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The Case for Legal Recognition of Environmental Human Rights

The Case for Legal Recognition of Environmental Human Rights

DATE: Thursday, September 23 2021
TIME: 12:15 pm - 1:15 pm
LOCATION: College of Law and Virtual Event
COST: Free and open to the public
1 hour CLE (pending)

Wallace Stegner Center Green Bag Series


Recognition of a right to a healthy environment is now the subject of considerable effort and within humanity’s reach, if only we can grasp it. But what is less clear is whether and the extent to which all of this is worth the coin, yet, and if so, why it is a better use of time and energy than by, say, protecting other established rights, working to enact and enforce environmental laws, or by implementing other regimes, such as the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Ultimately, however, while the case is solid, it has shortcomings that warrant consideration and further analytical interrogation.


Lunch will not be provided but you are welcome to bring your own.
For questions about this event contact Kris (801) 585-3440.



James R. May, Esq. is Visiting Professor of Law, S.J. Quinney College of Law, University of Utah; Distinguished Professor of Law, Founder of the Global Environmental Rights Institute, and co-Founder of the Dignity Rights Project at Widener University Delaware Law School.

May is the immediate past President and co-Founder of Dignity Rights International, and a Board member of the Normandy Chair for Peace, the Earth Law Center, and Delaware GreenWatch. He serves as the Special Representative on Harmony With Nature for the International Council of Environmental Law, and chairs the American Bar Association Section on Environment, Energy and Resources’ Task Force on Environmental Justice. He is an inductee of the American College of Environmental Lawyers, the Delaware Valley Environmental Inn of Court, the National Judicial College, and Phi Kappa Phi.

May has published Environmental Human Rights and the Anthropocene (forthcoming 2022), Dignity Law Handbook (2021), Dignity Law Casebook: Courts, Constitutions and Perspectives (2020); Advanced Introduction to Dignity Law (2020), Encyclopedia of Human Rights and the Environment (2020), Environmental Rights: The Development of Standards (2019), Judicial Handbook on Environmental Constitutionalism (3d. Ed. 2019), Judicial Handbook on Environmental Constitutionalism: Compendium of Cases (2d ed. 2019), Implementing Environmental Constitutionalism (2018), The Future of Sustainable Energy, (2016), New Frontiers in Environmental Constitutionalism (2016), Environmental Constitutionalism (2016), Global Environmental Constitutionalism (Cambridge 2015), and Principles of Constitutional Environmental Law (2011).

He has received numerous awards and recognitions, including from the American Bar Association, Sierra Club, American Canoe Association, Pace University Haub School of Law, and Widener University. LawDragon has recognized him as one of the world’s most influential environmental lawyers.