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James M. Cooper

Professor of Law
Director, International Legal Studies Program
Director, Proyecto ACCESO
Director, Chile Summer Program

LL.M. University of Cambridge [international law]
LL.B. University of Toronto
B.A. University of Toronto [high distinction, political science]
International Business Transactions, Enrichment Program, Torts I, Internships/Practicum Component, Comparative Law, Laws 101: UCSD, International Trade Law, Introduction to Latin American Legal Culture

Professor James Cooper is director of International Legal Studies and Center for Creative Problem Solving. He designs and develops multimedia educational tools to educate law students, lawyers, judges and law enforcement officers on problem-solving, cross-cultural negotiation, and judicial innovation. He directs Proyecto ACCESO, a legal skills training and rule of law public education program which has been funded by and has partnered with the U.S. Government, German Government, Organization of American States, United Nations Development Programme, private philanthropic foundations, and national ministries of justice around Latin America. He also directs the Chile Summer Program for the Consortium for Innovative Legal Education. In Fall 2008, he was a visiting professor at UCSD's Earl Warren College and in the 2009-2010 academic year, he was a Visiting Scholar at the Center for Iberian and Latin American Studies at UCSD. In 2013 and 2014, Professor Cooper was a Visiting Professor at Franz von Liszt Institute at Justus Liebig University in Giessen, Germany, where he taught International Human Rights Law. In 2015, Professor Cooper was a Short Term Visiting Scholar at the University of Macau.

Cooper is a co-director of the International Post Graduate Program with University of Heidelberg, University of Chile, and CEDEP in Asuncion, Paraguay and a member of academic staff of Heidelberg Center for Latin America. He also directs public education campaigns for governments in Latin America. A Barrister and Solicitor, Cooper worked at Baker & McKenzie, the world's largest law firm, facilitating international commercial transactions and has taught at the University of Strathclyde Law School in Glasgow and the University of Toronto Faculty of Law.

A frequent speaker, Cooper has given presentations at the Directors Guild of America, Hague Appeal for Peace, Mondaneum, United Nations Congress on Public International Law, Commonwealth Club of California, COMICON, Auditoria Democratica Andina, National Council for Juvenile and Family Court Judges, Rotary Club, World Bank, the World Affairs Council, the World Intellectual Property Organization’s Advisory Committee on Enforcement, and a Joint Session of the Congress of Paraguay.  Cooper has written on foreign affairs and legal issues for The Globe and Mail, Canada's national newspaper, The Los Angeles Daily Journal, The San Diego Union Tribune, The National Law Journal and The American Bar Association Journal, El Mercurio (Chile), and El Alteno (Bolivia), and his written work has been syndicated by the Scripps Howard News Service. His work has also appeared in other newspapers and periodicals in North America, South America and Europe. Cooper has been a television writer, producer and director with his media work commissioned by Channel Four (UK), the BBC, and the History Channel (US). He was profiled on the front page of The Wall Street Journal and in The Washington Post. He has consulted for the Departments of Homeland Security, Justice and State, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and the Organization of American States as well as ministries of justice and law enforcement agencies in Latin America.

Selected Books

  • James M. Cooper, El Desafío Bolivariano Hacia La Modernidad: Derechos Humanos Y Pluralismo Legal En El Nuevo Estado De Bolivia (forthcoming Mar. 2016).
  • Thomas D. Barton & James M. Cooper, Propiedad Intelectual: Cómo Prevenir y Resolver Problemas (Marlene Riethmüller Q. trans., Librotecnia 2015) (translating Thomas D. Barton & James M. Cooper, Preventing and Resolving Intellectual Property Problems: Understanding and Using an Evolved System, Research Report of Patent and Trademark Office Study, Memorandum Of Understanding 2010-140-117 (July 30, 2012) (on file with authors).
  • James M. Cooper, Environment and The Law in Amazonia: A Plurilateral Encounter (James M. Cooper & Christine Hunefeldt eds., 2013)).

Selected Articles and Book Chapters

  • James M. Cooper, The Rise of Private Actors at the United States-Mexico Border, 33 Wisconsin Int’l L.J. (forthcoming Feb. 2016).
  • James M. Cooper, The Bolivian Challenge to Modernity: Legal Pluralism and Human Rights in the New Bolivia (forthcoming, 2016).
  • James M. Cooper, The Yasuní Ishpingo-Tambococha-Tiputini Initiative: Creative Problem Solving in Amazonia, in Amazonia: National Politics and Interests: Environment and Law 54 (James M. Cooper & Christine Hunefeldt eds., 2013).
  • Thomas D. Barton & James M. Cooper, Symposium Introduction: Advancing Intellectual Property Goals Through Prevention and Alternative Dispute Resolution, 43 Cal. W. Int’l L.J. 5 (2012).
  • James M. Cooper & Carlos Ruffinelli, A Development Model Meets Piracy in Paraguay, 43 Cal. West. Int’l L.J. 197 (2012).
  • James M. Cooper, The North American Free Trade Agreement and Its Legacy on the Resolution of Intellectual Property Disputes, 43 Cal. West. Int’l L.J. 157 (2012).
  • James M. Cooper, El Debate Actual Sobre la Reforma Migratoria en EE.UU., 4 Extensión 23 (Nov. 2011).
  • James M. Cooper, Competing Legal Culture and Legal Reform: The Battle of Chile, 29 Mich. J. Int’l L. 501 (2008).
  • James M. Cooper, Introducción a la Reforma Procesal Civil Lecciones Acerca de la Reforma Jurídica, Revista de la Facultad de Derecho, Universidad Mayor, Chile, Año VII, Número 7, 161 (2008).
  • James M. Cooper, Tribunales de Rehabilitación de Drogodependientes: Un Mecanismo Para Abordar el Aspecto de la Demanda, en la Guerra a las Drogas, in Justicia Penal y Adicciones: Tribunales de Tratamiento Como Alternativa a la Sanción 1 (2007).


  • Inter-Am. Drug Abuse Control Comm’n, Technical Report on Alternatives to Incarceration for Drug-Related Offenses (2015) (serving as External Legal Advisor),
  • James Cooper, Una perspectiva de los últimos 15 años, in Ponencias del Seminario Internacional “Desafíos actuales y futuros de la persecución penal y de la atención a víctimas y testigos en Chile” [Proceedings of the International Conference: Current and Future Challenges for Prosecution in Chile with Consideration for Victims and Witnesses] 48 (Fiscalía Nacional [National Prosecuting Authority of Chile] ed., 2013),
  • James M. Cooper, Punching Above Our Weight: International Legal Studies at California Western School of Law, 44 Cal. West. Int’l L.J. 217 (2014).
  • Thomas D. Barton & James M. Cooper, Resolving Intellectual Property Problems Through Alternative Dispute Resolution, in World Intellectual Property Organization Meeting Papers (2014) (serving on the Advisory Committee on Enforcement),
  • James Cooper & Yvette Lopez, The Third Rail of U.S. Politics: The Current Immigration Debate in the United States (June 2011) (paper for the Friedrich Ebert Foundation),
  • James M. Cooper, The Complicated Relationship: A Snapshot of the U.S. Mexico Border, Int'l Rep. of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, 2015 Issue 10, at 35,
  • James M. Cooper, William J. Aceves, Alejandro Gonzalez, & Pedro Egaña, The Life Cycle of Immigration: A Tale of Two Migrants, 6 Rutgers J.L. & Pub. Pol’y 259 (2009).
  • James M. Cooper, Proyecto ACCESO: Using Popular Culture to Build the Rule of Law in Latin America, 5 Rutgers J.L. & Pub. Pol’y 378 (2008).