Call for Papers: 2018 UA Little Rock Law Review Symposium

“The Law and Unnatural Disasters: Legal Adaptations to Climate Change”

February 16

The University of Arkansas Little Rock Law Review is pleased to announce a call for papers for our 2018 Symposium, “The Law and Unnatural Disasters: Legal Adaptations to Climate Change,” to be held on Friday, February 16, 2018.

Since 1980, the United States has experienced hundreds of weather disasters with damage totaling over $1 billion, and the number of billion-dollar-plus weather related disasters has risen from an average of two per year in the 1980s to an annual average of 10.6 for the 2012 to 2016 period. And although these figures capture much of the direct economic costs of disasters, they fail to reflect indirect and non-economic costs like loss of life, displacement, and community disruption.

The market has failed to adapt to climate change; development subsidized by federal insurance continues in vulnerable areas. In addition, there is no coherent body of law in the United States at either the federal or state level that is aimed at reducing vulnerability to climate change.

This perfect storm of market and law failure presents a timely opportunity for scholars and practitioners to contribute to the discourse on climate change adaptation lawmaking in the United States. Potential areas ripe for scholarly examination include but are not limited to:

  1. adaptation issues specific to vulnerable regions or sectors, such as the southern United States, or agriculture and forestry;
  2. obstacles local or state governments face with respect to adaptation lawmaking, and strategies for overcoming these obstacles;
  3. mechanisms by which local, state or federal lawmaking can facilitate adaptive as opposed to maladaptive development;
  4. the state of the law with respect to NEPA and consideration of effects of future climate change on proposed actions;
  5. the use of land use controls to facilitate adaptive development, including, for example, condemnation, development moratoria and rolling easements;
  6. “retreat” as an adaptation strategy;
  7. liability of government entities for failure to adapt or negligent adaptation; and
  8. takings liability jurisprudence with respect to temporary takings or negligent adaptation.

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock Law Review will publish articles from the symposium in an issue of volume 40, which will be released in the fall of 2018. We encourage all interested potential authors to respond.

Authors should submit an abstract and a cover letter to Camille Neemann, Symposium Editor, at The deadline for submissions of article proposals is October 2, 2017; completed articles will be due at the time of the symposium on February 16, 2018. Please feel free to email Ms. Neemann with any questions.