Students take great leap forward

PUBLISHED : Monday, 12 December, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 12 December, 2011, 12:00am


Professor Brian Gibson, dean of the international and comparative programme at New York's Columbia Law School, says the tailor-made one-month course offered by his school to students of City University of Hong Kong (CityU) will consist of a contemporary introduction to American law, arbitration and international trade.

'It will be an intensive course and students will essentially be in class for about five hours a day, five days a week. There will also be some evening events, and several days for sightseeing,' says Gibson.

Initially, around 30 bachelor of laws and juris doctor students will enrol in the programme which will debut in the summer of 2012.

The general legal academic discipline in the United States has remained localised, and globalism has only come into legal studies relatively recently, says Gibson.

According to him, Columbia Law School is the pioneering institution in introducing globalism into legal education.

'Thankfully, there is a general recognition that one cannot have a well-rounded legal education without studying international law,' says Gibson. 'Programmes such as G-LEAP [Global Legal Education and Awareness Project], that send young students abroad for exposure and cultural enrichment, are important for countries such as the US and China.

'There is a paradox with respect to large diverse nations - the larger and more diverse you are, the less outwardly focused you will be,' adds Gibson.

The agreement is a logical extension to the already robust institutional co-operation between CityU and Columbia, he notes.

'I travel around the world... and few places have struck me as much as [CityU] in regard to its level of energy, dynamism and intellectual curiosity.'