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Carey Law Hosts Global Environmental Law Meeting

13 September 2012 No Comment

From left: Law School dean Phoebe Haddon, JD, LLM; Joel Fedder, JD '58; and Robert Percival (Photo by Larry Canner).


The Environmental Law Program at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law—long ranked among the best in its field nationally by U.S.News and World Report—took center stage this summer in an international meeting of environmental law scholars. The program turns 25 this year and the colloquium helped celebrate its inception.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Academy of Environmental Law is a global network of environmental law professors. The organization’s annual colloquia provide a unique opportunity for environmental experts to monitor developments in environmental law and policy around the planet. This year’s meeting at the law school, July 1-5, followed by just a few days a huge global environmental gathering in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, giving the IUCN participants a fresh platform of news and ideas for their conference.

“We hoped to host the best colloquium the academy has ever had in terms of the largest number of participants, the most interesting panel discussions and presentations, and the best side events,” said Robert Percival, JD, MA, Robert F. Stanton Professor of Law, a member of the IUCN Academy and chief organizer of the event. “We definitely accomplished this goal.” 

Panels included an opening plenary at which speakers—among them a Brazilian high court judge and the regional director of the United Nations Environment Program—discussed the Rio+20 conference, which made news around the world. Other topics included biodiversity and land use, environmental enforcement options, sustainable development, and climate change. Since the conference ran on July 4, attendees got a chance to watch Baltimore celebrate Independence Day with a harbor cruise and crab feast amid the fireworks.

Maryland was selected to host the colloquium, Percival said, because of the nationally renowned quality of its Environmental Law Program, which he directs. Percival also notes that the UM Carey Law environmental program has long emphasized the global reach of environmental issues. Percival frequently teaches and consults in China on environmental law, and has made hundreds of presentations in dozens of countries on six continents.

Organizers estimate that 250 people from more than 30 countries attended the colloquium.

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