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Summer in France Academics

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


European Union Law (1 credit)
Andrew West, Former Lecturer, Catholic Institute of Higher Education, La Roche-sur-Yon; Solicitor, England & Wales

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, particularly caused by the economic crash of 2008 and the refugee crisis of 2015 which are leading to a push for greater integration and conversely one for more national independence. 

Change and Development in European Legal Systems (2 credits)
Craig French, Legal Advisor, Scottish Government. Law Tutor, University of Glasgow; Solicitor, Scotland
Andrew West, Former Lecturer, Catholic Institute of Higher Education, La Roche-sur-Yon; Solicitor, England & Wales
Derek Wilson, Lecturer, the Faculty of Law at the University of Nantes; 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.

Holocaust and the Law: From Democracy to Dictatorship and Beyond (2 credits)
Professor Cathy Mansfield, Drake Law School

This course grows out of the rapid internationalization of domestic law over the last decade, especially in civil litigation before U.S. courts. The course will examine some of the recurring issues that arise when foreign parties sue or are sued in U.S. courts. Topics studied include personal jurisdiction, forum selection, service of process, choice of law, conducting discovery abroad, foreign sovereign immunity, anti-suit injunctions, and recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments. The topics should be accessible to first-year students who have just completed Civil Procedure I and II.

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.



Drake Law School Faculty

Cathy Mansfield, Professor of Law
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Ellen Yee, Director of International Programs; Professor of Law
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Other Faculty

Andrew West was a lecturer in law at the Catholic Institute of Higher Education, La Roche-sur-Yon. He formerly was a lecturer in law at the University of Wales Cardiff, the University of Wales Swansea and the University of Nantes. He has been an adjunct professor at Drake Law School. Prior to his teaching career, Professor West was a solicitor in Southampton, England. He is the editor and co-author of The French Legal System and has written numerous articles on French and English law.

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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