International & Comparative Law Pathway

Sub Menu ↓

In International Law classes and seminars, students learn about the fundamental legal principles governing international relations. They consider the subjects of international law, the creation of legal norms, the role of international institutions, and the consequences of breach. Students explore topics including the use of force, international crime, international trade, human rights, the law of the sea and international environmental law. In comparative law classes, students study the similarities and differences among legal systems and their interactions. Broader philosophical and policy questions underlie these topics, including the nature of law, the purpose of law and its possibilities and limitations.

Comparative Law classes and seminars address the nature and function of different legal systems or traditions. Lawyers working across borders need an appreciation of these differences to function effectively for their clients. Comparative study also provides windows on our own legal system and on possible ways to improve law throughout the world.

There are a number of courses devoted to subjects within the of International and Comparative Law as well courses to help you prepare to take the bar examination. Students who want to pursue legal practice in this area should consider the courses below. Other courses, besides those listed, are offered under the FIU College of Law curriculum. Please view the Schedule of Classes to determine which courses will be offered during the current school year.

Foundation Courses related to this pathway include: Introduction to International and Comparative Law.

Core Courses

International Business Transactions
LAW 6261 International Business Transactions (2-3). The course provides an overview of the domestic, foreign, and international law governing international business transactions. Transactions discussed include export sales, agency and distributorship agreements, licenses, joint ventures, privatization, project finance, and foreign government debt. The course also covers U.S. regulation of international transactions in such areas as antitrust, securities, intellectual property, tax, foreign corrupt practices, and export controls, as well as the impact of North American Free Trade Agreement and the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs.

International Commercial Arbitration
LAW 6316 International Commercial Arbitration (2-3). The course covers the basics of the law and practice of international commercial arbitration, including: drafting arbitration clauses in international transactions and enforcement of arbitral agreements; preparing and presenting cases before arbitral tribunals, including issues of witnesses, experts, discovery and evidence; recognition, enforcement and setting aside of arbitral awards; the major international arbitral institutions and their rules of procedure; the relationship between international arbitration and national court systems; and various treaties and conventions dealing with international arbitration.

International Organizations
LAW 6295 International Organizations (3). This course aims to introduce students to the fascinating and complex world of international organizations, and situate specifically the United Nations, World Bank, and regional institutions within the context of the dynamic international legal order and world politics.

Public International Law
LAW 6260 Public International Law (2-3). This course explores advanced issues of international law. The goal is to understand how international law operates in practice. Special attention will be devoted to the acceptance and application of international law by United States courts. Topics include the process of international dispute resolution, the application of domestic law extraterritorially, state responsibility to aliens and foreign investors, and sovereign immunity.

Advanced Electives

Admiralty Law
LAW 6730 Admiralty Law (2-3). This course is an introduction to the law of the sea under federal and international law. Topics covered will include rules governing liability for maritime collision, rights and duties arising from personal injury or death of a seaman, liabilities of ship owners and insurers, maritime liens and mortgages, and special problems caused by involvement of governments as parties to maritime transactions and litigation. Other topics will include admiralty practice and procedure and maritime environmental law.

Aviation and Space Law
LAW 6291 Aviation and Space Law (2-3). Air Space Law at the FIU College of Law examines post-9/11 national aviation and space policy, together with key administrative, antitrust, business, constitutional, and legislative and regulatory issues confronting the civil and general airplane transportation industry, Florida’s Space Coast, and the international communities for which Miami-Dade County serves as a gateway. Prerequisite: First year curriculum.

LAW 6935 Caribbean Law and Development (2-3). This course will cover the legal and judicial systems of the Caribbean countries and the process by which these systems were introduced. A focus of the course is on Regional Cooperation in the political and especially economic areas. Similarities and differences across the countries of the region that both propel and hinder legal integration will be highlighted.

Comparative Family Law
LAW 6254 Comparative Family Law (2-3). This course will entail the study of U.S. and other countries’ domestic relations laws, including laws governing marriage, divorce, and children.

International Banking
LAW 6087 International Banking (2-3). This course addresses issues of banking and financial law in international private transactions. Topics include letters of credit, banking and bank secrecy regulation, efforts to combat money laundering, and currency regulation.

International and Comparative Sales
LAW 6015 International and Comparative Sales (3). This course entails the study of legal rules governing the international sale of goods, and a comparison of these rules with Spanish and United States domestic law counterparts. The course will focus on the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods and the UNIDROIT Principles of Commercial Contracts. The comparative law component of the course will examine the related Spanish and U.S. domestic contract law governing sales of goods, including Article 2 of the Uniform Commercial Code. Comparing and contrasting the three systems offers the student greater insight into the choices, interests and policies pursued under each respective system of law.

International Criminal Law
LAW 6103 International Criminal Law (2-3). The course explores international crimes, such as genocide, crimes against humanity, torture, narcotics trafficking, terrorism, and war crimes. It focuses on contemporary responses by way of international criminal jurisdiction claimed by individual states, bilateral cooperation on extradition and evidence gathering, prosecutions before ad hoc international tribunals, and the development of an international body of criminal law and procedure. Particular attention is paid to the question of jurisdiction, including the reach of U.S. Constitutional protections to investigations and law enforcement activities overseas. Special consideration is given to international terrorism, the role of human rights in international criminal law, and the establishment of an international criminal court.

International Human Rights Law
LAW 6263 International Human Rights Law (2-3). This course is an introduction to the international law protecting human rights. It examines the theory and the history of the field, together with key United Nations documents. International treaty and non-treaty mechanisms for protecting and promoting human rights, including regional systems and the role of nongovernmental organizations, are covered.

International Trade Law and Policy
LAW 7262 International Trade Law and Policy (2-3). This course concerns the national and international regulation of imports and exports. Law, policy and economics of the international trading system will be discussed. The course primarily focuses on import restrictions on goods; however, export restrictions and trade in services will also be considered. Topics include the pure theory of trade, industrial policy, the World Trade Organization and its dispute settlement process, dumping and countervailing duties, retaliation, and economic sanctions.

Law and Politics in Latin America
LAW 6282 Law and Politics in Latin America (3). This course examines a series of issues related to law and legal systems in Latin America. It draws out the interrelationship of theory and politics that constitute “lawyerly thinking” by Latin Americans. It has both a practical orientation, addressing how to understand and work with Latin American law and lawyers, and a theoretical orientation, examining how legal practices are the result of both overlapping and competing projects of social organization. This course in comparative law and politics examines a cross-section of the institutions, doctrines, and interpretive theories of Latin American codes, courts and legal commentators. As against the widely-held view that Latin American law is merely imitative of foreign models or is mainly irrelevant to their societies, the course examines the strategic and programmatic function of law in the service of national governance, cultural identity, and existing economic arrangements.

Legal History
LAW 6226 Legal History (2-3). This course deals with the history of the United States viewed through aspects of the law, the legal profession, legal education, and the evolution of constitutional principles. The focus of this course is on the background and context of the growth of American law and legal institutions, and on the ways in which law and legal concepts have been centrally important in American history. Major emphasis is given to the period of the Revolution, the growth of positivism, the Gilded Age, the Progressive Era, the New Deal, and the Cold War period.

Profesión Jurídica Comparada (Comparative Legal Profession)
LAW 7285 Profesión Jurídica Comparada (Comparative Legal Profession) (2-3). This course is designed for students who have a basic knowledge of the Spanish language and want to develop or expand their legal vocabulary. The prerequisite Spanish-language proficiency for admission to the class will be determined by the professor in individual cases. The focus of the course is on effective communication with Spanish-speaking colleagues and clients rather than on grammar or punctuation. Both oral expression and legal writing skills are emphasized through a series of assignments. Students have an opportunity to simulate meetings with clients and negotiations with colleagues in the Spanish language. A portion of class time is devoted to comparative analysis of the legal concepts raised in the assignments.

National Security Law and the Constitution
LAW 6507 National Security Law and the Constitution (2-3). The goal of this class is to examine the growing body of national security law under the Constitution.

Ocean and Coastal Law
LAW 7475 Ocean and Coastal Law (2-3). This course considers aspects of land use law, water law, natural resources law, property law, and constitutional law from the perspective of the special needs of the coast. The course examines the common law and major acts protecting coastal zones and natural resources, and includes discussion of the important interrelations of water, habitat, wildlife, and land use, as well as issues concerning jurisdictional conflicts.

Women and the Law: Comparative and Global Considerations
LAW 6236 Women and the Law: Comparative and Global Considerations (3). The course will consider the role of law in the lives of women from global and comparative perspectives. Topical coverage will include the role of international law on the lives of women by considering certain UN conventions relating to the status of women, as well as with respect to certain global issues which affect the lives of women in a particular sense (e.g., immigration policies and practices, including asylum and refugee law, and human trafficking). The comparative law component will consider and compare legal approaches to matters relating to women’s private and domestic life choices and options, such as laws relating to family law, reproduction, and wage and labor gender-based disparities.

Experiential Courses

Immigration Human Rights Clinic


Manuel A. Gómez, Associate Dean for International and Graduates Studies &
Associate Professor of Law

Matthew Mirow, Professor of Law

Jorge L. Esquirol, Professor of Law

Hannibal Travis, Associate Professor of Law

Tawia Baidoe Ansah, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of Law

Cyra Akila Choudhury, Associate Professor of Law

Megan A. Fairlie, Associate Professor of Law

J. Janewa OseiTutu, Assistant Professor of Law

Charles C. Jalloh, Visiting Associate Professor of Law