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Scientists around the world are actively working toward de-extinction, the concept of bringing extinct species back to life. Before herds of woolly mammoths roam and flocks of passenger pigeons soar once again, the international community needs to consider what should be done about de- extinct species from a legal and policy perspective. In the context of international environmental law, the precautionary principle counsels that the absence of scientific certainty should not be used as an excuse for failing to prevent environmental harm.
To the extent that litigation makes a muddle of private-party ordering, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act has created more messes than it has cleaned up. Congress enacted the Act to clean up hazardous waste spills. The litigious explosion that resulted, however, caused widespread and pervasive private sector disarray. Private parties rely on settlement to extricate themselves from litigation under the Act, but their attorneys will agree that planning a strategy to settle multi-party litigation is “difficult under the best of circumstances.”
We are honored to introduce Ecology Law Quarterly’s 2015–2016 Annual Review of Environmental and Natural Resource Law. Now in its seventeenth year, the Annual Review is a collaborative endeavor. It is founded on Berkeley Law’s renowned environmental law program, which itself is built upon some of the leading scholars in the field.
Recklessly gambling with Kansas’s water rights to the Republican River, Nebraska used 17 percent more water than it was allocated by the interstate Republican River Compact during a drought in 2005–06. Kansas sued Nebraska for this breach of compact in the Supreme Court. While the Court ultimately found that Nebraska breached the Republican River Compact, the remedy was only damages for Kansas’s loss and partial disgorgement of Nebraska’s profits. By failing to require complete disgorgement of profits, the Court arguably failed to disincentivize future breaches of other interstate water compacts.