Environmental Law

Quick Info
(2880.04)  Course
S. Pasternack; Adjunct Professor
4 credit(s)  4 hour(s);
In-person classroom lecture/discussion (3 hours), plus 1 hour synchronous (occasional asynchronous) -- interactive lectures, case-study discussions, student presentations, possible guest speakers.
Upper Year Research & Writing Requirement

This course introduces the law of environmental protection in Canada.  In considering a wide range of environmental issues, we will bring major issues and contemporary developments to life using news stories, videos, case studies, and possible guest lectures.  We will begin with an overview of the controversies and problems that environmental disputes, laws and policies attempt to resolve.  We then will explore topics such as common law environmental litigation (e.g. toxic torts, class actions, SLAPP suits); jurisdiction to legislate (e.g. federal/provincial division of powers, local government powers, Aboriginal self-government); command regulation, regulatory innovations, and market-based alternatives (e.g. emissions trading); public participation and environmental rights (e.g. Ontario Environmental Bill of Rights, community right to know laws); environmental compliance and enforcement (e.g. environmental sentencing, citizen enforcement); judicial review of environmental decision-making (e.g. standard of review, public interest standing); major federal and Ontario environmental statutes (e.g. air, water, waste, contaminated lands; parks/protected areas; species at risk); comparisons with U.S. environmental law and policy; international law and the environment (e.g. multilateral environmental agreements, international trade and investment law; and cross-cutting issues (e.g. climate change, food policy).  During the term, students will present on an assignment relevant to the current topic(s).
The course is integrated with the Faculty of Environment & Urban Change graduate course ENVS 6164 and typically includes students from the MES and MBA programs, whose presence greatly enriches the learning experience.