International Environmental Law

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NaPali_CoastBuilding on Widener Law School’s traditional strength in both international law and environmental law, the Environmental Law Center is one of the nation’s leaders in international environmental law. With particular faculty expertise in the areas of global climate change and international trade and the environment, the Center is already a major influence on the emergence of international environmental norms.

Both Professor Strauss and Vice Dean Patrick Kelly are known for their contributions in the area of international trade and global environmental governance. Dean Kelly’s particular focus has been to explore and critique the ways in which the adjudicatory arm of the World Trade Organization brings environmental concerns into its interpretation of trade agreements. Professor Strauss, for his part, has focused his related scholarship on the institutional architecture of the World Trade Organization. In this area he has primarily concerned himself with how the organization might be restructured so as to better integrate the resolution of environmental problems into trade relations.

Professor May is known for hiswork in environmental human rights, especially his examinations of the prevalence and effectiveness of efforts to entrench fundamental environmental rights in national constitutions worldwide.  Professors Hodas and May have been active in the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.  Professor Hodas is also a member of the Governing Board forthe IUCN’s Academy for Environmental Law.  He was a Credentialed Delegate for both the IUCN-The World Conservation Union, United Nations Economic and Social Council’s Ad-Hoc Open-Ended Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Energy and Sustainable Development, 1st Session, March 6-10, 2000 and 2nd Session, February 26 – March 2, 2001, and the Commission on Sustainable Development, 9th session, Multi-stakeholder Dialogue on sustainable Energy and Transport, april 16 – 21, 2001. Professors Dernbach and Hodas have also served as chairs of the ABA Section on Environmental, Energy, and Resources Law’s Committee on Climate Change and Sustainable Development.   Jim May is a past member of the IUCN’s Committee on Environmental Law. Professor Andrew Strauss, a member of the Consultants Working Group for the Climate Legacy Initiative, has done pioneering work conceptualizing strategies for adjudicating climate change in global forums.

Professor John Dernbach is known for his contribution to the international understanding of sustainable development and for his work assessing U.S. progress toward sustainability. Most prominent is his leadership of a national project on U.S. sustainable development efforts, the most recent product of which is Agenda for a Sustainable America (Environmental Law Institute Press 2009).

Professor Kelly established and is Director of Widener’s Summer Institute in Nairobi, Kenya. Professor May has served as Director of Widener’s Summer Institute in Sydney, Australia in conjunction with the Environmental Law Centre at MacQuarie University, and taught with the Institute in Nairobi. Professors Dernbach, Hodas and Strauss have also taught in Widener’s various summer programs.

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