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Environmental law students gather to vote electronically on IUCN motions.

Law school prepares for global IUCN congress

The William S. Richardson School of Law is taking a leading role for the University of Hawaiʻi as the IUCN, or the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, opens its international congress at the Hawaiʻi Convention Center, September 1–10 to consider far-ranging global environmental concerns.

Planners are hoping President Barack Obama will address the September 1 opening session at the Neal Blaisdell Center, although his attendance is not confirmed.

Since the IUCN announced Honolulu as the congress host, the University of Hawaiʻ at Mānoa law school and its Environmental Law Program have conducted programs and projects to engage University of Hawaiʻ at Mānoa law students — as well as students from five other American and international law schools — who are deeply involved in global environmental issues.

“This is an historic moment in time for Hawaiʻi and the Pacific,” said Associate Law School Dean Denise Antolini. She called the role of students as fully engaged players in this conservation congress “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

Actions by the congress will be key elements in two newly developed courses that incorporate “real time” attendance at the IUCN congress by Richardson law school students.

One course, taught by Professor Maxine Burkett, focuses on climate change during the IUCN forum; the other, taught by Associate Law School Dean Denise Antolini, focuses on “motions“ work during the IUCN members assembly.

At 5 p.m. during each weekday session of the congress, UH Mānoa law students will offer a five-minute overview through ThinkTech Hawaiʻi of what happened that day. Go to #ELP_IUCN to participate in the discussion or ask questions. The daily summary will be posted on YouTube by ThinkTech.

Antolini added, “Our commitment continues after the congress as well. Implementation of all the good and big ideas does not happen overnight; it takes a lot of hard collaborative work, and will involve our faculty and law students in cutting-edge global environmental law and policy issues for many years to come.”

For more information on the law school’s IUCN invovlement, read the full story on the William S. Richardson School of Law’s website.

Open to the public

The discussion “Judges and Nature” with School of Law Dean Avi Soifer and Antolini will be held on September 5, 11 a.m. These discussions will be held at the Hawaiʻi-Pacific Pavilion at the congress, and then continued at the Hawaiʻi Supreme Court that afternoon.

The discussion will be free and open to the public.

Source: A UH News story