July 19- World environmental leader to judge international competition at Stetson Law

Contact Frank Klim
Executive Director of Communications
(727) 562-7889

Gulfport, Fla. – Peter Bridgewater, secretary general of The Ramsar Convention, will judge Stetson University College of Law’s Ninth Annual International Environmental Moot Court Competition, Oct. 28-30. The Ramsar Convention, concluded in 1971, is one of the oldest international environmental treaties, and it promotes the sustainable use and management of wetlands and water resources and worldwide.

Law students from around the world compete regionally to earn a spot at this year’s competition. Teams from eight countries including Australia, Canada, India, and South Korea are expected to converge on Stetson for this prestigious competition.

“This competition annually features some of the world’s best student advocates with a focus on environmental law,” said Royal C. Gardner, vice dean of Stetson University College of Law. “Stetson is proud to sponsor the only moot court competition that focuses on international environmental issues and helps expose students to these critical matters.”

Vice Dean Gardner and Dean Darby Dickerson created this competition in 1996 to increase awareness about international environmental challenges. Since its inception, the event has grown to include Indian and Australasian rounds, where foreign teams compete for the right to advance to the finals on Stetson’s Gulfport campus.

This year’s hypothetical problem involves legal and policy issues associated with an alien invasive species and its impact on a wetland of international importance.

Two renowned attorneys will join Secretary General Bridgewater as judges in the final round of the competition: Judge Virginia M. Hernandez Covington, Florida Second District Court of Appeal; and William Thomas, a Washington, D.C., environment and natural resource lawyer and former chair of the American Bar Association’s International Environmental Law Committee.

Students from the University of San Diego won last year’s competition. A team from Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand finished second. Previous champions include Queensland University of Technology in Australia (20020 and National Law School of India University (2001).

Dr. Bridgewater has published more than 170 publications on nature conservation, vegetation science and biodiversity issues. His current research interests include links between cultural and biological diversity, conservation and management of the coastal zone, and landscape ecology – especially its role in sustainable development. He became secretary general of the Ramsar Convention in 2003. He will deliver a keynote lecture titled, “Ramsar: A Convention From the Past, for the Future.”