Meinhard Doelle

Professor of Law

Phone: 902-494-1030
Mailing Address: 
Room 417, Weldon Law Building, 6061 University Avenue
PO Box 15000 Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4R2
Research Topics:
  • Climate change
  • Environmental law
  • International environmental law
  • Marine law
  • Energy law
  • Ocean governance


  • BSc (Dalhousie)
  • LLB (Dalhousie)
  • LLM (Osgoode)
  • JSD (Dalhousie)

Bar admissions

  • Nova Scotia, 1990


Bar admissions

  • Nova Scotia, 1990


Bar admissions

  • Nova Scotia, 1990


Professor of Law, Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University.

Professor Doelle specializes in environmental and energy law, with a focus on climate change and environmental assessment processes. He has been involved in the practice of environmental law in Nova Scotia since 1990 and in that capacity served as drafter of the NS Environment Act and as policy advisor on the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (1992).

From 2000 to 2006, Professor Doelle was a non-governmental member of the Canadian delegation to the UN climate change negotiations. He continues to follow the negotiations as an official observer. From January to May 2008, he was a  visiting scholar at the Environmental Law Center of the IUCN in Bonn, Germany. He co-chaired a strategic environmental assessment on tidal energy in the Bay of Fundy from 2007 to 2008,  served on the Lower Churchill Joint Federal-Provincial Review Panel from 2009 to 2011, and co-chaired  a provincial panel on aquaculture from 2013 to 2014.

Professor Doelle has written on a variety of environmental law topics, including climate change, energy law, invasive species, environmental assessments, and public participation in environmental decision-making. His book projects include “Environmental Law: Cases and Materials” (2013), “Promoting Compliance in an Evolving Climate Regime” (2012), “The Federal Environmental Assessment Process, a Guide and Critique" (2009), and "From Hot Air to Action: Climate Change, Compliance and the Future of International Environmental Law" (2005).


Professor Doelle's teaching within the law school has involved courses in environmental law, energy law, climate change and contract law. He has also been involved in interdisciplinary teaching outside the law school, most notably at the College of Sustainability, where he co-taught a course on Humanity in the Natural World from 2009 to 2012.

Areas of supervision: climate change law & policy, environmental impace assessment law & policy, environmental governance

Research interests

Professor Doelle’s research interests involve the intersection of environmental law, energy law and climate change.

Selected awards & honours

  • 2008: Visiting scholar at the Environmental Law Center of the IUCN in Bonn, Germany
  • 2006: Dalhousie University Doctoral Thesis Award
  • 2000-05: NGO representative on the Canadian Delegation for negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

Selected publications

  • Klein, Daniel, Pia Carazo, Meinhard Doelle, Jane Bulmer, Andrew Higham, eds, The Paris Climate Agreement: Analysis and Commentary (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2017)   
  • Meinhard Doelle, "The Paris Agreement, Historic Breakthrough or High Stakes Experiment?" (2016) 6 Climate Law 1.
  • Robert Gibson, Meinhard Doelle & John Sinclair, "Fulfilling the Promise: Basic Components of Next Generation Environmental Assessment" (2016) 29 J Envtl L & Prac 251.
  • Meinhard Doelle & Chris Tollefson, Environmental Law: Cases and Materials, 2nd ed (Toronto: Thomson/Carswell, 2013).
  • Meinhard Doelle, "CEAA 2012: The End of Federal EA As We Know It?" (2012) 24 J Envtl L & Prac 1.
  • Meinhard Doelle, Nigel Bankes & Louie Porta, "Using Strategic Environmental Assessments to Guide Oil and Gas Exploration Decisions in the Beaufort Sea: Lessons Learned from Atlantic Canada" (2013) 22 RECIEL 103.
  • Meinhard Doelle, Jutta Brunnée & Lavanya Rajamani, eds, Promoting Compliance in an Evolving Climate Change Regime (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012).
  • Meinhard Doelle, The Federal Environmental Assessment Process: A Guide and Critique, (Markham: LexisNexis Butterworths, 2008).

Service & activity

  • 2013-14, Panel Member, NS Panel mandated to develop a new regulatory framework for aquaculture
  • 2007-13: Founding Chair, & Board Member, East Coast Environmental Law Association
  • 2012- : Member, Board of Directors, Solar Nova Scotia 
  • 2008- : Member, IUCN Commission on Environmental Law 
  • 2012- : Legal Advisor, Legal Response Initiative (offering legal advice to developing countries at the UN climate negotiations)
  • 2009-11: Panel Member, Joint Federal-Provincial Environmental Assessment Review Panel, Lower Churchill Hydroelectric Generation Project
  • 2007-10: Member, Nova Scotia Round Table on Environment and Sustainable Prosperity


  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada: “Integrating Climate Change into Environmental Assessment Processes”, 2017-2022, principle investigator, $250,000. 
  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada: “Framework for Environmental Assessment Law Renewal”, 2011- 2016, co-applicant, $185,000.
  • Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada:“Carbon Management Canada (CMC) National and International legal and regulatory framework for carbon management” 2010-2015, co-applicant, $360,000.
  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada “New Governance Arrangements and Sustainable Resource Management”, 2009-2010, co-applicant, $80,000. 
  • Canadian International Development Agency: “Ocean Governance; Principles in Practice”, 2004-2009, co-applicant, $5,000,000.