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DDRO 1710A - Contemporary Issues in Corporate Law and Governance

Type d'enseignement : Elective

Semester : Autumn 2017-2018

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English



Course Description

This course will introduce students to current issues relating to corporations, increasingly important actors in global matters. The course will begin with an introduction to US corporate law, including discussion of the question “what is a corporation” and of the sources of corporate law. This section will include an exploration of the corporate governance structure, the rights of shareholders and the powers of boards of directors and officers. The introductory section will also introduce students to the basic capital structure of corporations, including the differences between equity and debt, and how variations of this structure can affect corporate governance. Part I will conclude with a discussion of the effects of government shareholding on corporate governance. The course will, then, focus on recent debates concerning corporate “personhood,” including whether corporations should enjoy constitutional rights, such as free speech, or be subject to criminal prosecution. The course will also explore briefly the field of Corporate Social Responsibility, which seeks to define standards for corporate behavior, in particular, in the fields of human rights, labor rights and the environment.


HENDERSON, Felicia A. (Business Development Consultant, Member of NY Bar)

Pedagogical format

The course consists of 12 two-hour sessions, each of which will include a lecture and a period for open discussion.

Course validation

Completion of reading assignments and participation in class discussion are essential. Accordingly, a portion of each student's grade will be based on the extent to which the student's class participation demonstrates a thoughtful review of the assigned reading materials. The remaining portion of each student's grade will be based on two shorter assignments and on a final exam.


The course materials are entirely in English and include excerpts of selected books and academic articles as defined in the course syllabus. The assigned readings will be available on Moodle. The reading assignments for each session will include questions for reflection and will require approximately three hours of work outside of class assuming good reading ability in English.