This is a course on public law transactional practice modeled on the business-oriented "Deals" course. The general subject is the structure of frameworks for implementing public law and solving public problems.
The first half of the course will be focused on theoretical readings and published case studies. The second half will focus on detailed examination of primary materials from selected cases. Students will be divided into teams to develop and present aspects of particular deals, and practitioners involved in the deals will appear to answer questions and respond to the students' analyses and critiques.
Among the general themes addressed in the first half will be the comparative advantages and limits of (i) highly specified regulation ("command-and-control"), (ii) market simulation (e.g., tradeable emissions permits, school vouchers), and (3) regimes that combine local autonomy with centrally coordinated measurement and accountability ("new governance" or "democratic experimentalism"). We will also consider reporting and disclosure policy, the role of private standard setting and monitoring in the enforcement of public law, the role of the courts in supervising the performance of public institutions, the design of sanctions, and monitoring regimes and indicators.
In 2010, the cases developed in the second half of the course included the remediation of PCB contamination in the Hudson River, the food safety regime organized as the Leafy Green Marketing Agreement, and the "Progress Report" and "Inquiry Team" processes in the New York City school system. We will probably return to some or all of these cases this year and perhaps add others.