Addressing Environmental Justice with the University of Malawi

Maryland Carey Law faculty (Bob Percival, Peter Danchin and Diane Hoffman) have partnered with the University of Malawi’s Chancellor College Faculty of Law faculty led by Chikosa Banda to launch an innovative seminar, Environmental Justice, Human Rights and Public Health, for a combined class of Maryland and Malawi law students. The course builds upon previous work by these faculty members who have fostered a working relationship between Maryland Carey Law and the University of Malawi addressing public health and environmental issues. This course focuses on how environmental law, human rights law, and public health law frame environmental justice challenges driven by climate change.

While the first half of the class is lecture and discussion focused, the second half of the course will have Maryland-Malawi student teams develop project proposals for Chancellor College’s Environmental Law Clinic. The projects include assessments of the Lake Chilwha watershed, sewage treatment, deforestation and renewable energy. Students will be required to study these problems, the law governing these challenges and then develop options to address them that the Malawi clinic could employ. These projects will be the focus of a student-faculty exchange during the semester when Malawi students and faculty will visit Maryland, and immediately after the semester when Maryland students and faculty will visit Malawi to discuss the proposals with Malawi faculty, students, and the non-profit community.

The course, which started on January 9, meets for two hours each week with seven students in Zomba, Malawi joining seven Maryland students in Baltimore by videoconferencing.

We would like to thank the generous donations of David and Leslie Glickman who have funded the student-faculty exchange and the development of this course with the David and Leslie Glickman Interprofessional Health Law Fund.