Environmental Law Seminar: Global Environmental Law

Globalization is having profound effects on the development of law and legal systems throughout the world. These effects are particularly pronounced in the environmental law field. The result has been the development of what has been described as ‘global environmental law,’ the focus of this seminar.

The seminar explores how legal systems throughout the world are responding to environmental problems and the legal and political factors that explain similarities and differences in their regulatory policy responses. The seminar compares the different roles played in different countries by government agencies, the judiciary, and citizen groups in the development, implementation and enforcement of environmental law.

The professor seeks to engage students in projects that will enable them to gain experience in the global environmental law field. For example, in 2010 students in the seminar drafted the moot court problem used for the National Moot Court Competition in the Kingdom of Jordan. In 2013 some students in the seminar participated in a multidisciplinary environmental field trip to Israel, a trip that was repeated in 2015 and will be repeated again in 2017. At the behest of Maryland religious leaders, students in 2015 and 2016 worked on a special project to consider whether Maryland should add an environmental amendment to the state’s constitution.

Each student will prepare a research paper on a topic selected in consultation with the professor. Students will have an opportunity to post the results of their research on a global environmental law blog. Those who prepare particularly outstanding papers during the 2017 seminar will be eligible to receive travel grants to present their papers at the annual colloquium of the IUCN Academy of Environmental Law. The 2017 Colloquium will be held in the Philippines at the end of May 2017. In previous years outstanding students from the seminar have presented their papers at this colloquium when it was held in New Zealand, Spain and Indonesia. Students who opt to participate in the upcoming 2018 spring break environmental field trip to China also may be invited to present their papers at an international environmental conference in Shanghai, as students did in 2014 and 2016.

Student research papers also may be used to satisfy the Advanced Writing Requirement. This seminar is open to 1Ls as a first year elective and its credits count toward qualification for the Certificate of Concentration in Environmental Law.

Key to Codes in Course Descriptions
P: Prerequisite
C: Prerequisite or Concurrent Requirement
R: Recommended Prior or Concurrent Course