Associate Professor of Law
6061 University Avenue
PO Box 15000
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4R2
- Business, Human Rights & Environment
- International Environmental Law
- Sustainable Development & Natural Resources Law
- Climate Justice
- Private International Law
- Transnational Law & Legal Pluralism
- BMus (MUN)
- MMus (Ottawa)
- LLB (Toronto)
- PhD (Osgoode)
- Ontario, 2000
I am originally from St. John’s NL, and have a pre-law professional background in music. I studied law in Ontario where I articled with a large Bay Street business law firm. After completing a PhD in law at Osgoode Hall Law School, I joined Western University in 2007 where I taught a variety of courses including Property Law, Environmental Law, and International Law. I also developed a new course exploring the legal dimensions of Corporate Social Responsibility. In 2013 I was promoted to Associate Professor, and joined the Schulich School of Law in July 2017.
Areas of supervision: Business, Human Rights & Environment, Sustainable Development & Natural Resources Law, Private International Law, Climate Justice
I am particularly interested in the relationship between international human rights law, environment, and business law, with a focus on the rights of local and Indigenous communities, and global south perspectives on sustainable development. I have researched and published extensively on home state duties and business responsibilities in the extractive industries context. More recently, I have begun to consider how lessons from this research might inform approaches to climate justice, and have also begun to assess insights from feminist and relational theory for environmental justice.
- 2017: SSHRC Connection Grant, Natural Resource Extraction and the Rights of Women and Girls (with Penelope Simons)
- 2015: SSHRC Connection Grant, International Law Summer Institute (with Neil Craik)
- 2009: SSHRC Standard Research Grant, “A Critical Analysis of the Home State Duty to Protect”
Selected awards & honours
- 2015: Emerging Scholarship Award, Academy of Environmental Law, International Union for the Conservation of Nature
- 2015 - present: Senior Fellow, International Law Research Program, Centre International Governance Innovation
- 2014-15: University Student’s Council, Teaching Honour Roll, Western University
- Sara L Seck, “Revisiting Transnational Corporations and Extractive Industries: Climate Justice, Feminism, and State Sovereignty” (2017) 26:2 Transnational Law & Contemporary Problems 383-413 (Symposium: International Environmental Law, Environmental Justice, and the Global South).
- Sara L Seck, “Business Responsibilities for Human Rights and Climate Change” - A Contribution to the Work of the Study Group on Business and Human Rights of the International Law Association (May 25, 2017).
- Sara L Seck, CIGI Paper No. 129, “The Canadian Country Visit of the United Nations Working Group on Business and Human Rights”, International Law Research Program, (Centre for International Governance Innovation, May 2017)
- Sara L Seck, “Human Rights and Extractive Industries: Environmental Law and Standards” Human Rights Law and the Extractive Industries, Paper No. 12, Page No. 12-1 – 12-42 (Rocky Mt Min L Fdn, 2016).
- Sara L Seck, “Indigenous Rights, Environmental Rights, or Stakeholder Engagement? Comparing IFC and OECD Approaches to the Implementation of the Business Responsibility to Respect Human Rights” (2016) 12:1 McGill Journal of Sustainable Development Law 48-91.
- Sara L Seck, “Treaties, and the Emancipatory Potential of International Law” in Michael Coyle & John Borrows, eds, The Right Relationship: Reimagining the Implementation of Historic Treaties (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2017) 344-368.
- Sara L Seck, “Transnational Corporations and Extractive Industries” in Shawkat Alam, Sumudu Atapattu, Carmen G. Gonzalez & Jona Razzaque, eds, International Environmental Law and the Global South (Cambridge UK: Cambridge University Press, 2015) 380-398.
- Anna Dolidze & Sara L Seck, “ITLOS Case No. 17 and the Evolving Principles for Corporate Responsibility under International Law” in Noemi Gal-Or, Math Noortmann & Cedric Ryngaert, eds, Responsibilities of the Non-State Actor in Armed Conflict and the Market Place (Leiden: Brill Publishers, 2015) 235-259.
- Sara L Seck, “Business, Human Rights, and Canadian Mining Lawyers” (2015) 56 Canadian Business Law Journal 208-237.
- Sara L Seck, “Energy in the Great Lakes Region: Imagining a Shared Strategy” (2015) 39 Canada-United States Law Journal 20-35.
Service & activity
- Member, Board of Directors, Canadian Council on International Law
- Member, Board of Directors, Canadian branch, International Law Association
- Member, Study Group on Business & Human Rights, International Law Association
- Deputy Director North America, Global Network for the Study of Human Rights and the Environment
- Member, Governance Committee, Columbia University Teaching Business and Human Rights Forum
- Member, Editorial Board, Business and Human Rights Journal (Cambridge U Press)