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Nicholas A. Robinson

Nicholas A. Robinson
Nicholas A. Robinson

University Professor on the Environment and Gilbert and Sarah Kerlin Distinguished Professor of Environmental Law Emeritus; Co-Director, Center for Environmental Legal Studies
BA, Brown University
JD, Columbia University School of Law

(914) 422-4244
Office: P212

Lorraine Rubich
Office: P201
(914) 422-4226

Office Hours:
Thursday, 9:00 AM–12:00 PM; or by appointment


Professor Nicholas A. Robinson has developed environmental law since 1969, when he was named to the Legal Advisory Committee of the President’s Council on Environmental Quality. He has practiced environmental law in law firms for municipalities and as general counsel of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. He drafted New York’s wetlands and wild bird laws and was inaugurated as the first chairman of both the statutory Freshwater Wetlands Appeals Board and Greenway Heritage Conservancy for the Hudson River Valley. He has served as legal advisor and chairman of the Commission on Environmental Law of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, engaged in drafting treaties and counseling different countries on the preparation of their environmental laws. He founded Pace’s environmental law programs, edited the proceedings of the 1992 United Nations Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and is author of several books and numerous articles. He teaches a number of environmental law courses.

Professor Robinson served as James D. Hopkins Professor of Law during the 1991–1993 academic years.

On March 2009, the Pace University Board of Trustees conferred the position of University Professor for the Environment on Nicholas A. Robinson for his significant contribution to scholarship in the field of environmental law, both in the USA and abroad.

Books   Dictionary of Environmental and Climate Change Law (with Wang Xi, Lin Harmon and Sarah Wegmueller) Edward Elgar, 2013.
    Climate Change Law: Mitigation and Adaptation (with David Hodas and James Gustave Speth) (West 2009).
    UNEP Training Manual on International Environmental Law (Nicholas A. Robinson and Lal Kurukulasuriya eds.) (UN Environmental Programme, Nairobi, 2006).
    Strategies toward Sustainable Development: Implementing Agenda 21 (Oceana Publications, a Division of Oxford University Press, 2004).
    Capacity Building for Environmental Law in the Asian and Pacific Region: Approaches and Resources (with Donna G. Craig and Koh Kheng Lian), Asian Development Bank, second revised edition, two volumes 2003.
    Environmental Law Treaties of the United States. Dobbs Ferry, N.Y.: Oceana Publications, 1997.
    Comparative Environmental Law and Regulation. Dobbs Ferry, N.Y.: Oceana Publications, 1996.
    International Protection of the Environment: Conservation in Sustainable Development. Edited with Wolfgang E. Burhenne. New York: Oceana, 1995.
    Agenda 21: Earth's Action Plan. Nicholas A. Robinson, Editor. New York: Oceana, 1993.
    New York Environmental Law: A Legal Treatise. New York: New York State Bar Association, 1992.
    Environmental Law Lexicon. New York: Law Journal Seminars- Press, 1992.
    Agenda 21 and the UNCED Proceedings. New York: Oceana, 1992.
    International Environmental Law & Practice. With K.W. Rochow. Butterworth Legal Publishers, 1991.
    Environmental Costs of Electricity. With others. New York: Oceana Publications, 1990.
    Environmental Impact Assessment: Proceedings of a Conference on the Preparation and Review of Environmental Impact Statements, West Point, New York, November 1987. Albany: New York State Bar Association, 1989.
    New York Environmental Law Handbook. New York: New York State Bar Association, 1988.
    Environmental Regulation of Real Property. 2d ed. New York: Law Journal Seminars-Press, 1987.
    Handling Land Use and Environmental Problems in Real Estate. New York: Practicing Law Institute, 1988, 1989, and 1990.
    Rehabilitating Historic Properties. New York: Practicing Law Institute, 1984.
    Bibliography of the Environmental Collection in the Pace University School of Law Library. Compiled by Nicholas A. Robinson. Port Washington, N.Y.: Associated Faculty Press, 1984.
    Historic Preservation Law. New York: Practicing Law Institute, 1979, 1980, 1981, and 1982.
Chapters   “Reflecting on Rio: Environmental Law in the Coming Decades,” in J. Benedickson, Boer, Benjamin, and Morrow, eds., Environmental Law and Sustainability After Rio (Edward Elgar, 2011).
    “Climate Disruption: Remaking the Agenda of MEAs in Asia and the World,” in Koh, K.L., Lye, L.H., and Lin, J., Crucial Issues in Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol (World Scientific Pub. Co., 2010), at pp. 3-30
    “Legal Stewardship of Mountain Regions: The Emerging Ecoregime,” in Biodiversity, Conservation and Livelihoods (M.I. Jeffrery et al. eds., 2008).
    “Imperatives in Environmental Law,” in Direito Ambiental Comparado (Arlindo Daibert ed., 2008).
    “Evolving Earth's Environmental Law: Perspectives on a Work in Progress,” in Foundations of Environmental Sustainability: Perspectives on a Work in Progress (L.L. Rockwood et al. eds., 2008).
    Introduction and chapter in Land Use Law for Sustainable Development (Chalifour, et al, eds.) (Cambridge University Press, 2006).
    Introduction and chapter in Energy Law for Sustainable Development (Bradbrook, et al, eds.) (Cambridge University Press, 2005).
    Introduction and chapter in Compendium of Sustainable Energy Laws (Ottinger, Robinson & Tafur, eds) (Cambridge University Press, 2005).
    "International Environmental Law," in Environmental Law (ALI-ABA Course of Study, Feb. 11, 1998) SC56 ALI-ABA 185. Philadelphia, Penn.:  ALI-ABA, 1998.
    "The Transnational Practice of Environmental Law: Global Access and Due Diligence," in International Environmental Law (ALI-ABA Course of Study, Feb. 12, 1997) SB52 ALI-ABA 123. Philadelphia, Penn.: ALI-ABA, 1997.
    "Historic Preservation Law," in A Practical Guide to Environmental Law, edited by David Sive and Frank Friedman. Philadelphia: American Law Institute American Bar Association Committee on Continuing Professional Education, 1987.
Articles   “The Forest Charter” in Daniel B. Magraw, et al., Magna Carta and the Rule of Law (ABA, 2014).
    “The Resilience Principle,:” 5 IUCN Academy of Environmental Law E-Journal 19-17 (2014).
    “Evolved Norms: A Canon for the Anthropocene,” in Christina Voigt, ed., Rule of Law for Nature,  pp.46-71 (Cambridge University Press, 2013). Reviewed by Steve Gold, “A legal Beagle’s Voyage,” in JOTWELL< July 16, 2014,
    “Beyond Sustainability: Environmental  Management for the Anthropocene Epoch,” J. Public Affairs 12(3) (2012).
    The Effectiveness of International Environmental Law,” in A. Postiglione, et al, eds.,Global Environmental Governance (2011).“
    Nicholas A. Robinson – Denver Journal of International Law (2012).
    Symposium on Indigenous Rights: “Introduction” and “’Minimum Standards:’ he UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples,” in 28 Pace Environmental Law Review at 324 and 346 (2010).
    “The Sands of Time: Reflections on the Copenhagen Climate Negotiations,” 29 Pace Environmental Law Review at 599 (2010).
    “Survey of Environmental Tribunals and Regulatory Schemes,” 3 Journal of Court Innovation (winter,2010). 387 pages
    “The Resilience Principle in Environmental Law, for the IUCN Academy of Environmental law Symposium at Wuhan University, Wuhan China, 2009
    “The Courts Confront Environmental Legal Challenges After the Johannesburg Summit,” in Amedeo Postiglione (ed.), The Role of the Judiciary in the Implementation and Enforcement of Environmental law (Bryland, Brussels, 2008)
    “Imperatives in Environmental Law,” Arlindo Daibert (Editor), Direito Ambiental Comparado (Editora Fórum, Brazil, 2008).
    “Environmental Impact Assessment: Essential Methodology or Paper Tiger,” vol. 13, South African Journal of Law &  Policy (2007).
    “Terrorism’s Unintended Casualties: Implications for Environmental Law in the USA & Abroad,” Environmental Policy & Law (double issue, Dec/2006 and Jan/2007).
    “The 2005 Constitutional Violation of New York’s Forest Preserve: What Remedy?” 26 The Environmental Lawyer 15  (NYS Bar Association Environmental Law Section Journal, Spring 2006).
    “Contributions of Air Pollution Law toward Building Sustainable Energy and Climate regimes,” and “Forward,” in Adrian Bradbrook, et al., Energy Law for Sustainable Development (Cambridge University Press, 2005)
    “IUCN as Catalyst for a Law of the Biosphere: Acting Globally and Locally,” 35 Environmental Law 249 (Lewis & Clark Law School, 2005).
    "The IUCN Academy of Environmental Law: Seeking Legal Underpinnings for Sustainable Development," 21 Pace Environmental Law Review 325 (2004).
    "Enforcing Environmental Norms: Diplomatic and Judicial Approaches," 26 Hastings International and Comparative Law Review 387 (2003), reprinted with permission in Chinese in the journal Modern Legal Science (Cao Mingde, ed., Southwest University, 2004).
    "North America: Statutory Greenways and Regional Landscape Systems," The Hastings Institute and American Museum of Natural History. 
    "Tracking A New Relationship: The Wolf In New York Law," published in Wolves and Human Communities: Biology, Politics and Ethics, ed. by Virginia A. Sharpe et al. (2001).
    "International Environmental Protection: a 50th Anniversary Status Report," 15 Environmental Forum 42 (Jan.-Feb. 1998).
    "The 'Ascent of Man': Legal Systems and the Discovery of an Environmental Ethic," (Third Annual Conference on Animals and the Law) 15 Pace Environmental Law Review 497 (1998).
    "Attaining Systems for Sustainability through Environmental Law," 12 Natural Resources and Environment 86 (1997).
    "The Law of Sustainable Development" (Seminar on the Law of Sustainable Development - United States), 13 Pace Environmental Law Review 507 (1996).
    "'Colloquium: The Rio Environmental Law Treaties': IUCN's Proposed Covenant on Environment and Development," 13 Pace Environmental Law Review 133 (1995).
    "Environmental Law: A Mission for the 21st Century," 28 Law- Technology 1 (Summer 1995).
    "After a Decade: 'Theory as Practice' at the Center for Environmental Legal Studies. (Looking Back ... Looking Ahead: Pace Celebrates the 10th Anniversary of the Pace Center for Environmental Legal Studies)," 11 Pace Environmental Law Review 3 (1993).
    "International Trends in Environmental Impact Assessment. (1991 Bellagio Conference on U.S.-USSR Environmental Protection Institutions)," 19 Boston College Environmental Affairs Law Review 591 (1992).
    "Pollution Controls Developing in ex-USSR," National Law Journal, April 13, 1992, at 27.
    "Marshaling Environmental Law to Resolve the Himalaya- Ganges Problem," 13 Delhi Law Review 1 (1991).
    "International Law and the Destruction of Nature in the Gulf War," 21 Environmental Policy and Law 216 (1991).
    "Soviet Environmental Protection: The Challenge for Legal Studies," 7 Pace Environmental Law Review 117 (1989).
    "Perestroika and Priroda: Environmental Protection in the USSR," 5 Pace Environmental Law Review 351 (1988).
    "The U.S. - USSR Agreement to Protect the Environment: 15 Years of Cooperation," with Gary R. Waxmonsky, 18 Environmental Law 403 (1988).
    "Soviet Environmental Law and Perestroika," 18 Environmental Policy and Law 224 (1988).
    "Law of the Sea," New York Law Journal, June 1, 1983, at 1.
    "Ethical Problems," New York Law Journal, April 29, 1983, at 1.
    "Environmental Law Section Confronts Emerging Critical, Complex Issues," New York Law Journal, April 20, 1983, at 36.
    "SEQRA's Siblings: Precedents from Little NEPA's in the Sister States," (Symposium on the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act) 46 Albany Law Review 1155 (1982).
    "Strict Enforcement of Impact Assessment," New York Law Journal, Aug. 31, 1982, at 1.
    "Toxic-Waste Dumps - Some Relief in Sight," New York Law Journal, July 29, 1982, at 1.
    "State Coastal Program Near Federal Approval," New York Law Journal, June 30, 1982, at 1.
    "U.S. Policy Environmental Regulation Abroad," New York Law Journal, May 27, 1982, at 1.
    "Agenda of Environmental Law Section Covers Broad Spectrum of Legal Issues," New York Law Journal, April 28, 1982, at 29.
    "Congress Stumbles on Amendments to Clean-Air Act," New York Law Journal, Jan. 25, 1982, at 1.
    "Emerging International Environmental Law," 17 Stanford Journal of International Studies 229 (1981).
    "Historic Preservation Law: the Metes and Bounds of a New Field," (Symposium on Historic Preservation Law) 1 Pace Law Review 511 (1981).
    "Municipal Ordinances for Historic Preservation in New York State," 53 New York State Bar Journal 18 (1981).
    "Debating Revisions to Clean-Air Act," New York Law Journal, Sept. 25, 1981, at 1.
    "Enforcing Natural Rights," New York Law Journal, Aug. 25, 1981, at 1.
    "EPA Review Ordered of Plan for Ocean Assimilation of Sewage," New York Law Journal, July 28, 1981, at 1.
    "Patterns in Regional Land-Use Controls," New York Law Journal, June 23, 1981, at 1.
    "Congressional Debates on Energy Tradeoffs," New York Law Journal, April 30, 1981, at 1.
    "New York Sets Tax Relief on Farm Lands," New York Law Journal, March 25, 1981, at 1.
    "Access to Solar Energy in New York," New York Law Journal, Feb. 26, 1981, at 1.
    "Super Challenges for 'Superfund,'" New York Law Journal, Jan. 29, 1981, at 1.
    "Historic Preservation Law in New York, New York Law Journal, Sept. 23, 1980, at 1.
    "Update on State Impact-Review Laws," New York Law Journal, Aug. 26, 1980, at 1.
    "Toxic-Waste Laws Vigorously Enforced," New York Law Journal, July 22, 1980, at 1.
    "EPA Procedures Revamped for Permits," New York Law Journal, June 25, 1980, at 1.
    "Environmental Law Begins in China," New York Law Journal, Apr. 22, 1980, at 1.
    "Trends Forecast New Laws," New York Law Journal, Oct. 31, 1980, at 1.
    "Streamlining Local Government Programs, New York Law Journal, Nov. 25, 1980, at 1.
    "Conflicts of Interest in Decision-Making," New York Law Journal, May 30, 1980, at 1.
    "Proliferation of Laws in 'Critical Areas,'" New York Law Journal, Mar. 25, 1980, at 1.
    "U.S. Supreme Court to Hear 'Taking Issue,'" New York Law Journal, Feb. 26, 1980, at 1.
    "Law-Making for State's Coastal Management," New York Law Journal, Jan. 22, 1980, at 1.
    "Bar Association Programs in Environmental Law," New York Law Journal, Dec. 23, 1980, at 1.
Book Reviews   Review of Land Use Conflicts: Organizational Design and Resource Management, by Herman L. Boschken; Environmental Impact Review and Housing: Process Lessons from the California Experience, by Fred E. Case and Jeffrey Gale; Toward Eden, b