International & Comparative Law


International law is a multifaceted and evolving area of the law. It is a key ingredient to address many current international affairs issues, including the sustainable development of societies, an adequate response to pandemics, the building of productive economies, the conduct of international business transactions and the resolution of disputes, the safeguard of a healthy environment, the rule of law, gender and racial equality, and the overall respect of human rights. International law has become an important tool and guideline for states, international organizations, multilateral institutions, nonprofits, and private actors. At the George Washington University Law School, students obtain solid training on international legal theory and doctrine and learn how to put their knowledge to practical use. 

GW Law offers over 50 specialized courses in international and comparative law. The school provides a strong theoretical and practical foundation to future lawyers in the areas of public and private international law, comparative law, and their many domains. The teaching, scholarship, doctrine, and practical opportunities the program includes foster creativity and innovation in addressing and finding solutions to complex legal issues that arise in the transnational setting. In addition to being first-rate professors and scholars, GW Law faculty are at the forefront of shaping and implementing international law. Our faculty and deans have presided over the American Society of International Law, served as Commissioners and Judges of International Commissions and Courts, and led important processes at the State Department, United Nations, the Organization of American States, and other international organizations. Important values such as diversity, inclusion, human dignity, and social service guide our teaching. 

GW Law also has a multi-cultural environment including students from more than 40 countries. Our alums have greatly contributed to the development of international law as Judges and Law Clerks of prestigious tribunals such as the International Court of Justice, the European Court of Justice, and the European Court of Human Rights; as partners in international trade and global arbitration practices; as Commissioners and attorneys at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the Department of Electoral Observations of the Organization of American States; as senior advisors and consultants of the World Bank; attorney-advisers of the State Department; and other key international law roles. 

GW Law's approach to international law is unique. It is built upon the recognition that international and comparative law does not stand alone but rather permeates nearly every field of law. Its Washington, DC, location and close proximity to the State Department, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, the Organization of American States, law firms, non-profit organizations, as well as other international entities, enables students to have ready access to practitioners to both observe and discuss the application of law, policy, and regulations, and to grasp the complexity of contemporary global issues. 

Both JD and LLM students at GW Law  have the opportunity to obtain a concentration in international and comparative law. LLM students can also specialize in two relevant areas of international law: international human rights and international arbitration, mediation, and other dispute resolution. Our law students also have a range of opportunities during their studies at GW Law School to perform research in the area of international law, pursue externships, attend numerous events and discussion spaces on international and comparative law, participate in moot court competitions, clinics, and journals, delve in summer programs, and study abroad. 

Podcasts & Videos

The 8th Annual "Live from L": Cyber Issues in International Law
February 15, 2018

Watch the Video

Judge Buergenthal Interview with Professor Sean Murphy
December 13, 2017
Watch Professor Buergenthal discuss his life and career in international law in a two-part interview with Professor Sean Murphy, Manatt/Ahn Professor of International Law.

SCOTUS, Corporate Liability, and the Alien Tort Statute: Post-Argument Reflections on Jesner v. Arab Bank
October 11, 2017

Upcoming Events

The International and Comparative Law Program hosts several events throughout the semester. Check back frequently for new events.

Past Events

Argentina and Trade Agreements

Join the International and Comparative Law Program as they host Professor Santiago Aversa, University of Salvador Faculty of Law (Buenos Aires, Argentin

Atrocity and Crimes: Past, Present, and Future

Join the International and Comparative Law Program as they host a conversation about the events of the 1930s and 1940s and their impact on developm

ICC International Court of Arbitration: Developments, Procedures, Advances, and Challenges

Join the International and Comparative Law Program and the International Arbitration Society as they host Patricia Saiz, Professor of International