Professor Estair Van Wagner researches and teaches in the areas of natural resource law and property law and is co-director of Osgoode’s Environmental Justice and Sustainability Clinic. Her work explores how law is used to structure relations with the environment. Professor Van Wagner joined Osgoode in 2017 from the Victoria University of Wellington Faculty of Law in Aotearoa New Zealand where she taught Property, Natural Resource, and Resource Management Law.
She is involved in a number of SSHRC funded research grants, including as the PI of a large-collaborative SSHRC grant examining the relationship between Aboriginal title, Indigenous property and land use systems, and private property on Vancouver Island with Dr Sarah Morales and Dr Mike Ekers. She is a member of the Domestic Law Stream of the Conservation through Reconciliation Partnership, a Canada-wide network working to support Indigenous-led conservation. Professor Van Wagner is working with Professor Dayna Scott on a national project examining Indigenous-led impact assessment to inform the development of federal assessment practice. She also continues to do research on Maori law and mining Aotearoa New Zealand in an ongoing collaboration with Dr Maria Bargh.
Professor Van Wagner is also the PI on a grant with the Shift, a global movement for the right to housing, examining the human rights dimensions of homeless encampments in Canadian cities with Dr Kaitlin Schwan, Dr Alexandra Flynn, Dr Priya Gupta, and Dr Deborah Curran. Professor Van Wagner is also co-leading the Feminist Judgments Project – Canada in which feminist legal scholars are reimagining judicial decisions and legislative frameworks to articulate alternative legal relations and futures.
Professor Van Wagner completed undergraduate and postgraduate studies in political science, law, and environmental studies at the University of Victoria, Osgoode Hall Law School, and York University in Canada. Following this, she served as a judicial law clerk at the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. She worked as a labour and human rights lawyer, as an academic researcher on a number of interdisciplinary projects, and as a political advisor at the local and federal level in Canada.
Graduate Research Supervision (LLM, PhD): Professor Van Wagner is interested in supervising graduate students working in the areas of property law, housing and homelessness, land use planning, natural resources, and place-based and experiential legal education, including projects grounded in critical property theory and feminist legal theory. She is currently involved in grants examining private land and Indigenous land, impact assessment, and the right to housing.