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Institute for International Legal Practice and National Security

International Law

Introduction to the nature and sources of international law, including such topics as the jurisdiction of states; the law governing the making, interpretation, application and termination of treaties and agreements; recognition of states and governments; territory of states; nationality of persons and corporations; state immunities from jurisdiction and control; international claims; the use of force; the law of war; the law of the sea; the United Nations; international adjudication, including the International Court of Justice; and the evolving law of human rights.

Various topics relating to international human rights will be examined.

The course will examine the struggle of women to become full and legitimate bearers of human rights through grassroots activism and integration of the concept of women’s human rights into the international human rights system. The course will consider the obstacles, critiques, defenses and successes of applications of human rights to inequality and violence against women. It will begin with historical background of these conflicts and will examine dialogues among activists, scholars and UN experts in areas such as domestic violence, health, political participation, economic rights and violence against women in armed conflicts. This will be accomplished through study of relevant UN bodies, treaties and declarations, human rights reports, and NGO activities.

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This course focuses on substantive international criminal law and the institutions designed to enforce it. Substantive topics include the basis and objectives of international criminal law, theories of jurisdiction, criminal responsibility of people, groups and states, and potential defenses and immunity from prosecution. Both international and transnational crimes are addressed. These include genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, terrorism, drug and human trafficking, and piracy. The history of international criminal prosecutions from Nuremberg to present day ad hoc and permanent tribunals is examined, with an emphasis on both substantive law development and the structure and procedural safeguards of those tribunals. Additional procedural topics include national prosecution of international crimes, international criminal investigations, state cooperation with international courts and tribunals, and sentencing and punishment.

This course examines the law (international treaties) and policies of international environmental problems. Topics include global warming and climate change, transboundary movement of hazardous waste, biodiversity and wildlife conservation, deforestation, ocean dumping and marine pollution, protection of fisheries, and human rights and the environment.

In International Family Law, students will explore traditional family law concepts, including the creation, recognition, and dissolution of the family unit, as well as child custody, support, and enforcement, from an international perspective. Students will engage in comparative analyses of selected domestic, international, religious, and customary laws, treaties and conventions, considering not only substantive law, but also the processes by which family law matters are decided. This survey course of selected family law issues from five continents should provide students with a deeper understanding of the impact of other systems on family law issues and should assist in preparing students for family law practice in a global community.

[info coming soon]

International Economic Law

Survey of the issues encountered by firms and individuals engaged in international trade, the exploitation of intellectual property rights and various forms of foreign direct investment. Topics covered include an introduction to international trade law (including the formation of U.S. trade policy), international sale of goods (including transportation and financing issues), distribution of goods, the protection and licensing of intellectual property rights, franchising agreements, investment rights (under customary international law, treaties and free trade agreements), investment regulation, investment arbitration, joint venture agreements, international corruption and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

This course focuses on the development of client communication, problem-solving and contract drafting skills. Students learn about the intellectual property and investment laws of two foreign countries. The main body of the course is built around a multi-party transactional problem which requires the students to draft for a U.S. client a foreign joint venture agreement, a license agreement dealing with patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets, and an international distribution of goods agreement. The students also learn by drafting about the basic documents needed for financing such transactions and about other major contract issues that arise in most, if not all of these transactions—dispute settlement, ethical concerns, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, gray market goods issues and export controls.

An examination of the three levels of the world trading order at the multi-lateral, the regional, and the unilateral. The multilateral section focuses on the policies underlying international economic relations, the law (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), General Agreement on Trade In Services (GATS), Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights Agreement (TRIPs) and the other Uruguay Round agreements) and administration of the World Trade Organization (WTO) with a particular focus on its dispute settlement system. This section also focuses on the linkage between trade and labor, trade and the environment, and trade and the world financial system. The regional section examines regional economic integration efforts in free trade agreements, customs unions and common market agreements such as the USMCA, the European Union, and MERCOSUR. The unilateral section of the course examines U.S. trade policy as exemplified by U.S. involvement at the multilateral and regional levels as well as U.S. use of import relief laws (safeguards actions, antidumping and countervailing law).

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This course will begin with a short introduction to basic South Texas oil and gas law, geology and engineering. Emphasis will focus on a select number of countries’ petroleum laws, applicable provisions of tax laws and fiscal laws, provisions of the petroleum regulations and extracts from the provisions of petroleum agreements actually used.

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This seminar will focus on the body of law which concerns cultural heritage and the arts. We will examine the domestic and international laws which apply to works of art and cultural heritage. Topics of the seminar will include art theft; antiquities looting; the tension between creation and commoditization; legal problems faced by artists; the international trade in art; regulation of the art trade; the management of cultural institutions such as museums; and finally, the protection of historic sites.

  • International Corporate Compliance
  • Global Anticorruption
  • International Trade Compliance
  • Compliance for Today and Tomorrow Seminar

National Security

The course considers the United States constitutional framework for the exercise of national security powers by the three branches of government; maintaining national security abroad through war, self-defense, reprisal, humanitarian intervention, and intelligence operations; fighting terrorists and international criminals; and protecting national security information in a democratic society. Class meetings often begin with student and instructor contributions on current news of national security relevance.

[info coming soon]

CURRENTS: Journal of International Economic Law(CURRENTS:JIEL)is a nationally and internationally recognized law journal edited and published by second- and third year students at STCL Houston.  Students receive academic and writing credit for participating in the journal as staff and the Editorial Board. Students selected for membership in a write-on competition based on outstanding scholarship, writing abilities and interest in international economic law.

Published twice a year, CURRENTS: JIEL publishes both articles and essays by scholars and practitioners, a feature on breaking topics in international economic law, and student notes. The journal was founded in 1992-92 by Professor Cherie O. Taylor, and Assistant Dean Elizabeth A. Dennis. Associate Dean Taylor is currently the Faculty Advisor for CURRENTS: JIELCURRENTS: JIEL is a component of the Institute for International Legal Practice & National Security (IILP&NS) at STCL Houston. 

Part of the mission of the journal is to expand knowledge in the field on international economic law.  CURRENTS: JIEL has done this over its thirty year history by sponsoring symposiums on international economic law. The journal coordinated with the IILP & NS and the with the Houston international corporate compliance community to start a series of symposia and corresponding journal issues devoted to topic on international corporate compliance. The first symposium, Compliance in International Corporate Legal Practices– Legal Developments and the Talent Need so the Future, was held at STCL Houston on April 5, 2019. CURRENTS:JIEL, Volume 24.1, contains articles from the panels of the first conference.  CURRENTS: JIEL will be working with the IILP & NS on two symposia to celebrate the STCL Houston Centennial in 2023.

STCL Houston has an ABA-approvedSummer Abroad program which allows students to receive academic credit for summer classes in international and comparative law conducted at foreign law schools.  STCL also has a program which allows its students to learn for a semester at law schools in the Netherlands and Denmark.  The law school also accepts students from the Danish and Dutch law schools for a semester at STCL Houston.

Study Abroad Program

After the COVID-19 shutdown, STCL Houston is relaunching its Summer Abroad Program in Summer 2023.  The 2023 program with be held in coordination with the Charles University Faculty of law  in Prague, Czech Republic in May/June of 2023.  STCL Houston has been conducting this program since 2004.

Learn more about the Study Abroad program.

Associate Dean and Professor Cherie Taylor
International Law
International Business Transactions
Transactional Skills: International Business Transactions
World Trading Systems

Professor Matthew Festa
International Human Rights and the Regulation of International Armed Conflict

Professor Bruce McGovern
U.S. Taxation of International Transactions

Tanweer Kaleemullah
International Criminal Law
International Environmental Law

Professor Vanessa Browne-Barbour
Art Law Seminar

Adjunct Professor Ben Fleming
International Law
International Human Rights
Women’s Rights Seminar
Advanced Human Rights Seminar

Professor Katerina Lewinbuk
Global Lawyering Seminar

Professor Christopher Kulander
International Petroleum Transactions

Professor Francesca Ortiz
International Family Law

Associate Dean Derek Fincham
[info coming soon]

International Law & National Security Society

The mission of the International Law & National Security Society is to (a) foster interest in, and understanding of, the legal and policy aspects and ramifications of international law and national security law, (b) to aid members in their pursuits of careers in these fields; and (c) to contribute to the development of the law as it relates to national and international security.  The IL & NSS puts together panels and programs of interest for its members.  The IL & NSS wors with the IILP & NS on projects of interest to the institute.

For further information about the curriculum, activities and programs of the IILP & NS please contact Associate Dean Cherie Taylor at www.stcl.edu or at 713-646-1856.

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