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Barry University – Inaugural Issue of Earth Jurisprudence Journal

Student-edited journal is first of its kind with a commitment to an Earth-based approach as a means of protecting the environment & eliminating environmental injustices

Orlando, FL – Barry University School of Law created the Earth Jurisprudence and Environmental Justice Journal (EJEJJ) to focus on two unique areas of environmental law that have broad implications on the American legal system.

The inaugural issue is a tribute to Thomas Berry and focuses on the topic of Earth Jurisprudence, an emerging legal theory that calls on humanity to abandon its current anthropocentric (human-centered) view of the environment in favor of an ecocentric, or Earth-centered system of law and governance. Thomas Berry, widely recognized as a visionary who called for an Earth-Centered Jurisprudence, recognized that Earth functions as a self-organizing and regulating entity and emphasized the need for a more harmonious human role as a vital member of the larger Earth Community. Berry envisioned a new era, an Ecozoic era, where humans can no longer rely on the healing powers of the Earth to correct past abuses, but must accept responsibility for restoring the Earth to a truly sustainable balance.

The Journal’s other area of focus, Environmental Justice, is the meaningful involvement and fair treatment of all people, regardless of race, color, national origin, or income in regards to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. Environmental justice seeks to redress inequitable distributions of environmental burdens relating to pollution, industrial facility locations, landfills, and hazardous waste disposal sites. The Journal is helping to host an Environmental Justice Summit to be held on the Barry University School of Law campus on October 21, 2011, and anticipates showcasing materials from the Summit in Volume II of the Journal, to be released in spring 2012.

According to Dean Leticia Diaz, the Journal capitalizes on two of Barry Law School’s environmental law strengths, its partnership with the Center for Earth Jurisprudence and its Earth Advocacy Clinic, which litigates on behalf of environmentally repressed communities.

“I am proud of our Journal members and their faculty advisor, Professor Pat Tolan, for helping to bring these unique strengths to national attention,” said Dean Diaz. “Consistent with the Barry Mission, the Journal seeks to challenge law students to embrace personal, ethical, spiritual, ecological and social responsibilities in an atmosphere of academic freedom.”

Advancing the Earth Community is consistent with the Catholic Dominican tradition of reverencing life in all its forms. Center for Earth Jurisprudence Director and Dominican Sister Patricia Siemen commended the Journal for bringing greater recognition to the emerging field.

“This Journal is a significant contribution to the advancement of Earth Jurisprudence. Its publication is very timely as the Rights of Nature movement gains international momentum as evidenced by the third annual international Earth Jurisprudence Conference occurring at Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia, September 16-18, 2011, “ said Siemen. “ We are proud of Barry law students in advancing the research and publication in the critical fields of Earth Jurisprudence and Environmental Justice. “

Out of respect for the environment, the Journal is being published electronically instead of in print. The Journal can be found online at http://lawpublications.barry.edu/.

If interested in submitting an article for consideration or for questions regarding the journal, please contact the Journal’s Lead Article’s Editor, Michael Spoliansky, at Michael.Spoliansky@mymail.barry.edu.

About Barry School of Law

Established in 1999, the Barry University Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law in Orlando offers a quality legal education in a caring, diverse environment. A Catholic-oriented institution, Barry Law School challenges students to accept intellectual, personal, ethical, spiritual, and social responsibilities, and commits itself to assuring an atmosphere of religious freedom. Barry Law School is fully accredited by the American Bar Association and has a current enrollment of more than 700 students from around the world. More information is at www.barry.edu/law.