UMKC Law Review

Home » Border Wars » CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: Sustainability as a Legal Principle: The Law’s Foundational Role in Sustaining Life and the Public Good

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: Sustainability as a Legal Principle: The Law’s Foundational Role in Sustaining Life and the Public Good

The UMKC Law Review is pleased to announce a call for submissions relating to sustainability as a legal principle. Selected papers will be published in the Special Topics Symposium, 2023 edition of the UMKC Law Review.  

The best available science tells us that carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere are higher now than in three million years. The scientific consensus is that greenhouse gas emissions across the globe must decrease to avoid catastrophic effects to the environment and life on the planet. The United Nations now organizes its goals around the concept of “sustainable development” to serve humans in all aspects of the world order. Federal and state agencies have begun planning for climate change in all aspects of government and the economy. The dangers of climate change and other environmental threats come into sharper focus as sea levels rise, extreme weather events occur regularly, and destabilization threatens national economies and governments. John Kerry, U.S. special presidential envoy for climate, told the General Assembly of the American Bar Association’s 2021 annual meeting, “you are all climate lawyers now, whether you want to be or not.”  While law’s original purpose in society was to facilitate peaceful dispute resolution, today’s more complicated and dangerous world requires more of the law to preserve civilization. 

What role should law play in today’s climate-driven world? What legal reforms are necessary to avoid the catastrophes science foresees? How can lawyers further the public good in a climate-impaired world? Papers on all topics relating to sustainability as a legal principle are welcome. Examples of topic areas include but are not limited to the following:

  • Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG), 
  • Reform of environmental law and policy to support sustainability 
  • Adaptation to climate change 
  • Natural law and rights of nature [note: becoming term of art] 
  • Lawyers’ role in advancing the legal principle of sustainability 
  • Economic and social approaches to advance sustainability 

This symposium will be the fourth issue of UMKC Law Review’s 92nd Volume and will explore these and related topics with the goal of advancing awareness and influencing public policy. Articles and essays of all lengths and papers by single or multiple authors are invited. Preference will be given to works between 8,000 and 25,000 words. To be accepted for publication, articles must not have been previously published. Final papers are due September 30, 2023.

Proposals for papers should be submitted by February 28, 2023, to the attention of:

            Bryn White (Lintecum) at – (Submissions & Symposia Editor).

            Olga Shupyatskaya at – (Submissions & Symposia Editor).

            Parker Rahman at – (Submissions & Symposia Editor). 

Proposals should include the following information:

            Author’s Name:

            Contact information:


            Proposed title of paper:

            Anticipated word count as either an article or essay:

            Abstract or brief description of the topic (approximately 500 words):

Please address questions to Bryn White (Lintecum) (, Olga Shupyatskaya (oshupyatskaya@umkc), Parker Rahman (, or Professor Russell at – (Faculty Advisor).  Please share this call with your network.