Skip to content

Sam Bookman
S.J.D. Candidate

Graduate Fellow, Teaching Fellow (Legal Research, Writing and Analysis)
sbookman at


Toward a Theory of Constitutional Protection of the Environment

My work explores the relationship between constitutional law and environmental protection. Constitutional provisions relating to the environment have exponentially proliferated over the last fifty years. Yet – despite the urgency of environmental crises – environmental protection is an under-theorized facet of comparative constitutional law. To the extent that it has been a subject of scholarly attention, scholars have focused on judicially enforceable rights, such as the right to a healthy environment. But the relationship between constitutional law and the environment is much broader. Drawing on comparative case studies and normative theoretical analysis, my dissertation will explore the myriad ways in which constitutional law affects the environment: not only through explicit constitutional guarantees, but also the underlying administrative, democratic and market structures which shape the natural world.

Fields of Research and Supervisors

  • Legal Recognition of Nonhuman Interests with Professor Kristen Stilt, Harvard Law School, Principal Faculty Supervisor
  • Environmental Law with Professor Richard Lazarus, Harvard Law School
  • Comparative Constitutional Law with Professor Vicki Jackson, Harvard Law School
  • Democratic and Constitutional Theory with Professor Jeremy Waldron, N.Y.U. School of Law

Additional Research Interests

  • International Human Rights Law
  • United States Constitutional Law
  • International Environmental Law
  • Commonwealth and “Unwritten” Constitutionalism
  • Judicial Administration


  • Harvard Law School, S.J.D. Candidate 2019 – Present
  • Harvard Law School, LL.M. Program 2017-2018 (requirements fulfilled, degree waived)
  • University of Auckland, B.A./LL.B. (Hons) 2015

Academic Appointments and Fellowships

  • Harvard Law School, 2021, Teaching Fellow (Legal Research, Writing and Analysis)
  • Harvard Law School, 2020, Chayes Fellow
  • Harvard Law School, 2019-2021, Graduate Program Fellow, LL.M. Advisor
  • Harvard Law School, 2018-2019, Kaufman Public Service Venture Fellow
  • University of Auckland, 2017, Academic Visitor
  • University of Victoria Wellington, 2016, Tutor (Torts)

Representative Publications

  • Sam Bookman, The Constitutional Role of a Law Professor: What do Academics Do? in H. Wilberg, E. Willis & S. Bookman (eds.), PRAGMATISM, PRINCIPLE, AND POWER IN COMMON LAW CONSTITUTIONAL SYSTEMS: ESSAYS IN HONOUR OF BRUCE HARRIS (Intersentia, forthcoming 2022).
  • Sam Bookman, Decoding Declarations in Taylor: Constitutional Ambiguity and Reform, [2019] N.Z. L. Rev. 257.
  • Sam Bookman & Andrew Becroft, CROCodile tears or provisions with bite? [2019] N.Z. L.J. 267.
  • Christopher Bavitz, Sam Bookman et. al., Assessing the Assessments: Lessons from Early State Experiences In the Procurement and Implementation of Risk Assessment Tools, Berkman Klein Center Research Publication No. 2018-8 (Dec. 2018).
  • Sam Bookman, Searching for Principle: Reconciling Tribal Membership and Liberal Values, 17 Indigenous Law Journal 1 (2018).
  • Sam Bookman, Providing Oxygen for the Flames? The State of Public Interest Litigation in New Zealand, 25 N.Z. U. L. Rev. 442 (2013).

Additional Information

  • Member, World Commission on Environmental Law
  • Languages: English (native), Hebrew (basic)

Last Updated: September 1, 2021