I’ve had a busy few days, traveling to the US Consulate (and former embassy) in Hong Kong, visiting our Vermont Law School student interning at WWF-Hong Kong, and, now in Guangzhou, meetings with our partners at Sun Yat-sen University and the US Consulate. Tomorrow we are hosting a Judges Roundtable on Environmental Dispute Resolution focusing on Adjudication and Mediation. It’s sponsored by Guangzhou Maritime Court, Environmental Appeals Board (EAB) of the United States Environmental Protection Agency, Vermont Environmental Court (VEC), Sun Yet-Sun University School of Law, China University of Political Science and Law Vermont Law School.

The weather as been rainy everywhere in China. See
http://chinaenvironmentalgovernance.com/2011/06/25/beijing-deluge-highlights-water-climate-and-governance-concerns/. On a personal front, my time here in Guangzhou has been very emotional, having to say hi and goodbye to too many friends too quickly after having lived in Guangzhou for a year with my family during my Fulbright experience.

But what I really want to talk about is Environmental Law. Like Europe, Chinese college students major in law as undergraduates (as opposed to the American graduate school law model). At our China Partnership alumni dinner last night we learned the national government supports the teach of environmental law, and that Sun Yat-sen University (whose environmental law program Vermont Law School helped build) is now REQUIRING all undergraduate law majors to take the Environmental Law course. To me, this is an amazing and fascinating development. It raises questions about the American law curriculum; general questions about whether the common law first year curriculum is outdated (it is), and what substantive courses should be required (e.g, why is Evidence required by not Environmental Law or Energy Law or some business law courses)). Going back, I wish I could have replaced Evidence and Professional Responsibility with Energy Law and Tax Law).