Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
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Charles Norchi

Charles Norchi

Visiting Scholar in International and Public Affairs


Charles H. Norchi is Visiting Professor of International and Public Affairs in the Watson Institute and the Benjamin Thompson Professor of Law in the University of Maine School of Law. Dr. Norchi is co-president of the Arctic Futures Institute, a member of the American Polar Society, board member of the International Association of Maritime Port Executives and co-chair of the Institute for Law and Development Policy. He is a contributing editor to Global Geneva and the Journal of the North Atlantic and Arctic, and a Fellow of the Explorers Club, the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland and the World Academy of Arts and Sciences. Professor Norchi holds degrees from Harvard University and Yale Law School.

Norchi has held appointments at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, the University of Peking School of Law, the City University of Hong Kong School of Law, and the International League for Human Rights, among others. Norchi has written for a wide range of scholarly and policy publications including The Harvard Law Review, International Law Studies and the Ocean and Coastal Law Journal. Other writings include congressional testimonies and op-eds in newspapers, such as the New York Times, the Boston Globe and the Los Angeles Times.


Dr. Norchi researches and teaches International Law, Law of the Sea, Human Rights and Climate Law with primary focus on the Arctic, the Antarctic and Afghanistan.  


“Sanctions or Sea Ice: Costs of Closing the Northern Sea Route,” (with Michael Goldstein, Amanda Lynch and Xueke Li) Finance Research Letters, September 2022

“Arctic Navigation and Climate Change: Projections from Science for the Law of the Sea,” (with Amanda H. Lynch), International Law Studies, August 2022

“The Interaction of Ice and Law in Arctic Marine Accessibility,” (with Amanda H. Lynch and Xueke Li), Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 

"The Hindu Kush Himalaya Water Tower in a Warming World," Global Geneva, (with Paul A. Mayewski and Alexander More) September 2021

" Why Climate Change Matters to Your Health, Security and Wealth," (with Paul A. Mayewski and Alexander F. More, Journal of the North Atlantic and the Arctic, November 2020

“An Arctic Treaty in an Age of Contagion?” Journal of the North Atlantic and Arctic, June 2020

“COVID-19 and Climate Change,” Global Geneva, (with Paul A. Mayewski) May 2020

“Geopolitics and International Law in the Arctic,” in Gunhild Gjorv, et al, eds., Routledge Handbook of Arctic Security, (with Bjarni Magnusson) 2019

 “Law as Strategy: Thinking Below the State in Afghanistan” International Law Studies,  2019. 

Unlike Antarctica, There is no Arctic Treaty,” Journal of the North Atlantic and Arctic, June 2018  

“The Arctic: Law, Science and Policy.” (with Paul Mayewski)

     Ocean & Coastal Law Journal, Vol. 22. No 2, 2017

“The Arctic in the Public Order of the World Community”

         Ocean & Coastal Law Journal, Vol. 22. No 1, 2017


EEPS 1220 Climate Extremes and Human Rights

People around the world are exposed to many hazardous extreme events, including wildfire, flood, heatwave and drought. The locations, frequency and intensity of these extremes are already changing, and increasingly these changes can be linked to increases in greenhouse gas emissions from human activities. But many factors must interact with extreme events to cause a humanitarian disaster. These include the exposure of people and infrastructure to the impacts of extreme events, and the response capabilities before, during, and after the disaster. Furthermore, the vulnerabilities created by poverty and conflict have an impact on the characteristics of disasters, and extreme events in turn can exacerbate existing human rights calamities. The disasters at the nexus of climate change and human rights can be understood through the lens of incident theory. Each damaging climate extreme tends to motivate if not force action.