Environmental Law Discussion Group 2012
This year’s Environmental Law Discussion Group series, co-hosted by the Faculty of Law, will took place across both Hilary and Trinity terms 2012.
For previous Environmental Law Discussion Group Series, please visit our Past Events page.
Seminars that took place:
Seminar 1: A Pragmatic Perspective on Democracy and Regulation
Seminar Summary: The author will discuss the first chapter of a forthcoming book (Oxford Press, 2013) on democracy, regulation, and philosophical pragmatism. The presentation will explain the pragmatic methodology, at one time the basis of policy discourse in the United States, and argue why it should be revived as a replacement for neoliberalism, the current dominant perspective.
Speaker Biography: Professor Sidney Shapiro (Professor at the Wake Forest University School of Law) is one of the country’s leading experts in administrative procedure and regulatory policy. He has written six books, contributed chapters to seven additional books, authored or coauthored over fifty articles, and is currently working on a book on administrative accountability. Sid has been a consultant to government agencies and has testified before Congress on regulatory subjects. He is the Vice-President of the Center for Progressive Reform, a nonprofit research and educational organization of university-affiliated academics. Before coming to Wake Forest, Sid taught at the University of Kansas where he was a distinguished professor. Prior to teaching, Sid was a trial attorney with the Federal Trade Commission and Deputy Legal Counsel of the Secretary’s Review Panel at the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare.
Seminar 2: Water, Law, and Policy In At Least Some of the United States Right Now: How Many Blinkered Projections, Constitutional Roadblocks, Democratic Manglings, Greedy Impulses, Historic Impasses, Hubristic Settlement Patterns, Market-based Distortions, Moth-Eaten Legal Conceits, and Let Us Not Forget Rampant Senses of Entitlement Can Swarm the Field of Adaptive Water Management?
Seminar Summary: This talk included examples from the extensive inventory that Professor Cohen is compiling of recombinant impediments to the reform of water law and policy in the United States. Problems are not limited to the replication of past errors, but to the ways that stolid practices combine with current economic and political strategies to overwhelm the adaptive evolution of water resource management. The talk will include reference to a brand-new study of “fracking” in the oil and shale gas industries and, possibly, to Pascal’s wager.
Speaker: Professor Jane Cohen, Edward Clark Centennial Professor, University of Texas (Law School).
Seminar 3: Environmental Impact, Knowledge Controversies, and Political Situations
Seminar Summary: In this paper, Professor Barry interrogates both the idea of environmental impact and the performance of Environmental Impact Assessment. The paper develops two sets of arguments. One revolves around the performativity and impact of Environmental Impact Assessment itself. The other revolves around the relation between Environmental Impact Assessment and the emergence of knowledge controversies about environmental impacts. He also proposes an account of the political situations in relation to which knowledge controversies concerning environmental impacts have significance.
Speaker Biography: Professor Andrew Barry joined the School of Geography and the Environment at Oxford in 2006. His research interests span political and economic geography, social and anthropological theory, and science and technology studies. He as the winner of the Philip Abrams Memorial Prize from the British Sociological Association in 2002 and is on the editorial board of Economy and Society, the editorial advisory board of Environment and Planning D; International Political Sociology; Social Movement Studies, the ESF panel of experts (2006-7), and the advisory board of the British Film Institute project on ‘Moving Images in the Public Sphere’.
Seminar 4: The bats in the shed; the elephant in the room.
Seminar Summary: Rules aimed at protecting the environment can evidently clash with what someone affected by them could see as their ’ownership’ of their land. This session focuses on ways of thinking about such a clash.
Speaker Biography: Simon Gardner took a BA in law and a BCL at Oxford, then worked for a year as a lecturer at the University of Nottingham, before moving to a fellowship at Lincoln College and joining the Oxford law faculty. He has also undertaken other roles within Lincoln College (including Sub-Rector, Dean, and Tutor for Admissions) and the Oxford law faculty (including Chair of the Faculty Board, and Director of Graduate Studies responsible for the BCL and MJur programmes). He works principally in the fields of property law and criminal law, normally giving tutorials (for which he has received a Teaching Excellence Award) in Land Law, Trusts, and Criminal Law, and lectures in Land Law and Trusts. He is currently convenor of the faculty’s Land Law and Trusts groups. He is an academic member of the Chancery Bar Association.
Seminar 5: The Environmental Tools of Government: A Framework for Understanding Policy Instruments
Seminar Summary: This seminar will provide a brief overview of an evolving framework within which to evaluate environmental policy choice, design, and implementation. The framework differs from others in the field in several important respects. It provides a new structure for analysis of policy instruments, developing the concept of “policy instrument space” rather than discrete categories of instruments. The new structure provides insight into the relations among a broad range of environmental policy instruments. The environmental policy instrument choice framework proposes a constrained cost minimization approach by which to reconfigure the evaluation criteria commonly applied in the instrument choice exercise. The framework also provides an integrated approach to the analysis of policy instruments, blending the analytical models of environmental economics with insight from public administration, New Institutional Economics, public finance, regulatory and constitutional law, and political economics.
Speaker: Dr Kenneth R Richards, Indiana University, School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Senior Visiting Research Fellow at the Smith School for Enterprise and Environment