The eJournal is sponsored by the Environmental Law Center at the Vermont Law School, home to one of the nation's leading environmental law programs. Since establishing the Environmental Law Center in 1978, Vermont Law School has been training people to be environmental leaders in government, nonprofits, corporations, and private practice - locally, nationally, and internationally. With the largest and deepest graduate environmental law program in the country, the Environmental Law Center offers the most comprehensive environmental law and policy curriculum in the nation for law students, and also confers the Master of Environmental Law and Policy (MELP) and Master of Laws in Environmental Law (LLM) degrees, as well as a joint JD/MELP degree. The Vermont Law School's Environmental Law Center is also home to the Institute for Energy and the Environment, Environmental Tax Policy Institute, Climate Legacy Initiative, Land Use Institute, Partnership for Environmental Law in China, and Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic.

Sponsored by the Environmental Law Center at Vermont Law School

"The Appeal to Science and the Formation of Global Animal Law" Free Download
European Journal of International Law (Forthcoming)

KATIE SYKES, Thompson Rivers University - Faculty of Law, Dalhousie University - Schulich School of Law

In 2014, two landmark international legal decisions made a significant contribution to the development of international law on the protection of animals: the report of the Appellate Body of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in EC-Seal Products, and the judgment of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in Whaling in the Antarctic: Australia v. Japan. Science plays a significant role in both decisions. In EC-Seal Products, the WTO Appellate Body ruled that the European Union’s ban on seal products was justifiable under Article XX(a) of GATT as a matter of public morals, because it was based on European citizens’ moral objections to cruelty in seal hunting – concerns that were validated in part based on reports and evidence from scientific experts. In Whaling in the Antarctic, the ICJ ruled that Japan’s whaling programme in the Southern Ocean is not ‘for purposes of scientific research’ within the meaning of the International Convention on the Regulation of Whaling because it is not ‘reasonable’ in relation to its research objectives. Both cases, as well as the broader international controversies over whaling and sealing in the context of which they arose, illustrate the persuasive power of the ‘appeal to science’: enlisting scientific objectivity and rigour to underpin the credibility of legal arguments and legal norms. But the role of science in both cases, while important, is only auxiliary. The questions that the WTO and the ICJ had to resolve were fundamentally legal ones concerning the interpretation of the relevant treaties. The cases also implicated more profound questions of policy and ethics at stake in international conflicts over the protection and the exploitation of marine mammals.

"Dealing with Ocean Acidification: The Problem, the Clean Water Act, and State and Regional Approaches" Free Download
Washington Law Review, 2016 Forthcoming

ROBIN KUNDIS CRAIG, University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law

Ocean acidification is often referred to as climate change’s “evil twin.? As the global ocean continually absorbs much of the anthropogenic carbon dioxide produced through the burning of fossil fuels, its pH is dropping, causing a plethora of chemical, biological, and ecological impacts. These impacts immediately threaten local and regional fisheries and marine aquaculture and pose a longer-term risk of a global mass extinction event. As with climate change itself, the ultimate solution to ocean acidification is a world-wide reduction in carbon dioxide emissions. In the interim, however, the Center for Biological Diversity has worked long and hard to apply the federal Clean Water Act to ocean acidification, while states and coastal regions are increasingly pursuing more broadly focused responses to its local and regional impacts. This Article provides a first assessment of these relatively nascent legal efforts to address ocean acidification, concluding that ocean acidification should prompt renewed Clean Water Act attention to stormwater runoff and nutrient pollution but also that more comprehensive adaptation law and policy will become and increasingly necessary part of coastal state and regional responses to ocean acidification.

"All Dried Out: How Responses to Drought Make Droughts Worse" Free Download


Water usage is governed through a variety of mechanisms, including government administration and market tools. In 2006-2008 Barcelona’s region, a water scarce area, suffered a drought comparable to the one faced today by the US West. This article surveys a variety of techniques which were or could have been used to address these scarcity challenges. Spanish water regulations established water markets in 1999 but neither the design, nor its implementation were optimal. In addition to the design and implementation flaws, the response to the 2006-2008 drought crisis shows how emergency measures highjack water markets as a viable solution to water scarcity. Emergency responses bail out urban voters while no structural solutions to make water use in the agricultural sector more efficient are adopted. Neither the urban suppliers nor the agricultural sector has, thus, incentives to participate in a water market and droughts are to be managed using ad hoc solutions. Lessons for the US West can be drawn because that crisis’ responses are no different than the ones that could be undertaken by states west of the 100th meridian to tackle the current drought.

"EU Regulation 1143/2014 and the Bern Convention: Allied Forces in the War on Invasive Alien Species in Europe" Free Download
24(4) European Energy and Environmental Law Review 2015, pp. 83-99

ARIE TROUWBORST, Tilburg Law School, Tilburg Sustainability Center

This article identifies and analyzes current and potential synergies between the new EU Regulation 1143/2014 on the prevention and management of the introduction and spread of invasive alien species on the one hand, and the Bern Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats on the other. Besides focusing on the role the Convention could play in facilitating the Regulation’s effective implementation generally, the article explores the scope for extending some of the actions provided for in the Regulation beyond the EU to Europe at large, using the framework of the Bern Convention. The article identifies and recommends several courses of action that may be taken in either regard. Cooperation on IAS appears to open a promising new chapter in the dynamic interplay that has characterized the relations between the Bern Convention and EU biodiversity law in the past.

"Cooperative Federalism in Biscayne National Park" Free Download
Natural Resources Journal, Vol. 56, No. 1, 2016
Florida International University Legal Studies Research Paper No. 15-24

RYAN B. STOA, Florida International University College of Law

Biscayne National Park is the largest marine national park in the United States. It contains four distinct ecosystems, encompasses 173,000 acres (only 5% of which are land), and is located within densely populated Miami-Dade County. The bay has a rich history of natural resource exploitation, but aggressive residential and industrial development schemes prompted Congress to create Biscayne National Monument in 1968, followed by the designation of Biscayne National Park in 1980. When the dust settled the state of Florida retained key management powers over the park, including joint authority over fishery management. States and the federal government occasionally share responsibility for regulating natural resources, but Biscayne National Park represents a unique case study in cooperative federalism. This article explores these cooperative federalism contours in order to assess whether the park’s management paradigm provides a model worthy of replication. A diverse range of materials were reviewed for this project, including literature and jurisprudence on traditional models of cooperative federalism, federal natural resources laws, national park regulations and policy, Biscayne National Park’s statutory frameworks and legislative history, state and federal management plans, inter-agency communications, and direct stakeholder interviews. They combine to tell a story of cooperative federalism that has been frustrating and, at times, incoherent. But the story also shows that shared responsibility over fishery management has produced beneficial results for the park and its stakeholders by forcing state and federal officials to work together on planning and enforcement, diversifying human and financial resources, and incorporating federal, state, and local interests into park management and policy. The research suggests that future applications of the Biscayne National Park model of cooperative federalism, in which states and the federal government share joint authority over marine resources in some capacity, may enjoy similar success.


About this eJournal

Sponsored by: Institute for Energy and the Environment at the Vermont Law School. This eJournal distributes working and accepted paper abstracts dealing with the regulation, management, and distribution of natural resources. The eJournal will discuss a diverse array of natural resource topics such as public and private land use, wildlife and biodiversity, forest protection, mineral rights, parks and wilderness, the public trust doctrine, water and wetlands, and tribal lands and resources.

Editor: Melissa K. Scanlan, Vermont Law School


To submit your research to SSRN, sign in to the SSRN User HeadQuarters, click the My Papers link on left menu and then the Start New Submission button at top of page.

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Advisory Board

Natural Resources Law & Policy eJournal

Professor of Law, Northeastern University School of Law

James H. House and Hiram H. Hurd Professor of Environmental Regulation, and Associate Dean for Faculty Development and Research, University of California, Berkeley - School of Law

Professor, University of California, Santa Cruz

Professor of Law, Emory University School of Law

Professor of Law, University of California - Hastings College of the Law

Robert F. Stanton Professor of Law and Director of the Environmental Law Program, University of Maryland - Francis King Carey School of Law

Assistant Professor of Law, Lewis & Clark Law School

David Daniels Allen Distinguished Chair in Law, Vanderbilt University - Law School

Professor of Law and Director of the Natural Resources Law Center, University of Colorado Law School

Associate Professor of Law, University of Wisconsin Law School

Professor of Law, Boston University School of Law