Melbourne Law School JD students take on London and the world
Seven Melbourne JD students have embarked on a semester of learning about the law at the renowned Centre of Transnational Legal Studies (CTLS), London.
The CTLS is a joint venture of leading global law schools, coordinated by Georgetown University Law Center. It is a semester-length program in transnational legal studies taught in the heart of London’s legal quarter. The program brings together faculty and students from many of the world’s top law schools to study transnational legal issues in a multicultural and transnational setting. In the current (Fall) semester there are 82 students from about 20 countries.
The first few days of the semester involved an international arbitration of an employment dispute. Students were assigned to groups and given roles to play in the cooperative arbitration and then assigned to different groups for the purposes of the enforcement hearing by the UK High Court.
This practical exercise helped students meet their cohort, as well as step outside their comfort zones and develop a broader understanding of different legal practices. All students have had an opportunity to attend a variety of courses. There was also a presentation (Colloquium), the first of a series on ‘New Perspectives on Transnational Law’ entitled ‘Why do we call it law?’ The aim of the colloquium was to provide students with the opportunity to engage in scholarly discussion. There were also special guest lecturers and a series of panel talks.
Ann O’Connell, Professor at Melbourne Law School specialising in taxation, has witnessed the importance of the program.
“The CTLS experience is challenging for students and Faculty alike. The small number of students from all over the world means we all have to learn to look at issues from different perspectives,” says Professor O’Connell.
Outside the classroom, students have had the opportunity to get to know each other over pub meals, and by exploring London’s various attractions: markets and festivals, theatre at the West end, as well as planning weekend trips away to Europe. There have also been trips to Parliament and tours of the legal districts. Later in the semester there will be an excursion to see the International Court of Justice in the Hague. This experience is helping students to develop an increased awareness of other legal systems and cultures, as well as enabling them to build a network of contacts from around the world.
Melbourne Law School Juris Doctor students can apply to attend the Centre for an intensive semester focused on transnational, international, and comparative law.