Below are past events that have been held at the Washington College of Law. If you would like information about these events, please contact Erika Lennon.
April is Earth Month at American University
Earth Month 2013 is the continuation of a tradition that brings the AU community together with a full schedule of events to celebrate our commitment to the principles of Earth Day. This year's events have been given the overarching theme "An Active Pursuit of Sustainability"- a testament to the hard work undertaken by AU students, faculty, staff, and alumni to make our campus and our communities better places every month of the year. CHECK OUT THE EVENTS HERE.
Earth Day at WCL is Car-Free Day
Monday, April 22
On April 22, the Environmental Law Society is celebrating Earth Day 2013 with our second Car-Free Day! We are urging students and faculty to take a step towards reducing their carbon footprints by changing their transportation routine. For just one day, try an alternative means of transportation: if you drive a car to school, take public transportation; if you take the bus or metro, try to ride your bike instead. Look for ELS tabling in the lobby on April 22! We will have a treat for students and faculty who bring a picture/video which shows their car-free commute to WCL, or other proof!
Global Perspectives on Environmental Justice - UPDATED
Wednesday, March 27 from 9am-4pm
The Sustainable Development Law & Policy publication's annual Symposium will explore the ways in which environmental risks and benefits are distributed across social, cultural, economic, and racial/ethnic boundaries. Speakers will address both domestic and international environmental issues. Here is a tentative schedule for the day:
9-10am: Breakfast, Introductory Remarks, and History of the Environmental Justice Movement
Moderators: Bethany Peak & Mark Borak (Editors-in-Chief, Sustainable Development Law & Policy publication); Discussion of the History of Environmental Justice by Mike Ewall.
10-11:45am: Food and Environmental Justice: This panel will explore access to good food and food deserts, as well as efforts at sustainable and urban farming. We'd also like to have a look at the impact of current subsidies in the context of current understandings of healthy food and sustainable growing. Panelists include: Professor Bill Eubanks (Moderator; Partner, Meyer, Glitzenstein & Crystal), Helen Dombalis (Policy and Strategic Partnerships Director, National Farm to School Network), Elise Golan (Sustainable Development Program Director, Office of the Chief Economist, US Department of Agriculture), and Sophie Milam (Nutrition Assistance and Budget Policy Program Director, Feeding America)
12-12:45pm: Lunch and Keynote Address on Climate Change and Environmental Justice
Introductory remarks by Professor Bill Snape (Senior Counsel, Center for Biological Diversity) and the keynote will feature Professor Alice Kaswan (Associate Professor, University of San Francisco): "Seven Principles for Equitable Climate Adaptation"
1-2pm: SDLP Environmental Justice Issue Authors' Panel
Panelists include: Bethany Peak and Mark Borak (Moderators; Editors-in-Chief, Sustainable Development Law & Policy publication, American University Washington College of Law), Mike Ewall (Founder and Director, Energy Justice Network), Elana Katz-Mink (JD Student, American University Washington College of Law), Hdeel Abdelhady (Professorial Lecturer in Law, GWU Law), Tendai Zvobgo (ILSP LL.M, class of 2013, American University Washington College of Law
2:15-3:45pm: Land Rights and Environmental Justice: This panel will explore environmental justice issues surrounding indigenous populations and land. The panel will look at both the problem of corporations infringing on indigenous lands and resources, and at conservation efforts that displace indigenous people. Panelists will discuss domestic and international land rights issues, providing a broad look at the various types of disputes between governments, corporations, indigenous peoples, and lingering effects of colonialism. Panelists include: Professor Ezra Rosser (Moderator; Professor, American University Washington College of Law), Marissa Vahlsing (Staff Attorney, Earthrights International), Derrick Beetso (Staff Attorney, National Congress of American Indians), Gretchen Gordon (Staff Attorney, Indian Law Resource Center), Karla General (Staff Attorney, Indian Law Resource Center). James Grijalva (Swenson Professor of Law, University of North Dakota School of Law), Danny Gogal (Tribal Program Manager, Office of Environmental Justice, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)
3:45-4:00pm: Closing Remarks by Professor Ezra Rosser
This event is co-sponsored by the Sustainable Development Law & Policy publication and the Program on International & Comparative Environmental Law. Listen to the Keynote Address as Episode 12 of the Hot Air Show Podcast.
Forward on Climate Rally - WCL Contingent (pictures coming soon)
Sunday, February 17 at Noon
The Sierra Club, 350.org, and the Hip-Hop Caucus are organizing "Forward on Climate," which aims to be the largest climate rally in history. These organizations and thousands of people will come together to tell President Obama that it's time to lead in the fight against climate change and that should start with rejecting the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. The WCL Environmental Law Society will be joining this rally, as will WCL professors. For more information and to sign-up to join your fellow WCL students, email Chelsea Tu or Maggie Coulter. Following the rally, the WCL contingent will be having a happy hour with details to come. You can also read more information about the rally.
The State of the Environment in Our Nation's Capital: Sustainability Issues and Initiatives in Washington, DC
February 14, 2013 from 12pm-3pm
This luncheon program focuses on sustainability issues currently facing Washington, D.C., and sustainability initiatives aimed at "greening" the city, including the recently passed Sustainable DC Act of 2012.
Featuring a Keynote Address by:
DC Councilwoman Mary Cheh, Chair of the Committee on the Environment, Transportation, and Public Works
Brendan Shane, Chief of Staff, Office of Policy and Sustainability, DC Department of the Environment
Gary Belan, Director of Clean Water Programs, American Rivers
Chris O'Brien, Director, American University Office of Sustainability
Chris Weiss, Executive Director, DC Environment Network
Register for the event! Lunch is included
This event is being co-sponsored by the Environmental Law Society and is part of the WCL Founder's Day Events Program.
February 8-10, 2013
We are happy to be hosting the North American Regional of the Stetson International Environmental Law Moot Court Competition, which will be co-sponsored by the ABA Section on Environment, Energy and Resources. The competition will take place over multiple days and be in multiple locations at WCL. More information about the details can be found here.
Environmental Externship and Environmental Course Selection Panel(s)
Wednesday, November 7
Please join the Environmental Law Program for an externship and course selection discussion! During this discussion, WCL environmental law professors will discuss the environmental law courses and other related courses being offered next semester, and class scheduling for next semester. We will also discuss the environmental law externship program and how you can earn academic credit while working in an environmental NGO or government agency. Additionally, we will offer advice on courses and answer any questions you have.
We look forward to seeing you there! There will be snacks!
Environmental Event During ILSP's 30th Anniversary Celebration
October 10-12, 2012
This year, the International Legal Studies Program (ILSP) is celebrating it's Thirtieth Anniversary! In celebration, ILSP is putting together a series of panels and roundtable discussions, including one related to international environmental law:
- October 11 from 4:30-5:45pm: Trends in International Environmental Law featuring alumni including Gidon Bromberg (LL.M. 1995), Claudia de Windt (LL.M. 2001), Paul Hagen (JD, 1990), and Marcos Orellana (SJD 2009) and moderated by Durwood Zaelke.
More information is available on ILSP's 30th Anniversary website.
Corporate Liability for Human Rights Violations Outside the U.S.: A Day-After Assessment of the Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Reargument
Tuesday, October 2 from 12-1:20 p.m.
On October 1, the Supreme Court will hold a rare rehearing of Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum. The Kiobel case now seems to portend the future of the Alien Tort Statute, which has been used to hold human rights violators accountable in US courts for wrongs committed around the world. Please join us for a day-after assessment of the Supreme Court argument at the intersection of human rights, environmental justice, and extraterritoriality, with a diversity of speakers:
Paul Hoffman, Lead Counsel for the Plaintiffs
Katie Redford, Co-Founder and U.S. Office Director, EarthRights International
John B. Bellinger, III, Partner at Arnold & Porter, and Former Legal Advisor to the U.S. Department of State
Andrew Grossman, Litigator at BakerHostetler and Legal Fellow at the Heritage Foundation
Moderator: Professor Stephen Vladeck, WCL Constitutional Law Scholar
If you can't attend in person, you can still join us via a live webcast. Watch the live webcast at www.wclCenterforHR.org!
Interested in reporting on the discussion? Please see the Media Advisory.
International Aviation Law Conference: The Future of International Aviation: Conflict or Cooperation?
Monday, September 17, 2012 from 12:00-5:00pm (reception to follow)
The ILSP LL.M Board is hosting an exciting conference on International Aviation Law. In recent months, international aviation has found itself at the center of conflict. The extension of the EU emissions trading system to foreign airlines sparked an international dispute. In the U.S., the reauthorization of the Ex-Im Bank witnessed a split between the aviation and manufacturing industries—but ultimately led to bipartisan cooperation. These issues affect the international aviation industry and intersect with other important interests outside the field. Using the EU ETS and the Ex-Im Bank cases as points of departure, this conference will examine whether the future of international aviation leads to conflict or cooperation.
The program will start with a career panel for WCL students. At 1:30pm, there will be opening remarks. Then the first panel will focus on the EU Emissions Trading System and the role of aviation. Then it will be followed by a panel on Ex-Im Bank loan guarantees.
The Hot Air Show Podcast Recording
Friday, September 14, 2012
The tenth episode to date will discuss and debate the state of U.S. energy and greenhouse gas politics heading into the 2012 Elections. There have been several significant Clean Air Act judicial decisions over the past few months, and both major candidates have mentioned clean energy and climate change as part of their overall approach to government. What U.S. energy and climate policies are most at stake in the elections? Join our Hot Air experts in blowing some steam on these important subjects! The podcast will feature Chris Berendt as host and panelists Kevin Book, Toby Short, Tyson Slocum, and Bill Snape.
The podcast is available to download. Click hear to listen to Episode 10.
The Road to Rio+20 and Beyond
Tuesday, April 10, 2012 from 1:30 to 5:30 p.m. (reception to follow)
WCL along with the Center for International Environmental Law, the International Environmental Law Committee of the ABA’s Section on International Law, the International Environmental Law Committee of the ABA’s Section on Energy, Environment, and Resources, and the ASIL International Environmental Law Interest Group are hosting a conference entitled the “Road to Rio+20 and Beyond” on Tuesday, April 10 from 1:30 until 5:30, followed by a reception. In anticipation of the "Rio+20" UN Conference on Sustainable Development which will be held in Rio De Janeiro in June 2012, this conference reviews progress in international law on the environment and sustainable development since the 1992 Earth Summit, and prospects for the future.
The conference will consist of two panels. The first panel will focus on taking stock of where we have come since 1992, and the second panel will focus on what’s next. Both panels will have expert speakers addressing various topics to give a broad view of the issues related to Rio+20 and international environmental law. The panels will also have plenty of time for question and answer.
Confirmed speakers include senior experts from the United Nations Environment Programme, the World Bank, the Organization of American States, the Center for International Environmental Law, and Natural Resources Defense Council.
Admission is free but registration is required. CLE credit and materials will be available for a fee. Email Erika Lennon if you have any questions.
SEE THE AGENDA!
Missed the event? Watch the webcast!
On the Brink: Environmental Conflicts Along the Path Toward Sustainable Development
Monday, March 19, 2012 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
The Sustainable Development Law & Policy publication's annual symposium this year will focus on the conflicts surrounding the use and development of various natural resources around the world. The panels will examine challenges and opportunities in the development of alternative energy resources; development of public lands and natural resources; and international resources conflicts. Panelists representing perspectives from the private, non-profit, and government sectors will discuss how the use of legal and policy mechanisms can be used to mitigate and prevent these impacts.
Watch the Webcast!
Celebration of Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum
February 28, 2012
On Tuesday, February 28, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum(Shell), a case which will decide whether corporations can be sued in US courts for human rights abuses (and potentially, in the future, environmental ones) under the Alien Tort Statute (ATS). This is a very important decision. The vast majority of corporate accountability for human rights cases in the US have been brought under the ATS, and the Court’s decision could reshape the future or corporate accountability forever.
WCL is joining Earthrights International and Harvard Law School’s Human Rights Clinic to host a celebration to honor the successful oral arguments of Supreme Court lead counsel Paul Hoffman and everyone involved in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum (Shell)! The celebration will take place on Tuesday, February 28 from 6-8pm. Space is limited. If you have questions about attending, please email.
Fertile Ground: Exploring the Intersection Between the Reproductive and Environmental Justice Movements
Thursday, February 23, 2012 from 12:00-2:00pm
JD Student Lounge
Women and communities living in economically disadvantaged areas, disproportionately suffer exposure to harmful chemicals from environmental hazards which pose serious consequences for their reproductive health. Both the reproductive justice and environmental justice movements focus on improving socioeconomic and environmental conditions for communities living in poverty. Despite their similarities, these movements have historically operated on parallel tracks, often working in isolation. Join us for a discussion with environmental experts and reproductive health practitioners who will explore the intersection of these two movements and consider strategies for future collaboration. Panelists include: Kimberly Inez McGuire (Policy Analyst, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health); Jill C. Morrison (Senior Counsel, National Women's Law Center); Michele Roberts (Campaign & Policy Coordinator, Advocates for Environmental Human Rights); and Vernice Miller-Travis (Vice-Chair, Maryland State Commission on Environmental Justice and Sustainable Communities). Daniela Kraiem, Associate Director of the Women and the Law Program, will moderate the panel. See the agenda. Click to Register for the Conference!
Watch the Podcast!
Atlantic Regional Stetson International Environmental Law Moot Court Competition
February 4-5, 2012
Nine teams representing law schools from the United States, the Bahamas, and Trinidad & Tobago. will come to WCL to compete for a chance to go to the International Finals in March 2012. Judges who are experts in environmental law and/or alumni of WCL and its environmental law program will evaluate the teams. More information is available here.
Welcome Reception for Atlantic Regional
February 3, 2012
6th Floor Student Lounges
The Program on International and Comparative Environmental Law and the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) are co-hosting a Welcome Reception for participants in the Atlantic Regional of the Stetson International Environmental Moot Court Competition, WCL environmental law alumni, and environmental lawyers and advocates.
The Hot Air Show: Clean Air Act and Climate Change at EPA
August 25, 2011
Episode 7 of The Hot Air Show, a podcast co-produced by WCL's Program on International and Comparative Environmental Law and the ABA's Energy and Environmental Markets and Finance Committee is being taped before a live audience on Thursday, August 25, 2011. Episode 7 will focus on the Clean Air Act and the regulatory actions the EPA is taking to address climate change and will feature Gina McCarthy, the Assistant Administrator of the Office of Air and Radiation at the US Environmental Protection Agency. Other panelists include Christopher Berendt, the host of the show (Of Counsel, Drinker, Biddle & Reath), Bill Snape (Practitioner in Residence at WCL and Senior Counsel at the Center for Biological Diversity), and Peter Glaser (Partner, Troutman Sanders LL.P). For more information about this episode and the topics being discussed, click here. If you have questions about attending the taping of The Hot Air Show with Gina McCarthy, please contact Erika Lennon.
To see information about The Hot Air Show and to subscribe to the podcast, please visit our website.
Challenges of International Accountability: Lessons from Independent Accountability Mechanisms
June 24, 2011
8:30am-4:30pm (reception to follow)
Organized in conjunction with the World Bank Inspection Panel, this exciting full-day conference features discussions of the effectiveness and credibility of Independent Accountability Mechanisms, Sovereignty and Accountability, and Accountability and the Private Sector. The conference opens with an IAM Marketplace that allows participants to pick up literature about the mechanisms and allows the mechanisms to display information about what they do. The Conference is followed by a reception with the Environmental Law Summer Session Trade and Environment Seminar. See the agenda.
A webcast of the Conference is available by panel discussion. Click on the links below to watch the video.
Welcome Remarks and Comparative Presentation
IAM's Effectiveness and Credibility
Soverignty and Accountability
Accountability and the Private Sector
The Second Annual CIEL-WCL International Environmental Law Conference
March 21, 2011
1:00-5:30 pm (Reception to follow) - this event was rescheduled from January
This half-day conference will feature discussions on international environmental governance, in addition to analyzing recent developments in international environmental law. The discussion of developments in international environmental will focus on multilateral environmental agreements including the Convention on Biological Diversity, UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, International Whaling Commission, CITES, the Montreal Protocol, and the ongoing mercury negotiations. This event is co-sponsored by the Center for International Environmental Law, AU WCL Program on International and Comparative Environmental Law, and the Sustainable Development Law and Policy Publication.
Center for Progressive Reform - Annual Meeting of Member Scholars
Thursday, May 13, 2010
The Program on International and Comparative Environmental Law (PICEL) hosted the Annual Meeting of Member Scholars of the Center for Progressive Reform (CPR), a non-profit organization comprised primarily of law professors working to protect health, safety, and the environment. WCL Professor David Hunter is one of approximately 40 CPR Member Scholars who attended the meeting to strategize about responding to today’s most pressing environmental and regulatory issues. The meeting included discussion with David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, and David Vladeck, the Director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection at the Federal Trade Commission. After the meeting, PICEL hosted a reception with informal remarks from two other top officials from the Obama Administration: Lisa Heinzerling (Associate Administrator, EPA Office of Policy, Economics, and Innovation) and Chris Schroeder (Assistant Attorney General, Department of Justice, Office of Legal Policy).
Inaugural Annual CIEL-WCL Conference on Developments in International Environmental Law
Monday, November 16
1pm-6:30 pm (reception included)
The Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) and the WCL Program on International Environmental Law (PICEL) are hosting the First Annual CIEL-WCL Conference on Developments in International Environmental Law in conjunction with the IUCN Commission on Environmental Law. This exciting conference will discuss a variety of topics in the international environmental field. The conference, which is part of the joint research partnership between CIEL and WCL, will have opening remarks by David Hunter, Fred Anderson, and Durwood Zaelke, followed by two panels: "Current Issues in International Environmental Law" and "Prospects for Copenhagen: A Roundtable Discussion." The first panel will touch on issues related to oceans, human rights, soils and desertification, biosphere ethics, the Arctic, and chemicals. The second panel will be a discussion among international environmental law experts about the prospects for a new climate change agreement at the upcoming negotiations in Copenhagen and post-Copenhagen. The panels are comprised of experts in international environmental law, including those serving as Chairs of the Specialist Groups of the IUCN Commission on Environmental Law. A reception will immediately follow the panel discussions. Please see the agenda for the CIEL-WCL Conference on Developments in International Environmental Law by clicking here.
For more information about the conference, please email Erika Lennon.
If you cannot attend the conference in person, you can watch the webcast of it here. The video will be posted a few days after the event.
Meeting of the Chairs of the Specialist Groups of the IUCN Commission on Environmental Law
WCL is hosting a two-day meeting of the Chairpersons of the Specialist Groups of the IUCN Commission on Environmental Law. The IUCN Commission on Environmental law is the largest and oldest global network of environmental law experts. The Commission works to advance the progressive development environmental law and to build the capacity to use environmental law to promote conservation and sustainable development. The Specialist Groups are committees devoted to certain aspects of environmental law including Armed Conflict and the Environment; Energy Law and Climate Change; Enforcement and Compliance; Ethics; Human Rights; Indigenous Peoples; Judiciary; Oceans, Coastal and Coral Reefs; Sustainable Use of Soil; Trade and Environment; and Water and Wetlands; and there are two task forces on the Arctic Regime and Protected Areas. The Specialist Group chairpersons are coming to WCL from around the world to participate in their planning meeting as well as the CIEL-WCL Conference on Developments in International Environmental Law held Monday, November 16. WCL Professor David Hunter is on the Steering Committee of the Commission.
For more information about the IUCN Commission on Environmental Law please visit its website here.
The Law of the Sea: the Role of the International Tribunal in Solving Problems Related to Piracy and Terrorism at Sea
Judge Helmut Türk
Monday, October 26 from 12-1:30pm
Piracy and Terrorism are huge threats that cannot be dealt with by one country alone. Want to learn about the role of the International Tribunal in addressing these problems? Come hear Judge Dr. Helmet Türk, who was also the Austrian Ambassador to the United States, speak about these issues and the law of the sea.
Judge Helmut Türk is the Vice President of the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea, which is the independent judicial body established by the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea to adjudicate disputes arising out of application and interpretation. Dr. Türk, who also was the Austrian Ambassador to the United States, will be discussing the Law of the Sea and the role of the International Tribunal in addressing problems related to Piracy and Terrorism at Sea. Piracy and Terrorism are two of the major international threats facing countries today. The Law of the Sea Convention governs activity on the world's oceans, and thus is a mechanism by which to combat piracy and terrorism that occurs outside of a single country's jurisdiction. The International Tribunal could provide a forum in which to adjudicate these cases and ensure justice. As a judge on the International Tribunal, Dr. Türk will be able to offer an interesting and informed view of these problems. Marcos Orellana, adjunct professor and Senior Attorney at the Center for International Environmental Law, will moderate. The event will take place at Noon in room 402 and lunch will be provided. If you have any questions, please email Erika Lennon, email@example.com.
About Judge Dr. Helmut Türk
He is currently Vice President of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea. A member of the Tribunal since 2005, Judge Türk was elected Vice President in 2008 for a three-year term. Prior to becoming a judge with the Tribunal, Dr. Türk held a variety of positions including being a member of the Austrian National Security Council, an Ambassador, Deputy Secretary-General for Foreign Affairs, Director-General in the Office of the Austrian Federal President, and as a legal advisor, amongst other things. From 1993 to 1999 Dr. Türk was the Austrian Ambassador to the United States. Dr. Türk was educated at the University of Vienna and the College of Europe in Bruges. For more information about the work of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, visit its website here.
For more information about the event, click here.
"Discovering Buried Treasure: International Law for Transboundary Ground Water Resources"
Professor Gabriel Eckstein
Tuesday, October 20 at Noon
Today, nearly one half of humanity relies on ground water for their daily freshwater needs. Until recently, though, transboundary ground water resources were the neglected stepchild of international water law. In 2008, after years of debate and formulation, the UN International Law Commission submitted to the UN General Assembly 19 draft articles on the law of the transboundary aquifers. While the draft articles are now undergoing scrutiny by the UN Member States, they mark a significant milestone in the development of international law. Professor Eckstein will discuss the development of the draft articles as well as his experience in this singular process.
About Professor Eckstein
Professor Gabriel Eckstein, WCL JD '95 and LL.M. '97, serves as an advisor to UNESCO and the UNILC in the development of the draft articles. He currently holds the George W. McCleskey Chair in Water Law at Texas Tech University and is director of the International Water Law Project (www.InternationalWaterLaw.org).