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Summer in France Academics

Learn about the courses and faculty in the Summer in France program.


Courses for Summer 2022:

European Union Law (1 credit)
Araceli Turmo, Professor of Law at the University of Nantes

The European Union has become a formidable trading bloc, and the gross national product of the European Union countries will soon rival that of the United States. As international trade increases, it is imperative that U.S. lawyers understand how the community is organized.

In this general introductory course, students explore the basic institutions and principles of the European Union as well as its procedures. The course looks also at the political reasons behind the creation of the European Union, and the impact of expansion to the former Soviet bloc countries of Eastern Europe. We will also look at the stresses and strains of recent years, and in particular the EU’s reaction to the nationalistic and authoritarian trends in some of the Member States.

Change and Development in European Legal Systems (1 credit)

Derek Wilson, Lecturer, the Faculty of Law at the University of Nantes. Solicitor, Scotland
Craig French, Legal Advisor, Scottish Government. Law Tutor, University of Glasgow. Solicitor, Scotland

In the first part of the course we will look at the major disruption being caused both to the United Kingdom and the European Union by the referendum in June 2016 for the UK to leave the European Union in 2019 (Brexit). We will examine the reasons for this populist vote, and the impact it is having on the hithertofore stable legal and constitutional system of the United Kingdom, and even the threat it poses to the continued unity of the Kingdom.

The second topic to be addressed is that of the legal systems of European countries, which have been subject to pressure to change and converge in the context of the European Union. In this course we will look at how certain issues are developing in the legal systems of Scotland (which is a mixed system, based partly on English law traditions, and partly on Continental law tradition) and France. For example, we will compare the written constitution of France with the largely non-written UK constitution, and will examine the further devolution of legislative power in Scotland in the light of the 2014 independence referendum; increasing legislative power in Wales; and the devolution of power to the Conseil Régionaux in France. We will also examine other topical questions in the various justice systems.


Global Issues in Criminal Law (1 credit)
Professor Ellen L. Yee, Drake Law School

The course will focus on international and transnational criminal law because practicing lawyers are likely to encounter these areas. The main subjects will be transnational criminal law, terrorism, and genocide. Issues of jurisdiction, which are generally not addressed in detail in a first year criminal law course, will be incorporated into the analysis of these subjects. The course will also explore some aspects of comparative criminal law. For example, it will examine how other systems view issues such as criminal intent, actus reus, and defenses by discussing the international tribunals’ treatment of the genocide cases.


European Migration Law (1 credit)
Araceli Turmo, Professor of Law at the University of Nantes

The course will focus on the core issues of European migration law and the specific challenges that arise from the quasi-federal nature of the European Union. Through comparison with the U.S. legal system, students will analyze the similarities and the fundamental differences between the two systems.

The course will explore the European Union’s reaction to current migratory patterns in Europe, both those that exist within the EU and those that originate outside. We will examine the key distinction between the right to migrate granted to EU citizens and the status of nationals of other countries. A particular focus will be placed on the EU’s asylum policy, which is at the heart of many political and social issues related to migrations into the EU.


International Criminal Justice: Past, Present, Future (2 credits)
Professor Ellen L. Yee, Drake Law School, and Amb. Stephen Rapp

This is an upper-level course that explores the history and development of international criminal law. The course will begin with a brief exploration of the impact of the first wave--the post-World War II tribunals, and the second wave—the international, hybrid and mixed courts created since the 1990s, and continue with a survey of the obstacles to the enforcement of international criminal law in many of the conflict zones of the 21st century. We will study the procedures available in various national justice systems for victims or independent prosecutors/magistrates to commence criminal cases or civil actions against those allegedly responsible for atrocity crimes, including in non-territorial states based upon passive personality or universal jurisdiction.


Drake Law School Faculty

Ellen Yee, Director of International Programs; Professor of Law
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Professor Ellen L. Yee is the Director of International Programs.  She teaches in the areas of Criminal Law, Professional Responsibility, Psychiatry and the Law, and Trial Advocacy. She is a graduate of Yale University and the University of Minnesota Law School where she was an Associate Managing Editor for the Minnesota Law Review. Before coming to Drake, Professor Yee was a Visiting Assistant Professor at Florida State University College of Law and a Deputy District Attorney in Marin County, California. Her research addresses issues at the intersection of evidence and criminal procedure.

Other Faculty

Amb. Stephen Rapp

Former Ambassador Stephen J. Rapp is a Distinguished Fellow at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Center for Prevention of Genocide.  He also serves as Chair of the Commission for International Justice & Accountability (CIJA) that has collected and analyzed more than 750,000 pages of documentation from Syria and Iraq.

From 2009 to 2015, he was Ambassador-at-Large heading the Office of Global Criminal Justice in the US State Department. In that position he coordinated US Government support to international criminal tribunals, including the International Criminal Court, as well as to hybrid and national courts responsible for prosecuting persons charged with genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.

From 2007 to 2009 he was the Prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone where he led the prosecution of former Liberian President Charles Taylor.  From 2001 to 2007, he served as Senior Trial Attorney and Chief of Prosecutions at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, where he headed the trial team that achieved the first convictions in history of leaders of the mass media for the crime of direct and public incitement to commit genocide.   Before becoming an international prosecutor, he was the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Iowa from 1993 to 2001.

Prof. Araceli Turmo

Professor Araceli Turmo is a Professor of European Union law at the University of Nantes Faculty of Law. She earned her doctoral degree at Université Panthéon-Assas (Paris 2) and a Diploma in Legal Studies at the University of Oxford. Before joining the University of Nantes, she taught at Sciences Po Paris as well as the Universities of Geneva, Paris 2 and Paris-Est. Her research focuses on European procedural law and European criminal law, fundamental rights and the rights of European citizens. 

Derek Wilson, is a lecturer in law at the Faculty of Law at the University of Nantes. He served as the Global Practitioner in Residence at Drake University in Fall 2014. He was admitted by Order of Scotland's Supreme Court in Edinburgh to the Law Society of Scotland's Roll of Solicitors and as a Notary Public in 1991. Mr. Wilson conducted both civil and criminal cases, from the highest to the lowest of Scotland's Courts, until he moved to France to take his current position. Mr. Wilson has participated in comparative legal research projects on British and European Law.


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