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Full-Text Articles in Law

The International Organization For Standardization: Private Voluntary Standards As Swords And Shields, David A. Wirth Feb 2009

The International Organization For Standardization: Private Voluntary Standards As Swords And Shields, David A. Wirth

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Private voluntary standards such as the International Organization for Standardization's (ISO's) 14000 series have played an increasingly important role in encouraging corporations to adopt more sustainable business models on their own initiative and not in direct response to governmentally mandated requirements. ISO standards have a number of benefits, including promoting international uniformity; elevating environmental issues within an enterprise; promoting international trade; and providing a minimal level of environmental performance in countries with less than adequate regulatory infrastructure. Concerns about ISO standards include the relationship to public regulation; and ISO 14001's essentially procedural, as opposed to performance-based, character ...


The Disaster At Bhopal: Lessons For Corporate Law?, Kent Greenfield Dec 2008

The Disaster At Bhopal: Lessons For Corporate Law?, Kent Greenfield

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Prepared for a conference at New England Law School marking the upcoming twenty-fifth anniversary of the disaster at Bhopal, this essay asks whether we have anything still to learn from what occurred in the early morning hours in Bhopal on December 3, 1984, and in the hours, days, and weeks that followed. Is there reason to believe, for example, that corporations have a tendency to create the context in which such disasters are more likely? More recent corporate behavior poses the same question, whether it pertains to environmental destruction, injuries to consumers, collusion with illegal governmental activities, or financial malfeasance ...


Restitution For Wrongs And The Restatement (Third) Of The Law Of Restitution, James S. Rogers Apr 2007

Restitution For Wrongs And The Restatement (Third) Of The Law Of Restitution, James S. Rogers

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

The law of restitution has been the forgotten step-child of American private law for many decades. The American Law Institute’s current project to produce a new restatement of the law of restitution holds the promise of bringing the subject to the foreground and removing some of the confusion that many lawyers and judges feel in approaching the topic. One of the important issues that must be addressed in any comprehensive treatment of the law of restitution is how to treat those areas where the possibility of recovery based on the unjust enrichment principle overlaps with recovery based on the ...


Globalization And The Environment: Why All The Fuss?, David A. Wirth Feb 2007

Globalization And The Environment: Why All The Fuss?, David A. Wirth

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

The relationship between globalization and environmental policies presents more nuances than the popular paradigm of free trader versus self-serving protectionists, the familiar model of environmentalist battling greedy polluters, or the outmoded view of a progressive multilateral agenda juxtaposed against a parochial, inward-looking domestic one. This piece sets out a structural and analytical framework for addressing the major issues in the field -- including (1) unilateral trade-based measures to protect the environment; (2) science-based tests applied through trade agreements; (3) disciplines on foreign investment that may have a "chilling effect" on environmental regulation; and (4) the relationship between free trade agreements and ...


Law, Media, & Environmental Policy: A Fundamental Linkage In Sustainable Democratic Governance, Zygmunt J.B. Plater Sep 2006

Law, Media, & Environmental Policy: A Fundamental Linkage In Sustainable Democratic Governance, Zygmunt J.B. Plater

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

The functional linkages between law and media have long been signficant in shaping American democratic governance. Over the past thirty-five years, environmental analysis has similarly become essential to shaping international and domestic governmental policy. Environmentalism—focusing as it does on realistic interconnected accounting of the full potential negative consequences as well as benefits of proposed actions, policies, and programs, over the long term as well as the short term, with careful consideration of all realistic alternatives— provides a legal perspective important for societal sustainability. Because environmental values and norms are often in tension with established industrial interests that resist public ...


The Transatlantic Gmo Dispute Against The European Communities: Some Preliminary Thoughts, David A. Wirth Jul 2006

The Transatlantic Gmo Dispute Against The European Communities: Some Preliminary Thoughts, David A. Wirth

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Any day now, a World Trade Organization panel is expected to rule in a dispute between the U.S. and the EU concerning market access for genetically-engineered foods and crops. This piece, written before the release of the WTO panel's report, analyzes novel systemic issues concerning the impact of WTO law on regulatory design, at both the national and international levels, that are raised by this dispute. These include (1) the application of WTO disciplines to regulatory schemes that require prior governmental approval to protect the environment and public health from newly-introduced products and substances; (2) the role of ...


Dealing With Dumb And Dumber: The Continuing Mission Of Citizen Environmentalism, Zygmunt J.B. Plater May 2006

Dealing With Dumb And Dumber: The Continuing Mission Of Citizen Environmentalism, Zygmunt J.B. Plater

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Surveying the history of citizen environmentalism in the context of environmental law and politics over the past fifty years, this essay hypothesizes five different categories of corporate, governmental, political, and individual actions that deserve to be called “dumb,” and the societal lessons that have been or could be learned from each. If there is truth to the wistful aphorism that “we learn from our mistakes,” then our society is in position to learn a great deal about our world and how it works, which perhaps provides some ground for hope for the years to come. Environmentalism embodies fundamentally rational and ...


The President, The Environment, And Foreign Policy: The Globalization Of Environmental Politics, David A. Wirth Feb 2005

The President, The Environment, And Foreign Policy: The Globalization Of Environmental Politics, David A. Wirth

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

By comparison with domestic environmental issues, international environmental diplomacy is distinguished by the far greater role of the Executive Branch, and in particular the President, in making law. This essay explores the legal consequences of the President's dual role in international environmental diplomacy: his duty faithfully to execute statutory mandates adopted by Congress while also serving as the Nation's chief diplomat and negotiator of international agreements with foreign powers. The piece discusses the legal and policy dynamics surrounding two concrete examples affecting domestic and international environmental policy, in which Presidential power assumes dramatically different forms: (1) climate change ...


Endangered Species Act Lessons Over 30 Years, And The Legacy Of The Snail Darter, A Small Fish In A Pork Barrel, Zygmunt J.B. Plater Jan 2004

Endangered Species Act Lessons Over 30 Years, And The Legacy Of The Snail Darter, A Small Fish In A Pork Barrel, Zygmunt J.B. Plater

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Why is it – amidst the flood of environmental statutes that poured into the law books and national consciousness in the remarkable decade of the 1970s – that the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA) stands out as quite uniquely different? This Essay briefly surveys the ESA’s differentness, its special political context, the citizen suit of great notoriety that fired up the ESA’s political hotseat back in 1975, and what has changed and what has not in the years since that first eco-legal outburst.


Current Developments: The Sixth Session (Part Two) And Seventh Session Of The Conference Of The Parties To The Framework Convention On Climate Change, David A. Wirth Jul 2002

Current Developments: The Sixth Session (Part Two) And Seventh Session Of The Conference Of The Parties To The Framework Convention On Climate Change, David A. Wirth

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

No abstract provided.


International Decisions. European Communities -- Measures Affecting Asbestos And Asbestos-Containing Products, David A. Wirth Apr 2002

International Decisions. European Communities -- Measures Affecting Asbestos And Asbestos-Containing Products, David A. Wirth

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

No abstract provided.


Law And The Fourth Estate: Endangered Nature, The Press, And The Dicey Game Of Democratic Governance, Zygmunt J.B. Plater Jan 2002

Law And The Fourth Estate: Endangered Nature, The Press, And The Dicey Game Of Democratic Governance, Zygmunt J.B. Plater

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Building upon the story line of a current book project on the Tellico Dam case, this Essay explores a challenging reality of modern public interest lawyering – the critical role of public perceptions and of the Press’s role in shaping them. Most public interest attorneys come to realize that their lawyering must move simultaneously on two different tracks that determine outcomes – law and public opinion. This double task can be difficult and sometimes impossible. Both tracks require the organization and presentation of facts, but the two contexts can be quite different. A legal case requires proof of each technical element ...


Environmental Law In The Political Ecosystem - Coping With The Reality Of Politics, Zygmunt J.B. Plater Jan 2002

Environmental Law In The Political Ecosystem - Coping With The Reality Of Politics, Zygmunt J.B. Plater

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

In this Essay, the proposition the author draws from the narrative of the endangered species litigation is derivatively Aristotelian – that we must consciously, actively, and explicitly integrate an informed consideration of human politics into what we teach and do in environmental law. The proposition is not that we should steep ourselves in party politics, although there are interesting observations aplenty that could be made on the direct consequences that the two major parties (and occassionally their wistful smaller incarnations) have on the evolution of environmental law. The proposition offered here operates at two different levels: practical politics and political overview ...


Teaching And Research In International Environmental Law, David A. Wirth Jan 1999

Teaching And Research In International Environmental Law, David A. Wirth

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

No abstract provided.


Environmental Law And Three Economies: Navigating A Sprawling Field Of Study, Practice, And Societal Governance In Which Everything Is Connected To Everything Else, Zygmunt J.B. Plater Jan 1999

Environmental Law And Three Economies: Navigating A Sprawling Field Of Study, Practice, And Societal Governance In Which Everything Is Connected To Everything Else, Zygmunt J.B. Plater

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

From the Author’s Introduction: This Essay addresses four of the challenges facing academics in this field, two of which are logistical and two conceptual. The two logistical challenges briefly addressed here are endemic in teaching environmental law—choosing what to teach and deciding how to teach it. Today some rough generalizations on strategies for curricular coping can be made, emerging from the evolution of environmental law courses at many American law schools over the past twenty-five years. The conceptual challenges may be even more difficult to tackle, and are addressed here at a greater length: first, how to frame ...


The Three Economies: An Essay In Honor Of Joseph Sax, Zygmunt J.B. Plater Jun 1998

The Three Economies: An Essay In Honor Of Joseph Sax, Zygmunt J.B. Plater

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

How does one evaluate the important public values and impacts of things that do not have a market price and then integrate them into the fabric of our system of social governance? That question lies within most or all of Joseph Sax's work over the years. The first part of this article represents an attempt to distill some of Joseph Sax's intellectual dimensions, beyond those already chronicled in the comments of other contributors to this symposium, with some linked themes and observations drawn from Sax beyond his writings. The second part, instigated by several of Sax's articles ...


At War With The Environment, David A. Wirth Mar 1998

At War With The Environment, David A. Wirth

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

In this Article, Professor Wirth reviews the book National Defense and the Environment by Stephen Dycus, a recognized expert in both environmental and national security law. The emphasis of the book is on containing and remediating the environmental excesses of the American defense-industrial complex, with a domestic policy focus. While Professor Wirth considers Dycus’ work an intellectually rewarding and refreshing new entry into the ongoing environment-as-security colloquy, he does not consider the book to be accessible to a general audience given the book’s fundamentally legalistic nature.


The Embattled Social Utilities Of The Endangered Species Act - A Noah Presumption And Caution Against Putting Gasmasks On The Canaries In The Coalmine, Zygmunt J.B. Plater Jan 1997

The Embattled Social Utilities Of The Endangered Species Act - A Noah Presumption And Caution Against Putting Gasmasks On The Canaries In The Coalmine, Zygmunt J.B. Plater

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

The Endangered Species Act (ESA) is once again poised at the brink of what could become an illuminating national debate. The Act’s congressional reauthorization process is likely to provide the first major indicator of what the 105th Congress will or won’t do to environmental law generally. From the turbulent past and present of the ESA, this essay offers some reminders for the impending battles over the Act.


Trade And The Environment: Equilibrium Or Imbalance?, David A. Wirth, Douglas J. Caldwell Apr 1996

Trade And The Environment: Equilibrium Or Imbalance?, David A. Wirth, Douglas J. Caldwell

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

No abstract provided.


Public Participation In International Processes: Environmental Case Studies At The National And International Levels, David A. Wirth Jan 1996

Public Participation In International Processes: Environmental Case Studies At The National And International Levels, David A. Wirth

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

No abstract provided.


Environmental Law As A Mirror Of The Future: Civic Values Confronting Market Force Dynamics In A Time Of Counter-Revolution, Zygmunt J.B. Plater Jan 1996

Environmental Law As A Mirror Of The Future: Civic Values Confronting Market Force Dynamics In A Time Of Counter-Revolution, Zygmunt J.B. Plater

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

This essay explores the legislative assaults currently faced by environmental law, as the powerful market forces that gained at least temporary congressional ascendancy in Novemeber 1994 attempt to roll back legal doctrines and structures evolved in thirty years of bipartisan development. The "counter revolutionary" tumult of the 104th Congress reflects a basic confrontation - between the powerful human nature dynamics of market forces and society's need for enforceable civic values that transcend short-term profit expediencies. Environmental law, reflecting a paradigm shift in how we perceive the world, has emerged over the past three decades as one of the primary realms ...


The Rio Declaration On Environment And Development: Two Steps Forward And One Back, Or Vice Versa, David A. Wirth Apr 1995

The Rio Declaration On Environment And Development: Two Steps Forward And One Back, Or Vice Versa, David A. Wirth

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

No abstract provided.


Facing A Time Of Counter-Revolution: The Kepone Incident And A Review Of First Principles, Zygmunt J.B. Plater Jan 1995

Facing A Time Of Counter-Revolution: The Kepone Incident And A Review Of First Principles, Zygmunt J.B. Plater

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

The Kepone contamination episode of 1966-75 was a milestone that focused an entire nation’s attention on environmental hazards and our need to do better in recognizing and avoiding them. We have learned a great deal from that unfortunate story. The evolution of American environmental law since the Kepone debacle has repeatedly used the incident as a touchstone in identifying environmental pollution’s causes, effects, and potential solutions. This essay offers four propositions, about two things that have changed, and two things that have not, in the years since Kepone, taking account of where we are, and seeking some points ...


Reexamining Decisions-Making Processes In International Environmental Law, David A. Wirth May 1994

Reexamining Decisions-Making Processes In International Environmental Law, David A. Wirth

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

No abstract provided.


From The Beginning, A Fundamental Shift Of Paradigms: A Theory And Short History Of Environmental Law, Zygmunt J.B. Plater Jan 1994

From The Beginning, A Fundamental Shift Of Paradigms: A Theory And Short History Of Environmental Law, Zygmunt J.B. Plater

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Looking back on the past twenty-five years, during which environmental law has developed such astonishing breadth, depth, and volume, the author suggests that it is possible to sketch a compound proposition about how environmental law evolved, the primacy of citizen litigation in its development, and what it all may signify. By exploring two paradigm shifts within the field, the author offers suggestions for why environmental law has been so energetic, broad-ranging, and often confrontational, and where environmental law may be going.


International Decisions. Environmental Defense Fund V. Massey. 986 F.2d 528. U.S.Court Of Appeals, D.C. Cir., Jan. 29, 1993, David A. Wirth Jan 1993

International Decisions. Environmental Defense Fund V. Massey. 986 F.2d 528. U.S.Court Of Appeals, D.C. Cir., Jan. 29, 1993, David A. Wirth

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

No abstract provided.


The North American Free Trade Agreement And U.S. Environmental Law, David A. Wirth Jan 1992

The North American Free Trade Agreement And U.S. Environmental Law, David A. Wirth

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

No abstract provided.


A Matchmaker's Challenge: Marrying International Law And American Environmental Law, David A. Wirth Jan 1992

A Matchmaker's Challenge: Marrying International Law And American Environmental Law, David A. Wirth

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

No abstract provided.


Legitimacy, Accountability, And Partnership: A Model For Advocacy On Third World Environmental Issues, David A. Wirth Jul 1991

Legitimacy, Accountability, And Partnership: A Model For Advocacy On Third World Environmental Issues, David A. Wirth

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

To date, there has been little effort to define the characteristics of responsible environmental reform efforts by private citizens and organizations in the United States on foreign environmental problems, such as the quality of foreign aid. Moreover, there have been virtually no attempts to identify a principled role for American lawyers in Third World environmental issues. This Essay will respond to these lacunae by articulating a new approach to advocacy based on a partnership model. In Part I, this Essay identifies the need for American public interest advocates to establish partnerships with directly affected groups on Third World environmental issues ...


Keynote Essay: A Modern Political Tribalism In Natural Resources Management, Zygmunt J.B. Plater Jan 1990

Keynote Essay: A Modern Political Tribalism In Natural Resources Management, Zygmunt J.B. Plater

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

The first law of ecology holds that everything is connected to everything else. This conference addresses the challenges and dilemmas of resource management policy on America’s public lands, but it seems useful both for the purposes of the conference and in broader terms to note how resource management is connected to larger questions of global integrity and human governance. This essay explores a troubling fact of modern political life: As the problems of managing the economy and ecology of this nation become ever more complex, subtly-interrelated, pressured and demanding, our processes of legal and political governance might be expected ...