Professor John Knox to speak at Vermont Law School on July 10 about human rights and the environment

Photo of Professor John Knox

Professor of International Law John Knox

Professor John Knox will present a free lecture on Thursday, July 10: “Human Rights and the Environment: The Relationship Becomes Clearer” as part of the summer series at Vermont Law School. Knox is an internationally recognized expert on human rights law and international environmental law. In July 2012, the United Nations Human Rights Council appointed him to a three-year mandate as its first Independent Expert on the issue of human rights obligations relating to the enjoyment of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment. 

Throughout the summer, Vermont Law School faculty, distinguished scholars, media fellows, and other experts deliver one-hour lectures on a wide range of current issues related to the environment—from climate change to energy justice. Free and open to the public, the “Hot Topics in Environmental Law” lectures are held from noon to 1 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays in Oakes Hall Room 007 on the VLS campus.

“We are pleased to offer this free lecture series to the public and look forward to welcoming so many nationally and internationally recognized experts to the Vermont Law School campus,” said Associate Dean Melissa Scanlan, director of the Environmental Law Center at VLS. “This is a unique opportunity to learn more about the critical environmental issues of the day.”

The “Hot Topics” lectures for 2014 are:

Thursday, May 29: “Barrow to Baja: Saving Pacific Seabirds & Shorebirds” with Michael Sutton, National Audubon Society.

Tuesday, June 3: “Live Animal Transport: Flawed & Lawless” with Pamela Vesilind, University of Arkansas School of Law and Vermont Law School.

Thursday, June 5: “Electric Vehicles and the Grid: New Load or New Resource” with Steven Letendre, Green Mountain College.

Tuesday, June 10: “The Economic Crisis of 2008: Will the Study of Environmental Policy Ever Be the Same?” with Curt Ventriss, University of Vermont.

Thursday, June 12: “A Federal Practitioner’s Perspective on Ocean Resource Management” with James E. Landis, Fleet and Operational Environmental Law, U.S. Navy.

Tuesday, June 17: “Unnatural Disasters: How Law Hurts, How Law Helps” with Sandra Zellmer, University of Nebraska College of Law.

Thursday, June 19: “Water Pollution Control in Vietnam: Reality and Policy” with Randolph L. Hill, U.S. EPA.

Tuesday, June 24: “Koontz: A Big Yawn for Environmental Law?” with J.B. Ruhl, Vanderbilt Law School, and John Echeverria, Vermont Law School.

Thursday, June 26: “Why I Do What I Do: Environmental Journalism in 2014 and How Real Lives Exist Beyond the Rhetoric” with Tom Henry, The Toledo Blade.

Tuesday, July 8: “A Climate Treaty without Congress” with David A. Wirth, Boston College Law School.

Thursday, July 10: “Human Rights and the Environment: The Relationship Becomes Clearer” with John Knox, Wake Forest University School of Law.

Tuesday, July 15: “Energy Justice and Poverty in Vermont: Burdensome for Whom?” with Benjamin Sovacool, Vermont Law School; AU Herning, Aarhus University; and Jonathan Teller-Elsberg, Vermont Law School.

Thursday, July 17: “Changing Threats to Coral Reefs” with Osha Davidson, Earthzine.

Tuesday, July 22: “Resilience and Sustainable Development in Conflict Prone Countries” with Lea Swanson, USAID.

Thursday, July 24: “The Struggle to Protect China’s Environment” with Robert V. Percival, University of Francis King Carey School of Law, and Huiyu Zhao, Shanghai Jiaotong University.

Thursday, July 31: “Fracking, Case Law, and Marcellus Shale Communities” with Kevin Begos, The Associated Press.

For more information about the “Hot Topics in Environmental Law” series, including Vermont Bar Association Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credit, visit

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