LL.M. in International Law

New York State has long been recognized as an international center in everything from finance and business to arts and culture. Albany Law School has played a central role - one of our most famous alumni, Robert H. Jackson, Supreme Court Justice and Chief Prosecutor at the post-WWII Nuremburg Tribunal, is one of the main architects of modern international law.

The International Law curriculum at Albany Law School is broad and deep. Seven full-time faculty members teach international law and one of the School's endowed chairs is in international law. All J.D. students are required to take at least one international law class so there is a strong culture of international law on campus. Our students regularly participate in the Phillip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition. Professor Bonventre’s “International Legal Studies” blog publishes student papers in international law. LL.M. students are encouraged to engage in faculty-supervised research for credit, ideally leading to a publication in international law.

Faculty regularly publish on international law in top national journals and consult on international projects. The law school has hosted major conferences devoted to international law, bringing top national and international experts to campus. Our affiliation and increasing cooperation with the University at Albany opens its abundant resources on international studies, programs, and research opportunities to our students.

Study of international law also means international exchange and cooperation. The law school has participated in study abroad or exchange programs in Canada, China, France, Kenya, and South Africa. We have sent interns to law firms, courts, or human rights organizations around the world, including Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Colombia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, France, Guatemala, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Panama, Poland, South Africa, and Switzerland.

Courses

  • Title
  • Type
  • Credits
  • Elective
    Credits: 2
    ​Provides an introduction to immigration and naturalization policies in the United States. Considers constitutional, statutory, and regulatory authorities confronting individuals and society. Students learn to navigate the complex regulatory framework to resolve basic immigration problems.
  • ​Examines topics related to conduct of international business: international private trade, U.S. and international regulation of trade, international private investment, international financial markets, international regulation of monetary affairs, and dispute resolution.

  • Elective
    Credits: 3

    ​nternational child rights will focus on interpretation and implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). The CRC, adopted by the General Assembly in 1989, is the most-ratified treaty in the world. The CRC addresses a wide variety of themes including discrimination, armed conflicts, prison, family life and education, to list just a few examples. This course will approach the CRC as it is understood by lawyers, by activists, and by academics from all around the world. participants will learn how to research and write in the area of international human rights, with a focus on child rights.

    Prior knowledge of International Law and Human Rights is not required. International Child Rights is open to all. Grading will be evaluated on the basis of papers and class participation. There will be no final examination.​

  • ​This seminar examines the origin, scope, and protection of international human rights both internationally and in domestic litigation. Students write a research paper on a topic of their choice. The paper is eligible to satisfy the upper year writing requirement, and the course satisfies the international law requirement.

  • Elective
    Credits: 2

    This seminar will examine labor rights and standards in multilateral and regional institutions like the WTO, ILO, and European Union; regional bilateral trade agreements like NAFTA and in some developing countries; trade policy; and private initiatives like anti-sweatshop campaigns and efforts to encourage multinational corporations to develop corporate codes of conduct, and cross-border labor organizing and bargaining. There will be no exam in the course. Grades will be based upon a paper, as well as class presentations and participation.

    The research paper may be used to satisfy the upper level writing requirement.  There are no prerequisites.

  • ​An understanding of the fundamental principles and doctrines of international law that govern the use of force and the responsibility for war crimes and crimes against humanity. Among the topics covered are the limitations on the use of force and the resort to force, both nation-state and collective action, the treatment of combatants and civilians, and the recognition and prosecution of international criminal law including war crimes and crimes against humanity, as well as international cooperation, institutions and criminal liability.​

  • Elective
    Credits: 3

    ​This course will address modern forms of international law-making and regulations, as well as enforcement and dispute settlement, emphasizing especially the impact of institutions. It will examine how intergovernmental or international organizations, from those of the UN system to the World Trade Organization (WTO), have changed the traditional sources of international obligation, namely treaties, customary international law, and general principles.

  • A nation's participation in world trade is often viewed as key to its economic growth and development. This seminar provides an introduction to international trade law with a primary focus on the World Trade Organization (WTO) and its regulation of trade in goods, services, intellectual property, and foreign direct investment.  Students analyze problems of law and policy of their choice in a research paper.  Students are invited but not required to focus the research paper on a problem relevant to developing countries, which comprise two-thirds of the membership of the WTO. 

    No background in international law or economics is required. The paper may be used to satisfy the upper year writing requirement, and the class satisfies the international law requirement.

  • Elective
    Credits: 3

    ​This course is a general introduction to the body of domestic and international law developing daily to grapple with catastrophic anthropogenic climate change. The course begins with a general overview of current climate science, and the policy, economics, and legal framework of the law of climate change. The next module covers an introduction to international environmental law, including the climate treaties and current negotiations. We will explore the growing theories of international human rights to a clean environment and stable climate, and the attempts to locate and enforce these rights in international and U.S. law. Turning to domestic law we will examine the sources of law that govern the principal sources of greenhouse gases, both federal judicial and administrative law. Our exploration begins with the Clean Air Act, public nuisance theory, and other litigation concerning transportation and energy generation, two of the greatest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions. We will examine pending federal legislation. The course will then turn to regional, state and local initiatives to mitigation of and adaptation to the effects of climate change. The course will be conducted two-thirds in the classroom and one-third online. We will conduct several exercises and a simulated litigation of a climate change-related case.

  • Elective
    Credits: 3

    ​Introduces students to major components of public international law. Topics include the nature, sources, and modes of application of international law; jurisdiction of nation-states over persons and territory; sovereign immunity; recognition and state succession; international claims and agreements; and authorized and unauthorized use of force. ​

Also see the full course catalog.

Faculty