News from the IUCN 2013 Academy of Environmental Law Colloquium

A delegation from Pace Law School joined with more than 200 professors from 35 different nations for the 2013 Academy of Environmental Law Colloquium. Dean Emeritus Richard Ottinger and Professor Nicholas Robinson were accompanied by Laura Jensen (JD ’11. LLM ’12), Pace Law’s Assistant Director of Environmental Programs, and Wang Pian Pian (LLM ’13). Convened by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the event was held at the University of Waikato in New Zealand.

During the Colloquium, Professor Robinson was presented with the Academy’s inaugural Environmental Law Education Award, given in recognition of his “leadership, innovation, commitment and determination to advance the teaching of environmental law.” Professor Robinson was also honored for his recent appointment as a Fellow of the IUCN, the world’s oldest and largest global environmental organization.

“The Colloquium has become one of the world’s leading events for sharing legal research,” said Robinson, in an email. He added, “I was privileged to deliver a paper on new principles for environmental law, based on evolved norms, and got some helpful feedback for my study of biological evolution and the law.”

Dean Emeritus Ottinger and Professor Wang Xi, of Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China, presented a paper on an analysis of environmental law compliance and enforcement that utilizes case studies from the Hudson River Valley. Professor Robinson shared that in his closing lecture, Professor Emeritus Ben Boer, formerly the Co-Director of the IUCN Academy of Environmental Law, commended the presentation and urged others to emulate the research approach set forth in the paper.

Among the publications shared at the Colloquium was the “Dictionary of Environmental and Climate Change Law” that was published by Professors Nicholas Robinson, Wang Xi, and Lin Harmon, who is Pace Law’s Director of Environmental Programs. Laura Jensen and Sarah Wegmueller (JD, MEM ’13) also contributed to this project. The Dictionary contains definitions of environmental legal terms with Mandarin and Pinyin translations and is intended to facilitate conversations on environmental law and policy between English and Mandarin speakers.

"The originality and variety of the scholarly papers on environmental law delivered at Waikato in New Zealand was extraordinary,” said Professor Robinson. “These works in progress were on line to study and stimulated great discussions. The Academy was always first rate, but in its second decade its annual conferences have exceeded all our initial expectations. Pace is honored to have been one of 12 universities world-wide to host the annual Colloquium, and Pace faculty and students have attended each."

Professor Robinson noted that several scholars attending the Colloquium expressed interest in visiting Pace Law. Laura Jensen was able to share materials with prospective students, as well. Papers presented at the Colloquium are available on-line

Photo caption: Professor Nicholas Robinson