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Conference Papers


"Property Rights and Sustainability: The evolution of property rights to meet ecological challenges"

When: 16-18 April 2009

Where: The University of Auckland, New Zealand

This conference aims to stimulate debate about the evolution and re-conceptualisation of property rights to meet the objectives of sustainability. The conference will create an opportunity to move discussion beyond traditional property rights approaches to conflict resolution and regulatory intervention. The intention is to discuss how property rights and responsibilities can be reconfigured so that ecological problems can be addressed in a more coherent and sustainable way.

Confirmed Keynote Speakers:

Judge Christopher Weeramantry (former judge of the International Court of Justice from 1991-2000, and the Court's Vice-President from 1997-2000). Judge Weeramantry is world renowned for his progressive judgments in the areas of the environment, human rights, peace and nuclear weapons. He is best known in NZ for his 1997 judgment in the Gabcikovo-Nagymaros (Danube Dam Case). He is also known for his opinion on the "Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons". Two recent honours include the UNESCO Peace Education Laureate in 2006, and the 2007 Right Livelihood Award (Alternative Nobel Prize).

Professor Eric Freyfogle (Max L. Rowe Professor of Law, University of Illinois). Professor Freyfogle has authored numerous books and articles on private property and land ethics. Recent books include: On Private Property: Finding Common Ground on the Ownership of Land; The Land We Share: Private Property and the Common Good;, and Bounded People, Boundless Lands: Envisioning a New Land Ethic.

Professor J. Ronald Engel (Professor Emeritus at Meadville/Lombard Theological School and Senior Research Consultant at the Center for Humans and Nature (New York and Chicago)). Professor Engel helped pioneer the academic fields of environmental ethics, history, and theology. His publications include: Sacred Sands: The Struggle for Community in the Indiana Dunes; Voluntary Associations: Socio-cultural Analyses and Theological Interpretation; and Ethics of Environment and Development: Global Challenge, International Response.

Professor Sharon Beder (Professor, School of Social Sciences, Media and Communications, University of Wollongong). Professor Beder initially trained as a civil engineer before becoming involved in the social, political and philosophical aspects of engineering and environmental politics. She has authored numerous journal articles and books. Recent books include: Environmental Principles and Policies; and Free Market Missionaries: The Corporate Manipulation of Community Values.

Professor Tony Arnold (Boehl Chair in Property and Land Use, School of Law, University of Louisville, Kentucky and the Chair of the Interdisciplinary Centre for Land Use and Environmental Responsibility). He has written extensively on environmental regulation of land use, water, and property. Of particular relevance to the themes of the conference is: "The Reconstitution of Property: Property as a Web of Interests" (2002) 26 Harvard Environmental Law Review, 281.