Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law

First Page



"Foreign relations law" as it relates to foreign policy and national security is an area of specialization that has recently witnessed publication of two significant works. A third major publication has already appeared in final draft and is about to be printed. These publications evidence the growth of foreign relations law and validate it as a separate field of study. This distinct area of the law draws subjects from other areas, which are all too often given minimal attention, into a coherent course with a specific focus.

Foreign relations law should be the introductory course in international studies in law schools in the late 1980s and beyond. It is designed for students aiming at the public aspects of international law or private trade areas. As a distinct course, foreign relations law provides more of a relevant and pragmatic focus on international practice for United States lawyers than the traditional public international law course, which developed since the post-war era with greater emphasis on, among other areas, human rights, international organizational matters, and air and space law. Foreign relations law focuses on the foreign policy process, decision-making and execution, and ancillary private and public aspects. It encompasses both constitutional and international law and both case and statutory law.