Cabinet d'avocats

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This course is dispensed in English at the MBA Institute in Paris to junior and senior undergraduate students from foreign countries. It is divided into two modules of 18 hours each: one covering issues in international commercial contracts and the other introducing students to the major international regulatory regimes governing business activities.

The objectives of the International Regulation module are:

- to present the basic rules of public international law as they concern business,

- to introduce the students to the law of international organisations that are important for business,

- to introduce students to the regulation of international trade and international finance.

Frequent recourse is made to economic analysis to explain legal rules.


In addition to the book of readings which will be distributed to participants, ample use should be made of the materials on the Professor's Webliography on International and Comparative Business Law, in particular the sections on Public and private international law and on International trade

For additional readings, sudents are referred to Richard Schaffer, Beverly Earle, and Filiberto Agusti, International Business Law and its Environment, South-Western, New York, 2005 in particular chapters 2, 9, 10, 11, 12, 15, 17, 20 and 21.


SESSIONS 1-3 (4.5 class hours):


Subjects of public international law
Sources of public international law

Assignment 1:
Is the European Union a state or an international governmental organization?
Assignment 2:
LICRA vs Yahoo, the nazi memorabilia case

Assignment 3:
Barcelona Traction Light and Power, International Court of Justice

A group of shareholders who are citizens of Belgium invest in a company
incorporated in Canada, the only business of which consists in the production and distribution of electricity in Spain. The operations in Spain are carried on through a branch of the Canadian company.

At a certain point in time, a group of Spanish holders of bonds issued by the Canadian company sue the Canadian company before the Spanish courts alleging that the Canadian company has defaulted on the payments on the bonds. The Spanish court of first instance finds in favour of the Spanish bondholders, declares the Canadian company in default on the bonds, seizes the Canadian company's assets in Spain, auctions them off, and declares the Canadian
company bankrupt.

What are the recourses of the Belgian shareholders and what are their chances of success?

SESSIONS 4-5 (3 class hours):


Introduction to the principal international governmental organizations affecting international trade.

Web research:

World Trade Organization
World Intellectual Property Organization
International Telecommunications Union
Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)
European Union
US court decision on immunity claim of Dominique Strass-Kahn

Assignment 4:
Look up on the internet the home page of one of the above IGOs and bring to class the articles of the constituting treaty that state the IGO's objects and those specifying the methods of adopting decisions.

Assignment 5:
An international civil servant; Jim Smith, is in charge of the office of the United Nations in New York which certifies documents as "true copies" of originals on file with the UN's other departments.

An individual living in New York City, John Doe, presented what he purported to be a copy certified by the UN of a document in which it was stated that he had worked for the UN for 20 years.

Subsequently, the UN official in charge of the certification process saw John Doe appear on local TV claiming that he had worked for the UN for 20 years, when in fact his stint had only lasted 2 years. Upon investifation, the UN official ascertained that John Doe had used a certificate appearing to be a true certified document from the UN showing a 20-year record with the UN.

A few days later the media caught up with the UN official as he was leaving his ome and on his way to work and questioned on live TV about John 's wor(k at the UN.

The UN official stated that John Doe had not worked for the UN for 20 years and called him a "liar" and a "crook".

SESSIONS 5-8 (4.5 class hours):


WTO regulatory regime

Assignments 6 and 7:
EU Bananas case
Japan v European Union - the Screwdriver case

SESSIONS 9-10 (3 class hours):


Assignment 8:
The case of digital music

SESSION 11 (1.5 class hours)

Regulating the environment

Assignments 9 and 10:
BC smelter case
Mexico v United States - the dolphin case

SESSION 12 (1.5 class hours)

Regulating the migration of people

Assignment 11:
Comparing French and Canadian immigration laws


At the end of the course, a written exam is held. The exam consists of a case study.

In the final evaluation account is taken of participation in class work and discussions, in particular the assignments submitted during the course.



Cabinet d'avocats
adresse: 29 boulevard Raspail, 75007 Paris
tel: (331) - fax: (331)

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