Photo of Michael P. Van Alstine

Michael P. Van Alstine

Piper & Marbury Professor of Law and Co-Director, International and Comparative Law Program

Phone: (410) 706-1055
Fax: (410) 706-0407
mvanalstine @ law.umaryland.edu

Office: 236

BA, 1983, St. Norbert College
JD, 1986, George Washington University
MJurComp, 1994, DrJur, 1995, University of Bonn, Germany

Curriculum Vitae

Biography | Selected Publications

Professor Michael P. Van Alstine specializes in international and domestic private law. He has published widely in both English and German in the areas of comparative law, contracts, commercial law, and international commercial transactions. A particular area of scholarly interest is a comparative law analysis of treaties, and in specific how different legal systems give effect to international treaties in or as domestic law.

Professor Van Alstine has earned law degrees in both the United States and Germany. He received both his Doctor of Laws and Master of Comparative Law degrees summa cum laude from the University of Bonn, Germany. He obtained his Juris Doctor degree “with high honors” from the George Washington University in 1986. Before becoming a law professor, he practiced domestic and international commercial and business law at law firms in the United States and Germany. Prior to joining the faculty of Maryland Carey Law in 2002, Professor Van Alstine spent seven years on the faculty of the University of Cincinnati College of Law, during which he was a four-time recipient of the Goldman Prize for Excellence in Teaching.

At Maryland Carey School of Law, Professor Van Alstine teaches International Business Transactions, Contracts, Secured Transactions, Sales and Sales Financing, and Comparative Public Policy and Law Reform. He served as Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development from 2006 to 2010, and was voted Outstanding Faculty Member of the Year in both 2016 and 2008. He also has taught in the Scholars Program at the University of Maryland in College Park, and in 2016 was selected for the “Most Engaging in Class” Award in that Program.


Principles of International Business Transactions (3d ed. 2013) (with others). [Abstract]

International Business Transactions: A Problem-Oriented Coursebook (11th ed. 2012) (with others). [Abstract]

International Trade and Economic Relations in a Nutshell (5th ed. 2012) (with others). [Abstract]

United States Commercial and Economic Law (2d ed., 1999) (with S. Elsing) (in German).

Absence of Agreement upon Contract Formation under the United Nations Convention on International Sales Law (1995) (in German).

Book Chapters

Treaties in the Supreme Court: 1900-1945, in The U.S. Supreme Court and International Law: Continuity and Change 191 (D. Sloss et al. eds., 2011).

The Role of Domestic Courts in Treaty Enforcement: Summary and Conclusions, in The Role of Domestic Courts in Treaty Enforcement: A Comparative Study (David Sloss ed., 2009).


Treaty Double Jeopardy: The OECD Anti-Bribery Convention and the FCPA, 73 Ohio State Law Journal 1321 (2012). [Full Text]

Stare Decisis and Foreign Affairs, 61 Duke Law Journal 941 (2012). [Full Text]

Book Review, Constitutional Necessity and Presidential Prerogative: Does Presidential Discretion Undergird or Undermine the Constitution?, 45 Tulsa Law Review 631 (2011) (reviewing Peter M. Shane, Madison's Nightmare: How Executive Power Threatens American Democracy and Benjamin A. Kleinerman, The Discretionary President: The Promise and Peril of Executive Power). [Full Text]

The Universal Declaration and Developments in the Enforcement of International Human Rights in Domestic Law, 24 Maryland Journal of International Law 63 (2009). [Full Text]

Taking Care of John Marshall’s Political Ghost, 53 Saint Louis Univerity Law Journal 93 (2008). [Full Text]

Executive Aggrandizement in Foreign Affairs Lawmaking, 53 UCLA Law Review 309 (2006). [Full Text]

The Death of Good Faith in Treaty Jurisprudence and a Call for Resurrection, 93 Georgetown Law Journal 1 (2005). [Full Text]

Federal Common Law in an Age of Treaties, 89 Cornell Law Review 892 (2004). [Full Text]

Treaty Law and Legal Transition Costs, 77 Chicago-Kent Law Review 1303 (2002). [Full Text]

The Costs of Legal Change, 49 UCLA Law Review 789 (2002) [Full Text]

The Judicial Power and Treaty Delegation, 90 California Law Review 1263 (2002) [Full Text]

Of Textualism, Party Autonomy, and Good Faith, 40 William & Mary Law Review 1223 (1999) [Full Text]

An Analysis of the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods and Its Significance for Latin America, 2 Derechos y Valores [Colombia] 116 (1999) (translated into Spanish). [Full Text]

Dynamic Treaty Interpretation, 146 University of Pennsylvania Law Review 687 (1998) [Full Text]

Consensus, Dissensus, and Contractual Obligation through the Prism of Uniform International Sales Law, 37 Virginia Journal of International Law 1 (1996) [Full Text]

Die EG-Uebernahme-Richtlinie im Lichte der Erfahrungen in den USA[=The EC Takeover Directive in the Light of Experience in the United States], 4 European Commercial & Tax Reporter 8 (1993) (in German). [Full Text]

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500 W. Baltimore Street, Baltimore, MD 21201-1786 PHONE: (410) 706-7214 FAX: (410) 706-4045 / TDD: (410) 706-7714

Admissions: PHONE: (410) 706-3492 FAX: (410) 706-1793

Copyright © 2016, University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law. All Rights Reserved