Categories: Environmental Law

Food Systems Law

Course Page for Fall 2021 - Tai, Steph

Trade tariffs, fecal water pollution, and migrant workers’ rights: these are all issues that have been in the news this year. A common thread: these issues all affect, and are affected by, aspects of our food system and the laws surrounding this system. This course explores the various legal structures surrounding the governance of our food system; we will cover environmental regulation (or lack thereof), food safety laws, agricultural laws, trade laws, and labor laws.

Recent Offerings of this course by this instructor

Fall 2021

Natural Resources Law

Course Page for Fall 2024 Regular - Tai, Steph

This course covers the law and policy of the disposition and use of natural resources in the United States. We will emphasize federally owned and managed resources, especially the nearly one-third of this country’s land area that is owned by the federal government, although you will also learn a little about the management of state and private lands as well. Main topics include the history of public land law; the constitutional basis for federal control of natural resources, and legal doctrines and principles that cut across the whole field. We will study two important statutes that, while often included in environmental law curricula, are equally pivotal to natural land use and management in the United States: the National Environmental Policy Act and the Endangered Species Act. We will then turn to studies of particular types of resources, including fisheries, wilderness and recreational areas, water, rangelands, federally owned minerals, and forests.

Although the general public often perceives natural resources law as part of “environmental law,” natural resources law, as presented in law school courses and casebooks, covers the government’s role as owner and regulator of publicly owned resources, such as land and use of navigable waters. In contrast, environmental law tends to focus on the regulation of private conduct to minimize and provide remedies for various forms of pollution of natural resources. Natural resources law follows a property law model, whereas environmental law’s common law heritage is traceable first and foremost to tort law. While having taken environmental law will, like a number of other courses (structural constitutional law; federal courts; legislation), prove helpful for your studies of this course, it is not a requirement, and I will not assume knowledge of environmental law.