John W. Head

School of Law - Law School
Robert W. Wagstaff Distinguished Professor of Law
Primary office:
785-864-9233
Green Hall
Room 415
University of Kansas
1535 W. 15th Street
Lawrence, KS 66045


Summary

Expertise and Current Research Activity

International relations – whether they focus on economic competition or political tension, on public institutions or private business – present ever-greater challenges. My scholarly work grapples with those challenges. My book Great Legal Traditions (published May 2011) examines contrasts between European civil law, English and US common law, and Chinese law from both a historical and an operational perspective. The book offers background to practitioners and others in working across legal systems. Similarly, my newly updated Global Business Law (published June 2012), provides a practitioner’s transaction-oriented guide to private-sector aspects of international commerce and investment, with special emphasis on nuts-and-bolts matters such as letters of credit, licensing agreements, the Vienna Sales Convention, and more.

I recently turned my attention to international legal regimes for the protection of native prairies and grasslands, of the kinds that cover most of Kansas and other neighboring states. Degradation of those natural grasslands is occurring around the world, with repercussions widely regarded now as no less severe than those resulting from deforestation. My research into this topic has taken me to Turkey and elsewhere. Hence my most recent book, Global Legal Regimes to Protect the World’s Grasslands (published November 2012) explores that aspect of international law and international relations. In addition to writing books, I take opportunities when they arise to teach overseas. For instance, on my Turkey trip I presented a concentrated course in Istanbul on the policies and operations of key international economic organizations. I presented a similar course to Korean students in the summer of 2011 and will do so again in London in March 2013. These various projects contribute to the larger tapestry of my work over the 22 years since I joined the law faculty at KU.

Building on ten years in legal practice (both private-sector and public-sector), my work here at the University has concentrated on international business law, international public law, and comparative law – in order to assist both private-sector practitioners and public-sector policy-makers.

Why Study at the University of Kansas?

The KU Law School features a smorgasbord of choices for someone interested in studying law, whether aiming for a practice in Midwestern USA or elsewhere in the world. Indeed, our International and Comparative Law Program offers a rich combination of opportunities through its broad internationally-oriented curriculum, its three international law moot court competitions, its summer-school and spring-semester overseas study programs, its vibrant International Law Society, its Certificate in International Trade and Finance, its Center for International Trade and Agriculture, and much more. You may be surprised at the career trajectory that a KU Law JD degree can place you on; and now we also offer a Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD) degree as well. This SJD Program attracts students from around the world, as does our Two-Year JD Program for Foreign Trained Lawyers. An added benefit to KU, of course, is that all of these academic and career-related opportunities are available in an affordable, civilized, and safe environment.

Education

Juris Doctor, University of Virginia School of Law

M.A. Juris., Oxford University (University College)

B.A., University of Missouri

Teaching Interests

  • International law
  • International business
  • Comparative law
  • International economic development

Research Interests

  • International law
  • International business
  • Comparative law
  • International economic development
  • Agricultural law

Selected Publications

Head, J. W., & Lijuan, X. (2018). The Asian Development Bank [appearing as a monograph in the the INTERNATIONAL ENCYCLOPAEDIA OF LAWS series on INTERGOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS], Kluwer Law International.

Head, J. W. (2018). A Mediterranean Biome Eco-State: Reorienting Sovereignty in the Mediterranean Basin and its Four Global Correlatives . Mediterranean Review, 10(2), 113-144.

Head, J. W. (2018). Global Business Law: Principles and Practice of International Commerce and Investment, Carolina Academic Press.

Head, J. W. (2018). A Fifty-Year Farm Bill. Prairie Wings, 12-15.

Head, J. W. (2017). Foreign Influence and Constitutionalism in the PRC: A Western Perspective on Change and Uncertainty in Contemporary Chinese Legal Culture. In R. Toniatti & J. Woelk (Eds.), Regional Autonomy, Cultural Diversity and Differentiated Territorial Government: The Case of Tibet - Chinese and Comparative Perspectives (pp. 23-46). Routledge.

Head, J. W. (2017). The Rule of Law in China: Fundamental Uncertainties – about “Decoding” a Fundamental Concept. In R. Toniatti & J. Woelk (Eds.), Regional Autonomy, Cultural Diversity and Differentiated Territorial Government: The Case of Tibet - Chinese and Comparative Perspectives. Routledge.

Head, J. W. (2017). Grasslands, Agriculture, and International Law: A Survey of Proposed Reforms. Kansas Journal of Law and Public Policy, 26.

Head, J. W., Marples, K. & Simpson, J. (2017). Mediterranean Agriculture, Ecology, and Law: Creating a New Non-State Actor to Counteract Agro-Ecological Collapse in the Mediterranean Basin. Mediterranean Studies, 25(1), 98. DOI:10.5325/mediterraneanstu.25.1.0098

Head, J. W. (2016). International Law and Agroecological Husbandry: Building legal foundations for a new agriculture, Routledge Press.

Head, J. W. (2016). International Law, Agro-Ecological Integrity, and Sovereignty - Proposals for Reform., 57-65.

Head, J. W. (2015). Sketching a Global Agroecology Eutopia: The Land Institute in Directional Context. In P. Stock, M. Carolan, & C. Rosin (Eds.), Food Utopias: Reimagining Citizenship, Ethics and Community.

Head, J. W. (2014). Criminal Procedure in Transition: Observations on Legal Transplantation and Italy's Handling of the Amanda Knox Trial. In A. Nohuoglu (Ed.), Festschrift in Honor of Feridun Yenisey.

Head, J. W. (2014). Opposing Legal Transparency in Dynastic China: The Persuasive Logic of Confucianist Views on Legal Opaqueness. In P. Ala'i & R. Vaughn (Eds.), Legal Transparency: A Multicultural Reader.

Head, J. W., & Lijuan, X. (2014). The Asian Development Bank [appearing as a monograph in the International Encyclopaedia of Laws series on Intergovernmental Organizations], Kluwer Law International.

Head, J. W. (2013). Justinian’s Corpus Juris Civilis in Comparative Perspective: Illuminating Key Differences Between the Civil, Common, and Chinese Legal Traditions. Mediterranean Studies, 21, 91-121.

Head, J. W., & Xing, L. (2013). LEGAL TRANSPARENCY IN DYNASTIC CHINA: THE LEGALIST-CONFUCIANIST DEBATE AND GOOD GOVERNANCE IN CHINESE TRADITION (Carolina Academic Press, 2013) .

Head, J. (2013). Crossing the River by Feeling the Stones: The Rule of Law in China. Journal of Comparative Law, 126(2), 30.

Head, J. W. (2012). Global Business Law: Principles and Practice of International Commerce and Investment, Carolina Academic Press.

Head, J. W. (2012). Global Legal Regimes to Protect the World's Grasslands, Carolina Academic Press.

Head, J. W., & Lijuan, X. (2012). Legal Transparency in Dynastic China, Carolina Academic Press.

Head, J. W. (2011). Great Legal Traditions: Civil Law, Common Law, and Chinese law in Historical and Operational Perspective, Carolina Academic Press.

Head, J. W. (2011). Civilization and Law: A Dark Optimism Based on the Precedent of Unprecedented Crises. University of Kansas Law Review, 59, 521.

Head, J. W. (2010). Feeling the Stones When Crossing the River: The Rule of Law in China. Santa Clara Journal of International Law, 7.

Head, J. W. (2010). International Legal Regimes to Balance the Protection of Prairies and Grasslands with their Agricultural Use - Part One: Grasslands at Risk. CITA Working Paper #1. http://www.law.ku.edu/~kulaw/centers/cita/workingpapers.shtml

Head, J. W. (2010). The Global Financial Crisis of 2008-2009 in Context: Reflections on International Legal and Institutional Failings, "Fixes", and Fundamentals. Pacific McGeorge Global Business & Development Law Journal, 23, 43.

Head, J. W. (2009). China's Legal Soul: The Chinese Legal Identity in Historical Context, Carolina Academic Press.

Head, J. W. (2009). 国际商事经济法律通则 - General Principles of International Business and Economic Law, Renmin University Press.

Head, J. W. (2009). The Asian Financial Crisis in Retrospect: Observations on Legal and Institutional Lessons Learned after a Dozen Years. East Asia Law Review, 5, 31.

Head, J. W. (2008). General Principles of Business and Economic Law, Carolina Academic Press.

Head, J. W. (2008). Losing the Global Development War: A Contemporary Critique of the IMF, the World Bank, and the WTO, Brill-Nijhoff.

Head, J. W. (2008). The Asian Development Bank[appearing as a monograph in the International Encyclopedia of Laws series on Intergovernmental Organizations], Kluwer Law International.

Head, J. W. (2008). How Letters of Credit Operate in International Commercial Transactions. Journal of the Kansas Bar Association, 77, 16.

Head, J. W., & Jefferson, J. (2008). In Whose "Best Interests"? - An International and Comparative Assessment of US Rules on Sentencing of Juveniles. Human Rights and Globalization Law Review, 1, 89.

Head, J. W. (2008). Law and Policy in International Financial Institutions: The Changing Role of Law in the IFIs. Kansas Journal of Law and Public Policy, 17, 194.

Head, J. W. (2007). A General Introduction to Economic Law, University of Wisconsin.

Head, J. W. (2007). Economic Law Topics and Curriculum, University of Wisconsin.

Head, J. W. (2006). Protecting and Supporting Indigenous Peoples in Latin America: Evaluating the Recent World Bank and IDB Policy Initiatives. Michigan State University Journal of International Law, 14, 383.

Head, J. W. (2006). Responding to 9/11: Lurching Toward a Rule of Scofflaw. Kansas Journal of Law and Public Policy, 15, 1.

Head, J. W., & Wang, Y. (2005). Law Codes in Dynastic China: A Synopsis of Chinese Legal History in the Thirty Centuries from Zhou to Qing, Carolina Academic Press.

Head, J. W. (2005). The Future of the Global Economic Organizations: An Evaluation of Criticisms Leveled at the IMF, the Multilateral Development Banks, and the WTO, Transnational Publishers.

Head, J. W. (2005). Agriculture, Free Trade, and Global Development: Some Personal Observations. Kansas Journal of Law and Public Policy, 14, 221.

Head, J. W. (2005). Getting Down to Basics: Strengthening Financial Systems in Developing Countries. The Transnational Lawyer, 18, 257.

Head, J. W. (2004). For Richer or For Poorer: Assessing the Criticisms Directed at the Multilateral Development Banks. University of Kansas Law Review, 52, 241.

Head, J. W. (2004). Seven Deadly Sins: An Assessment of Criticisms Directed at the International Monetary Fund. University of Kansas Law Review, 52, 521.

Head, J. W. (2004). Throwing a Spotlight on International Development Finance Institutions. American Society of International Law Proceedings, 98, 63.

Head, J. W. (2003). Code, Cultures, Chaos, and Champions: Common Features of Legal Codification Experiences in China, Europe, and North America. Duke Journal of Comparative and International Law, 13, 1.

Head, J. W. (2002). Throwing Eggs at Windows: Legal and Institutional Globalization in the 21st-Century Economy. University of Kansas Law Review, 50, 731.

Head, J. W. (2002). What Has Not Changed Since September 11 - The Benefits of Multilateralism. Kansas Journal of Law and Public Policy, 12, 1.

Head, J. W. (2001). The Asian Economic Crisis: Implications for Turkey, Europe, and the World. In Ceza Hukuku Reformu (proceedings of a conference on law reform, held in Istanbul in May 1998) (pp. 787-805).

Head, J. W. (2001). The United States and International Law After September 11. Kansas Journal of Law and Public Policy, 11, 1.

Head, J. W. (2001). Annotated Guide to the ADB Charter. Asian Development Bank.

Head, J. W. (2000). Bird in a Cage - Legal Reform in China after Mao Journal of Asian Business, 16, 80.

Head, J. W., & Lee Ramsey, R. (2000). Preventing Financial Chaos: An International Guide to Legal Rules and Operational Procedures for Handling Insolvent Banks, Kluwer Law International.

Head, J. W. (1999). Global Implications of the Asian Financial Crisis: Banking, Economic Integration, and Crisis Management in the New Century. William Mitchell Law Review, 25, 939.

Head, J. W. (1999). International Trade Law at the Close of the Century. Journal of the Kansas Bar Association, 68, 26.

Head, J. W. (1998). Lessons from the Asian Financial Crisis: The Role of the IMF and the United States. Kansas Journal of Law and Public Policy, 8, 70.

Head, J. W. (1998). Selling Hong Kong to China: What Happened to the Right of Self-Determination? University of Kansas Law Review, 46, 283.

Head, J. W. (1998). Proposed Amendments to the Banking Law and Related Matters. Government of Mongolia and Asian Development Bank.

Head, J. W. (1997). International Trade law and International Investment Law. Chinese National Judges College.

Head, J. W. (1997). Training Manual on Legal Aspects of Conservatorship & Receivership. Government of Mongolia and Asian Development Bank.

Head, J. W. (1996). Evolution of the Governing Law for Loan Agreements of the World Bank and Other Multilateral Development Banks. American Journal of International Law, 90, 214.

Head, J. W. (1996). International Business and Kansas Lawyers: An Update on International Trade Rules and How They Affect Kansas. Journal of the Kansas Bar Association, 65, 26.

Head, J. W. (1995). International Contracting Opportunities Under Projects Funded by the World Bank and Related Institutions. International Contract Adviser, 1, 41.

Head, J. W., Chun-xi, Y. & Sheng-rong, L. (1994). China's Treatment of Crimes Against the Environment: Using Criminal Sanctions to Fight Environmental Degradation in the PCR. Journal of Chinese Law, 8, 145.

Head, J. W. (1994). Supranational Law: How the Move Toward Multilateral Solutions Is Changing the Character of "International" Law. University of Kansas Law Review, 42, 605.

Head, J. W., & Sanders, G. (1994). Standard Terms and Conditions [for sovereign lending]. European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

Head, J. W. (1994). A Fulbright Lecturer's Experience Teaching International Law in China. American Society of International Law Newsletter, 8-10.

Head, J. W. (1993). The World Bank in a Changing World: Selected Essays American Journal of International Law, 87, 351.

Head, J. W., & Coggins, G. C. (1993). Beyond Defenders: Future Problems of Extraterritoriality and Superterritoriality for the Endangered Species Act. Washington University Journal of Urban and Contemporary Law, 43, 1203.

Head, J. W. (1993). Environmental Loan Covenants: Principles, Checklists and Samples. Asian Development Bank, Environment Paper No. 12.

Head, J. W. (1993). Suspension of Debtor Countries' Voting Rights in the IMF: An Assessment of the Third Amendment to the IMF Charter. Virginia Journal of International Law, 33, 591.

Head, J. W. (1992). Making International Trade Less Foreign: A "Nutshell" for Nonspecialists on the Changing Rules Governing International Trade. Journal of the Kansas Bar Association, 61, 42.

Head, J. W. (1992). Comments on Draft Constitutional Materials for Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan. Central and East European Law Initiative, ABA.

Head, J. W. (1992). Study on Environmental Loan Covenants: Assessing and Enhancing their Effectiveness as Tools for Ensuring the Environmental Soundness of Bank-Support Projects. Asian Development Bank.

Head, J. W. (1991). Letterman's law of Private International Business International Lawyer, 25, 287.

Head, J. W. (1991). Environmental Conditionality in the Operations of International Developmental Finance Institutions. Kansas Journal of Law and Public Policy, 1, 15.

Head, J. W., & Taylor, J. L. (1981). Representing Collective Interests in Civil Litigation: A Comparative Synopsis. University of Detroit Journal of Urban Law, 58, 587.

Head, J. W. (1978). The Challenge of International Environmental Management: A Critique of the United Nations Environment Programme. Virginia Journal of International Law, 18, 269.


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