Policy Practicum: Wildlife Trafficking: Stopping the Scourge


Course Code:
LAW 413P
Law Honors/Pass/Restrd Cr/Fail


This policy lab seminar will address the international wildlife trafficking crisis, with a focus on legal and policy tools that can help combat the scourge. The price of ivory on black markets has skyrocketed and elephant and rhino populations in Africa are being decimated. At current poaching rates, African elephants could be wiped out within 8 to 10 years. Trafficking also is hitting tigers, great apes, sharks and other important species. The seminar will key into the President's recent Executive Order on this subject (E.O. 13658, issued on July 1, 2013) and related international efforts to reduce the killing in host countries, the transshipment of poached materials, and consumer demand for ivory and other wildlife parts. The seminar will address US laws and their role in addressing trade in wildlife parts. It also will undertake a comparative review of the legal structures in relevant African and Asian nations, and the potential role of the international endangered species treaty (CITES) and transnational enforcement efforts in cracking down on ivory and other wildlife-related trafficking. The seminar will review prior poaching crises, including the elephant/ivory crisis in the late 1980s, and evaluate why the strategies that reduced killings in the 1990s are no longer successful. Based on these analyses, the class will develop and submit recommendations for reforms to US, African, and international laws and practices to two groups established under the Executive Order: (1) the President's Wildlife Trafficking Task Force, which is chaired by the Secretaries of State and Interior and the Attorney General; and (2) the Wildlife Trafficking Advisory Council, which is composed of outside experts who are advising the Task Force. (Professor Hayes is an appointed member of the Advisory Council.) Elements used in grading: Class Participation, Attendance, Final Paper. Students may normally receive no more than four units for a Policy Lab practicum and no more than a total of eight units of Policy Lab practicums and Directed Research projects combined may be counted toward graduation unless additional units for graduation are approved in advanced by the Petitions Committee. A student cannot receive a letter grade for more than eight units of independent research (Policy Lab practicum, Directed Research, Senior Thesis, and/or Research Track). Any units taken in excess of eight will be graded on a mandatory pass basis. Consent Application: To apply for this course, students must complete and e-mail the Consent Application Form available on the SLS Registrar's Office website (see Registration and Selection of Classes for Stanford Law Students) to the instructors. See Consent Application Form for submission deadline.

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