Instructor(s): Dennis Mahony, John Terry

For graduate students, the course number is LAW2011HS.

Pre or Co-requisite: either International Environmental Law (LAW225) or Environmental Law (LAW239).

Note: This course satisfies the International/Comparative/Transnational course requirement.

Note: The Blackboard program will be used for this course. Students must self-enrol in Blackboard as soon as confirmed in the course in order to obtain course information.

This course is about the discernible body of law that has been developing in response to global warming for decades, and has resulted in a surprising array of policy and legislative activity in North America over the past several years. We will begin with a consideration of the science of global warming and the manner in which it drives and animates policy, legislation and judicial and administrative decision-making. We will explore the international legal framework - including the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, Kyoto and beyond - and how it is translating into an emerging domestic legal framework in North America, with a variety of fundamental elements yet to be resolved, including whether tax, cap-and-trade, a mixture of both (or neither one) will be part of the path forward. The course will cover the legal developments and initiatives in Canada at the federal, provincial and municipal level, and how they are affecting many traditional areas of legal practice - including litigation, tax, real estate and securities law - and giving rise to significant sub-disciplines like carbon finance, which we will explore in some depth. Students will be encouraged to think creatively and critically about legal system design, and how they might help shape the emerging climate law regime.

80% for a 6,000 to 7,500 word essay on a climate law topic, and class participation 20% (10% contributions to class discussion and 10% attendance).

At a Glance

Second Term



17 JD


W: 6:10 - 8:00