Widener Law sends two professors to international environmental law conference in South Africa
Public Relations - Published: January 31, 2014

Professor James R. May and Vice Dean Erin Daly.

Widener Law recently sent two distinguished members of the Delaware campus faculty to participate in a United Nations program on global constitutional environmental rights.

The consultation, convened in Johannesburg, South Africa Jan. 23-24, explored the idea of the right to a healthy, safe environment, which is built into constitutions of countries around the world. Widener Professors James R. May and Erin Daly, who also serves as vice dean of Widener’s Delaware campus, were invited to serve as delegates to the program. They were two of four North Americans who attended the event, which drew more than 40 participants. Other delegates included leading figures in governance, environmental policy and constitutional litigation from Africa and around the globe.

Daly was invited to give introductory remarks on a panel at the program. She provided an overview of the global trend to include environmental rights as constitutional rights, and discussed the relationship between human rights and environmental rights.

The event was convened by the United Nations Independent Expert on Human Rights and the Environment, the United Nations Environment Programme, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the Legal Resources Centre, a South African human rights organization.

May and Daly are collaborating on the forthcoming book “Global Environmental Constitutionalism.” It will be published later this year by Cambridge University Press.

Daly has written extensively on comparative constitutional law and transitional justice issues around the world. She published “Dignity Rights: Courts, Constitutions, and the Worth of the Human Person” in 2012, with a foreword by Aharon Barak, the former president of the Israeli Supreme Court. It was the first book to explore the constitutional law of dignity around the world.

May is co-director of Widener’s Environmental Law Center and previously directed the school’s Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic. He has litigated more than 200 public interest environmental claims at levels up to the U.S. Supreme Court. He edited “Principles of Constitutional Environmental Law” in 2013.

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