Research / Recherches

Research interests / Champs de recherche

  • Ocean and Coastal Law / Droit des océans et des côtes
  • Biodiversity Protection / Protection de la biodiversité
  • Green theory
  • Political ecology / Écologie politique
  • International legal theory / Théories du droit international
  • Access to justice for trans people / Accès à la justice pour les personnes trans
  • Queer theory
  • Critical Legal Theory / Théories critiques du droit
  • Administrative law / Droit administratif
  • Legal History / Histoire du droit
  • Discourse Analysis / Analyse du discours

Current research projects / Projets de recherche en cours

Marine Biodiversity and the Law / Biodiversité marine et le droit

My principal research project studies the structuring effect of growth discourses on the law of the sea from the establishment of the free sea in the 17th century until today. My research relies on Green Legal Theory—a critique of (western) law’s liberal paradigm from an ecological standpoint—and on two critical methodologies: legal history and discourse analysis. My doctoral thesis focuses on the fisheries aspect of this problematique. I intend to subsequently study other aspects of the law of the sea impacting marine biodiversity, including seabed mining, shipping and transport, pollution prevention, habitat/species protection, invasive species, and genetic resources. Embedded in this research is the additional question of how can law help restructure humankind’s relations with oceans in order to equitably safeguard their ecological integrity while satisfying human needs?

With Cameron Jefferies, I am researching cetacean conservation law in Canada. We are identifying the flaws of the current regime and exploring the concept of ecosystem approach. After developing a transformative ecosystem approach for cetaceans and looking at the legal implications of this approach, we will offer some pragmatic reforms to help improve cetacean conservation law in Canada and to start the move towards a transformative marine ecosystem approach.

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Mon projet de recherche principal étudie l’effet structurant sur le droit de la mer des discours sur la croissance depuis l’avènement de la liberté des mers au 17e siècle. Mes recherches se fondent sur la Green Legal Theory (une critique du libéralisme du droit occidental d’un point de vue écologique) et sur deux méthodologies critiques: l’histoire du droit et l’analyse du discours. Ma thèse de doctorat se concentre sur sur l’aspect pêcheries de cette problématique. Mes recherches futures étudieront les autres aspects du droit de la mer affectant la biodiversité marine, tels que l’exploitation minière des fonds marins, le transport maritime, le contrôle de la pollution, la protection des habitats et des espèces, les espèces invasives et les resources génétiques. Ce projet de recherche implique aussi l’étude des mesures permettant les changements structurels nécessaires pour une relation seine entre les humains et les océans afin de protéger l’intégrité écologique des milieus marins tout en satisfaisant les besoins des humains.

De plus, je participe à un projet de recherche, avec Cameron Jefferies, sur le droit canadien protégeant les cétacés. Nous identifieront les lacunes du régime de protection des cétacés et explorerons le concept de l’approche écosystémique. Nous développerons une approach écosystémique transformative et offrirons des réformes pragmatiques afin de mieux protéger les cétacés et afin de débuter la mise en oeuvre d’une approche écosystémique transformative.

Anthropocenic Responsibility / Responsabilité anthropocénique

In this project, I develop the concept of anthropogenic responsibility. This concept is based on the practical and theoretical implications of the Anthropocene (including its different manifestation, such as the Capitalocene and the Colonialocene). I argue that these implications require us to rethink liberal legal regimes and move towards a legal system that promotes anthropogenic responsabilisation (i.e. the act of becoming responsible). I am looking to study the role of property and appropriation in relation to anthropogenic responsibility, both at the national and international level.

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Ce projet développe le concept de responsabilité anthropocénique. Le concept se fonde sur les conséquences théoriques et pratiques de l’anthropocène (incluant les diverses manifestations du concept telles que capitalocène ou colonialocène). Ces conséquences nous obligent à repenser le régime juridique libéral afin de mettre en oeuvre un régime fondé sur la responsabilisation anthropocénique. Je prévoie étudier le rôle que jouent le droit des biens et l’appropriation dans la responsabilité anthropocénique.

Trans Access to Justice / Accès à la justice trans

I am currently supervising a research project I designed in collaboration with directors and staff at JusticeTrans. The project, which is funded by Women and Gender Equality Canada, aims to better understand Two Spirit and trans, non-binary and gender-nonconforming people’s access to justice needs across Canada. The data collection phase will be twofold: 1) a pre-screening survey; and 2) a series of focus groups and individual interviews. As a community-based research project, the outcomes will go beyond academic publications and will include various access to justice tools for the trans community and inform the programming and planning of JusticeTrans.

In parallel, Evan Vipond and I are currently developing an access to justice model aimed at addressing external (e.g. socio-economic disenfranchisement) and internal barriers (e.g. cissexism within the law) to access to justice for trans people in Canada. The project theorizes access to justice, surveys the various barriers trans people face in trying to access justice, and proposes changes within our current system that would alleviate some of these barriers.

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Je supervise un projet de recherche développé en partenariat avec JusticeTrans. Ce projet, financé par Femmes et Égalité des genres Canada, vise à mieux comprendre les besoins d’accès à la justice des personnes bi-spirituelles et trans, non-binaires et ayant un genre non-conforme à travers le Canada. La collecte de données se fera en deux étapes: 1) un sondage de pré-sélection; et 2) une série de groupes de discussion et d’entrevues. En tant que projet de recherche communautaire, les résultats de recherche seront utilisés afin de créer des outils d’accès à la justice pour la communauté trans et afin d’informer les programmes et la planification de JusticeTrans.

En parallèle, Evan Vipond et moi développons présentement un modèle d’accès à la justice adressant les barrières externes (ex : déprivation socioéconomique) et internes (ex : le cissexisme juridique) d’accès à la justice pour les personnes trans au Canada. Le projet théorise l’accès à la justice, résume les barrières d’accès à la justice liées aux personnes trans et propose des réformes pour réduire ces barrières.

Selected Publications / Sélection de publications

“Responsibility in End Time: Environmental Harm and the Role of Law in the Anthropocene” in James Gacek & Richard Jochelson, eds, Green Criminology and the Law (Palgrave Macmillan, 2021) forthcoming

To the Anthropocene and Beyond: The Responsibility of Law in Decimating and Protecting Marine Life” (2020) 11:1-2 Transnational Legal Theory 180; reprinted in Emily Webster & Laura Mai, eds, Transnational Environmental Law in the Anthropocene: Reflections on the Role of Law in Times of Planetary Change (Routledge, 2021) 180

Farming the Sea, a False Solution to a Real Problem: Critical Reflections on Canada’s Aquaculture Regulations” (2019) 50:1 Ottawa Law Review 29 [with Angela Lee]

Precaution, Sub-delegation and Aquaculture Regulation: Morton v Canada (Fisheries and Oceans)” (2015) 28:1 Journal of Environmental Law & Practice 125

Canadian Environmental Assessments Reform – A Glimpse at Regressive Reforms in Canadian Environmental Law” (2015) 6 IUCNAEL EJournal 155

Développement Législatif Récent au Québec Concernant les Milieux Humides” (2013) 4 IUCNAEL EJournal 89

Theses / Thèses

Conservation for Exploitation: The Constitutive Power of Growth in Global Marine Fisheries Law, PhD, University of Ottawa, in progress

The Sustainability of Biofuels: A Principled Lifecycle Assessment of the 2009 European Union Renewable Energy Directive and Its Framework, LL.M., University of British Columbia, 2016

Selected Presentations / Sélection de communications

“To See the Ocean for the Whales, and Vice Versa: An Ecosystem and Cetaceans Centred Approach to Canadian Marine Conservation Law”, 8th JELP Environmental Law Conference: Current Priorities in Environmental Law, (online) 9 June 2021 [with Cameron Jefferies]

“Justice Denied: Moving Towards a Trans-Inclusive Model of Access to Justice”, Canadian Law and Society Association Annual Conference, University of Alberta (online) 4 June 2021 [with Evan Vipond]

“Responsibility in End Time: Environmental Harm and the Role of Law in the Anthropocene”, Canadian Law and Society Association Annual Conference, University of Alberta (online) 4 June 2021

“Searching for the Meaning of Global Fisheries Law: A Green Legal Theory Approach to Fisheries Conservation”, Early Career Workshop: Critical Perspectives on Global Law and the Environment, University of Essex (online) 23 April 2021

“Searching for justice: Imagining a trans-inclusive model of access to justice in Canada”, 2021 Socio-Legal Studies Association Conference, Cardiff University (online) 1 April 2021 [with Evan Vipond]

“Inter-Species Relationships in the Anthropocene: Responsibility, Law and Geological Agency”, 2020 Canadian Animal Law Conference: The place of nonhuman animals in our shared world, University of Toronto (online) 12 September 2020

Emergence Webinar: Environment, Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation (online) 4 June 2020 [with Stéphanie Roy and Laure Waridel]

“These aren’t the Sustainable Development Goals you’re looking for: Queering Sustainable Development Law”, 2020 Feminist Legal Studies Queen’s Conference: Gender, Equalities, Knowledges, Lands and Sustain/abilities, Queen’s University (Kingston, Ontario, Canada) 7 March 2020

“You can’t eat your fish and have it too: The Regulatory and Policy Legitimisation of the Aquaculture Industry”, 4th Annual Canadian Food Law and Policy Conference: From Microbes to Multinationals: The Many Scales of Food Law and Policy, University of Toronto (Toronto, Ontario, Canada) 9 November 2019

“A Regime Lost at Sea: Critical Reflections on the Past and Future of UNCLOS and Marine Biodiversity Protection”, The Rule of Law for Oceans, University of Oslo (Oslo, Norway) 4 November 2019

“A Fishy Relationship: The Othering of Fish by Law in Canada”, 2019 Canadian Animal Law Conference: Learning from the past, looking to the future, Dalhousie University (Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada) 5 October 2019

“Practicing One’s Beliefs: A Case Study of Individual Implementation of Experiential and Indigenous Components in Law Courses”, 2019 Canadian Association of Law Teachers Conference, University of British Columbia (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada) 6 June 2019

“Access Denied: Gender Minorities and Access to Justice”, Canadian Law and Society Association Annual Conference, University of British Columbia (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada) 4 June 2019

“Inaccessible Dignity: Access to Justice Obstacles for Gender Minorities in Canada”, Law and Society Association 2019 Annual Meeting: Dignity (Washington, DC, United States) 1 June 2019

“The Allure and Danger of the Siren’s Chant: Critical Reflections on the Intersection of Science and Technology, International Law, and Marine Biodiversity”, Inaugural Edinburgh-Glasgow International Law Workshop, University of Edinburgh (Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom) 10 April 2019

“The Road to Environmental Degradation Is Paved with Good Intentions: Curial Deference and the Judicial Review of Environmental Decisions in Canada”, 9th Colloquium on Environmental Scholarship, Vermont Law School (South Royalton, Vermont, United States) 23 September 2018

“Science-Fiction at Sea: A Critical Overview of the Role of Science and Technology within International Fisheries Law”, 16th IUCNAEL Colloquium: The Transformation of Environmental Law and Governance: Innovation, Risk and Resilience, University of Strathclyde (Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom) 4 July 2018

“Queering Environmental Law: The Application of Queer Ecology to Legal Scholarship”, 2018 Feminist Legal Studies Queen’s Conference: (Re)Production: Inequalities of Gender, Racialization, and Class, Queen’s University (Kingston, Ontario, Canada) 3 March 2018

“The international fisheries regime and the failure of international law to halt the decline of fish stocks”, Saving our Oceans: Are sustainable fisheries enough?, University of Ottawa (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada) 21 November 2017

“Fishing for Dollars or Fishing for Food? Canada’s Potential for Reorienting Fisheries Law Towards Food Security”, 2nd Annual Canadian Food Law and Policy Conference: Taking Stock, University of Ottawa (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada), 4 November 2017

“The Failed Promise of UNCLOS’s Provisions on Marine Life Conservation: A Critical Environmental Law Approach”, 2017 Critical Legal Conference: Catastrophe, University of Warwick (Coventry, England, United Kingdom), 2 September 2017

“Farming the Sea, a False Solution to a Real Problem: Critical Reflections on Canada’s Aquaculture Regulation”, Natural Marine Resource Management in a Changing Climate, University of Tromsø, KG Jebsen Centre for the Law of the Sea (Tromsø, Norway), 14 June 2017 [with Angela Lee]

“Quand l’étrange, l’environnement et le droit se rencontrent : La contribution de l’écologie queer à l’étude du droit (de l’environnement)”, Congrès de l’ACFAS 2017, Colloque du Laboratoire pour la recherche critique en droit : Enjeux de la recherche en droit: Théorisation critique, Université McGill (Montréal, Québec, Canada), 12 mai 2017

“False Martyrs: The Clash Between the Rhetoric of Freedom and the Rights of Gender Minorities”, Osgoode Graduate Students’ Conference: Rights Right Now: Classic, Contemporary and Alternative Approaches, York University (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 23 February 2017

“Sustainability of Marine Life and UNCLOS: A Critical Perspective”, Environmental Law Speaker Series: What is Happening in Environmental Law? A Panel on Current Issues, University of Ottawa (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada), 15 February 2017

“Curial Deference in Canadian Environmental Law: In Search of a New Approach”, 14th IUCNAEL Colloquium: The Environment in Court, University of Oslo (Oslo, Norway), 22 June 2016