Syllabus For 2008 Gulc International Economic Crime


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Syllabus For 2008 Gulc International Economic Crime

  1. 1. INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC CRIME & CORRUPTON Georgetown University Course Number LL.M Seminar 877G or J -08 (2 credit hours) SPRING 2008 Ethan S. Burger, Esq. Adjunct Professor Home Telephone: (301) 652-4016 E-mail address and Class will meet every Tuesday during the semester (except for March 25th) from 7:55 p.m. to 9:55 p.m., Hottung Room 5027. At this time, there are no plans for canceling any class or establishing arrangements for any make-up classes. Office Hours: After class and by special arrangement. I will also try to respond by e- mail within 48 hours. * * * * * Required Book Purchase: Peter Reuter and Edwin M. Truman, Chasing Dirty Money: The Fight Against Money Laundering (Institute for International Economics 2004) (hereinafter “DM”). Possible Book Purchases: Peter Andreas and Ethan Nadelmann, Policing the Globe: Criminalization and Crime Control in International Relations (Oxford 2006) (hereinafter “(Policing”). Raymond W. Baker, Capitalism’s Achilles Heel (Wiley 2005) (hereinafter “RB”). Margaret E. Beare, ed. Critical Reflections on Transnational Organized Crime, Money Laundering and Corruption (Toronto Press 2003) (hereinafter “Reflections”). Course Description The line dividing legitimate international business activities and illicit conduct is becoming increasingly blurred. The organizations typically involved in facilitating 1
  2. 2. legitimate international commerce (law firms, accounting firms and banks) are increasingly assisting corrupt regimes, and international crime groups. Many governments and international organizations regard transnational organized crime (including terrorism) as posing the principal national security threat of the 21st Century. This course will examine both the institutional and legal framework for combating this threat. Some of the topics to be addressed include (i) domestic law (e.g. RICO) and governmental structures for combating corruption, human trafficking, narcotics (cultivation and distribution), tax evasion through the use of offshore tax havens, and illegal weapons exports; (ii) the role of international institutions and instruments in this area, and (iii) how private service providers (accounting firms, law firms and banks) aggravate the situation. There will be no examinations in this class. Rather students will research, brief and prepare terms papers (approved in advance by the professor) related to the subject matter of the course. Prior to submitting their papers, students will have an opportunity to submit a draft, which the professor will review and provide comments in strike and underline format. Students whose first language is not English are especially encouraged to take advantage of this offer. COURSE OBJECTIVES The goal of the course is to help students to understand current trends in international economic crime, the U.S. and multi-national law and institutions to combat it, and the hurdles to achieving a more effective policy. The course will provide the students an opportunity to improve their ability to write analytical memos and succinctly “brief” topics to policymakers and judges. PREREQUISITES Prior course work in private or public international law, criminal law, or international organizations is expected. Professional experience will usually be acceptable in lieu of formal law school study. Note the word “or” – students need not have a detailed knowledge of each area, but should have an appreciation of at least one of aforementioned areas of the law so that classroom discussions will reflect a range of ideas and knowledge. COURSE REQUIREMENTS The course requirements are: 2
  3. 3.  Staying current in the course readings – we only meet once a week, so students are expected to be prepared. If a student will not be in class, the student should notify the professor of that fact and the student will prepare a 2-3 page summary (double spaced) of at least one of the issues discussed in the readings assigned for that class. This short paper is due within two class of the scheduled class session.  All students shall meet in person or communicate by telephone with the professor at pre-arranged times at least twice during the semester to provide feedback on the course to date and their progress in selecting a paper topic, should the student opt for the paper as opposed to the exam option. The first of such meetings shall occur not later than after the fourth class session. The second of such meetings shall occur not later than after the eighth class session.  Preparation of Research Papers -- Students are to research and write a 15-18 page paper (single spaced) covering subjects such as: (i) international white- collar crime in the banking, securities or commodities trading sectors, (ii) illegal weapons export (including components of weapons of mass destruction) – the roles of the producers, governments/international organizations, and criminal or terrorist group, (iii) the legal status mercenaries when used by private companies for security purposes, separatists and national governments under international law, (iv) trafficking in women and children, (v) instances of criminal groups have taken over portions of or entire countries, (vi) the interplay between criminal and nationalistic groups, (vii) criticisms of how national legislation may hinder international law enforcement, or (viii) the subordination of a country’s law enforcement objectives to other foreign policy goals. Please Note that students need not restrict themselves to seminar paper topics involving the aforementioned countries. References should be in Blue Book format. OR  As an alternative to writing a Research Paper, students at their option may choose to take a take-home Exam. The exam will be in essay format. The Exam will NOT be a traditional law school exam. It will be more analytical and ask students for policy recommendations or react to statements. COURSE MATERIALS AND READINGS 3
  4. 4. In addition to the assigned readings, the professor will sometimes distribute materials in class for discussion purposes, tying the assigned readings to current events.1 All required readings will be on reserve at the William Bennett Library. Students will use Internet sources to prepare for class and for assistance in selecting their paper topics. With respect to U.S-centric or broad international topics, I would recommend that students visit the following web sites: the Egmont Group at; the Financial Activities Task Force on Money Laundering at http://www.fatf-,2987,en_32250379_32235720_1_1_1_1_1,00.html); Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FINCEN – within the U.S. Department of the Treasury); the International Monetary Fund at; Transparency International at; U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration at; International Police Organization at; United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime at; United Nations Register of Conventional Arms Sales at; the World Bank Anti-Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism at and Governance and Anti-Corruption at,, menuPK:1740542~pagePK:64168427~piPK:64168435~theSitePK:1740530,00.html. I have merely scratched the surface of that which is available on the web. In addition, this course does not make use of ANY reported decisions in the money laundering area. Students will probably want to look at cases in this area in the course of researching their papers or preparing for classroom discussion. There are numerous law and business journals, as well as non-academic business magazines, which will contain relevant news stories and be a source of ideas for seminar topics including: The International Lawyer (published by the American Bar Association’s International Law and Practice Section), Journal of World Business, BusinessWeek, the Economist, Fortune Magazine, and International and Comparative Corporate Law Journal (published by Kluwer Academic Publishers). To help them in the selection of their seminar paper topics, students are encouraged to skim The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times’ Business Section, and The [London] Financial Times. For example, in the October 11, 2006 issue of The Financial Times (at 8), there is an article about password stealing software by organized crime that permits them “steal data and make money.” Cybercrime is a major priority of law enforcement in most developed countries, 1 All papers should have the following organization: introduction [short statement of the issue examined], background [context for understanding the topic – where appropriate use charts and other graphics], methodology [what sources you are using and why, did you experience problems with obtaining relevant information/data and is such information/data reliable], discussion [presentation of facts, data, discussion of likely future developments, your observations/analysis], and conclusion [what have you learned and what should a reader remember if s/he wants to look at this topic in the future?]. Of course, students may use a less structured format if they feel it to be more suitable. 4
  5. 5. During the semester, I hope to have one or two guest speakers who works in this area who will speak for part of the session. BASIS OF COURSE GRADE The student’s grade will be determined as follows: -- 25% for class participation (classroom discussions of readings); and -- 75% for the term paper (and presentation) OR TAKE HOME EXAM. ACADEMIC INTEGRITY All students are required to familiarize with and follow all provisions of Georgetown University Law Center’s Academic Integrity Code. TOPICS TO BE COVERED I. Money Laundering and the Framework for Combating It -- (Class Sessions 1 and 2) <January 15 & 22, 2008>. Session 1 – <January 15, 2008> DM, Chapters 1 & 3 (READ – Please identify most interesting topics for discussion in class and take note of the major idea in each chapter.) (On reserve). Session 2 – <January 22, 2008> RB, pp. 1-161 (SKIM – identify most interesting topics for discussion in class and take note of the major idea in each chapter; review last week’s reading). (On reserve). Classroom Discussion: We will review the course’s objectives, requirements and syllabus. Reuter and Truman provide a good introduction to the topic of economic crime and the legal framework for combating it. Then we will examine Raymond Baker’s thesis that in a global economy nationally organized law enforcement is ineffective and that international corporations can facilitate illicit activity (corruption, the drug trade, trafficking in women and children, etc. II. International Legal Framework – (Class Sessions 3 and 4 – January 29 and February 5, 2008) 5
  6. 6. Session 3 - <January 29, 2008> a) Policing (Chapter 1 at 17-58 (Read) and Chapter 6 at 223-253 (Read). (On reserve). b) UN Conventional against Transnational Organized Crime, available at (identify the topics covered in this website, but only read major provisions, but bring to class for discussion). Session 4 - <February 5, 2008> a) Policing (Chapter 3, 105-55 (Skim), Chapter 4 at 187-88 (Skim) and Chapter 5 at 189-222 (Read). (On Reserve). Classroom Discussion: We will cover in class the legal framework for combating international organized crime and discuss practical issues involved in implementing extradition and other relevant subjects. III. Financial Crime and Human Rights, Corruption and Development -- (Class Sessions 5 and 6 –February 12 and 26, 2008>. Session 5 – <February 12, 2008> a. DM – Chapter 4 and 7 (Read) (on Reserve). b. Ethan Burger and Mary Holland, Getting Our Priorities in Order: Human Rights and International Law for the 21st Century, available at Classroom Discussion: What policy recommendations would you make to U.S. and global anti-money laundering policies more effective? What if any role should human rights have in policies aimed at combating international economic crime? ! ! ! ! FACULTY RETREAT ON FEBRUARY 19TH – NO CLASS ! ! ! ! Session 6 - <February 26, 2007> a. Students should read: RB – Skim 162-277 (identify for class most interesting topics for classroom discussion>; and b. Students should skim: Ethan S. Burger and Mary Holland, “Will the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention Fulfill its Goals or Must the Private Sector 6
  7. 7. Lead the Fight Against Foreign Bribery in International Business?,” 30 FORDHAM INT’L L. REV. 45 (2006). Classroom Discussion: What is the impact of corruption on development? Does domestic or international criminal law have much of an impact? If not, why not? What are the roles of national governments, private corporations, international organizations and NGOs? ! ! ! ! NOTE THAT SPRING BREAK IS MARCH 1-9 AND THERE WILL BE NO CLASS ON MARCH 25 – OUR LAST CLASS IS EXTRA-LONG TO ALLOW FOR ALL THE POWERPOINT PRESENTATIONS ! ! ! ! IN ANY EVENT, ALL STUDENTS ARE REQUIRED TO WATCH THE DOCUMENTARY “The World History of Organized Crime (2-Disc Series).” IT IS AVAILABLE THROUGH NETFLIX AND MANY VIDEO STORES. I WILL TRY TO ARRANGE FOR THE LIBRARY TO GET A COPY AS WELL IV. International Institutions and Moneylaundering -- (Class Session7) <March 11, 2008>. a) Students whose first letter of their last names are between A and L should mine the FATF website – available at http://www.fatf-,2987,en_32250379_32235720_1_1_1_1_1,00.html. Pay particular attention to the original anti-money laundering recommendations and those additional recommendations adopted after 9/11. How effectively does FATF fulfill the role for which it was created? b) Students whose first letter of their last names are between A and L should mine the World Bank’s websites dealing with money laundering and corruption at available at and Governance and Anti-Corruption available at OR/0,,menuPK:1740542~pagePK:64168427~piPK:64168435~theSitePK:174 0530,00.html. Classroom Discussion: What recommendations would you make to policy makers to influence the corruption problem by attacking money laundering? Do you agree with FATF’s and the World Bank’s approach and analyses. Students will make short 2-3 minute oral presentations on their thoughts, V. Legal Framework for the War on Drugs and Its Consequences -- (Class Session 8) <March 18, 2008>. a). Students whose first letter of their last names are between A and L should mine this website -- U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration available at 7
  8. 8. for data, rationale for their activities, and legal basis for their activities; b) Students whose first letter of their last names is between M and Z should mine this website -- United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime available at for data, rationale for their activities, and legal basis for their activities. Classroom Discussion: The websites contain the rationale for efforts to combat illegal narcotics and discuss the legal basis for doing so. Students are to make 2-3 minute presentations on what they found interesting on the websites. Some of the readings later in this course found in “Reflections” call into question these efforts. ! ! ! ! ON MARCH 25TH THERE WILL BE NO CLASS. AS NOTED ABOVE. IF YOU HAVE NOT YET SEEN THE DOCUMENTARY “THE WORLD HISTORY OF ORGANIZED CRIME,” PLEASE DO SO DURING THIS WEEK ! ! ! ! VI. The Gray Line Between Organized Criminal and Terrorist Organizations -- (Class Session 9) <April 1, 2008>. a. Students should read the first and last chapters of Loretta Napoleoni, Terror Incorporated: Tracing the Dollars Behind the Terror Networks (Seven Stories Press 2004) (On reserve), and b. Students should skim the U.S. Department of Justice Handbook on Criminal RICO – students should print out the table of contents – some of the key provisions will be discussed in class, available at m.htm another DoJ Document has not only the statutory language, but DoJ RICO Guidelines as well, available at m.htm-- note that this document was prepared in 1999. Classroom discussion: From a prosecutorial standpoint, are the Federal Criminal RICO laws sufficient to deal with organized criminal groups? Is its extra-territorial nature sufficient to offset the possible obstacles to obtaining the cooperation of foreign law enforcement. Are the models for organized crime groups appropriate for understanding terrorist organizations? PLEASE NOTE THAT STUDENTS ARE ENCOURAGED TO FINALIZE THEIR TOPICS FOR THEIR PAPERS PRIOR TO THIS CLASS. IT IS ADVISABLE FOR EACH STUDENT TO PREPARE AN OUTLINE FOR THEIR PAPER AS WELL AS A WRITEN DISCUSSION OF THE METHODOLOGY AND SOURCES THEY WILL USE FOR FULFILLING THEIR RESEARCH PLANS. STUDENTS ARE ADVISED TO ARRANGE MEETINGS WITH THE PROFESSOR TO DISCUSS THEIR PLANS A 8
  9. 9. WEEK PRIOR TO OR AFTER THIS CLASS SESSION. NOTE THAT CLASS WILL NOT MEET FOR TWO (2) WEEKS. VII. The Arms Bazaar and Efforts to Regulate It -- (Session 10) <April 8, 2008>. a) Students whose last names are between A and L should mine this website – available at for data, rationale for their activities, and legal basis for their activities. b) Students whose last names are between M and Z should mine this website – available at for data, rationale for their activities, and legal basis for their activities. c) All students should glance at the website of Transparency International, which has done a lot of work on the arms trade and its relationship to corrupt regimes, a god report is available at ey_sectors/arms_trade but other portions of website contains information on this topic. Classroom Discussion: Do the U.N. Procedures combined with domestic legislation provide an adequate legal framework to address illegal weapons exports? Other than exposing illegal or unethical conduct, what can a non-governmental organization like Transparency International accomplish in this area? What are the implications for controlling the sale of weapons of mass destruction? VIII. Enforcement and Effectiveness of Anti-Laundering Policy -- (Class Session 11) <April 15, 2008>. a) Report of the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, “Money Laundering and Foreign Corruption Enforcement and the Effectiveness of the Patriot Act,” 108th Congress, Second Session, July 15, 2004, S. Hrg. 108-633 available at (Read Chapters I-V, 1-6 at 1-37 and skim remainder, Chapters VI-VIII at 28-113. Classroom Discussion: These hearings are very lengthy, but they will give us a chance to see how illegal activity was conducted by Saudi Arabia, Equatorial Guinea and Riggs Bank in Washington D.C. Students are expected to take notes on those portions of the document of greatest interest for the purposes of discussion. It illustrates the interaction of “dirty money,” corruption, and how legitimate businesses facilitate illegal activity. IX. Cynical Observations Solution -- (Session 12) <April 22, 2008>. 9
  10. 10. All students are to skim Reflections, Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4 5, 7, 8, and 11 (skim) (On reserve). Classroom Discussion: Query whether “we” are the enemy in the war on drugs. Crime can be divided into two types: absolute and relativistic. Absolute crimes are prohibited everywhere. It is illegal to murder a person or burn down his house. At the same time vodka is banned in Saudi Arabia and legal in Russia. One can buy hashish in many Islamic countries, but trying to obtain some in the U.S. will land you in jail. Western Europeans complain that the U.S. has nearly criminalized smoking. Are the costs for countering drug efforts too great to sustain? Is the law enforcement bureaucracy too entrenched to change things? Does the fact that some terrorist groups may finance their activity through the sale of drugs justify existing policies? X. Student Presentations and Wrap-up – (Session 13) <April 29, 2008>. The students will make 5 minute power point presentations covering the main points of their papers. Students opting for the take-home exam option need not make a Powerpoint Presentation. In addition to asking questions challenging some of the student’s thesis, methodology, or conclusions, all students not presenting should make suggestions concerning possible additional sources of information or other improvements. MAY GRADUATES’ PAPERS AND EXAMS ARE ON MAY 6, 2008 – EVERYONE ELSE MUST HAVE THEM TO ME BY MAY 10, 2008. ALL EXAMS AND PAPERS SEND THEM TO ME BY E-MAIL AT 12:00 P.M. OF THE RELEVANT DATE. MY EMAIL ADDRESSES ARE ESB34@LAW.GEORGETOWN.EDU AND ETHANSB@EARTHLINK.NET. PLEASE SEND DOCUMENT TO BOTH. EXTENSIONS OF A FEW DAYS WILL BE PERMITTED IF REQUESTED AND APPROVED FOR VALID REASONS. 10
  11. 11. How to Skim Materials for this Course – But Do Not Skim This by Ethan S. Burger, Adjunct Associate Professor Georgetown University Law Center A former Vice President for International Business Development for IBM once told me that if he merely read his mail (much less answered it), he could never accomplish the tasks necessary for him to do his job properly. In recent days, the situation has only worsened with meaningless ruminations, worthless information, advertisements, announcements, and occasionally vital messages sent by e-mail. This course seemingly has a very demanding reading list. This is both true and false simultaneously (consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds). Much of what appears in the syllabus is to be skimmed. What does this mean? The better question is what does this mean to the person who gives out the grade in this class and has the responsibility to make this class something worth trying hard to do well in. Skimming means different things to different people and almost always is contextually dependent. For the purpose of this course, let me tell you what I mean by skimming. With respect to a book, it means to me reading the introduction, first and last chapters as well as the first page and final page (section) of each individual chapter. It means GLANCING at the rest of the chapter and only reading what interests YOU. Always read the table of contents and glance at the index as well.2 With respect to a chapter or an article, read the first and last sections. Read the first paragraph under each subhead and if there are diagrams or charts look at them so you know why they were included. If the chapter interests you, read it more carefully. Remember – there is no test in this course. The primary point of most of the reading is to provide context – not to provide you with facts. Most facts you don’t need to memorize – this is not trigonometry (a totally worthless subject for 99.99% of the world to study), but you may have to refer to them at some point. The second point is to help you develop a topic that YOU want to research for your term paper and class presentation. It is my hope and expectation that the reading in this course can be done in 3-5 hours each week. Remember, once you have selected 2 What about footnotes? I often find footnotes more interesting than the text. They often show whether the author has the language ability to be working in the field, it allows one to assess whether s/he has facts to support his/her argument and finally, whether the work is original or derivative. An author may be more willing to go out on a limb in the footnotes than the text. As a general rule, treat footnotes the same way you treat the regular text. 11
  12. 12. your topic for your term paper and prepared for the negotiation simulations (which will be discussed in class), the importance of the reading declines. That being said, all the materials have been selected for a purpose. I hope this sheet is helpful – try pinning me down if you have any questions. 12