Despite the largest snowfall in Baltimore history, Maryland successfully hosted the North American (Atlantic) Finals of the International Moot Court Competition. Most of Baltimore and the University of Maryland campus shut down on Friday afternoon, but the Law School stayed open so that we could continue the competition. The key to our success was incredible support from our students volunteers as well as alums who pitched in to replace judges from Washington who were forced to cancel due to transportation problems caused by the storm. More than 70 people attended the competition’s annual Fedder lecture on Friday night. Global environmental law scholar Bruce Rich made a spectacular presentation on multilateral development finance and the environment. The competitors and key personnel stayed in hotels close to school and had no trouble resuming the competition early Saturday morning despite the record snowfall that shut down most everything else.
The competition was won by the team from the University of Pennsylvania School of Law. The runner-up -- Wake Forest University Law School -- also advances to the International Finals at Stetson University on March 11-14. They will compete against teams from India, Ghana, Kenya, China, Ireland, Ukraine, Brazil, Vietnam, the Philippines, and the University of Maryland team that swept the West Coast competition last weekend (as well as West coast runner-up Hastings). The other teams that made it to the semifinals of the competition were from the University of Wisconsin School of Law and the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. My former students who are on the team from the China University of Political Science and Law told me this week how excited they are about the possibility of competing against my Maryland students. A gallery of photos from the Atlantic Rounds is available online at: http://gallery.me.com/rperci/100645.
On Thursday night I spoke on “Global Environmental Law” at the annual ALI-ABA Conference on Environmental Law in Bethesda, Maryland. I was proud to announce that our student project to draft proposed problems for the Jordanian National Moot Court Competition has been highly successful. One of the five environmental law problems proposed by my students was selected for use in the 2010 Competition and another will be used in 2011. The other three problems will be incorporated into the environmental law materials that the ABA Rule of Law Initiative’s Middle East office is preparing for Jordanian law schools.
On Wednesday visiting Chinese environmental law scholar Professor Zhang Shijun from Shandong University School of Law lectured on the history of Chinese Environmental Law in my Global Environmental Law seminar. He did a terrific job and we had a lively debate about the difficulties China faces in enforcing national environmental standards at the local level.