IUCN AEL Colloquium 2018

Professor Heather McLeod-Kilmurray and doctoral candidate Angela Lee are in Glasgow to participate in the 16th Annual Colloquium of the IUCN Academy of Environmental Law. The colloquium's theme this year is The Transformation of Environmental Law and Governance: Innovation, Risk and Resilience. Hundreds of scholars from around the world have gathered for this important yearly event, which features numerous panels either dedicated to or touching on issues related to environmental justice (including climate justice and food justice). 

Professor McLeod-Kilmurray's presentation, "Transforming Trade Law for Sustainable Food Systems", forms part of a panel called Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems: From Law-Making to Implementation.

Angela's presentation, "Food-tures: Examining the role of technology and law in shaping sustainable food futures", forms part of a panel called What futures? Techno-Fixes and the Role of Law and Governance in Land, Food and Agriculture.

Professor McLeod-Kilmurray is also chairing a panel on Technology and Environmental Law and Governance, while Angela is chairing a panel on Civil Society and Community Participation in Environmental Law and Governance.

Book Review Available - Climate Change and Gender in Rich Countries

A book review for Marjorie Griffin Cohen's edited volume on Climate Change and Gender in Rich Countries is now available. The book, which includes a contribution by Professor Nathalie Chalifour titled "How a Gendered Understanding of Climate Change Can Help Shape Canadian Climate Policy" is a crucial contribution to understanding the gendered dimensions of climate change in the context of wealthy countries. 

The review, by Heidi Walker in The Canadian Geographer, concludes by noting:

"Overall, this book expertly captures the complexity of the gendered dimensions of climate change and leaves the reader feeling both daunted and urgently motivated to participate in the creation of change. While it will certainly attract anyone interested in environmental issues viewed through a feminist lens, its relevance extends much further. It is an important read for anyone in policy development, academia, and non-governmental or labour organizations working towards the dual aspirations of ecological integrity and social justice."

"Amparos Filed by Indigenous Communities Against Mining Concessions in Mexico: Implications for a Shift in Ecological Law"

Dcotoral student Carla Sbert recently published an article titled "Amparos Filed by Indigenous Communities Against Mining Concessions in Mexico: Implications for a Shift in Ecological Law" in the Mexican Law Review.

The article has since prompted a blog post by Juan Diego Dimaté, available to read HERE (in Spanish only). As Carla notes, "it is so encouraging to see young students interested in this and commenting with such quality!"

CLSA/LSA Annual Meeting 2018: Law at the Crossroads

Professor Heather McLeod-Kilmurray and doctoral student Angela Lee recently presented at the 2018 CLSA/LSA Annual Meeting held in Toronto. Their panel, on the topic of "Animals, Law and Subjectivity", was chaired by Angela Harris of UC Davis and included Charlotte Blattner, Jessica Eisen, and Maneesha Deckha as panelists. 

Their presentation explored intersecting issues relating to feminism, veganism, and questions of justice, especially in the context of new and emerging technological developments in relation to flesh and other animal products. 

Environmental Justice Research Fellowship 2018-2019

Pursuant to a five year SSHRC Insight Grant and the Faculty of Law’s own internal bursary program, Professors Nathalie Chalifour, Heather McLeod-Kilmurray and Sophie Thériault are recruiting a Research Fellow to complete graduate research on environmental justice in Canadian Law and Policy. The Research Fellow will be a full-time student enrolled in the University of Ottawa LLM (thesis) or Doctoral program.  She or he will participate in research projects and pursue graduate research in one or more of these areas under the supervision of one of the project leaders, in partial completion of an LLM or a Doctorate at the University of Ottawa. 

The candidate will conduct research on one of the project’s case studies. The case studies examine the way in which legal structures contribute to environmental injustices and the role of law in remedying these injustices. Specifically, candidates who are interested in conducting research on Climate Justice and Biodiversity and Indigenous Peoples in the North are sought. More information is available HERE

Sustainable Development Goals and Universities

This month, Professor Chalifour joined a panel featuring Jeffrey D. Sachs, exploring the role of Universities in advancing the global Sustainable Development Goals.


Jeffrey D. Sachs is a world-renowned professor of economics, leader in sustainable development, senior UN advisor, bestselling author, and syndicated columnist whose monthly newspaper columns appear in more than 100 countries. He is the co-recipient of the 2015 Blue Planet Prize, the leading global prize for environmental leadership. He has twice been named among Time magazine’s 100 most influential world leaders. He was called by the New York Times, “probably the most important economist in the world,” and by Time magazine “the world’s best known economist.” A recent survey by The Economistranked Professor Sachs as among the world’s three most influential living economists of the past decade.

Professor Sachs serves as the Director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University.  He is University Professor at Columbia University, the university’s highest academic rank.  During 2002 to 2016 he served as the Director of the Earth Institute.  Sachs is Special Advisor to United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres on the Sustainable Development Goals, and previously advised UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on both the Sustainable Development Goals and Millennium Development Goals and UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on the Millennium Development Goals. He is a Distinguished Fellow of the International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis in Laxenburg, Austria.

Sachs is currently Director of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network under the auspices of UN Secretary-General António Guterres, and a Commissioner of the ITU/UNESCO Broadband Commission for Development. He is Chair and Founder of SDG USA, a non-governmental initiative to promote the Sustainable Development Goal concepts in the United States. Sachs is also co-founder and Chief Strategist of Millennium Promise Alliance, and was director of the Millennium Villages Project (2005-2015).

Sachs has authored and edited numerous books, including three New York Timesbestsellers: The End of Poverty (2005), Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet (2008), and The Price of Civilization (2011).  His recent books include: To Move the World: JFK’s Quest for Peace (2013), The Age of Sustainable Development (2015) and Building the New American Economy: Smart, Fair & Sustainable (2017).

Climate Law Seminar

Professor Nathalie Chalifour taught the first upper year Climate Law Seminar at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law this January, as part of the intensive winter session. Using a multidisciplinary approach characteristic of Chalifour’s teaching, students grappled with legal questions in their broader scientific, economic and political context. Taught in a bilingual format, the seminar featured numerous experts to engage the students in understanding the legal and policy framework for responding to climate change. The course was split between the international context, including an in-depth examination of the Paris Agreement, and Canada’s legal response to climate change at all levels of government.   

FLSQ Conference 2018

Angela Lee and Professor Heather McLeod-Kilmurray will be presenting at the Feminist Legal Studies Queen's Conference 2018, on the theme of (Re)Production: Inequalities of Gender, Racialization, and Class. The conference will be held at Queen's University on March 2-3, 2018. 

Their presentation, pertaining to the Food Justice case study, is entitled "The Milkmaid’s Tale: Veganism, Feminism, and Dystopian Food Futures".

Formalizing the Right to a Healthy Environment in Canada

UPDATE: A follow-up and video from the event is available HERE, and a personal account of the event by LLM student Danielle Gallant is available on our blog


The David Suzuki Foundation, the Ecojustice Environmental Law Clinic at the University of Ottawa, the University of Ottawa Centre for Environmental Law and Global Sustainability, and the University of Ottawa Human Rights Education and Research Centre invite you to Canada’s first symposium on Environmental Rights, to be held February 15, 2018. This one-day event at the University of Ottawa will bring together leading academics, advocates and policy-makers to profile research in this area and related policy developments.

This event is free, but space is limited and participants must register for admission in advance here: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/formalizing-the-right-to-a-healthy-environment-in-canada-registration-42095493755. Lunch will be provided.

Why environmental rights?

Throughout Canada, a conversation is building about integrating a human rights approach in environmental protection. There is also growing awareness about environmental protection gaps and related adverse effects on human health in the absence of legal recognition of the right to a healthy environment in Canada. Most countries already recognize environmental rights either in their constitutions or in statute, so there is a wealth of information from other countries about how to operationalize a human rights approach to environmental protection and the practical effects of recognizing environmental rights in law. Canadian researchers are also recognized leaders in the field. Recently, a House of Commons standing committee recommended amendments to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA) to recognize environmental rights. This event aims to profile evidence and experience that will be relevant to Canadian decision-makers.

La Fondation David Suzuki, la Clinique de droit de l’environnement Écojustice à l’Université d’Ottawa, le Centre du droit de l’environnement et de la durabilité mondiale de l’Université d’Ottawa et le Centre de recherche et d’enseignement sur les droits de la personne de l’Université d’Ottawa vous invitent au premier symposium sur les droits environnementaux au Canada, qui aura lieu le 15 février 2018. Cet événement d’un jour à l’Université d’Ottawa rassemblera des universitaires renommés, des militants et des décideurs politiques, qui dresseront le profil de la recherche dans ce domaine, de même que des politiques associées à élaborer.

Cet événement est gratuit, mais le nombre de places est limité et les participants doivent s’inscrire à l’avance ici: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/formalizing-the-right-to-a-healthy-environment-in-canada-registration-42095493755. Le dîner sera fourni.

Pourquoi parler de droits environnementaux?

Partout au Canada, on envisage de plus en plus d’intégrer une approche axée sur les droits de la personne à la protection de l’environnement. On s’intéresse également davantage aux lacunes relatives à la protection de l’environnement et aux effets néfastes qu’elles ont sur la santé humaine en l’absence de reconnaissance juridique du droit à un environnement sain au Canada. La plupart des pays reconnaissent déjà des droits environnementaux, que ce soit par leur constitution ou par leurs lois. Les autres pays représentent donc une mine d’information sur la façon d’associer une approche axée sur les droits de la personne à la protection de l’environnement et sur les effets d’une reconnaissance juridique des droits environnementaux. Les chercheurs canadiens sont également des chefs de file reconnus dans ce domaine. Récemment, un comité permanent de la Chambre des communes a recommandé des modifications à la Loi canadienne sur la protection de l’environnement (1999) (LCPE) afin d’y inclure les droits environnementaux. Cet événement mettra l’accent sur des expériences et des faits pertinents pour les décideurs canadiens.