Environmental law conference held
U of S Law Prof. Marie Ann Bowden says the discipline of environmental law is growing across Canada – and it’s no different here.
In fact, the U of S is at the very least holding its own. For two days, June 4-5, it was at the centre of things, hosting 35 invited academics, lawyers and activists for the first-ever Environmental Law Conference of the Journal of Environmental Law & Practice (JELP).
Bowden says ever since she and two colleagues – College of Law Associate Profs. Sharon Mascher and Martin Phillipson – took over editorship of JELP in 2002, they have thought of drawing together leading in the field for professional discussions and networking.
She says while there are occasional meetings of lawyers and company officials who look at the corporate side of environmental law, the activist-oriented lawyers and academics rarely get together.
“This was an opportunity to establish a communications network. We wanted to encourage the opportunity to meet people face-to-face,” Bowden says.
She adds the session was a great success, bringing those who teach in environmental law together with people from non-governmental organization, such as the Sierra Club.
The high-powered sessions and presentations of papers were led off by a speech from former MP and environmental champion Charles Caccia. Sessions on topics like the Kyoto Protocol, trans-border pollution, NAFTA, privatization of forests, and water allocation laws.
“It was very positive; people were extremely excited,” Bowden says. She adds the conference proceedings will be available in October.
Bowden says she, Mascher and Phillipson have developed environmental law as an area of concentration in the College of Law and will soon begin teaching graduate-level courses on topics in that discipline.