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February 13, 2009

ORIL Symposium, “The Confluence of Human Rights and the Environment,” to Take Place February 20

The Oregon Review of International Law will host keynote speaker Justice Presbitero J. Velasco, Jr. of the Supreme Court of the Philippines at it’s third annual symposium, “The Confluence of Human Rights and the Environment.” The day-long symposium takes place Friday, February 20, at the Many Nations Longhouse on the University of Oregon campus. 
Justice Velasco’s address, “Manila Bay: A Daunting Challenge in Environmental Rehabilitation and Protection,” will take place from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. In his presentation, Justice Velasco will discuss how Manila Bay, once brimming with marine life, is now a dirty and polluted wide expanse. A suit against government authorities for its clean-up, rehabilitation, and protection has been filed and has prospered. Now begins the difficult part of implementing the decision in accordance with its letter and spirit, and within the time frame indicated. This, Justice Velasco will explain, is the challenge confronting the Court, the environmentalists, the government, and the other stakeholders.
In addition to the keynote address, the symposium will examine the increasing scope and scale of worldwide environmental problems in recent years, and will seek to identify ways in which human rights theory may be relevant to environmental threats faced by civilizations around the globe. The symposium also will discuss such issues as the adequacy of traditional, legislation-based approaches to successfully reflect the interests of stakeholders in addressing these environmental problems; and whether rights-based approaches have something to contribute in either dialogue or jurisprudence.
Additional speakers and panelists appearing at the event include acclaimed legal scholars:
This year also features a presentation by the symposium’s student paper competition winner. Second-year student Michelle Platt will present her article, “La Naturaleza o Pachamama de Ecuador: Which Doctrine Should Grant Trees Standing?” at 9:45 a.m.
For more information on this event, contact Kevin Parks.

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