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International energy and natural resources law journal lands at DU

A leading global publication covering legal issues in the field of energy and natural resources law will now come with a Denver perspective.

The Journal of Energy & Natural Resources Law, a product of the International Bar Association, has a new home at the University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law. DU will be the first United States-based university in the journal’s 30-year history with the responsibility for editing a publication that sparks discussion among some 2,000 of the most recognized international practitioners in energy and natural resources law, says Don Smith, director of DU’s Environmental & Natural Resources Law & Policy Graduate Program.

“It’s quite prestigious to have been chosen by the IBA to edit this Journal,” Smith says. “For us, as an institution, this is a great achievement. It’s a ‘vehicle,’ in a manner of speaking, to have access to the very best minds in the world, and it will introduce our program to all of these people around the globe. It puts us on the map, really.”

Smith says the strengths of the DU program — environmental, natural resources and energy law at both domestic and international levels — are well suited to editing a leading refereed journal in the field of energy and natural resources law.

The idea of starting a journal on natural resources law was one element embedded in the DU Sturm College of Law’s new strategic plan as faculty discussed centers of excellence, including natural resources and environmental law, Smith says. But starting a journal from scratch is a lengthy process. When he heard the University of Calgary was surrendering editorship, Smith says having a strategic plan in place allowed DU to move quickly in applying to edit the journal. Prior to Calgary, the journal was based at the University of Dundee in Scotland.

Dean Martin Katz says hosting the journal is a perfect fit for DU.

“Our strategic plan commits to demonstrated excellence in environmental and natural resources law,” Katz says. “To us, this means being at the center of the international dialogue on cutting-edge resources issues. This journal advances our ability to do exactly that. We are very excited to be able to host the journal at Denver Law.”

The International Bar Association was established in 1947 and includes international lawyers and bar associations and law societies. With 45,000 members, the IBA’s stated mission is to promote the exchange of legal information and support the practice and profession of law worldwide.

“The people who write for the journal are global thought leaders,” Smith says. “They are some of the best legal minds in the world.”

The journal is published quarterly. Students and faculty at DU will commission pieces and reports and distribute them for peer review to leading attorneys, putting students in direct contact with those who shape environmental and natural law. Authors deal with the big issues of the day as resources become scarcer and the impact of harnessing the planet’s energy supplies becomes more evident.

Recent articles in the Journal include, “Political Risk Management in Light of Venezuela’s Partial Nationalization of the Oilfield Services Sector,” “Coal Bed Methane Development in Indonesia,” and “A European Legal Perspective on Wind Energy.”

“DU is going to be right in the center of the discussion and debate about the options the world has for dealing with these major issues,” Smith says. “I can’t think of anything more exciting for our program and our students. This is a great achievement for our entire institution. This is recognition for everything that has been accomplished here at DU over the years.”

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