Required courses

Description

This is a first year course designed to introduce students to the Liberian Court System, highlighting the structure and hierarchy of the courts as well as the procedures by which civil actions are commenced, tried and finally decided. This course represents the one detailed study of the Civil Procedure Law of Liberia and various problems and questions of civil procedures in Liberia during the student’s legal study. The course concentrates on pre-trial, trial, post-trial, and appellate procedures including trial practice and techniques, motions and judgments by discussion of provisions of the Civil Procedures Law and also case laws. It is also designed to introduce students to certain underlying problems regarding jury and jurisdictional issues arising between and among the constitutional court, the statutory courts, the administrative courts or agencies, and customary trial courts. Civil Procedure is a prerequisite to Criminal Procedure, Constitutional law and Applied Legal Studies.

Description

This is a first year course that explores the legal nature of agreements between two or more parties, including the means by which each agreement is created, enforced and discharged.  The subject matter embraces mutual assent and consideration necessary to establish an enforceable agreement, illegality and excuse for non-performance, the interpretation of terms and conditions of the contract and remedies which the law provides for breach of the agreement.  Contracts negotiated by agents, the rights of third party beneficiaries, contracts of adhesion, the writing requirement for enforceability of contracts, assignments and third party beneficiaries are all topics covered in this course.  Contracts are a prerequisite to Agency, Corporation, Negotiable Instruments and Sales.

Description

This is a first year course that explores the origin and purposes of criminal law, the nature of crime and its elements, the criminal process and enforcement, sources of Liberian Criminal Law, the common law and statutory offences.  Constitutional limitations upon police conduct and protections offered the accused or suspect under statutory and constitutional due process of law receive substantial analysis and review.  Also accorded keen attention are cases and scholarly debates dealing with mental disorders and crimes against the person, property, and both. This Course places emphasis on the New Penal Law of Liberia and on procedures as laid out in the Liberian Criminal Procedure Statute and case laws, including opinions of the Supreme Court and the opinions of the Attorney General of Liberia.

Description

Legal Methods is a critical foundational course designed to help students appreciate the nature of legal study and the basic reasoning, writing and research skills that are emphasized throughout the study and practice of law.
This course provides a survey of key legal concepts and doctrines, and a structured introduction and treatment of legal research and writing. In particular, it is designed to give students a broad understanding of the Liberian Legal System with a focus on the process of legal research, reasoning and writing. Some of the specific areas covered by this course are (1) case briefing; (2) understanding and working with precedents, including analogizing, distinguishing and reconciling precedents; (3) statutory interpretations and the rules thereof; (4) organization and conduct of basic legal research using on-line and manual resources; (5) preparation of pleadings, legal memoranda and appellate briefs, and (6) understanding and applying the rules of legal citations.

Description

This is a first year course that examines the basic concepts of civil liability for harm to person or property, intentional wrongdoing, negligent tortuous acts, nuisance, product liabilities, defamation, and invasion of one’s privacy, causation, and damages.  The course also focuses on the provisions of the Private Wrongs Law of Liberia.

Description

This is a first year course designed to provide a solid theoretical insight into the legal concept of property, its development, and the duties and rights associated with property ownership. It discusses both real property (which refers to land and things attached thereto) and personal property (that includes all tangible and non tangible properties such as cars, furniture and intellectual property).

The course covers possession, ownership and transfers of both personal and real properties, and explores the common law system of estates in land (including future interests, concurrent interest and the everyday matter of landlord-tenant relationship); dower, easements, eminent domain, etc.

The course is taught using Liberian statutes and case law as well as the common law. Property is a prerequisite to (1) Trusts, and (2) Wills& Estates.

Description

This is a second year, first semester course that explores and investigates the nature of agency, and Partnership as both an agency and a form of business organization.

Some of the key topics covered in this course are the definition and the creation of agency and partnership, the fiduciary duties applicable to agency or partnership, the restrictions on transfer of an agency or the interest in a partnership, and the termination of agency or partnership.

This course is taught using both common law materials and Liberian statutory materials, especially the Partnership Act, which is Part III of the Associations Law of Liberia. Agency and Partnership is a prerequisite to Corporation Law.

Description

This is a second year course that explores and analyzes the legal nature and rules of corporation as a unique form of business organization that is distinct from its owner(s). The course surveys the common law rules generally applicable to corporations, but concentrates on the particular rules established by the Business Corporations Act of Liberia.

Particular emphasis is placed on corporate organizations, public and private, spanning the period from their formation to their dissolution; the rights, duties and responsibilities of corporate institutions, shareholders, directors, officers, employees and creditors. This course examines problems surrounding corporate governance, finance, and consolidation, including the regulation of corporate entities by the government. Liberia Corporation Laws and cases are used in conjunction with cases from other common law jurisdictions.

Description

This is a second year course that focuses on the study of the Liberian Constitution and Case law as well as significant constitutional cases of other Jurisdictions.  Major topics studied in this course include judicial review and constitutional interpretation; the doctrines of separation of powers; the protection of individual rights and liberties; development and exercise of national powers by the Legislative, Executive and Judicial branches of the Government.  Constitutional Law is a prerequisite to Administrative Law.

Description

This is a second year course that offers a detailed study of the rules governing the admission of evidence in civil and criminal cases before courts and administrative tribunals. Some of the topics covered in this course are search, arrest and seizure; preparation and presentation of evidence, including proof of writings, qualification and examination of witnesses with emphasis on impeachment; determination of relevancy; privileged communications; privacy. This Course also emphasis understanding and application of the rules on hearsay; best evidence, parole evidence; burden of proof and presumptions.

Description

This course emphasizes the conduct and duties of lawyers to their clients and society in general. Formerly called Legal Ethics, this course uses the Code for the Moral and Ethical Conduct of Lawyers as a primary authority to discuss applicable case law and practical situations that demand professional judgment and responsibility.

Description

The course offers a detailed study of the procedures covering the entire criminal justice system from arrest through trial and detention. It covers the procedures established by law as due in respect of all aspects of establishing criminal liability, which include arrest, arraignment, bail, evidentiary problems in criminal trial, rights to counsels, sentencing, parole, etc. This course is taught using primarily the Criminal Procedure Statute of Liberia.

Description

This is a second year course that introduces students to practical legal skills (1) at considerable depth and (2) in real or simulated situations. Formerly known as Moot Court, this course guides and challenges the students to build and demonstrate skills in actual practice of law by focusing on a range of practical matters such as interviewing clients, counseling clients, mediation, negotiation, preparation of transactional legal documents including pleadings, trial memoranda and appellate briefs, trial advocacy, negotiation, etc.

Elective Courses

Description

This course is a study of the administrative procedures required of every administrative agency in its determination of a matter that affects the interests, rights or privileges of any party. The focus here is a thorough understanding of the Due Process requirements established by the Constitution of Liberia and the Administrative Procedures Act of Liberia. This Course examines formal and informal decision-making powers, rule-making powers, and the investigation, regulation and adjudication of justifiable matters. The relationship of Government ministries and agencies to the Judicial and Legislative branches of Government is a key focus of the course.  Emphasis is also placed on local government bodies in the counties as well as municipal councils in the cities and townships.

Description

This course deals with commercial sales of personal properties, as regulated by Article 2 of the Liberia Commercial Code.  Beginning with the established common law rule of nemo dat quo non habeat (Latin for “one cannot transfer what he does not have”), this Course covers all aspects and phases of the creation, performance and enforcement of sales contract, including the statutory rules for interpreting the terms of such contracts. Sales are a prerequisite to Negotiable Instruments, Secured Transactions and Insurance Law.

Description

This course studies commercial papers and negotiable instruments generally, using Article 3 of the Liberia Commercial Code as primary authority. It examines in details the various negotiable instruments recognized and popularly used in commercial transactions, and also explores the nature and implications of the commercial law concept of holder in due course.

Some of the areas of topics of negotiable instruments law covered by this course include rights and liabilities of holders, makers, makers, transferors and transferees of negotiable instruments; presentment, negotiation; forgery, and the rules appertaining to forgery and endorsement.

Description

This course examines the creation, attachment, perfection, priority and enforcement of security interest in personal property, as regulated by Article 5 of the Liberia Commercial Code. It studies in details the procedures and rules relating to how and where to register collaterals or security agreements and the consequences of failure or delay in registering a security interest.

Description

This course examines all matters relating to navigable waters and vessels, attachment and maritime liens, maritime contracts of affreightment, towage, employment of seafarers and their rights; wrongful death and injury of persons; the principles of limitation of liability; general average and salvage, un-seaworthiness and collision cases as governed by the Liberian Maritime Law and other related international laws.

Description

This course examines the fundamental rights of individuals and/or groups. It traces the historical development of individual rights and duties as they relate to the power of sovereign states and the rules of international laws. Using international and regional conventions on human and people’s rights, this course interrogates the relationships between international norms and domestic laws and institutions in the recognition, protection and enforcement of human rights.

description

The course principally deals with a practical exploration of various problems arising in the practice of tax law with particular attention devoted to taxation of realty, securities, insurance and personal financial planning, examination of income taxation, allowable deduction, and credits, judicial resolution of tax disputes; construction and interpretation of Liberian tax laws; and the role of the tax lawyer in business and financial planning.  This Code uses the Tax Code of Liberia as the primary legal authority on matters dealing with the basis and computation of taxes in Liberia. Demonstrated completion of at least one undergraduate course in accounting is a prerequisite to Taxation.

Description

This course offers a comparative study of African social and legal institutions, with emphasis on native customary law and practices as they interact with constitutional, statutory and Islamic laws.  It includes a review of the African chieftaincy or kingship system and its relationship to the monarchial and presidential system; sources of African-customary law; chiefly and cephalous societies; jurisdictional issues in native customary matters, and specific challenges and features of tribal administration in Liberia. Other topics explored in this course include tribal loyalty to the national government; the doctrine of the “repugnancy test”; remedies under African laws for civil and criminal wrongdoing; African concept of property; declaration of title to land; marriage; children, divorce; and status of African women.

Description

This course deals with the transfer of wealth from one generation to the next through wills and intestacy. It examines broadly the administration of estates, whether testate or intestate. The course focuses on the essentials of a valid will, the requirements and procedures governing estates generally under the supervision and control of the Probate Court, and the issues and procedures arising there from.

Description

This course examines the legal elements and definition of trust and its importance as a tool for the control and transfer of wealth. Issues and problems that emanate from the drafting and administration of trusts are studied based on the New Decedent Estate Law of Liberia, decisions of the Supreme Court of Liberia, precedence, and rules and statutes of common law jurisdictions. The course seeks to provide students with sufficient skills and knowledge to establish, manage and deal with problem emanating from the administration of trust. Property is a prerequisite to Trusts.

Description

This course explores a range of topics on domestic relations, embracing creation and dissolution of marriages, property divisions, paternity disputes, child custody and support, adoption, guardianship, domestic violence, and legitimation. It also focuses on delinquent children and governmental intervention in matters relating to domestic relations, including issues relating to child discipline, abuse and neglect. The course emphasizes understanding and application of provisions of the New Domestic Relations Law of Liberia and the New Inheritance Law of 2003

Description

This course examines the nature and importance of insurance, including the making, performance and interpretation of insurance contracts/policies, whether liability insurance, property insurance, fire insurance, life insurance, etc. Key insurance concepts and topics explored in this course include the principle of indemnity, insurable interest, subrogation, insurance malpractice, and the regulation of insurance.

Description

This course is an introduction to the trial practice. Building on knowledge and skills acquired in Applied Legal Studies, the course offers advance study in preparation and filing of pleadings, court room practice and procedures, report of appealable issues, preparation of Supreme Court briefs and moot court memorials as well as presentation of oral arguments in a mock trial. Applied Legal Studies is a prerequisite to Practice Court.

Description

The course examines the several phases of the employment relationship within the Liberian setting, the evolution of labor unions, union activity, labor law legislation, union recognition and collective bargaining relationship; unlawful combinations, picketing and strikes, the use of disputes settlement mechanism as alternatives to the strike and lockout weapons, problems of union democracy, illegal and wrongful dismissals, and rights of individual employees with respect to unions.  It also deals with problems of individual employment contracts, problems relating to interpretation and enforcement of the Liberian Labor Law and Practices and collective bargaining agreement in such areas as wages, hours of work and other terms and conditions of employment. It also covers workmen’s compensation for death and industry injury, using the National Social Security law of Liberia as primary statutory authority.

Description

This course explores the key fundamental concepts, principles and methods of securing and protecting creativity and innovations. The course is centered on the need for the modern Liberian lawyer working within the domestic and or regional/international legal environment to understand contending IP conventions, practice and issues. The course examines the nature of intellectual property, the various international conventions agreed to promote and protect IP as well as topical IP issue such as moral rights, the status of traditional knowledge; traditional expression; trade secrets; the use of trademarks and patents, the dangers of piracy and counterfeiting; and the use of competition as a safeguard against the abuse of the “dominant position” doctrine.

Using the existing IP legal framework of Liberia, this course explores the procedures for registering copyrights, trademarks, patents and other protectable designs, including the rules for dealing with IP infringements.

Description

This course is a study of the Environment Protection and Management Law of Liberia, focusing on environmental impact, assessment and damages as well as the procedures established in respect of environmental impact study, mitigation and management under Liberian Laws and international laws. Some of the issues explored here are the basis and requirements for an environmental study, audit, assessment and mitigation; the precautionary principles of environmental management, protection of biodiversity, traditional shrines, etc.

Description

This course examines the nature of the ownership and development/exploitation of solid mineral such as gold, diamond, iron ore, etc. Using the New Minerals and Mining Law of Liberia, this course details what is required to explore for and extract solid minerals in Liberia.

Each of the various mineral licenses established by the mining laws of Liberia is discussed along with the condition for holding, operating and maintaining each license and Mineral Development Agreements. This course also discusses mineral taxation.

Description

This course explores the petroleum law and supporting legal framework of Liberia relative to ownership, exploration and production (E&P) of oil and natural gas in Liberia. It begins with a structured introduction to the international petroleum industry, the parties involved and then focuses on present and emerging developments in the oil sector in Liberia. One emphasis of the course is identifying and understanding the major types of contracts commonly used in Exploration and Production (E&P) globally and in Liberia. It emphasizes the Production Sharing Contract (PSC) model used in Liberia, including the differing interests and roles of investors and host governments or their national oil companies (NOCs).

The course also discusses other issues relating to oil and gas development such as maritime boundaries; indigenous rights; health, safety and environment; human rights and sustainable development; dispute resolution, etc.

Description

This course takes a problem-oriented approach to the organization and conduct of research for actual practice and scholarly publications. The structure and basic provisions of major agreements and contracts (Mineral Development Agreements, Production sharing contracts, loan agreements, etc.) and legislation/regulations are explored in this course. Drafting of a student’s note/articles for the Liberian Law Journal or publishable supervised writing work qualifies for credit in this course.

Description

This course offers advanced topics in criminal law and questions of access to justice globally and in Liberia.  It is a problem identification and discussion course with focus on understanding the challenges facing the Liberian criminal justice system and outlining possible or range of solutions for the identified challenges.

Description

This course is a practice-oriented study of advanced legal drafting. It discusses the process and techniques of structuring, drafting and negotiating of major legal agreements of all kinds including shares purchase agreements or other documents relating to merger and acquisitions, mineral development agreements, productions sharing contracts, etc.  The approach is to study the structure and major component of each major agreements/legal instruments, and to then undertake practical exercises in drafting them.

Description

This course teaches the process and practice of drafting legislation and regulation. It s a practice-oriented course tailored to advance skills in drafting or advising on the drafting of legislative instruments of all kinds.

Description

The course explores the intrinsic nature and definition of arbitration, mediation and the other alternative dispute resolution mechanism existing and emerging, and examines the relative importance and efficiency of each compared to litigation. The course studies the Arbitration Statute of Liberia and the rules of arbitration and mediation of different national and international bodies involved in arbitration, mediation and other ADR processes.

Description

This course introduces the subject of international organizations, their role in the maintenance of international peace and their influence with technical, social and cultural cooperation. It distinguishes international organizations regulated by international laws as opposed to those being regulated by municipal laws.
Emphasis is placed on how IO’s and their subsidiary bodies are created, their structure, capacity, functions and role in the international community. Additionally this course details membership, denunciation of membership, privileges and immunities of IO’s and permanent or temporary representations

Description

This course is a branch of International Law that deals with the rules regulating armed conflicts. It explores the legal bases for the concept “even wars have limits”.
Navigation through this course will be about victim protection, which considers persons exposed to conflict, including the ill, the captured and civilians; prisoners of war, the wounded, the sick in the field or on a wrecked ship at sea. It further discusses the scope of military actions as provided for in the four Geneva Conventions of 1949 and the two optional protocols of 1977, this will also include the basic rules of International Humanitarian Law.

Description

This course examines contemporary problems involving the role and effectiveness of law and legal institutions in international community. It includes discussions on jurisdiction of states, the law of the sea, the law of air and airspace, sovereign immunity; the “act of state” doctrine; statehood and recognition, international organizations; the peaceful settlement of international disputes; responsibilities of states for injuries to aliens; and control of the use of force in international affairs. International law is a prerequisite to International Organizations and International Humanitarian Law.

Description

This course discusses the increasing role and influence non-state actors and other private bodies in international affairs and relations.

Description

Using domestic laws and international conventions and treaties, this course interrogates the concepts of citizenship, identity, and statelessness as well the phenomenon of increasing international migration and its attendant challenges. It explores case laws and case studies relating to the status of refugees and internally displaced people, the laws on the protection of refugees and the obligation of state and non-state actions in respect of refugees.

Description

This course offers a survey of the mechanics, practice and rules relating to transactions in the trade of goods and services across national borders and involving many legal multiple jurisdictions.

Description

Is gender a biological physiological status or a legal construct or both? Why is it important to gender in the discussions of status and rights? These and many questions are explored in this issue-provoking and research-oriented course on gender and sexuality.

Description

This course uses the International Convention on the Right of the Child along with other international legal instruments and domestic laws to study the special needs and protection of children.

 

Description

This is a practical course in the art and business of negotiation. It explores the importance of negotiation in transactional practice and also in litigations, and provides students with practical opportunities and situations to mediate and negotiate through roles play.

Description

This course examines the intersection of medicine and law, and the statutes and case laws on the law of medical science, personal injuries resulting from medical malpractice and related issues. It also investigates the concept, challenges and limits of medical ethics, especially in this age of bioengineering.

Seminars

Description

This seminar offers a critical examination of customary law and its role in Liberian jurisprudence and community. It requires students to explore similarities and contrasts between the customary and statutory legal systems, using case laws, statutes, written and other available materials on the subject matters.

The focus of the course is to examine the complexities of the dual legal system of Liberia and the implications of the duality on rights of inheritance, property rights, gender equality, etc.

Description

This course offers an advanced study of constitutional law and constitutionalism. It presents students with opportunities to review the processes leading to drafting Constitutions, the implications of proposed constitutional provisions and their relationships to existing statutes and customary practices. It takes a problem-oriented approach to constitutional design that exposes students to various constitutional systems and also requires them to design constitutions for countries that have experienced constitutional crisis and require revision of their constitutions.

Description

This Course critically examines how laws are made by political actors through political procedures and for political reasons based on “elite’s compromises”. Prevailing laws are enacted as a result of alliances between and amongst political forces that invariably determine the influences of law on state behavior. The nature and quality of law is an expression of a given political system. This course provokes debates about our democracy and judicial process, by raising many questions: who should determine what laws are necessary – political leaders, legislature or judges? Could there be limitations on the power of elected representatives? Who can we trust to protect and promote our fundamental civil and political rights? Does our system of governance respond to the expressed preferences of ordinary citizens and voters?

Description

Using the separation of state and religion doctrine as a foundation, this course explores the relationship between the Liberian state and the various religions in Liberia. It examines how each of the various religions has sought to acquire and/or asset influence in the civil affairs of Liberia.

Description

This course discusses the relationship between the making and enforcement of Liberian law and the country’s foreign policy objectives and obligations with a focus on how the foreign policy of Liberia both informs and constrains Liberian laws and legal institutions.

Description

This course is designed to be a legal clinic, focusing on the conditions of prisons and the prisoners therein, especially pre-trail detainees.  Student in this course will have the opportunity to engage with prisoners and, under the supervision of faculty member(s), undertake some level of interviewing and preparation of case histories and related work for selected prisoners.