New Cutting-Edge Courses Address Critical Global Issues

Columbia Law School Debuting Spring Classes that Challenge Students to Think Critically

New York, January 1, 2015—From Jerome Greene Hall to the European Parliament, this spring Columbia Law School students will delve into a diverse range of critical domestic and international policy issues through new courses addressing subjects that include sustainable development, Big Data, and the law of the sea.

A select group of upper-year students will travel to Brussels and Luxembourg in January for the Advanced Seminar on EU Law and Institutions, a week-long study trip led by Columbia Law School Professor Anu Bradford, director of the European Legal Studies Center, and Suzanne Kingston, a senior lecturer at University College Dublin School of Law. In addition to the European Parliament, students in the seminar will visit the European Commission, the European Council, and the European Court of Justice, meeting with legal advisers, judges, practicing attorneys, and politicians.  The study trip is sponsored by Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton.
Here’s a preview of some of the other new courses being offered this spring:
Jointly offered with Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, this course looks at the role foreign direct investment can play in sustainable development, through tax revenues, the transfer of capital and technology, job creation, linkages with local industries, infrastructure development, and capacity building. In particular, it focuses on extractive industries such as oil, gas and mining, which, although often a springboard to development, have at times been a source of corruption, social degradation, and environmental catastrophe.
Instructor: Lisa Sachs ’08, director of the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
The course will provide an overview of oil and gas law, from its traditional roots in the common law of property and contract to more recent developments in administrative law and regulations. Students will learn how the law has shifted from a focus on production to a concern for safety and the environment and consider modern-day complexities posed by exploration in the eastern United States, offshore drilling, and hydraulic fracturing.
Instructor: Saritha Komatireddy, former counsel to the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling
Topics will cover complex distinctions between the relative vices or virtues of force and fraud, including: the types of physical force that are criminalized, the classification of offenses as “violent,” perjury and other forms of criminalized lying, theft-by-deception in contrast to theft-by-force, rape-by-deception in contrast to rape-by-force, the use of physical force by police officers and prison officials, undercover policing; “testilying” (police perjury), and interrogation techniques that employ either physical force or deception.
Instructor: Alice Ristroph, the Stephen and Barbara Friedman Visiting Professor of Law
The seminar will reflect on the dialectical pairing of spectacle and surveillance as modes of image power—power over subjects in the case of spectacle and over objects in the case of surveillance—and as modes of governing in our contemporary age of Big Data.
Instructors: Columbia Law School Professor Bernard E. Harcourt, University of Chicago Professor W.J.T. Mitchell
Students will explore the way states regulate activities on and under the ocean including energy and mineral development, military uses, and boundary issues. The course also will examine future flashpoints and the mechanisms for resolving disputes.
Instructors: Professors Benjamin L. Liebman, Matthew C. Waxman