ELI Primary Menu

Skip to main content

The Public Trust Doctrine in the 21st Century (2018 J.B. & Maurice C. Shapiro Environmental Law Symposium)

When:

March 15, 2018 - March 16, 2018

Where:

Washington, DC (and webcast)


The Public Trust Doctrine is rooted, at least in part, in the 800-year-old Charter of the Forests and remains a subject of significant debate today. The Symposium reflected on the role of the Charter of the Forests, the development of the Public Trust Doctrine in the United States, and explored the role of Public Trust Doctrine today in contexts including climate, water resources, state constitutions, and other settings.

The Symposium brought together some of the foremost experts on public trust issues in the United States and Canada who hold variety of perspectives on the Doctrine to discuss the evolving role that the Public Trust Doctrine is playing today with respect to climate change, public lands, water rights and other critical environmental and natural resource issues.

AGENDA

Thursday, March 15

Opening Remarks 

  • Steve Miano, Hangley Aronchick Segal Pudlin & Schiller; former Chair of the ABA Section of Environment, Energy & Resources
  • Lee Paddock, The George Washington University Law School

Keynote address— The Charter of the Forests

  • Nicholas Robinson, Haub School of Law at Pace University

Historical Roots of Public Trust in the U.S. 

  • Daniel Magraw, Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies (moderator)
  • Jim Huffman, Lewis & Clark Law School
  • Erin Ryan, Florida State University College of Law

Implications of the Juliana Case

  • Rob Glicksman, The George Washington University Law School (moderator)
  • Mary Wood, University of Oregon (by video)
  • Brad Mank, University of Cincinnati College of Law
  • Randall Abate, Florida A&M College of Law

Friday, March 16         

Applications of the Public Trust Doctrine: Part I

  • Sheila Hollis, Duane Morris, former Chair of the ABA Section of Environment, Energy & Resources (moderator)
  • Michael Blumm, Lewis & Clark Law School (Sovereign and Property Ownership: The Public Trust Doctrine as a Usufructuary Right)
  • Daniel Siegel, California Office of the Attorney General (The Public Trust Doctrine in California)
  • Rick Frank, University of California Davis School of Law (Water and the American West: The Public Trust Doctrine’s New Frontier) 
  • Harry Wruck, EcoJustice Canada (The Public Trust in Canada)

Applications of the Public Trust Doctrine: Part II

  • Caitlin McCoy, The George Washington University Law School (moderator)
  • Margaret Peloso, Vinson & Elkins (Public Trust as a Climate Adaptation Tool)
  • Melissa Scanlan, Vermont Law School (The Role of the Courts in Guarding Against Privatization of Important Public Environmental Resources)
  • Alex Klass, University of Minnesota Law School (The Public Trust Doctrine in the Shadow of State Environmental Rights Laws)
  • John Dernbach, Widener University Commonwealth Law School (The Public Trust Doctrine and the Pennsylvania Supreme Court)
  • Tracy Hester, University of Houston Law Center (The Public Trust Doctrine in Texas)

Closing Thoughts

  •  Dan McGraw, Nicholas Robinson

Materials:

Keynote Address: Nicholas A. Robinson Paper - "The Charter of the Forest: Evolving Human Rights in Nature" [pdf]

Panel One:  "Historical Roots of Public Trust in the U.S."

Panel Two:  "Implications of the Juliana Case"

Panel Three:  "Applications of the Public Trust Doctrine: Part I"

Panel Four:  "Applications of the Public Trust Doctrine: Part II"