2001 Symposium on “Managing Hawai‘i’s

Public Trust Doctrine”

UH Law Review

UH Env. Law Program




The landmark August 2000 decision of the Hawai‘i Supreme Court in the Waiahole contested case hearing represented a dramatic paradigm shift in how water allocation decisions are made is required in order to find the wisest long-term course through this legal and policy thicket into the twenty-first century.  The public trust doctrine directs us to engage ourselves in a new constructive public-private dialogue about the collective responsibilities that inhere in any water right, instead of engaging in intractable legal warfare over conflicting water “rights.”

To facilitate a vital and necessary dialogue regarding the Public Trust doctrine, this web page features the proceedings of the 2001 Symposium on “Managing Hawai‘i’s Public Trust Doctrine.”  The 2002 Symposium, recently held in a “packed auditorium” on the University of Hawai‘i campus, arose out of the August 2000 decision by the Hawai`i Supreme Court.  Co-sponsored by eleven Hawai‘i governmental agencies and public organizations, the Symposium attracted scholars, policy makers, managers, landowners, and community members from across the State.  Their common interest was the quest to learn more about the modern water law public trust doctrine, to understand the contours of the Hawai‘i Supreme Court’s adaptation of that doctrine to Hawai‘i water and natural resources law in the Waiahole decision, and to participate in a constructive dialogue on the real world application of the doctrine. 



       The following links are resources related to the Waiahole decision and the Public Trust Doctrine in general.  Please feel free to use them, however, do not distribute them commercially without permission from the individual author or the UH Law Review.




The Foreword to the 201 Symposium, “Managing Hawai`i’s Public Trust Doctrine.  Written by Professor Denise Antolini, the foreword gives a synopsis of the Symposium and the Waiahole decision.  If you are searching for a specific speaker or topic, you might look at this foreword first.


Edited Transcripts



The edited transcripts, which were published in the Fall 2001 edition of the UH Law Review.  Missing are the question and answer sections and a small portion of Jan Stevens discussion of the Mono Lake case.

Unedited Transcripts


The following is the raw, unedited version of the symposium as transcribed by the court reporter.  This version should be used only if one is searching for either the question and answer sections or Jan Steven’s full discussion.