constitutional democracies, including the European Union (EU) as a supranational entity, in allocating authority in the conduct of foreign affairs, as illustrated by contemporary examples. These issues include the distribution of powers between the legislative and executive branches relating to topics such as the making and unmaking of treaties, the conduct of diplomatic relations, and the use of military force. They also concern the constitutional and other questions that can arise when nations delegate sovereign authority to international institutions. One half of the course will compare and contrast how various constitutional democracies address common legal issues relating to foreign affairs. The other half will focus on how these issues are addressed within the system of external relations of the European Union and its Member States.

by Prof. Jayne Huckerby and Prof. Helen Duffy

This course provides a framework for understanding strategic human rights litigation and advocacy, assessing its limitations and challenges, as well as positive impacts. As advocates around the globe increasingly resort to litigation and advocacy—in national, regional, and international courts and/or forums—to protect and promote human rights, this course will explore what difference this litigation and advocacy makes in the real world, when and why.  It will grapple with the legal, strategic, and other choices that are made around issues such as which rights’ violations to focus on in a given context; how to frame rights’ claims; where to lodge claims and choice of forum; building the evidence-base for claims (e.g., through fact-finding); remedies sought; and the ways in which strategic litigation and advocacy feature a range of human rights methodologies (e.g., documentation and messaging). The course will examine the multiple actors against whom strategic human rights litigation and advocacy is directed, from governments to non-State actors (e.g., corporations), to inter-governmental actors (e.g., the United Nations), considering how these different targets affect the legal claims and forums available to advocates.  Issues ranging from the role of social movements, victims, and their representatives, in human rights litigation and advocacy to the challenges in the enforceability of judgments, will also be addressed.  This course will draw heavily on case studies to illustrate these issues and to provide insight into the broader question of how to assess and enhance the effectiveness of strategic human rights litigation and advocacy in the future.

More information about the courses can be found here. 

Note: this information may be subject to change.

The following courses will be offered during the Duke-Leiden Institute 2023: 

by Prof. Richard Schmalbeck and Dr. Irma Mosquera Valderrama

This course is an introduction to international income taxation of business transactions. After a brief explanation of basic income tax concepts, the principal rules of taxation relating to international business will be examined. The course will then focus on how the United States’ rules interact with taxation systems in other countries, exploring the concepts of source of income and residence of the taxpayer, and their role in the tax rules relating to international trade. The second term of the course will focus on bilateral tax treaties as a means of promoting crossborder investments and international trade through the avoidance of international double taxation. The OECD model treaty will be examined as an illustration of the interaction between double tax treaties and domestic regulations. Finally, the course will explore recent developments in the international effort to reduce tax-base erosion and income shifting among taxing jurisdictions.

by Prof. Rachel Brewster and Dr. Anna Marhold

This course will explore how trade relations between states are negotiated and governed in regional and multilateral institutions.  The course highlights the pluralistic and overlapping structure of modern international trade law where dozens of preferential trade agreements supplement and compete with the WTO's multilateral trade rules.  The course will focus on two specific challenges to the international trade system: resolving disputes over trade agreements and sustainable development, climate change and energy concerns.  

The first half of the course focuses on how states resolve disputes once agreements have been negotiated.  Topics include who has standing to bring claims, the remedies available when breaches occur, and how to manage similar and competing claims in different institutional fora.  It will also examine a range of possible mechanisms to enforce agreements, including retaliation, monetary penalties, voluntary financial compensation, and renegotiation. 

In the second half, the course will focus on the regulation of the interlinked thematic issues sustainable development, climate change and energy regulation and assess their role in the multilateral trading system. It will explore whether the WTO legal framework facilitates or constrains the advancement of sustainable development and higher environmental standards by, inter alia, looking at the phase-out of environmentally harmful fossil fuel subsidies and discussing the role of labeling schemes. It will also look at developments at the plurilateral level, by, amongst others, studying the Trade and Sustainable Development Chapters in EU Free Trade Agreements.

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