Tribal Law & Gov't



SLN #: 15554
Course Prefix: LAW-713
Course Section: 001
Credit Hours: 3
Instructor(s): Heeley

Course Description:
Welcome to the seminar “Tribal Law and Government.” Although there is no casebook, the seminar will focus on readings from Case Materials which will be available through the Copy Center. Readings will include the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act, Felix Cohen’s Handbook on Federal Indian Law, and various tribal constitutions and ordinances.

This course will require a solid foundation in Federal Indian Law and students must have taken and completed Federal Indian Law I to participate in this seminar. The seminar will focus on the practical application of the principles of Federal Indian Law in the context of negotiating a Tribal Self-Governance Compact and in developing and drafting a tribal ordinance. The seminar will examine tribal governmental structure, tribal legislative processes, sources of tribal law, and the principles of Indian Self-Determination. In addition, the seminar will cover topics such as sovereign immunity, separation of powers, tribal governmental structures, tribal courts, and tribal governmental regulatory authority.

General Course Requirements:

This seminar will require students to be prepared to discuss the weekly reading assignments. Classroom participation and attendance are mandatory. Each student in the seminar will be required to actively participate in classroom discussions. Any student who misses five or more classes will be administratively withdrawn from the seminar. Each student will be required to develop a Tribal Self-Governance Compact and participate in a compact negotiation session during one of the class sessions. Students will be graded on the drafted compact and on their participation in the negotiation session. The compact and negotiation session will constitute 20% of your final grade.

In addition to the negotiation of a Tribal Self-Governance Compact, each student will be required, with the other members of their team, to draft a tribal ordinance. Students will meet with in-house tribal attorneys to discuss the elements and issues to be addressed in the draft ordinance. Students may also be required to meet with other tribal representatives to discuss the scope of the ordinance, issues to be addressed in the ordinance, and the tribal objectives to be achieved in the development of the ordinance. Each member of the team is responsible for jointly developing and drafting the ordinance. The ordinance will constitute 30% of the final grade for the seminar. Students will be assessed and provided feedback on both their compact negotiation exercise and their draft ordinance as part of this seminar.

Finally, each student in the seminar must complete a research paper of 15 - 20 pages in length on a topic of your choice, which will be worth 50% of your final grade. Over the course of the seminar, there will be four (4) mandatory professor/student conferences which will focus on (1) the self-governance compact and negotiation session, (2) the topic for the term paper, (3) the draft ordinance, and (4) a review of a preliminary draft of the term paper. Students may use this seminar to satisfy the “professional skills” graduation requirement.

Additional Information:
Credit Hours: 3
Grading Option: Numeric Grade and ONE-Time Pass Option is Available, or Letter Grade Only
Graduation Writing Requirement: No
Flexible Writing Requirement: No
Skills Requirement: Yes
Prerequisite: Federal Indian Law I
Limited Enrollment Number: 12
Final Exam Given: No
Attendance Policy: Per Statement of Student Policies
Additional Attendance Policy: Yes
Online Course Site: None