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Nov. 10, 2021 | 9:00 – 10:00AM CT (8:00AM MT)

featuring Professor Jan Laitos
Joe T. Juhan Endowed Professorship in Property Rights and Policy
University of Denver—Sturm College of Law

On behalf of the Environment, Energy and Natural Resources (EENR) Center at the University of Houston Law Center, we are delighted to announce the forthcoming events we’ll host in the frame of our virtual lecture series on Energy Transition and Climate Governance, sponsored by the EU’s Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions, and spearheaded by Dr. Aubin Nzaou.  


Challenging historic assumptions about human relationships with nature, Jan G. Laitos examines how environmental laws have addressed environmental problems in the past, and the reasons for the laws' inability to successfully prevent environmental contamination and alterations of critical environmental systems. This forward-thinking book offers a creative and organic alternative to traditional but ultimately unsuccessful environmental rules. It explains the need for a new generation of environmental laws grounded in the universal laws of nature which might succeed where past and current approaches have largely failed. 

Rethinking Environmental Law


Jan Laitos holds the Joe T. Juhan Endowed Professorship in Property Rights and Policy at the Sturm College of Law. He is a regional board member of the Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute, since 1981, a Trustee of the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation. He was Vice-Chair of the Colorado Water Quality Control Commission. He was also the Director of the nationally ranked Environmental and Natural Resources Law Program at the University of Denver Law School from 1981 until 2004. In 1996, he was given the University of Denver’s Distinguished Teaching Award, and in 2005, he was selected a “DU Law Star.” Prior to joining the faculty at the Law school, he was the law clerk to the Chief Justice for the Colorado Supreme Court and an attorney with the Office of Legal Counsel within the United States Department of Justice. 

He is the author of several books and treatises, published by Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, West Academic, Foundation Press, Aspen, Duke University Press, and Edward Elgar Publishing. 

He has worked as a consultant on several cases decided by the 9th Circuit Court of Federal appeals, the Montana Supreme Court, the Nevada Supreme Court, the Idaho Supreme court, and the Colorado Supreme Court, and on several cert. petitions before the United States Supreme Court. 

He has lectured at Austral University Law School in Buenos Aires, Argentina, at the European Network For Housing Research Institute in Istanbul, Turkey, at the Central European University, Budapest, Hungary, the National University of Ireland at Galway, Ireland, the University of Oslo, Norway, the University of Tarragona, Spain, the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and the University of Western Sydney, Australia. 

Professor Laitos publications are available on 


  • Why Environmental Laws Fail (Cambridge University Press 2018) 
  • The Right of Nonuse (Oxford University Press 2013) 
  • Earth Law: Emerging Ecocentric Law (Wolters Kluwer 2020) (contributing author) 
  • Rethinking Environmental Law: Why Environmental Laws Should 
  • Conform to the Laws of Nature (Edward Elgar Publishing 2021) 
  • Pioneers of Environmental Law (12 Tables Press 2020) 
  • Law of Property Rights Protection: Constitutional Limitations on 
  • Government Powers 3d ed. (Wolters Kluwer 2021) 
  • The Law of Toxic Substances and Hazardous Waste (Foundation Press 
  • University Treatise Series 2019) 
  • Principles of Natural Resources Law 2d ed. (West Academic 2020) 
  • Hornbook on Natural Resources Law (West Academic 2015) 

We have a remarkable series planned for the rest of the year featuring domestic and international speakers.

Nov. 22, 2021 | 10-11 am ET
Lisa Sachs
Columbia University—Columbia Law School 

Dec. 1, 2021 | 10-11 am ET
Troy Rule
Arizona State University—Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law

Dec. 8, 2021 | 10-11 am ET
Robert Percival
University of Maryland—Carey School of Law

Jan. 20, 2022 | 10-11 am ET
Michael Livermore
University of Virginia—School of Law

Feb. 2022
Jonathan Gilligan
Vanderbilt University—Law School

Feb. 17, 2022
Cymie Payne
Rutgers University—Rutgers Law School

Mar. 10, 2022 | 10-11 am ET
Daniel Magraw
Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies

Mar. 22, 2022 | 10-11 am ET
Michael Vandenbergh
Vanderbilt University—Law School).

Apr. 2022 | 10-11 am ET
Daniel E. Walters
Penn State Law

May 2022
Don Elliot
Yale University—Yale Law School

Jun. 2022 | 10-11 am ET
Cary Coglianese
University of Pennsylvania—Carey Law School