2015 Seminar Descriptions and Schedule

The following professional development seminars were offered during the 2014 Environmental Law Summer Session. The offerings for the 2015 Summer Session are currently being developed and will likely be similar to the below. Please email us at summerenvironment@wcl.american.edu if you have any questions or would like to be added to a list to receive updates about seminars and schedule.

10:00AM to 12:30PM
Tu., May 27-Fri., May 30
Mon., June 2-Fri., June 6
Mon., June 9-Fri., June 13
(3 week seminar)

International Institutions and Environmental Protection
David Hunter

This seminar surveys international institutions, such as the World Bank and the United Nations Environment Programme, and how their policies and activities promote or impede environmental protection and sustainable development.

6:00 to 9:00 PM
Mon., June 2-Th., June 5
(1 week seminar)

Development Finance and the Environment
Charles Di Leva

This seminar will examine the roles and responsibilities of international financial institutions toward the environment. Examination will begin by identifying different types of financial institutions and the types of financial instruments and flows that can impact on the environment, both positively and, if not done properly, negatively. Examination will focus on the types of policies and procedures that these institutions use to address environmental and social issues, and how they relate to compliance and accountability. Review will also include discussion of how institutions support the aims of multilateral environmental agreements. The principal focus will be the institutions of the World Bank Group, but will also include consideration of private sector financial institutions and other multilateral and bilateral organizations. The seminar will work through a practical example of how and what types of environmental and social policies should be applied to a large scale infrastructure project.

2:00 to 5:00 PM
Tu., May 27 to Fri, May 30
(1 week seminar)

Environmental Law & the US Congress
Laurel Angell

This seminar explores Congress's impact on U.S. environmental laws, with an emphasis on the law-making processes and practices relating to the enactment of federal environmental law, and Congress's response to current substantive issues related to the environment.

6:30 to 9:00 PM
Mon., June 9 to Fri., June 13
(1 week seminar)

International Business and Environment
Jackson Morrill & Russ LaMotte

This seminar surveys the current treaties, standards, and institutions that affect the environmental aspects of international business.

2:00 to 4:30 PM
Mon., June 9 to Fri., June 13
(1 week seminar)

Human Rights and Environment in Latin America - NEW SEMINAR
Astrid Puentes

This seminar explores the link, interdependence, and international recognition of human rights and environment through the analysis of international standards, law, doctrine, and paradigmatic cases.  Emphasizing Latin America and using a case simulation, the seminar will also address the major current challenges that environmental protection involves, its relation to human rights, and legal and useful policy tools to achieve effectiveness.

2:00 to 5:00 PM
Tu., May 27 to Fri., May 30

(1 week seminar)

Environmental Compliance and Enforcement
Kenneth Markowitz

Reviews the principles and practice of making environmental laws work on the ground through stronger enforcement and compliance.

6:30 to 9:00 PM
Mon., June 9 - Fri., June 13
(1 week seminar)

International Wildlife Law
David Downes

Reviews the major principles of international law for the conservation of biological diversity and wildlife.  We will discuss international agreements on subjects such as biological diversity, oceans fisheries, migratory species, and wildlife trade, with a problem-solving perspective that takes account of the nature of biodiversity and the range of policy and management tools that can promote conservation.

2:00 to 4:30 PM
Mon., June 2 - Fri., June 6
(1 week seminar)

Environmental Ethics - Cancelled
Andrew Ayers

Environmental lawyers work on a wide range of problems, from small-scale disputes between neighbors over land use to global crises like climate change. They do this work in a great variety of capacities and roles, including litigator, counselor, activist, independent evaluator, policy-maker, and many more. In these diverse contexts, lawyers encounter unique ethical opportunities -- chances to do work that is especially useful, skillful, or admirable -- and special ethical challenges. What advice should a lawyer give a client who wants to pollute more than the law allows, but less than regulators will notice? When should a lawyer break confidentiality to prevent an environmental harm? How should an activist lawyer advise a client when the adversary proposes a settlement that would make the client better off, but also ensure that pollution continues? The seminar will provide an introduction to the tools that environmental lawyers use to confront problems like these. The tools we will study include the rules and values of the Model Rules and other sources of lawyering law; narratives and reflections from practicing environmental lawyers; and techniques of moral and practical reasoning. The seminar will also explore how simplistic models of lawyering and legal ethics fail to do justice to the diversity and richness of real-world environmental lawyering.

2:00 to 5:00 PM
Mon., June 9 - Th., June 12
(1 week seminar)

Fracking (Hydraulic Fracturing) Law & Policy
Amanda Cohen Leiter

This course will examine the law and policy related to hydraulic fracturing (fracking). This course will explore the law and policy related to hydraulic fracturing (fracking). In this course students will learn about the complex science and unsettled law of hydraulic fracturing and met with experts from industry, local government, and an environmental NGO to hear various perspectives about this timely topic.  The course will have guest speakers and will give students a broad overview of the fracking issue and a range of perspectives to consider when thinking about the costs and benefits of the ongoing natural gas boom. Local, state, and national governments in the U.S. and abroad are currently wrestling with fracking law and policy.  To learn more about this topic, click here for a list of readings from this class. If you’re interested in viewing the course syllabus, please contact Professor Leiter at leiter@wcl.american.edu

6:00 to 9:00 PM
Tu., May
27 to Fri., May 30
(1 week seminar)

International Climate Change Law
Stephen Porter

This seminar will provide an overview of the international response to climate change through the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) with a focus on the effectiveness of existing approaches and the current status of negotiations. We will cover the negotiation, structure and implementation of both the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol. The seminar will also track current events and news reports that relate to climate change in order to relate these sometimes abstract concepts currently in the news. We will also explore the ongoing effort to negotiate the post-2012 international climate regime and why the effort has proved elusive despite wide agreement that human induced climate change is occurring and risks grave consequences. The seminar will examine examples of how climate change interacts with other bodies of international law (e.g.,  the Ozone Treaty, Human Rights, Law of the Sea). We will conclude by examining selected topics relating to climate law and policy in the United States and considering the role for law in the transition to a low-carbon future. (Steve Porter was previously the Director of the Climate Change Program at the Center for International Environmental Law)

One Week Special Workshop
Mon., June 16 to Fri., June 20
(5 Days; All Day)

Trade and Environment: A Joint Seminar with the OAS
Various lecturers who are experts in trade and environment issues

The Organization of American States and the Environmental Law Summer Session will be holding a week-long program on trade and environment that will conclude with a trade simulation exercise.  The program will take place from June 16-June 20 (after the other summer session seminars) and is a full-day program each day.  The seminar consists of different modules taught by practitioners from non-governmental organizations, international organizations, and government from throughout the Americas. For more information about the readings and schedule, please click here. This program has limited space.


Related Seminar

The following seminar will be offered by the Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property and cross-listed with the Environmental Law Summer Session.

9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Wed., June 11 to Th., June 12

Intellectual Property and Sustainable Development
Jeremy de Beer (University of Ottawa)

This seminar explores how intellectual property intersects with environmental sustainability, technological innovation, and knowledge policy. Participants in the course will engage in interactive classroom discussion and actively participate in a simulation of international negotiations.