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 field where climate change, global air pollution, depletion and contamination of water resources and other problems are spawning new approaches to law and regulations. 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. Students in the seminar will be among the first in the world to use the professor’s casebook Comparative and Global Environmental Law and Policy (Wolters Kluwer 2020).

The professor seeks to engage students in projects that will enable them to gain experience in the global environmental law field. These projects have included: writing the moot court problem used for the Kingdom of Jordan’s National Moot Court Competition, participating in environmental field trips to China, Africa and the Middle East, drafting an environmental amendment for Maryland’s state constitution, and projects to hold foreign extractive industries accountable for environmental damage in the developing world.

Each student in the seminar will prepare a research paper on a topic selected in consultation with the professor. Those who prepare particularly outstanding papers during the seminar will be eligible to receive travel grants to present them at a future colloquium of the IUCN Academy of Environmental Law. In previous years outstanding students from the seminar have presented their papers at colloquia held in New Zealand, Spain, Indonesia, Norway, Scotland, the Philippines, and Malaysia. The 2020 Colloquium will be held in the Netherlands followed by colloquia in Australia and Finland.

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