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Tulane Law School

We will not be hosting the Rio program in 2015. 

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

May 13 - June 7, 2014

Law and Sustainable Development: Comparative and International Perspectives

Organized by Tulane University Law School and Payson Center for International Development in collaboration with faculty of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, The University of Tennessee College of Law and Georgia State University College of Law


Bem vindo! Welcome! Focusing on Comparative Perspectives of Law and Sustainable Development, the Rio Program partners with inter-disciplinary faculty in law and related areas at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, one of the best universities in Brazil. We offer students the widest possible exposure to Brazil, Brazilian society and legal institutions, and to diverse learning environments, including classes supplemented by role-playing and presentations from local lawyers and government.

The program is designed to offer a maximum degree of flexibility for students to earn five (5) credits in the study of law and international development. The four-week program offers the opportunity to both profit from the intense study format and also have brief breaks to explore Rio and its metropolitan area as they wish.

The program will include a mixture of learning experiences. Students arrive and go directly to the center of Rio de Janeiro state, in the heart of remaining Atlantic rainforest – one of the world’s largest tropical rainforest systems. There for 10 days the group will speak with a wide range of stakeholders interested in rainforest preservation, and will seek to understand the relation of these resources to the nearby urban megalopolis of Rio de Janeiro. Traditional lecture and class discussions will be supplemented by role-playing exercises and on-site demonstrations from local researchers and practitioners. Students will thus get hands-on skills practice in negotiations and conflict resolution.

Speakers have included figures from some of Rio’s most prominent institutions, such as the Brazilian Institute of Statistics and Geography, the world-renowned Botanical Garden (a leading federal research institution) and leading non-governmental organizations. In addition, each course is taught with participation from faculty drawn from Rio's top universities.

Where a guest speaker’s work touches one or more of the substantive areas covered in the program, students will engage in collaborative sessions with their classmates. Moreover, to the extent that their own academic schedules permit, Brazilian graduate students and young lawyers in practice will participate in the classes and field visits.

Once back in Rio de Janeiro city for the remainder of the program, students will enjoy extensive field visits to places of special interest; such as visits with community leaders demanding that the government give them housing and life-sustaining employment; and visits with quilombolos – leaders of communities descended from escaped slaves – to discuss their efforts to secure racial equality.

In short, this program has been designed to offer students the widest possible exposure to Brazil and, above all, to the richness of its most famous city, Rio de Janeiro. The program is demanding intellectually and professionally. However, Brazilians are famous for their ability to weave work and pleasure together. Students can also be assured that they will have time to enjoy themselves apart from their studies and return home invigorated by their time in (as Cariocas say) “a cidade maravilhosa” – “the marvelous city.”

Program Director:

ccraw 1 
Professor Colin Crawford

Robert C. Cudd Professor of Law and
Executive Director, Payson Center for International Development

If you have further questions about the Rio program, please e-mail Professor Crawford at or contact Maria Landry at 504.865.5990 or





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