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Cayman Islands Fall Intersession Program Courses

*The courses below are awaiting Curriculum Committee approval.

Week 1
(Dec. 27, 2017 - Dec. 30, 2017)


Comparative Choice of Law in Contract Rules: The Common Law v. EU Rules (1 credit)
Instructor: Mitchell Davies
The course will open with a consideration of the choice of law rules in commercial contracts developed by English common law (still applicable in the Cayman Islands and numerous other common law jurisdictions). It will be explained that such rules are designed to allocate a governing law to contracts possessing foreign elements and why the choice of law process is crucial in determining the outcome of commercial litigation.

The course will then move on to consider the parallel choice of law rules which apply to EU member states (including, presently, the UK). These rules are set out in the Rome II Regulation and (like earlier domestic English legislation) abrogate entirely the common law rules in the UK’s case. The course will compare the underlying philosophies of the two sets of rules and consider why it was felt necessary to jettison the common law rules. Some consideration will also be given to what effect, if any, Brexit is likely to have on the continuing application in the UK’s case of the Rome II Regulation.


U.S. Corporations, Tax Evasion, and the Cayman Islands (1 credit)
Instructor: Joseph Morrissey
The Cayman Islands is one of the most well-known tax havens in the world (along with countries such as Switzerland, the British Virgin Islands, Bermuda, and others). Unlike most countries and even some other tax havens, the Cayman Islands does not require corporate taxes, making it an ideal place for multinational corporations to base subsidiary entities to shield some or all of their income from U.S. taxation. This course will explore some basics of using business entities to limit liability and maximize profit (by, among other things, reducing taxes). The course will also explore what tax havens are, how they work, why the Cayman Islands’ tax laws permit U.S. tax evasion, and what the U.S. and the Cayman Islands’ governments are doing to combat the problem.


Week 2
(Jan. 2-5, 2018)


Comparative Copyright Law in a Digital World  (1 credit)
Instructor: Lucille Ponte
In the age of the Internet, copyright law has become fraught with legal and global disagreements. The tension between public access to these works and protecting the rights of copyright holders has resulted in diverse legal and policy responses in an ever-changing digital landscape. The U.S. Constitution explicitly protects and encourages the development of creative works. Once a piracy nation, the U.S. has become a vocal proponent of the development and aggressive enforcement of stringent protections for copyright owners as a way to protect its economic interests in a borderless Internet. There is additional pressure on countries under the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights agreement (TRIPS), part of World Trade Organization (WTO) regimen, to accede to an international approach to the protection of copyright and other forms of intellectual property (IP).

The response from Caribbean nations has been mixed to these trade and legal pressures. Some countries have been reluctant to adopt new or revised copyright laws in a way that may impede the free exchange of ideas and interfere with regional and local social policies and economic interests. Caricom policymakers have been hesitant to establish IP standards across the planned Caricom Single Market and Economy (CSME). In addition, Caribbean nations may take a broader view of the protection of moral rights as opposed to the more limited U.S. view on moral rights. This course will explore the opportunities and challenges of Caribbean and U.S. copyright policies and consider issues of moral rights, infringement and fair use in our digital age.


International Commercial Law (1 credit)
Instructor: Joseph Morrissey
This class provides intensive exposure to the law governing international sales transactions, the CISG, as well as an introduction to international commercial arbitration. The CISG governs the substantive law that applies by default to transnational sales of goods when the parties involved are from any of the 85 signatory nations, including some Caribbean nations (Dominican Republic, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines). This class is essential for anyone hoping to become involved with international trade. [This class would be somewhat redundant for anyone who has taken International Sales & Arbitration at Stetson.]