Category Archives: Land use and Environment

Clifford Villa, ‘Is The “Act of God” Dead?’

Abstract: In more than twenty years with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) before joining the legal academy, I saw many communities affected by fires, floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, and other natural disasters. However, I never saw a case where the act of God defense prevailed against environmental liability. Confirming this personal experience, I later learned […]

‘The Real World’

Karen Bradshaw, Settling for Natural Resource Damages, 40 Harvard Environmental Law Review 211 (2016); James W Coleman, How Cheap Is Corporate Talk? Comparing Companies’ Comments on Regulations with Their Securities Disclosures, 40 Harvard Environmental Law Review 48 (2016). My very first law professor, Bob Ellickson, once said to my Torts class: ‘You know how law […]

‘Everything Old is New Again: Breathing New Life into the Fee Simple Absolute’

Lee Anne Fennell, Fee Simple Obsolete, 91 NYU Law Review 1457 (2016), available at SSRN. ‘And don’t throw the past away. You might need it some other rainy day.’ These lyrics to Peter Allen’s song, Everything Old is New Again, sum up the fee simple absolute (‘fee simple’) perfectly. This antiquated doctrine that is the […]

Katalin Sulyok, ‘Managing Uncertain Causation in Toxic Exposure Cases: Lessons for the European Court of Human Rights from US Toxic Tort Litigation’

Abstract: Under Articles 2 (right to life) and Article 8 (right to private life) of the European Convention on Human Rights, the European Court of Human Rights (Strasbourg Court) decides cases involving personal health injuries allegedly caused by toxic exposures. Thus far no one has conducted a systematic inquiry on how the Strasbourg Court deals […]

Cornell and Light, ‘Wrongful Benefit and Arctic Drilling’

Abstract: The law contains a diverse range of doctrines — ‘slayer rules’ that prevent murderers from inheriting, restrictions on trade in ‘conflict diamonds’, the Fourth Amendment’s exclusion of evidence obtained through unconstitutional search, and many more — that seem to instantiate a general principle that it can be wrong to profit from past harms or […]

‘Property law and flooding’

“Continuing our trend on water, the Osgoode Society recently announced that Jason Hall has won its Peter Oliver Prize for best published student writing for his article, ‘High Freshets and Low-Lying Farms: Property Law and St John River Flooding in Colonial New Brunswick’. The abstract: ‘ Although New Brunswick was founded on private land ownership, […]

J Peter Byrne, ‘Property in the Anthropocene’

Abstract: Human-induced climate change threatens perilous risks for our physical homes and also poses a serious challenge to our legal institutions. Several scholars already have remarked on the disruption climate change has brought to specific legal areas, such as tort, standing, and national security. This essay argues that climate change will also disrupt fundamental ideas […]

‘Zoning for Dollars and Drones?’

Troy A Rule, Drone Zoning, 95 North Carolina Law Review 133 (2016), available at SSRN. My family was enjoying a sunny Southern California day in our new expansive backyard with a sparkling pool and secluded privacy when, all of a sudden, a drone hovered overhead. It appeared to be watching and taunting us as one […]

Paul Babie, ‘Review Essay: Private Property Suffuses Life’

Abstract: This review essay explores, in four Parts, the ways in which private property has become a ubiquitous means of exerting control over things and over people. First, it recounts the liberal conception of private property. Second, using Andro Linklater’s Owning the Earth: The Transforming History of Land Ownership and Frank Trentmann’s Empire of Things: […]

Tara Righetti, ‘Correlative Rights and Limited Common Property in the Pore Space: A Response to the Challenge of Subsurface Trespass in Carbon Capture and Sequestration’

Abstract: Carbon dioxide and other substances injected as part of carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) have the potential to migrate beyond the confines of the injection project, creating the potential for trespass. In order for CCS to be viable, legal clarity on the issue of subsurface trespass is required. This Article argues that the challenge […]