SJD Candidate
Thesis title:
Alternative Food Movements and the Law: Possibilities for Social, Environmental and Structural Change
Office in Falconer Hall
84 Queen's Park
Toronto, M5S 2C5

Nadia Lambek is a Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD) candidate at the University of Toronto, and a human rights lawyer, researcher and advocate focused on food system transitions and the rights of working people. Her current research explores how the law and legal claims are framed by alternative food movements and how law can (and cannot) be mobilized in the pursuit of more equitable, just and sustainable food systems. In particular she looks at claims for the right to food, the right to food sovereignty and peasants' rights, and the possibility and limitations of institutionalizing these emerging rights in domestic and international fora. She is also interested in questions of workers' rights within the food system and the governance of food systems more broadly.

Nadia is adjunct faculty at Vermont Law School where she teaches courses on global food security governance.  In 2017 she co-organized the 2nd annual national food law and policy conference, Taking Stock: The State of Food Law & Policy in Canada.  Before beginning her SJD, Nadia practiced law, focusing on the promotion and protection of workers' rights, union-side labour law, and human rights at Cavalluzzo Shilton McIntyre Cornish LLP in Toronto, Ontario. She also worked in a research and advocacy capacity on issues relating to food systems transitions. She served as an advisor to former United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Olivier De Schutter, collaborated with a number of organizations, including Food Secure Canada, FIAN International, Oxfam (Bangladesh), the Global Network on the Right to Food and Nutrition, and Canada Without Poverty, on projects related to promoting the right to food, and has numerous publications in the area. Nadia is a former clerk of the Ontario Court of Appeal and served as co-Editor-and-Chief of the Yale Human Rights and Development Law Journal.

BA, Brown University (2006)
JD, Yale Law School (2010)
Awards and Distinctions
Dean’s Graduate Student Leadership Award, University of Toronto Faculty of Law (2017)
John Peter Humphreys Fellowship, Canadian Council on International Law (2017-2018)
Canada Graduate Doctoral Scholarship to Honour Nelson Mandela, SSHRC (2016-2019)
Doctoral Fellowship, University of Toronto Faculty of Law (2016-2019)
The Robina Foundation Human Rights Fellowship, Yale Law School (2011-2012)
Ambrose Gherini Prize, Yale Law School (2010)
Francis Wayland Prize, Yale Law School (2010)
Kirby Simon Human Rights Fellowship, Yale Law School (2008, 2009)
Phi Beta Kappa, Brown University (2006)
William Gaston Prize, Brown University (2006)
Professional Affiliations
Ontario Bar
New York Bar
Selected Publications


Rethinking Food Systems: Structural Challenges, New Strategies and the Law (eds. N. Lambek, P. Claeys, A. Wong & L. Brilmayer, Springer, 2014)

Journal Articles

Nadia Lambek, “The Committee on World Food Security’s Break from the Production Trap”, Transnational Legal Theory Journal (forthcoming 2019)

Sarah Berger Richardson & Nadia Lambek, "Federalism and Fragmentation: Addressing the Possibilities of a Food Policy For Canada", 5(3) Canadian Journal of Food Studies 28 (2018)

Nadia Lambek, "A Transformational Potential: The Right to Food’s Contribution to Addressing Malnutrition", 43 UNSCN News 75 (2018)

Nadia Lambek & Priscilla Claeys, "Institutionalizing a Fully Realized Right to Food: Progress, Limitations and Lessons Learned From Emerging Alternative Policy Models," 40(4) Vermont Law Review 743 (2016)

Stephen Moreau & Nadia Lambek, “The Record on Judicial Review: Federal Court”, 29(1) Canadian Journal of Administrative Law and Practice 71 (2016)

Shaun O’Brien, Nadia Lambek & Amanda Dale, “Accounting for Deprivation: The Intersection of Sections 7 and 15 of the Charter in the Context of Marginalized Groups”, 35 National Journal of Constitutional Law 153 (2016)

Nadia Lambek, “The Right to Food: Reflecting on the Past and Future Possibilities”, 2(2) Canadian Journal of Food Studies 68 (2015)

Freya Kristjanson & Nadia Lambek, “Applying the Charter in Everyday Administrative Decision-Making”, 26(3) Canadian Journal of Administrative Law and Practice 195 (2013)

Nadia Lambek, “Imposing IP Compliance: Trends in the USTR Special 301 Reports for India and China from 2000-2008”, The Indian Journal of Intellectual Property Law, Vol. 2 (2009) 129-153

Chapters in Books

Jessica Duncan, Nadia Lambek & Priscilla Claeys, “The Committee on World Food Security: Politics Under Threat”, in Un monde sans faim? Gouverner la sécurité alimentaire au 21e siècle (Delphine Thivet and Antoine de Raymond, eds., forthcoming 2019)

Nadia Lambek, “Social Justice and the Food System”, in Canadian Food Law and Policy (eds. McLeod-Kilmurray, H., et. al., forthcoming 2019)

Claire Debucquois & Nadia Lambek, “Extraterritorial Obligations of States and the Right to Food”, in Justice Beyond Borders: The Extraterritorial Reach of African Human Rights Instruments (eds. L. Chenwi & T. Bulto, Intersentia, 2018)

Nadia Lambek & Claire Debucquois, “National Courts and the Right to Food”, in Encyclopedia of Food and Agricultural Ethics (eds. Thompson, P.B., et al., Springer, 2014)

Nadia Lambek, “Respecting and Protecting the Right to Food: When States Must Get Out of the Kitchen”, in Rethinking Food Systems: Structural Challenges, New Strategies and the Law (eds. N. Lambek et al., Springer 2014)

Priscilla Claeys & Nadia Lambek, “In Search of Better Options: Food Sovereignty, the Right to Food and Legal Tools for Transforming Food Systems”, in Rethinking Food Systems: Structural Challenges, New Strategies and the Law (eds. N. Lambek et al., Springer 2014)

Reports and Submissions

Civil Society Report on the Use and Implementation of the Right to Food Guidelines”, for the Global Network on the Right to Food and Nutrition and the Civil Society Mechanism to the Committee on World Food Security (to be presented at the 45th meeting of the UN Committee on World Food Security, 2018) (lead author)

Meeting Canada’s Human Rights Obligations: Integrating the Right to Food into the National Food Policy”, submitted to Agriculture and Agro-Food Canada as part of the consultation process for the first national food policy (2017) (lead author) (co-signed by Food Secure Canada, Amnesty International, Canada Without Poverty and others)

Nadia Lambek,"Farm Workers in Ontario: How the Law Creates Insecurity for Agricultural Workers and the Importance of Building Democracy through the Food System", in Ecological Farm Internships: Modes, Experiences and Justice (C. Levkoe and M. Ekers, eds., 2017)

10 Years of the Right to Adequate Food Guidelines: Progress, Obstacles and the Way Ahead” (Global Network on the Right to Food and Nutrition: 2014) (presented at the UN Committee on World Food Security) (lead author)

Priscilla Claeys & Nadia Lambek, “Creating an Environment for a Fully Realized Right to Food: Progress, Challenges and Emerging Alternative Models: A Ten-Year Retrospective on Voluntary Guidelines 1-6”, (Global Network on the Right to Food and Nutrition: 2014)

Research Interests
Administrative Law
Charter of Rights
Critical Legal Theory
International Law
Labour Law
Law and Globalization
Law and International Development
Committee Members
Sally Engle Merry, Silver Professor of Anthropology, NYU College of Arts and Sciences