Environmental Law Program

ELP Hosts Judge Crabtree for the Evening Part-Time Program

In collaboration with the William S. Richardson School of Law’s Evening Part-Time (EPT) Program, the Environmental Law Program (ELP) had the privilege of co-hosting Tuesday Programming on October 8, 2019.  Students from the EPT Program and ELP gathered to listen to special guest, the Honorable Judge Jeffrey Crabtree from the First Circuit Environmental Court. Students had the opportunity to submit questions in advance, and discussion with Judge Crabtree was moderated by ELP Research Associate, Hōkū Chun.  

Judge Crabtree started the evening by explaining how increasingly valuable the ELP Certificate is because the field of Environmental Law is rapidly expanding.  The growth of environmental law is evidenced by the activity of Hawaiʻi’s own Environmental Court, which started in 2014. Judge Crabtree shared that the court is busy hearing a diversity of cases from all islands with issues ranging from water rights, shorelines, revocable permits, ʻiwi kupuna, to renewable energy.  Given the current sociopolitical climate in Hawaiʻi, students were particularly eager to learn more about the role of the Environmental Court. Judge Crabtree clarified that the Environmental Court is a specialized trial court. A judge of the Environmental Court is provided with specialized training to better understand the issues that come before the court, but like any other judge, he is tasked with upholding current laws and regulations.  

In his closing remarks, Judge Crabtree encouraged students to engage with the environmental law community and expressed his willingness to accept dependable and hardworking interns or externs for judicial clerkships.  Judge Crabtree is a wonderful supporter of ELP and he has mentored our students and alumni through internships, externships, and clerkships. ELP is grateful to Judge Crabtree for generously sharing his time and manaʻo with our students.