Dr Moira L McConnell

Professor Emerita of Law

Email: moira.mcconnell@dal.ca
Mailing Address: 
c/o Weldon Law Building, 6061 University Avenue
PO Box 15000 Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4R2
Research Topics:
  • Alternative dispute resolution
  • Contracts
  • Environmental law
  • International and comparative law
  • Law of the sea
  • Maritime law
  • Labour and employment law
  • Public law


  • BA, First class English /History (UVic)
  • LLB (Dalhousie)
  • PhD (Sydney)
  • Certificate - Lloyd's Register Quality Assurance Environmental Management System Lead Auditor Training
  • Certificate - Harvard Law School, Lawyer as Negotiator Workshop
  • Certificate - Harvard Law School, Negotiation Workshop


Bar admission

  • Nova Scotia, 1990


Dr. Moira L. McConnell is a Professor of Law Emerita and Honorary Fellow of the Marine & Environmental Law Institute (MELAW). She retired from full-time teaching in 2015 but remains engaged in numerous research projects and supervision of masters and doctoral students at the law school and other departments including the Marine Affairs Programme.  

In 2015 she was appointed to the UN World Maritime University (WMU) as External Examiner.

A former Director of MELAW, she has been a member of the Faculty of Law at Dalhousie University for over 25 years and a member of the Nova Scotia Bar Society since 1990.

She has had many important “law in practice” roles in her career including over a decade as a Special Advisor to the ILO in connection with the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006. She is also a former Executive Director the Law Reform Commission of Nova Scotia.

Over the last nearly 30 years, Professor McConnell has undertaken numerous international, regional and national legal implementation projects related to the law of the sea and to maritime law and remains involved with projects with colleagues at MELAW.


Professor McConnell retired from active teaching in 2015.

Areas of supervision: international & comparative law, law of the sea, maritime law, environmental law, marine law, contracts, international trade law, labour & employment law

Research interests

Professor McConnell's current teaching and research interests are in the fields of public and private international law and domestic law including: law of the sea, maritime law, ocean governance, international labour law, international environmental law, contract law, labour law and public law.

She has over 100 publications in a wide range of topics in these fields. 

She is a co-editor of the international interdisciplinary Ocean Yearbook (1998 ff); an associate editor of the Yearbook of International Environmental Law (2006 ff), and is on the editorial boards of the WMU Journal of Maritime Affairs, the Global Journal of Comparative Law and the Journal of Arbitration and Mediation.

Selected publications

Professor McConnell has over 100 publications in various areas of research and has published widely in the fields of international law, law of the sea, international labour law, governance systems, corporate governance, administrative and constitutional law, environmental law, maritime law and policy, social justice, and human rights.  

  • Co-editor of the international interdisciplinary Ocean Yearbook (1998-)
  • Associate Editor of the Yearbook of International Environmental Law (2006-)
  • Moira L. McConnell, “The Law Applicable on the Continental Shelf and in the Exclusive Economic Zone” in D. Snyder & K. Brown, eds, General Reports of the XVIIIth Congress of the International Academy of Comparative Law/Rapports Généraux du XVIIIeme Congrès de L’Academie Internationale de Droit Comparé (Dordrecht Heidelberg London New York: Springer, 2012).
  • Moira L. McConnell, “Forging or Foregoing ‘the Genuine Link’? A Reflection on the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 and Other Approaches” in Aldo Chircop et al, eds, The Regulation of International Shipping: International and Comparative Perspectives, Essayx in Honor of Edgar Gold (Leiden/Boston: Martinus Nijhoff, 2012).
  • Moira L. McConnell, Dominick Devlin & Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, The Maritime Labour Convention, 2006: A Legal Primer to an Emerging International Regime (Leiden/
    Boston: Martinus Nijhoff, 2011). 
  • Moira L. McConnell, “The Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 – Reflections on Challenges for Flag State Implementation” (2011) 10 WMU Journal of Maritime Affairs 127.
  • Aldo Chircop, Scott Coffen-Smout & Moira L. McConnell, eds, Ocean Yearbook, vol 25 & 26 (Leiden/Boston: Brill Martinus Nijhoff, 2011 & 2012).

> For a complete list, see Professor McConnell's publication list.

Service & activity

  • 2010: General Rapporteur for the International Congress session on Air and Maritime Law
  • Member of the IUCN- Commission on Environmental Law (CEL)
  • Member of the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ - Canada, Canadian Council)
  • Member of the Society of International Economic Law
  • Member of the Canadian Council on International Law
  • Member of the American Society of International Law
  • Member of the Canadian Maritime Law Association
  • Member of the Women in International Trade and Shipping (Canada) (WISTA)
  • Member of the Legal Education Action Fund (LEAF)
  • Member  International Academy of Comparative Law
  • Board of Directors, East Coast Environmental Law Association 2007 (ECELAW) ( 2012-2015)
  • Council Member, International Commission of Jurists (Canadian Section)
  • Member, Canadian Bar Association ( NS Branch)
  • Member, Canadian Maritime Law Association
  • Member, IUCN Commission on Environmental Law
  • Member, Society for International Economic Law
  • Board Member, Lawyers for Social Responsibility