2017 Seminar Descriptions and Schedule

The following professional development seminars will likely be offered during the 2017 Summer Session. While we try to avoid any changes in the seminars, dates and times may change due to unforeseen circumstances. We will make every effort to avoid last minute changes. All changes will be posted as soon as we know them. 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 30-Fri., June 2
Mon., June 5-Fri., June 9
Mon., June 12-Fri., June 16
(3 week seminar)

International Institutions and Environmental Protection
David Hunter

This seminar focuses on public international environmental lawyering. It 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. In addition to lectures, this seminar includes site visits to various international institutions, law firms, and non-governmental organizations to meet with lawyers working in the field.

2:00 to 5:00 PM
Mon. June 5-Th., June 8
(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.

6:00 to 9:00 PM
Tu., May 30 to Fri., June 2
(1 week seminar)

International Business and Environment
Russ LaMotte

This seminar is designed to introduce you to a number of international environmental and corporate social responsibility (CSR) legal issues and their impact on multinational corporations with global footprints.  It explores several examples of international environmental and CSR law that are affecting the way corporations conduct business around the globe, with a particular focus on the emergence of product-focused regulatory requirements that trigger supply chain management demands. 

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

Derechos Humanos y Medio Ambiente in America Latina (En Espanol)
Astrid Puentes

Previously taught in English, this year Human Rights and Environment in Latin America will be taught in Spanish. 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.

This can also be taken as part of a 2 week seminar entitled, Derechos Humanos y Su Relacion Con El Derecho Ambiental y Desarrollo. Read more: https://www.wcl.american.edu/hracademy/courses.cfm#DHRDAD

2:00 to 5:00 PM
(MTuThF; 1 week seminar)

Environmental Compliance and Enforcement
Kenneth Markowitz

Explores the principles and practice of making environmental laws work through achieving higher levels of compliance, strengthening the rule of law, ensuring good governance to meet environmental and climate objectives.

6:30 to 9:00 PM
Mon., June 12 - Fri., June 16
(1 week seminar)

International Wildlife and BiodiversityLaw
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.

6:30-9:00 PM
Mon, June 5 to Fri., June 9 (subject to change)
(1 week seminar)

International Chemical Regulations
Baskut Tuncak

This seminar will explore the laws and treaties regulating chemicals, toxics, and hazardous wastes. It will be taught by the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and hazardous substances.

One Week Special Workshop
Mon., June 19 to Fri., June 23
(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.


Following the 4 week summer session, is an additional seminar on Environmental Justice.

Five Week Course
Dates: June 19-July 19

MW 6:00-8:30pm

Environmental Justice
Alexandra Dapolito Dunn

This seminar covers current and thought provoking environmental topics with an umbrella theme of environmental justice - the disproportionate environmental burden borne by people of color, the poor, and indigenous peoples.  Our primary focus will be domestic environmental issues, although the course includes one lecture on international access to environmental human rights and some discussions will touch on the international implications of domestic activities (e.g., e-waste export, climate change).  Important skills and concepts that will be taught in this course include:

  • Roles of lawyers in resolving "place based conflict."  The techniques we discuss will be relevant for students considering a variety of practice placements, from NGOs, to government (local/state/federal), to in-house counsel, to private firms, to policy advisors. 
  • Strategies for understanding and empowering clients involved in environmental conflicts.
  • Remedies for identified community environmental burdens, including litigation, application of administrative procedures, constitutional law, civil rights law, environmental dispute resolution, and voluntary agreements such as community benefits agreements. 
  • Concepts of risk assessment, permitting, federal/state relations, equity, access to information, and lawyering skills.
  • Each student will prepare a 12 minute case study on a current environmental/energy conflict involving land use, community desires, redevelopment, or industrial expansion.  The student's presentation should be no more than five PowerPoint slides, and leave approximately three minutes for discussion among Seminar participants. 
  • During the course, we will have several guest attorney speakers and undertake a Harvard Program on Negotiation environmental conflict simulation. 
  • Throughout the course we will draw from Coal River, a novel about mountaintop removal in West Virginia, to lay a foundation for and to further explore environmental justice issues.