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


March 15, 2018 - March 16, 2018


George Washington University Law School
Jacob Burns Moot Court Room (Directions)
2000 H Street, NW

Washington, DC (and webcast)


The event is free and open to the public. You may register at the GWU registration site HERE.

  • Those interested in receiving CLE credit should note on the registration form the state for which CLE credit will be sought. Note that CLE is not available for the webcast.
  • If you wish to attend via webcast, you do not need to register. To watch the livestream, go HERE during the appropriate times as noted on the agenda.

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 will reflect on the role of the Charter of the Forests, the development of the Public Trust Doctrine in the United States, and explore the role of Public Trust Doctrine today in contexts including climate, water resources, state constitutions, and other settings.

The Symposium will bring 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.

Please go HERE for a copy of the agenda.  Panel topics include:

  • The Charter of the Forest
  • Historical Roots of Public Trust in the U.S.
  • Implications of the Juliana Case
  • Applications of the Public Trust Doctrine: Part 1
  • Applications of the Public Trust Doctrine: Part 2