Current Research

The Georgetown Environmental Law & Policy Institute currently works on an evolving set of cross-cutting legal and policy issues that go to the core of the rationale for environmental and land use regulations and the criteria for selecting the tools to achieve effective public protection.

Regulatory Takings

The regulatory takings issue involves the question of whether and under what circumstances the government must pay regulated entities in order to enforce environmental and land use protections. More broadly, the issue goes to the balance between democratic decision-making and individual rights in our society, and the relative authority of the political branches and the courts in determining public policy.

Background | Publications | Legal Briefs | Key Decisions | Legislation | TakingsNet Archive

Eminent Domain

The eminent domain issue concerns the appropriateness of government condemnation of private property in order to advance public policy objectives, including economic development in older urban areas. The U.S. Supreme Court's 2005 Kelo decision provides the foundation for the current policy debate over eminent domain.

Background | Publications | Legal Briefs | Key Decisions | Legislation


The government contracts issue involves the question of whether the government is liable for breach of contract if executive branch agencies or Congress take steps that prevent it from carrying out a contract. In basic terms, the issue raises the question of whether and to what degree government officials can contract away sovereign authority.

Background | Publications | Legal Briefs | Key Decisions

Global Warming Litigation

The Global Warming Litigation issue addresses the diverse lawsuits that a wide variety of parties have filed in federal and state court relating to the issue of global warming. This large volume of litigation partly reflects the failure of the political branches to come to grips with the problem of global warming.

Background | Publications

Disaster Insurance

Growing concerns about the vulnerability of Florida and other parts of the U.S. southeastern coast to hurricanes and other storms have created the perception of an "insurance crisis" and generated new calls for a major federal government intervention in disaster insurance markets.

Background | Publications


Top of Page