Skip to content
Seal of the University of California, Davis UC Davis Law Review
The Public Trust Doctrine: 30 Years Later

The Public Trust Doctrine: 30 years later

March 4, 2011

On March 4, 2011, the UC Davis Law Review will host its 2011 Symposium, The Public Trust Doctrine: 30 Years Later. Thirty years ago, the UC Davis Law Review held its first symposium exploring the public trust doctrine. Scholarship produced as a result of this original public trust doctrine symposium — and the resulting issue of the Law Review — had a demonstrable effect on the development of the law in California and in the nation. For example, key public trust decisions cited UC Davis Law Review articles, including the critical California Supreme Court case National Audubon Society v. Superior Court (also known as the Mono Lake case). Our hope and intention is that the upcoming symposium and the scholarship it generates will similarly impact the future development of public trust principles.

The public trust doctrine is rooted in the Roman Law idea of res communis, or common properties. Advocates have advanced public trust arguments for preserving natural resources. Opponents believe that public trust theories allow the unjustified taking of private property by the state without compensation.

The debate surrounding the doctrine, and what the public trust doctrine may soon embrace, will be the focus of the 2011 Symposium of the UC Davis Law Review. Our faculty advisor for this symposium is Professor Richard M. Frank, who has written extensively on the public trust doctrine and environmental law in California.

Faculty Advisor

Professor Richard M. Frank
UC Davis School of Law

Principal Staff

Errol Dauis
Editor in Chief
UC Davis Law Review, Vol. 44

Barbara Borkowski
Senior Symposium Editor
UC Davis Law Review, Vol. 44

Marta Vanegas
Senior Symposium Editor
UC Davis Law Review, Vol. 44

Should you have any questions please contact Barbara Borkowski, at

© Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.