Take Your Legal Studies Abroad

2018 Bologna, Italy Summer Law Program

Bologna Summer Program 2016

Sunday, May 20, 2018 – Saturday, June 2, 2018

The summer program in Bologna, Italy is sponsored by Brooklyn Law School and hosted by the University of Bologna. The University of Bologna was founded in the 11th century and is the oldest university in Europe. It has been a renowned center for the study of law since the Middle Ages. The Program offers students an opportunity to study a variety of international and comparative topics with distinguished faculty from Brooklyn Law School and from the University of Bologna.

To find out more about Bologna, view:

  • There are no prerequisites for classes. Students may enroll in one, two, or three classes. The classes are: International Commercial Arbitration (1 credit); International & Domestic Sales Law (1 credit); Secession in International Law: Catalonia, Kurdistan, and Scotland (1 credit).

  • Prof. Winnie Taylor, Brooklyn Law School

    This course focuses on the law applicable to sale of goods transactions between domestic and foreign countries and examines some of the difficult issues that arise out of international sale transactions. Specifically, the course focuses on the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG), a treaty that has been ratified by more than 80 countries. In addition to analyzing the usual litigation situations, the course also explores issues concerning lawyers as problem-solvers who plan and structure transactions to allocate risks and avoid litigation.

  • Professor Chiara Giovannucci Orlandi, University of Bologna

    This course will concentrate on arbitration, which is the principal alternative form of dispute resolution to civil litigation. The course will cover the major differences between arbitration and other methods of alternative dispute resolution, and will focus on issues relating to international commercial arbitration. Special attention will be given to the European laws on international arbitration and to the rules of the most influential international arbitration institutions (e.g., The International Arbitration Chamber of Milan, The International Chamber of Commerce of Paris, The American Arbitration Association, and The London Court of International Arbitration). Special regard will be given to the 1958 New York Convention on the recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards and its application in the United States.

  • Prof. Julian Arato, Brooklyn Law School

    This course investigates one of the most sensitive questions in international law and international relations: when may a people legally secede from a state, to form a new state of its own? This classical question lies at the heart of the most basic collective right in international law: the right to self-determination. This right of all peoples is both fundamental and immutable, and allows no derogation. However, self-determination is usually understood to occur within the confines of a pre-existing state. In general, peoples are not entitled to secede - the state comes first, and the rights of peoples within it come second. The difficult question, which this course considers head on, is under what circumstances the right to self-determination morphs into an international legal right of a people to secede. This is a timeless question in international law, but it is also one whose practical importance has been underscored by recent events. In the last few years contentious (and sometimes bloody) referenda on secession have been held in Catalonia (part of Spain), Kurdistan (part of Iraq), and Scotland (part of the United Kingdom). The Catalans and Kurds voted to secede, while the Scots voted against (though Scottish nationalists continue to push for a new referendum, should Brexit take place). What effect do such votes have as a matter of international law? If mere votes to secede do not suffice, what more is needed? Under what conditions may a people secede, and when might it be prohibited from doing so?

    This two-week course will begin with a primer on the centrality of the state in international law and relations, and an examination of the counterbalancing right of all peoples to self-determination. In the first week, we will discuss what makes a group “a people” in international law, as well as the content of a people’s rights, including the forms of internal self-determination, as well as the classical limits of the right to secession. We will learn the law of secession through the classical Quebec Secession case, decided by the Canadian Supreme Court. In the second week, we will turn to the contemporary case studies: Catalonia, Kurdistan, and Scotland. We will examine both the legal rights of the Catalonians, Kurds, and Scots – and their limits – as well as the moral, economic, and political aspects of these different movements. We will also make considerable efforts to understand the political goals and legal strategies of the states from which these regions threaten to secede – Spain, Iraq, and the United Kingdom.

    Absolutely no background is necessary to take this course. The law of self-determination and secession is essentially self-contained, and is highly accessible for those encountering international law for the first time.

  • Students may drop a course at any time, but with no tuition refund on or after April 15, 2018. Students may switch or add courses up until Monday, May 21, 2018. See Important Dates for complete information on tuition due dates, withdrawals and refunds.

  • Students are permitted to use electronic books in the program. However, exams will be handwritten. If you decide to bring a laptop (optional) be sure you have a converter plug that can be used in Italy. The bookstore at Brooklyn Law School will order books for students to purchase. In case you want to purchase an electronic book, you must order it from the publisher.