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James M. Cooper

Professor of Law
Director, International Legal Studies Program

LLM, University of Cambridge [international law]
JD, University of Toronto
BA, University of Toronto [high distinction, political science]
350 Cedar Street
(619) 525-1430
International Business Transactions; Torts I; Comparative Law; International Trade Law; International Law

James Cooper is Professor of Law and Director of International Legal Studies at California Western. Since 1998, Professor Cooper has directed Proyecto ACCESO, a judicial technology transfer project funded by governments, foundations, and international agencies, raising more than $US 5 million for this initiative. As a consultant to the U.S. Department of State, the Organization of American States, the Inter-American Development Bank, U.S. Agency for International Development, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the Bolivian President's Office for the Constituent Assembly negotiations, Mexico's Executive Branch (Los Pinos), Paraguay's Senate, and a number of other governments, international agencies, regional aid organizations and technical cooperation agencies, Professor Cooper advises on leapfrog technologies and leads reform projects. Additionally, he has been a member of the U.S. government's delegation to the World Intellectual Property Organization.

Professor Cooper also directs the Chile Summer Program for the Consortium for Innovative Legal Education. He has been a Visiting Professor at UC San Diego's Earl Warren College, a Visiting Scholar at the Center for Iberian and Latin American Studies at UC San Diego, a Visiting Professor at Franz von Liszt Institute at Justus Liebig University in Giessen, Germany, and 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 the academic staff of Heidelberg Center for Latin America since 2004. A Cambridge University-trained Barrister and Solicitor, he started his career with Baker & McKenzie, facilitating international business transactions and has been a member of the faculty at the University of Strathclyde Law School in Glasgow, Scotland and the University of Toronto Faculty of Law.

Professor Cooper's public policy work has been commissioned by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation of Germany. His scholarship has appeared in leading journals in North America, South America, and Europe. He contributes to newspapers, television, and radio news programs including El Mercurio, Globe and Mail, Miami Herald, Providence Journal, Sacramento Bee, San Francisco Chronicle, San Diego Union Tribune, Marie Claire, National Public Radio's Marketplace, Latino U.S.A., and The World, Canadian Broadcast Corporation's As It Happens and Newsworld, Irish Radio, Bloomberg Law, NBC News, Univision News, and Fox News. Professor Cooper has directed and produced documentary films and public service announcements for the BBC, Channel Four (UK), and the Bolivian, Chilean, German, and U.S. Governments.

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, United Nations Permanent Forum for Indigenous Issues, Commonwealth Club of California, COMICON, Auditoria Democratica Andina, National Council for Juvenile and Family Court Judges, Rotary Club, World Bank, a joint session of the Paraguayan Congress, the House of Representatives Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, and the World Affairs Council. Professor Cooper has been profiled in The Wall Street Journal and in The Washington Post and featured in the Daily Mail, New York Times, South China Morning Post, Time Magazine, and USA Today.

After more than two decades of disruption work in the legal sectors of Latin America, Professor Cooper’s work has recently focused on the legal regulation of emerging technologies. He co-founded the One World Blockchain Alliance, a network that debuted at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland and has been an advisor to blockchain companies in Asia. Professor Cooper has also written extensively on FINETCH. Some of his opinion pieces have been published in The Taipei Times, The International Business Times, The Business Times of Singapore, The Hill, Yahoo Finance, and Coindesk. Professor Cooper is a member of Protocol’s Braintrust.

Selected Books

  • James M. Cooper, El Desafío Bolivariano Hacia La Modernidad: Derechos Humanos Y Pluralismo Legal En El Nuevo Estado De Bolivia (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, Traditional Knowledge in Taiwan: A Call for Greater Participation of Indigenous Peoples in the Global Intellectual Property Marketplace, Vanderbilt J. Transnat’l L. (forthcoming, fall 2020).
  • James M. Cooper, Legal Pluralism and the Challenge to Human Rights in the New Plurinational State Bolivia 17 Wash. U. Global St. L. Rev. 1 (2018).
  • James M. Cooper, The United States, Mexico, and the War on Drugs in the Trump Administration, 25 Willamette J. Int’l L & Dis. Res. 234 (2018).
  • James M. Cooper, 預防與解決知識產權糾紛:理解以及利用現有系統 對專利商標局的調查 (Preventing and Resolving Intellectual Property Problems: Understanding and Using an Evolving System), Yunlin Tech J. Science & Technology L. (National Yunlin University of Science & Technology, Taiwan) (May 2017) (with Thomas D. Barton).
  • James M. Cooper, The Continuing Challenges Posed by Intellectual Property Piracy and the Opportunities for Taiwan (仿冒智慧財 產權 帶來的持續挑戰 和對台灣的機會) in New Thoughts on the Current Issues and Future Trends of Law (本書書名是 法律探微今與明的新學思) (edited by Mau-Lin Shr & Pei-Fen Tsai) (published in Mandarin by Linking Publishing Company with sponsorship by the Taiwanese National Ministry of Justice (2017).
  • James M. Cooper, Mecanismos para la efectividad de la persecución penal de las empresas en los Estados Unidos, in El Derecho Penal Continental y Anglosajón en la Era de la Globalización: Responsabilidad penal empresarial (2017).
  • James M. Cooper, The Rise of Private Actors at the United States-Mexico Border, 33 Wisconsin Int’l L.J. (2016).
  • James M. Cooper, The Bolivian Challenge to Modernity: Legal Pluralism and Human Rights in the New Bolivia (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).