Photo of Gonzaga in Florence plaque on stone wall

Academics in Florence

Students take two two-credit courses from the following course offerings, plus students also may register for the optional one-credit mediation program and competition with the University of Florence School of Law, for a total of five academic credits:

In this course, students will understand:

  • The fundamental principles and concepts of criminal law, and how they relate to the International courts, including critical areas such as  burdens of proof, punishment theory, actus reus, and mens rea.
  • Statutory methods in criminal law, including the role of judges in interpreting statutes when applying them to individual cases.
  • Definitions of selected crimes and defenses, including criminal homicide, sex crimes, inchoate crimes, justification defenses, and excuses.

In this course, we will explore why the elderly are deserving of special consideration and protection within the international legal system. This will include a discussion of the roots and manifestations of ageism, as well as the systemic and structural inequities this group faces. We will consider the ways that a lack of international legal system contributes to discrimination, impacts autonomy, and decreases the overall health and well-being of older adults. One aim for the course is to increase student awareness of the vulnerability of the elderly, but also promote respect and appreciation of our aging community. In particular, we will cover the variety of cultural views of the elderly, as well as biases and abuses that continue to occur in both developed and developing countries.

This course aims to provide conceptual and historical foundations of international human rights law, as well as the main international legal instruments and institutions aimed at protecting and promoting human rights worldwide. Throughout the course, concrete case studies will be used to illustrate the range of human rights problems as well as the utility of the accountability paradigm to current international and national events and problems. This course will also assess the remedies that exist for violations of human rights law in the various systems (international, regional, and national) and examine one of the contemporary human rights issues as a practical case study. The combination of theoretical approaches, critical legal analysis, and an investigation into specific contemporary event as a concrete case study will enable students to acquire key skills in the application of human rights to their research and practice in the area of international human rights law. Current affairs and student interests will also shape the topics to be discussed as case studies.

Professor Upendra Acharya and Dr. Ilaria Forestieri, Avv.

In this unique international skills program, students will learn the history, objectives, and methods of international mediation in both commercial law and human rights contexts, culminating in an international competition co-hosted with the University of Florence School of Law. To begin, prior to the start of the Florence program, students will study online to build a foundation for mediation practices. Once in Florence, to prepare for the competition, students will practice mediation methods with Gonzaga faculty and Italian mediation expert Dr. Ilaria Forestieri, Avv. 

The mediation program itself covers two days. On day one, students will attend a seminar on mediation practices with world-renowned mediation experts. For example, last year, the seminar speakers were Pietro Galizzi, Avv., General Counsel of Eni Oil and Gas, one of the largest industrial companies in the world, and Dr. Johanna Hawari-Bourjeily, director of the mediation program at the University of St. Joseph School of Law in Beirut, Lebanon. After this seminar, Gonzaga and Florence students will retire for a happy hour and social activities to cultivate professional relationships. On day two, five teams of four Gonzaga students will compete against five teams of Florence students. That evening, the schools will host an awards dinner and gala, where faculty, students, and other guests celebrate the program and student accomplishments.


Standards for Academic Credit

  • Grades ranging from “A” – “F” will be assigned for these courses.
  • Students from law schools other than Gonzaga must determine the transferability of grades and credits earned in the program to their home institutions.
  • Students should make inquiries at their home institutions concerning transferability before applying for admission to the program.

Academic Scheduling

The Florence Summer Law program is a four week long program. Classes are held three days a week, Monday through Thursday. Each class meets during the day for two hours each.

Accreditation Information

  • The Florence Summer Law Program is open to law students in academic good standing at law schools accredited by the American Bar Association, by a state of the United States, or Canada.
  • Gonzaga is fully accredited by the American Bar Association and the Association of American Law Schools.
  • The Florence Summer Law Program is considered part of the Gonzaga University School of Law’s regular course offerings.

Academic Standards

  • The academic content of the program meets the same standards as courses offered on-campus.
  • Student performance is measured by the same standards used to evaluate student performance in on-campus courses.
  • Students who register in summer law programs before their grades for the prior semester or quarter have been finalized do so at their own risk.
  • Many law schools, including Gonzaga, will not allow students who have been academically dismissed to continue in the program.
  • It is the student’s responsibility to be aware of the policy regarding academic dismissal at the student’s law school.
  • When all grades have been submitted to the registrar for the prior semester, a Gonzaga student participating in the program must meet the requirements of Academic Rule 2-3.I.2.d, or his or her registration in the program will be canceled and any paid tuition will be fully refunded.

Please note:

In the event of a program cancellation, or of any material change to the program offerings, students will be notified promptly and given an opportunity to withdraw, or notified that any tuition deposit will be refunded within 30 days.

Gonzaga will certify earned academic credits from the Florence law program to other U.S. law schools. Students from those schools must confirm with their Associate Dean for Academic Affairs or other administrator that their home school will accept these transfer credits and whether those credits will be graded or ungraded transfer credits.