Eric R. Dannenmaier

Professor of Law, Dean's Fellow and Grimes Fellow
Director, Environmental and Natural Resources Law Program

Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law
Lawrence W. Inlow Hall, Room 337
530 W. New York Street
Indianapolis, IN 46202-3225

Phone: (317) 278-9603
Fax: (317) 278-3326

SSRN | Web Page


B.A., 1981, Drury College (President's Scholar)
J.D., 1984, Boston University (Tauro Scholar)
LL.M., 2006, Columbia University (Kent Scholar)
M.St., 2008, Oxford University (Distinction)
J.S.D., 2012, Columbia University (Bretzfelder Fellow)


Environmental Law, Natural Resources Law, Water Law, Energy Law & Policy, Property, Constitutional Law, Administrative Law, International Environmental Law


J.D., Boston University; LL.M., J.S.D., Columbia University; M.St., Oxford University. 

Professor Dannenmaier teaches Constitutional Law, Property, Natural Resources, and Water Law, and is Director of the Program on Environmental, Energy, and Natural Resources Law.

Prior to joining the IU Law faculty, Professor Dannenmaier was a Bretzfelder Fellow at Columbia Law School from 2006-07; Director of Tulane Law School’s Institute for Environmental Law and Policy from 2001-05; and Visiting Chair of Natural Resources Law at the University of Calgary in 2001. He served as Director of the Environmental Law Program of the U.S. Agency for International Development from 1996 to 2000, working through the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) in Washington, D.C. and the University of Miami’s North-South Center. He also practiced law in Boston and Washington, D.C. as a litigation and environmental compliance attorney.

In December 2013, Professor Dannenmaier was appointed by President Obama to serve as a member of the Joint Public Advisory Committee of the North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation.  The Commission was created under the NAFTA agreement among Canada, Mexico, and the United States, to promote regional environmental cooperation and enforcement of national environmental laws within the three countries.  Dannenmaier will remain on the McKinney faculty and continue to teach while devoting part of his time to work with the Commission.

Professor Dannenmaier’s scholarship is focused on environmental democracy, and he has researched and published widely on legal and institutional frameworks for public access to environmental decision-making in national and international law. His publications also address water rights, water and energy security, sustainable development, transboundary resource governance, indigenous property rights, extraterritorial jurisdiction, and the design and implementation of climate change commitments.

In addition his recent appointment to the North American Commission, Professor Dannenmaier has a long history of service to governments, international organizations, and public interest groups in reforming environmental laws and designing legal frameworks for participation in development decision-making. In 1995, for example, he represented the National Audubon Society and public interest groups in Mexico in the first citizen submission to the NAFTA Commission for Environmental Cooperation (In re Silva Reservoir, concerning the death of over 20,000 migratory waterfowl in central Mexico). In 1998-99, Professor Dannenmaier advised the Organization of American States (OAS) on the development of an Inter-American Strategy for Public Participation in Sustainable Development Decision-making, which was approved by the OAS General Assembly in 2000. He also chaired the OAS Inter-American Water Policy Roundtable from 1999-2000. In 2004-05, he served on the Expert Advisory Group to the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) to develop guidelines for Public Participation in International Fora under the Aarhus Convention (the “Almaty Guidelines,” adopted in 2005). In 2009-10, Professor Dannenmaier Co-Chaired a NATO-funded Advanced Research Workshop on Middle East/North Africa Regional Water Security.

Professor Dannenmaier is admitted to practice in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Supreme Court, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First, Fourth, and District of Columbia Circuits.



Books and Chapters

  • Constructing Transnational Climate Regimes, in Gunther Handl and Joachim Zekoll, eds., BEYOND TERRITORIALITY: TRANSNATIONAL LEGAL AUTHORITY IN AN AGE OF GLOBALIZATION (Brill Publishing) (in press 2012)
  • The Role of Non-State Actors in Climate Compliance, in Jutta Brunnée, et al., eds., PROMOTING COMPLIANCE SYSTEM IN AN EVOLVING CLIMATE CHANGE REGIME (Cambridge University Press) (2012)
  • Water Security: Identifying Governance Issues and Engaging Stakeholders, in Andrea Scozzari and Bouabid el Mansouri, eds., WATER SECURITY IN THE MEDITERRANEAN REGION: AN INTERNATIONAL EVALUATION OF MANAGEMENT, CONTROL, AND GOVERNANCE APPROACHES, NATO Science for Peace and Security Series (Springer, Dordrecht) (2011)
  • [Work in Progress]: INTERNATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL LAW, A TRANSBOUNDARY AND COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVE, with Jonathan Nash (Aspen Press) (textbook, forthcoming)

Law Review and Journal Articles

  • Environmental Law and the Loss of Paradise, 49 COLUM. J. TRANSNATIONAL L. 463 - 95 (2010) (Essay Review of Oliver Houck's book TAKING BACK EDEN)
  • Lawmaking on the Road to International Summits, 59 DEPAUL L. REV. 1 - 68 (2009)
  • Beyond Indigenous Property Rights: Exploring the Emergence of a Distinctive Connection Doctrine, 86 WASH. U. L. REV. 53 - 110 (2008)
  • Executive Exclusion and the Cloistering of the Cheney Energy Task Force 16 N.Y.U. ENVTL. L.J. 329 - 79 (2008)
  • A European Commitment to Environmental Citizenship: Article 3.7 of the Aarhus Convention and Public Participation in International Forums, OXFORD Y.B. INT'L ENVTL. L. 32 - 64 (2007)
  • Trade, Democracy, and the FTAA: Public Access to the Process of Constructing a Free Trade Area of the Americas, 27 FORDHAM INT’L L. J. 1066 - 1117 (2004)
  • Johnston & Dannenmaier, Sustainable Use of Wildlife: The Role of Private Contracts as a Conservation Tool, 1 J. INT’L WILDLIFE L. & POL’Y 259 - 77 (1998)
  • Democracy in Development: Toward a Legal Framework for the Americas, 11 TULANE ENVTL L. J. 1 - 32 (1997)

Essays and Reports

  • Energy Security as National Security: Why Energy Matters to Midwestern and Great Plains States, with David Craig, Gabriel Filippelli, Alfred Ho, and Carol Rogers, (Pew Charitable Trust Project on National Security, Energy and Climate) (in revision) (2012)
  • Prior Appropriation and the Human Right to Water: Why the Common Law may Already Affirm a Fundamental Right, paper delivered to Willamette Law School Human Right to Water Conference (Feb 2011)
  • International Tribunals As Climate Institutions? Strengthening Access To Climate Justice, Proceedings, Yale/UNITAR Second Conference on Environmental Governance and Democracy (September 19, 2010)
  • Democratic Models for International Environmental Institutions: Challenges, Taxonomies, and Citizen Advisory Groups, (2008) UNITAR Yale Conference on Environmental Governance and Democracy
  • The JPAC at Ten: A Ten-Year Review of the Joint Public Advisory Commission of the North American Free Trade Agreement, NAFTA Commission on Environmental Cooperation (2005)
  • Dannenmaier, Stanley-Jones, and Vaclavikova, "At the Frontlines of Democracy: Strengthening the Public Voice in State Decisions That Affect the Environment," The Access Initiative – US, World Resources Institute (2004)
  • Participación de Sociedad Civil en el ALCA, in HACIA UN DERECHO DE PARTICIPACIÓN EN LAS AMERICAS, at 67 (2003)
  • Co-Editor, Environmental Sustainability in Trade: Evaluating the Potential Impacts of the FTAA, the Case of Argentina, North-South Press (in Spanish) (September 2003)
  • Dannenmaier & Cohen, Achieving Meaningful Compliance with Global Climate Change Commitments, Pew Center on Global Climate Change (Fall 2000)
  • Environmental Security in the Americas - Presentation to the Committee on Hemispheric Seccurity of the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) (prepared for delivery by R.M. Meganck, Head, OAS Unit for Sustainable Development and Environment)
  • Environmental Security and Governance in the Americas, Canadian Foundation for the Americas (FOCAL), Policy Paper No 01-4 (March 2001)
  • Meeting Sustainable Development Commitments in the Americas – Progress to Date, Leadership Council for Inter-American Summitry (white paper, December 2000)
  • Legal and Institutional Mechanisms for Public Participation in Development Decision-Making in the Americas, Inter-American Strategy for Public Participation (ISP) Legal Component Final Report (Organization of American States, April 1999)
  • Editor, Practical Guide to Environmental Rights and Responsibilities in Nicaragua (Guia Practica sobre Derechos y Responsibilidades Ambientales en Nicaragua), Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources of Nicaragua (September 1998)
  • Editor, "Las Politicas de Produccion Mas Limpia en el Ecuador" (Policies for Clean Production in Ecuador) (USAID 1998)
  • Report on the Preliminary Consultation Concerning Elements of an Inter-American Strategy for Public Participation, North-South, University of Miami (1997)
  • In Re Silva Reservoir: Citizen Submission to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Commission on Environmental Cooperation (CEC) Concerning Death of Migratory Waterfowl at Silva Reservoir, Gunajuato, Mexico (Prepared and filed as Counsel to National Audubon Society, Grupo de los Cien, and Centro Mexicano de Derecho Ambiental), Summary Published as Annex 1 to "CEC Secretariat Report on the Death of Migratory Birds at the Silva Reservoir" (1994-95)

Work in Progress

  • Exclusionary Laws and Ambivalent Locals: Perspectives on Access to Town Meetings in Pre-Revolutionary Massachusetts
  • James Madison, the Press, and the Premise of Popular Sovereignty


  • "A View from the Center of the Universe: Reconciling individual Rights with Universal Values," Convocation Presentation, Drury University, Springfield, MO (Mar 8, 2012)
  • "Is There Already a Human Right to Water at Common Law?" Plenary Panel, ABA 30th Annual Water Law Conference, San Diego, CA (Feb 22-24, 2012)
  • "Prior Appropriation and the Human Right to Water: Why the Common Law may Already Affirm a Fundamental Right," Willamette University College of Law, Human Right to Water Conference, Salem, OR, Feb 3-5, 2011
  • "International Tribunals as Climate Institutions? Assessing and Strengthening Access to Climate Justice" to UNITAR/Yale Second Global Conference on Environmental Governance and Democracy, New Haven, CT Sep 17-19, 2010
  • Co-Chair and Keynote, NATO Advanced Research Workshop on Water Security in Southern Mediterranean, Marrakech, Morocco, May 31-June 3, 2010, "Environmental Security: Defining Stakeholders and State Responsibilities"
  • "The Energy - Water Connection: Can Water Law Principles Inform Energy Conservation Measures?" Panel on "New Energy - Old Water," Tulane University, 12th Annual Symposium "Bounded by Water," New Orleans, LA, April 9, 2010
  • "Environmental Change and the Emerging Global Citizen," Drury University, Convocation Series Earth Day Speaker, Springfield, MO, April 22, 2010
  • "Climate Change And Vulnerable Communities: Standing On The Rights Of Land-Based Cultures," Williams College Class of 1960 Scholars Lecture Series, Williamstown, Massachusetts
  • Keynote Address, "Citizen Enforcement under NAFTA's Environmental Agreement," North American Commission on Environmental Cooperation Workshop on Environmental Clinics, Mexico City, Mexico, November 12, 2008
  • "Democratic Models in International Environmental Institutions: Citizen Advisory Commissions," UNITAR / Yale Conference on Environmental Governance and Democracy, New Haven, CT, May 2008
  • "Identifying and Contacting Stakeholders in International Forums" (session chair), Meeting of Representatives of International Forums Dealing With Matters Relating to the Environment, Geneva, Switzerland, June 2007
  • "Conducting Policy Projects in Environmental Law Clinics," Meeting of Law and Biological Science Faculty, Novi Sad University, Novi Sad, Serbia, March 2006
  • "Policy Priorities in the Regulation of Coastal Zones," Inter-Agency Meeting of Ministry Staff, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, December 2005
  • "Challenges and Opportunities for the Joint Public Advisory Committee: Review of the recommendations on the JPAC at Ten Report," Commission for Environmental Cooperation of North America, Regular Session of the Joint Public Advisory Committee, Mexico City, Mexico
  • "Louisiana Hurricanes: A Worst-Case Scenario," (presentation and panel chair), 10th Annual Tulane Environmental Conference to Focus on Law, Science and the Public Interest (April 2004) New Orleans, LA, April 2005
  • "Environmental Governance and Resource Conflict: Mitigation through Public Access Mechanisms," presentation on panel - Diplomacy: Resources and Conflict, Policy Responses, The HAGUE CONFERENCE ON ENVIRONMENT, SECURITY AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT, Peace Palace, The Hague, Netherlands
  • "Environmental Democracy and Security in a Post-9/11 World," Presentation to University of Florida Law School's Tenth Annual Public Interest Environmental Conference (Feb 20, 2004)
  • Co-Organizer and Session Moderator, Government of Mexico and OAS Forum, "ADVANCES AND CHALLENGES FACING CIVIL SOCIETY WITHIN THE FRAMEWORK OF THE SUMMITS OF THE AMERICAS," Monterrey, Mexico, (January 2004)
  • "Emerging Global Issues: What the Radar Screen is Missing on Environmental Security," Society of Environmental Journalists Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA (October 2003)
  • "Environmental Security and Governance," presentation to SYMPOSIUM ON ENVIRONMENTAL SECURITY AND CONFLICT: TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE PEACE AND DEVELOPMENT IN AFRICA, Nile Hotel, Kampala, Uganda
  • European Commission for Trade, Conference on Sustainability Impact Analysis, Report to Working Group on EU-Mercosur and EU-Chile, "Sustainability Impact Analysis in Practice - Report on OAS Inter-American Environmental Impact Project" (February 6, 2003)
  • Carnegie Endowment for International Peace "Environmentally Sustainable Trade: Project Update and Peer Review," presentation on plans for Hemispheric Trade and Environment Forum at VIII Miami Ministerial Conference of the FTAA (Washington, DC December 10, 2002)
  • "Políticas de producción más limpia: El papel del gobierno" (Policies for Clean Production: The Role of the Government," Central American Commission for Environment and Development Workshop on Cleaner Production and Energy Efficiency Policies, Managua, Nicaragua (2002)
  • "Non-Indigenous Communities' Participation Rights in Mining Concessions," PROJECT FOR THE REFORM OF NATIONAL MINING CODE OF PANAMA, Ministry of Mines and Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources; (Project Advisor for Community Rights to World Bank), Panama City, Panama Jan 2002
  • "The Role of Civil Society in the Americas Integration Process" at Hemispheric Trade and Sustainability Symposium, Quebec City, Canada (April 2001)
  • "Engaging the Public in Sustainable Development Decision-making," 30th Annual FRANK CHURCH SYMPOSIUM ON INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS, University of Idaho, Pocatello, Idaho (Feb 2001)
  • "Creating a Regional Forum for Environmental Law," (Conference Chair), FIRST INTER-GOVERNMENTAL MEETING OF NATIONAL FOCAL POINTS FOR NETWORK ON ENVIRONMENTAL COMPLIANCE AND ENFORCEMENT, Organization of American States, Miami, FL
  • Co-Chair and Faculty, ASEAN Course on Urban Environmental Law, Asian Institute for Technology, Bangkok, Thailand (1998 and 1999)
  • "Clean Production Policy Alternatives," SEMINAR ON CLEAN PRODUCTION IN ECUADOR, Quito, Ecuador
  • "Democratic Rights and Development Decision-Making," PREPARATORY CONFERENCE FOR 1998 SUMMIT OF THE AMERICAS, Santiago, Chile
  • Chair, Workshop on Legal Frameworks for Sustainable Development in the South American Chaco (Marco Legal para el Desarrollo Sustetable del Chaco), Co-hosted by Environment Committee of the Senate of Paraguay and Environment Committee of the National Assembly of Paraguay in Filadelfia, Paraguay

Other Activities

  • Chair, Policy, Economics, and Law Working Group of the Richard G. Lugar Center for Renewable Energy at Indiana University Purdue University, Indianapolis
  • Board of Directors, Foundation for Environmental Security and Sustainability, Falls Church, VA (2004-present)
  • Board of Advisors, Tulane Institute for Water Law and Policy, New Orleans, LA (2007-present)
  • Charles Bretzfelder International Law Fellow, Columbia University School of Law (2006-07)
  • Senior Legal Advisor, Inter-American Forum on Environmental Law (Foro Inter-Americano de Derecho Ambiental - FIDA), Organization of American States (1999-2002)
  • Chair, Inter-American Water Policy Roundtable, Organization of American States (1998-99)
  • President, Committee XI (Natural Resources and Environmental Protection), Inter-American Bar Association (1993-95)