Environmental Law Program Courses

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Courses in the curriculum, and their content and credit hours, are subject to change.

Administrative Law
Law 561 (3)
This course covers the legal regime applicable to federal, state and local agency decision-making and the role of the courts in reviewing agency decisions through study of the federal and Hawai'i Administrative Procedure Acts and the case law arising under them.

Constitutional Law II:
Law 534 (3)
A continuation of Constitutional Law I with special emphasis on problems of due process and freedom of speech. This course also examines the division of powers between the states and the nation, powers of Congress, the commerce clause, and governmental immunities. Pre: Constitutional Law I (Law 533).

Domestic Ocean and Coastal Law:
Law 592 (3)
Examination of the history of the U.S. and Hawai`i sea use law; comprehensive coverage of modern issues concerning the use of the sea including special Hawaiian problems. Alternate year course.

Environmental Compliance & Regulated Industries:
Law 512 (1-3 variable credit)
Modern businesses and industries are heavily regulated by a myriad of federal and state environmental laws. Ensuring compliance with these important and complex laws is a critical function of corporate law today and can have far-reaching positive impacts on the environment. Conversely, failure to comply with these laws and their accompanying regulations can lead to serious civil and criminal penalties. This course covers in depth the environmental regulatory structure that impacts businesses and explores the fascinating compliance issues that arise under the statutes, regulations and case law. Alternate year course.

Environmental Law:
Law 582 (3)
The explosion of environmental laws since the early 1970s has dramatically impacted business, government, and private individuals. The tentacles reach into almost all areas of law: from bankruptcy to tax, from land transactions to corporate structuring. This course introduces students to a smorgasbord of federal environmental laws, with an emphasis on pollution control, including the Clean Water Act (CWA), Clean Air Act (CAA), National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) and its amendments (SARA), and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). This course provides the fundamentals for those interested in pursuing environmental law careers, as well as students wishing to get a taste of one of the "hottest" areas of law.

Environmental Litigation Seminar:
Law 529 (2)
Seminar on the techniques, law and strategy involved in federal and state court environmental litigation. Alternate year course.

Federal Courts:
Law 571 (3)
An examination of the jurisdiction and law-making powers of the federal courts, including standing issues, the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, the federal-question and diversity-of-citizenship jurisdiction of the federal district courts, the immunities from suit in the federal courts possessed by governmental entities and officers, intervention by federal courts in state proceedings, and choice of law in the federal courts. Particular emphasis is placed on relevant Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Pre: Constitutional Law I (Law 533).

Hazardous Waste Law:
Law 540 (2)
The course covers three federal statutes and their associated regulations and case law: the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA or Superfund), the Resources Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), and the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA). In addition, the Hawai`i counterparts to these laws are examined. The course covers not only "black letter" law, but also the policies behind the laws and the impacts these laws have had on communities, individuals, and businesses. Alternate year course.

International Environmental Law:
Law 528 (3)
Study of the international regulation of activities and processes used to prevent environmental degradation and to preserve resources of environmental value. Alternate year course.

International Ocean Law:
Law 593 (2)
Examination of many legal issues that affect ocean resources. This course focuses on governance of living and non-living resources, environmental protection, and boundary delimitation. Alternate year course.

Land Use Management and Control:
Law 580 (3)
This is a survey course in public control of private use of land: how do state, local, and federal agencies regulate the land development process? Special emphasis is on constitutional issues (exclusionary zoning, regulations and exactions that may be "takings" of property under the federal Constitution), growth management, and innovative techniques such as impact fees, development agreements, and planned unit development. The course also covers zoning, subdivision and housing codes, state and regional land control statutes, together with those aspects of eminent domain, environmental, and public land management law affecting the use of private land.

Legal Aspects of Water Resources Control:
Law 588 (2)
The course covers the legal aspects of water and water rights with primary focus on Hawai'i. Topics include: Native Hawaiian water rights, pre-McBryde case law, McBryde and post-McBryde developments, water pollution, ground water designation, institutional relationships, and various types of allocation systems. Alternate year course. Alternate year course.

Native Hawaiian Rights:
Law 581 (3 variable credit)
The purpose of this course is to examine the status and evolution of the rights of Native Hawaiians to the land and its usufructs. Areas of study include the relationship of the rights to possession and use of the land vested in the Monarchy, the chiefs, and native tenants prior to the imposition of a Western legal system defining land tenure; the effect of the Great Mahele of 1848; the erosion of native land rights through adverse possession, land court registration, and quiet title litigation; the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act; and the recently revived question of land reparation. Finally, the course analyzes the potential for utilizing native rights based on statute, custom, and use to fashion new and expanded rights to land and its usufructs.

Negotiation and Alternative Dispute Resolution:
Law 508 (2 variable credit)
Lawyers negotiate settlements in almost all their cases. This class presents a "hands-on," skill-building approach to the newest ideas, as well as centuries old techniques, about the skills lawyers will use most often in their practice-negotiation: The class also examines the rapidly developing field of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) including mediation, facilitation, arbitration, and court-annexed ADR.

Law 539 (3 variable credit)
This course principally examines both practice aspects and theoretical underpinnings of equitable remedies. Frequently, compensatory damages cannot adequately protect clients or provide them with the relief they need. Topics include temporary restraining orders, preliminary and permanent injunctions, restitution and unjust enrichment, specific performance, and equitable defenses such as unclean hands, laches, and estoppel. Practice issues concerning appeal, jury trials, and the relationship of equity to law are also explored. Alternate year course .

Topics in Environmental Law:
Law 527 (3 variable credit)
This course is designed as an entry-level environmental law course. Rather than cover the breadth of environmental law, the course focuses more narrowly on specific topic areas which will vary from year to year, depending upon current developments and issues in environmental law in Hawai`i and nationwide. Topics in the past have included Hawai`i environmental law, environmental law and the military, wildlife law, and toxic waste issues. Alternate year course.

Wildlife and Natural Resources:
Law 503 (1-3 variable credit)
Hawai`i's wildlife and other natural resources are among the most endangered in the world. By exploring the compelling stories of Hawai`i's imperiled ecosystems, this seminar provides a unique lens through which to view the pressing national and global legal and policy issues related to species preservation and resource conservation and management. The course examines the federal, state and local legal scheme that governs use and protection of resources, from the endangered humpback whale to energy planning. Alternate year course.

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