Course Descriptions - Mexico

NOTE: Under ABA regulations, students are limited to four hours credit for this program. Each course carries two semester hours of academic credit. A Mexican Legal Systems Externship is also offered to candidates who are completely fluent in Spanish for 1 hour of credit; students who take this course may also apply for a one-credit-hour Independent Study course. Both of these last two courses are graded on a pass/fail basis, unless a special exception is made.

IMMIGRATION AT THE CROSSROADS OF LABOR LAW AND HUMAN RIGHTS (2 credit hours) **

Professor Luz Molina

This course will survey human rights issues and explore relief provided to individuals inside and outside of the United States under U.S. Immigration law for victims of persecution (refugees and asylees), torture, crime, human trafficking, and natural disasters. In addition, it will explore the effect of natural disasters on the immigrant population in the United States, with particular attention to events during and after Hurricane Katrina. Discussion includes eligibility for emergency relief and immigrant labor in the recovery and reconstruction efforts of the Gulf region.

WESTERN LEGAL TRADITION (2 credit hours) **

Professor Obrad Stanojevic

This course surveys the differences between the civil and common law systems, the two great legal systems of Western Civilization. It highlights the differing historical development and how this divergence contributes to the differences in the systems. Visiting lecturers will emphasize the development of the legal systems of Latin America and Mexico as part of the general pattern. IMMIGRATION AT THE CROSSROADS OF LABOR LAW AND HUMAN RIGHTS (2 credit hours) Professor Luz Molina This course will survey human rights issues and explore relief provided to individuals inside and outside of the United States under U.S. Immigration law for victims of persecution (refugees and asylees), torture, crime, human trafficking, and natural disasters. In addition, it will explore the effect of natural disasters on the immigrant population in the United States, with particular attention to events during and after Hurricane Katrina. Discussion includes eligibility for emergency relief and immigrant labor in the recovery and reconstruction efforts of the Gulf region.

COMPARATIVE CRIMINAL PROCEDURE (2 credit hours) **

Professor Stephen Singer Judge and Adjunct Professor Jesus Valencia Valencia

This course will compare the procedural aspects of a criminal case proceeding through the criminal justice system in the United States and Mexico from arrest through trial and sentencing, focusing on aspects of the American system that can profitably be incorporated into the Mexican system, as Mexico looks towards criminal justice reforms that will make its system more closely align with the United States' criminal justice system. It will be taught by Professor Stephen Singer and Judge and Adjunct Professor at the State University of Morelos School of Law, Jesus Valencia Valencia. Because of their combined practical and academic experience in the American and Mexican Criminal Justice systems, this course offers a unique insight into the comparative workings of the two very different systems.

MEXICAN LEGAL SYSTEM EXTERNSHIP (1 credit hour) **

Professor Keith Vetter Professor Luz Molina

A limited number of students will be placed as externs with the civil and criminal trial courts under the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of Morelos. Students taking this course are limited to one other 2-hour course and the Independent Study course described after this course. Students generally spend three to four hours a day in the trial courts, observing proceedings, reviewing and sometimes drafting documents, and interacting with judges, court clerks, and attorneys. The course includes a classroom component where lecturers expand on various aspects of the Mexican legal system. Applicants must be completely fluent in Spanish and English and must furnish a resume translated into Spanish. This course requires a written report of activities and is graded on a pass/fail basis, unless a special exception is made. Interested students must contact Professor Vetter or Professor Molina for pre-approval.

INDEPENDENT STUDY (1 hour) **

Professor Keith Vetter

Students who are selected for the Mexican Legal Systems Externship may elect to write a paper of at least 15 pages on a particular part of the Mexican Legal System, which may incorporate some aspect of their experience. An outline must be submitted to Professor Vetter before registration is approved.

Class schedules:

Classes will begin on June 6 and end on June 23.
Final exams will be held on June 24th and 25th.

Class days:

Monday June 6 to Friday June 10
Monday June 13 to Thursday June 16
Monday June 20 to Thursday June 23

Class times:

8:30 AM – 10:10 AM -> Immigration at the Crossroads of Labor Law and Human Rights
10:30 AM – 12:10 PM -> Western Legal Tradition
1:15 PM – 2:55 PM -> Comparative Criminal Procedure 
 

 

**PLEASE NOTE THAT THESE COURSES DO NOT COUNT TOWARD THE PERSPECTIVE REQUIREMENT.