New Course Will Explore a Post-Brexit World

In the wake of the momentous June 2016 referendum calling for Great Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union, Sterling Professor Harold Hongju Koh will hold a special course this fall examining the broader, evolving political and legal ramifications of “Brexit.”

Entitled “Brexit and the Law,” the course will feature an array of high-profile speakers with the goal of giving the Yale Law School community a focal point for thoughtful discussion of these critical issues. Speakers will not present formal papers, but rather, share best thoughts on such topics as Brexit’s implications for human rights, free trade and immigration, security, NATO, international law and organizations, EU law, and the future of Scotland and Ireland. Students will be given readings before each class session. The introductory session will begin on August 30 and follow with weekly classes (through November 1) featuring guests from around the world.

Speakers over the course of the semester will include Christopher McCrudden, Professor of Human Rights at Queens University, Belfast and Professor at University of Michigan Law School; Elizabeth Dibble, former Deputy Chief of Mission for the U.S. Embassy in London; Dapo Akande, Professor of International Law at Oxford University; Peter Lindseth of the University of Connecticut School of Law; Kanbar Hosseinbor of the British Foreign Office; Iain MacLeod, Legal Adviser to the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office and other distinguished guests.

A special Brexit panel on September 13 will be moderated by Yale Law School Sterling Professor of Law Roberta Romano ’80.

Koh, who is Sterling Professor of International Law at Yale Law School, served as Legal Adviser of the State Department during the Obama Administration and Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor during the Clinton Administration. He is one of the country’s leading experts in public and private international law, national security law, and human rights. 

Introducing the course, Professor Koh said, “The outcome of the U.K.’s Brexit referendum startled the world. But that vote only marks the beginning of a long road with many legal and political possibilities. As a global law school, we must try to understand and help: ‘keeping calm and carrying on,’ while using our scholarly resources and convening capacity to generate thoughtful analysis of these complex matters.”

Students looking for more information on the course can email