Faculty Associates

Full-time faculty members in the Schulich School of Law with an actual or expressed interest in marine and environmental law related research. Membership by invitation or through a letter of application to the MELAW Director and a consensus decision by Faculty Associates. 

Associate Professor, Viscount Bennett Professor of Law
Topics:  International Economic Law, International Investment Law, International Law & Development, International Human Rights Law, Business Law and Transnational Law, Law & Policy of Public-Private Partnerships
Email: Olabisi.Akinkugbe@dal.ca
Phone: 902-494-4298
Mailing Address: 
Room 422, Weldon Law Building
6061 University Avenue
PO Box 15000
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4R2
law_professor_olabisi_akinkugbe_23 - 1
Professor of Law
Topics:  Arctic shipping, Canadian maritime law, International maritime law, International law of the sea, Ocean law and policy
Email: aldo.chircop@dal.ca
Phone: 902-494-1007
Mailing Address: 
Room 437, Weldon Law Building, 6061 University Ave
PO Box 15000 Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4R2
Associate Professor of Law and Associate Dean Research
Topics:  Property and land law, Food and agricultural law, Local government law, Law, economics and political economy, Access to justice
Email: jamie.baxter@dal.ca
Phone: 902-494-7113
Mailing Address: 
Room 326, Weldon Law Building, 6061 University Avenue
PO Box 15000 Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4R2
Associate Professor of Law
Topics:  Family law , Gender and economic consequences of family breakdown, Retroactive Child Support, Nonhuman animals and the law, Animal Rights Activism and the Constitution, Ag-Gag Legislation and Freedom of Expression
Email: jodi.lazare@dal.ca
Phone: 902-494-1034
Fax: 902-494-1316
Mailing Address: 
Room 426, Weldon Law Building
6061 University Avenue
PO Box 15000
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4R2
Professor of Law
Topics:  Health law and policy, Indigenous health governance, Immigration and refugee law
Email: constance.macintosh@dal.ca
Phone: 902-494-3554
Mailing Address: 
Room 319, Weldon Law Building, 6061 University Avenue
PO Box 15000 Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4R2
Associate Professor of Law; Chancellor's Chair in Aboriginal Law and Policy, Aboriginal Law Certificate Coordinator
Topics:  Aboriginal law, Indigenous law, Constitutional law, Administrative law, Equality and human rights law, Diversity in legal education, the legal profession, and the judiciary
Email: naiomi.metallic@dal.ca
Phone: 902-494-4500
Mailing Address: 
Room 314, Weldon Law Building, Dalhousie University 6061 University Avenue Halifax, NS B3H 4R2
Associate Professor of Law and Management; Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Governance (Tier 2)
Topics:  Mi’kmaw & Indigenous Land and Water-Based Governance, Indigenous Food Systems, Indigenous Women’s Political Life, Rights and Activism, Treaty Relations and Rights, Mi’kmaw & Indigenous Land-Based Learning Practices, Decolonization & Resurgence, Multi-scalar Indigenous Peoples’ Movements, Indigenous & Small-Scale Fisheries Movements
Email: sherry.pictou@dal.ca
Phone: (902) 494-4092
Mailing Address: 
Room 323, Weldon Law Building, 6061 University Avenue
PO Box 15000 Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4R2
Assistant Professor of Law, Associate Director, Marine & Environmental Law Institute, Acting Dean, Research (September - November 2023)
Topics:  Critical legal studies, Culture and the law, Legal anthropology
Email: sara.ross@dal.ca
Mailing Address: 
Room 417, Weldon Law Building
6061 University Avenue
PO Box 15000
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4R2
Sara Ross
Associate Professor of Law; Associate Professor, School for Resource and Environmental Studies; Research Fellow, Centre for the Study of Security and Development
Topics:  Law of the sea, Environmental law, International environmental law, Tort law and damage compensation, International law, Oil and gas law
Email: p.saunders@dal.ca
Phone: 902-494-1044
Mailing Address: 
Room L114C, Law Library, Weldon Law Building, 6061 University Avenue
PO Box 15000 Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4R2
Associate Professor of Law; Yogis and Keddy Chair in Human Rights Law; Director, Marine & Environmental Law Institute
Topics:  Business, Human Rights & Environment, International Environmental Law, Sustainable Development & Natural Resources Law, Climate Justice, Private International Law, Transnational Law & Legal Pluralism
Email: Sara.Seck@dal.ca
Phone: 902-494-7715
Mailing Address: 
Room 416, Weldon Law Building
6061 University Avenue
PO Box 15000
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4R2
law_faculty_sara seck
Professor of Law; Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) in Ocean Law and Governance; Primary Researcher; Director, Marine & Environmental Law Institute
Topics:  Environmental law, International environmental law, Fisheries law and policy, Transboundary resource management, Species at risk protection, Law of the sea
Email: david.vanderzwaag@dal.ca
Phone: 902-494-1045
Mailing Address: 
Room 415, Weldon Law Building, 6061 University Avenue
PO Box 15000 Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4R2


Associates & Fellows

Research Associates

Researchers, not Faculty Associates, actively involved in MELAW-related research projects or initiatives. Post-doctoral researchers are also eligible. Membership by a Faculty Associate nomination, a letter of application to the MELAW Director and a consensus decision by Faculty Associates.
Kevin Berk Kevin Berk is a Graduate Research Assistant and PhD candidate at the Schulich School of Law. While completing his LLM Kevin served as a Graduate Fellow at Osgoode Hall Law School’s Environmental Justice and Sustainability Clinic. Prior to his graduate work Kevin obtained a JD from the University of Windsor’s Faculty of Law where he participated in the inaugural year of Windsor Law’s Transnational Environmental Law and Policy Clinic. Kevin’s research focuses on examining how law shapes and reflects human relationships to the ecological systems in which we are embedded, with a specific focus on environmental, property, and treaty rights. During the 2020-2021 academic year Kevin taught the course “Property in its Historical Context” at the Schulich School of Law.

Scott Coffen-Smout Scott Coffen-Smout, B.Sc., DMA, M.Sc., is an oceans management biologist with Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), Bedford Institute of Oceanography, Halifax, Canada. He studied biology and marine affairs at Dalhousie University and marine environmental science at Bangor University, Wales. He previously consulted in Somalia and Niue, South Pacific. Affiliations include: research associate at the Marine & Environmental Law Institute, Dalhousie University, co-editor of the Ocean Yearbook (Brill Nijhoff), alumnus of IOI-Canada’s training program, and senior research fellow at IOI-Canada. Areas of practice at DFO include marine spatial planning, spatial data and information management, sustainable fisheries certifications, coastal and ocean management, and area response planning.

Veronica Dossah

Veronica Dossah, is a research associate at the Marine & Environmental Law Institute, Dalhousie University. She recently completed a Master of Laws program at the Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University. She undertakes research projects on issues relating to business, human rights and the environment; the extractive industries; gender and; marine plastic pollution.

Veronica is also a teaching assistant at the Schulich School of law, Dalhousie University.

She has been called to the Ghanaian Bar and practices law in areas including corporate-commercial law litigation and advisory services, and alternative dispute resolution.

Cecilia Engler

Cecilia Engler, LLM, is a PhD Candidate at the Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University and a Research Fellow with the Marine & Environmental Law Institute. Her doctoral thesis work addresses aquaculture governance in the context of the ecosystem approach. Her research interests include the law of the sea, international fisheries, the oceans and climate change regime, the ecosystem approach to oceans management, and ecological law.

She held a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship, 2012-2015; an honorary Izaak Walton Killam Predoctoral Scholarship, 2012-2013; and an Izaak Walton Killam Predoctoral Scholarship 2008-2010, and was awarded the Dalhousie University Governor General’s Gold Medal in Humanities and Social Sciences 2011 for her Master of Laws thesis work. She has also been distinguished with several other academic awards both in Canada and Chile.

She graduated as a lawyer from the Universidad de Concepción, Chile. She worked for the Chilean National Fisheries Service and the Undersecretariat for Fisheries and Aquaculture from 1998 to 2008. In that capacity, she worked on policy and regulation development for the fisheries and aquaculture sector and on enforcement of fisheries regulations.

Olga Koubrak Olga Koubrak is a Ph.D. student researching and developing national and international legal approaches and tools to improve conservation outcomes for marine species at risk and management of marine living resources in general. She has co-written articles on transboundary fisheries management in light of climate change and dynamic management of marine industries to protect the critically endangered North Atlantic right whale, to name some. Olga is working through regional mechanisms (SPAW Protocol and WECAFC) in the wider Caribbean to improve protections for sawfishes and sea turtles, as well as develop management measures for shark and ray fisheries in the region.  
Adebayo Majekolagbe Adebayo Majekolagbe (Bayo) is a doctoral candidate and part-time faculty at the Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University. He researches and has published peer reviewed journal articles and book chapters on subjects including climate change policies and laws, just transition, impact assessment, and business and human rights. His doctoral thesis explores the intersections between climate change, just transition and impact assessment, and how fossil fuel dependent economies can deploy impact assessment as a just transition tool. Bayo has, overtime, taught the processes of justice (in the law, justice and society programme) and climate change law, and assisted in the teaching of global environmental governance (College of Sustainability) and environmental law at Dalhousie University. He is called to the Nigerian Bar and has practised at all levels of the Nigerian judicial system. He is also a Vanier and Killam Scholar.

Ted McDorman

Ted L. McDorman is a Professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of Victoria in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Before joining the University of Victoria in 1985, Professor McDorman was at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia with the Dalhousie Oceans Studies Program (DOSP). He has been a visiting professor at institutions in Thailand, Sweden, the Netherlands and Canada and has over 120 publications in the areas of ocean law and policy, international trade law and comparative constitutional law.

Since 2000, he has been the editor-in-chief of Ocean Development and International Law. He has undertaken projects for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, including legislative drafting, conducting of workshops and report writing on fisheries and fisheries trade, and written reports on ocean law and policy matters for the governments of Canada, Quebec and British Columbia.

During 2002-2004 and 2011-2013 Professor McDorman was the “Academic-in- Residence” with the Bureau of Legal Affairs of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade in Ottawa where he worked on a wide range of ocean law topics including have a small role in the decision and process respecting Canada’s ratification of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea in 2003 and the anticipated Canadian submission of information respecting the outer limits of the continental shelf to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf in late 2013.

Akinwumi Ogunranti Akinwumi Ogunranti is a PhD candidate, part-time faculty member, and a Schulich fellow at the Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University, Canada. He is a Nigerian lawyer and an expert in private international law, international law, and business and human rights. He has also undertaken research projects on issues relating to the intersection between business, human rights, climate, and the environment.
Tahnee Prior Tahnee Lisa Prior is a Killam Postdoctoral Fellow with the Marine & Environmental Law Institute of the Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada. Tahnee is currently also a collaborator on “Women of the Arctic Ocean: Exploring the Intersection of Gender, Indigeneity & the Law of the Sea in the Canadian Arctic”, a research project funded through an Oceans Frontier Institute Seed Grant. Together with Gosia Smieszek, she co-leads Women of the Arctic (www.genderisnotplanb.com), a non-profit association registered in Finland whose mission it is to raise awareness of, support for, and maintain a focus on women and gender-related issues in the Arctic. Tahnee has published on law and complexity theory, Arctic environmental governance, Indigenous peoples and women’s rights in the climate regime. She is also the co-lead of the “Gender and Environment” chapter of the 2021 Pan-Arctic Report on Gender and Diversity in the Arctic and a contributing author to the 2016 Arctic Resilience Report. Previously she was the lead researcher of a project at the nexus of climate change and human rights, commissioned by Finland’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs, at the Arctic Centre, University of Lapland. Tahnee holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in Global Governance from the Balsillie School of International Affairs, University of Waterloo, and B.A. in International Relations from Franklin University Switzerland.

Susan Rolston Susan J. Rolston is sole proprietor of Seawinds Consulting Services, providing research, writing, editing, indexing, and publication management services. Ms. Rolston’s areas of special expertise include ocean and coastal law, policy and management, maritime transportation, and polar law. She is currently copy editor for the International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law. Ms. Rolston has contributed to numerous marine law and policy publications. She holds a BA (Hons.) from the University of Western Ontario and a MA from Dalhousie University, both in Political Science.
Unwana Udo

Unwana Udo is a research associate at the Marine and Environmental Law Institute, Dalhousie University.  He recently completed a Master of Laws program at the Schulich School of Law. His areas of research interests are climate and environmental law including climate change and human rights; climate justice; climate litigation; climate-oceans governance; and sustainable development. Unwana has held teaching assistant positions in several courses at Dalhousie University, including those with environmental protection and sustainability themes. More recently, Unwana has been working on a multi-disciplinary research project (under the auspices of the Ocean Frontier Institute) involving oceans governance, sustainability, climate law and policy, as well as the evolving participatory role of non-state actors (such as Indigenous peoples and youth) in decision-making within the climate and ocean regimes.

Unwana also holds a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Nigeria. He is admitted to practise law in Nigeria. Having practised law in the dispute resolution and energy law departments of one of the largest law firms in Nigeria, Unwana is experienced in litigation and advisory services. Unwana is currently a candidate for admission to the Law Society of Ontario.

Research Fellows

Graduate students (LLM, PhD) enrolled at the Schulich School of Law with a research interest in the field of marine and environmental law. Research Fellows are expected to enrol in the MELAW distribution list, attend MELAW events and participate in program activities. Students remain fellows until graduation. Membership by nomination from a graduate supervisor, a letter of application and a consensus decision by Faculty Associates.

Phillp Buhler

Phillip A. Buhler has been practicing maritime law for over thirty years in the United States, representing shipowners, operators, insurers and other commercial interests in many aspects of maritime casualties, environmental issues and regulatory matters. He is a correspondent for most members of the International Group of P&I Clubs. He also serves as an instructor in international and US civil procedure at the Universitat zu Koeln and has taught courses in maritime law and intermodal transportation at the Universitat Hamburg.

Mr. Buhler has served on the Board of Directors of the Maritime Law Association of the United States and as Chair of its International Organizations, Conventions and Standards Committee, during which time he directed a focus towards emerging Polar shipping issues. He is also active in the Comite Maritime International and serves on its Polar Shipping International Working Group and its Antarctica Sub-Committee.

Since Fall, 2019 Mr. Buhler has been a Ph.D. candidate at Dalhousie University, developing his thesis concerning application of non-prescriptive regulatory options to commercial shipping in the Polar regions. He received his BA from the College of William & Mary, his J.D. from the University of Miami, and his LL.M. (Admiralty) from Tulane University. He is Board Certified in Admiralty Law and International Law by the Florida Bar, and is the author of numerous articles, book chapters and a book on maritime and international law issues.

Keith MacMaster Keith MacMaster is a Ph.D. candidate and a Lecturer at the Rowe School of Business and the Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University. Keith concentrates on legal issues in environmental finance for banking and ocean-based industries. One research area aims at improving responsible finance and creating new sustainable investments. At the heart of this research lies theories of materiality and the lack of environmental and human rights data in companies' disclosure documents.  The second research area investigates the policy and legal framework for seabed mining. This research aims to enable an environmentally and socially sustainable mining industry for the post-pandemic, low carbon world.
Sixiang Peng Sixiang Peng is a PhD student and his research area covers public international law, the law of the sea and international fisheries law. His current study focuses on the issue of illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishing which poses a great threat to the world’s sustainable fisheries. He also writes articles on other ocean topics for Chinese newsletters.

Jinho Yo Jinho Yoo (PhD, JD, Attorney at Law) is a practicing attorney (Licensed in New York) specialised in Maritime Law with more than 10 years of experience as in-house lawyer in Korean Register (Classification Society) and Hanjin Ship management company (Hanjin Shipping Group). He already holds two PhD degrees: One in Maritime Law from Korea Maritime and Ocean University in Busan South Korea, and the other PhD in the law of Tort from Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in Seoul, Korea. During 2015-2018, He also served as managing director of a maritime cluster organization in Korea comprising over 50 number of Korean public and private stakeholders such as ship owners, shipbuilders, ship equipment manufacturers, etc. He is currently a PhD Candidate in Maritime Law at Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University.

Honorary Fellows

Persons recognized for their outstanding contributions in the past to the founding or building of MELAW. Membership through a Faculty Associate nomination and a consensus among Faculty Associate members.
Bill Charles QC, Professor Emeritus Bill Charles, QC, Professor Emeritus, formally a full time member of the Faculty of Law and Dean (1979-85) is still active in the environmental area. Currently serving as special council to the Nova Scotia Law Reform Commission he has been actively involved in the preparation of a Discussion Paper on Contaminated sites in Nova Scotia (March/09). Professor Charles taught environmental law at the law school in the 90s and has had considerable experience with the Environmental Impact Assessment process in the last fifteen years. This experience includes among other assignment serving as the Nova Scotia representative on a Joint Federal/Provincial Assessment Panel dealing with Remediation of the Sydney Tar Ponds (2006-2007), Chair of a Provincial assessment panel to evaluate strip mining (coal) in Stellarton, NS and Chair of an assessment panel to evaluate a proposal to construct an incinerator to burn garbage in the Metro/Halifax area. Prof Charles has also served as President of The Environmental Control Council (N.S./1993-95) and Chair of the Environmental Assessment Board (1995-98).
Brian Flemming, QC

Brian Flemming CM, QC, DCL, is Counsel to the Atlantic Canada law firm of McInnes Cooper. He is a non-practising member of the Nova Scotia bar and a former member of the Ontario bar.

In recent years, as a Research Fellow of the Canadian Defence & Foreign Affairs Institute in Calgary, Dr. Flemming has published articles on Arctic issues, the global war on terror, Canada-China relations in the Arctic, the war in Afghanistan and border security issues involving Canada and the U.S. He has also written papers for the School of Public Policy and the Van Horne Institute at the University of Calgary on national transportation issues.

Dr. Flemming was Assistant Principal Secretary to Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau from 1976 to 1979. After 9/11, the Canadian government made him the first CEO and chairman of the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA), Canada’s principal public response to 9-11. In 2005, he was appointed to the federal Advisory Council on National Security. In 2000-1, Dr. Flemming chaired the Canada Transportation Act Review Panel, a statutorily-mandated review of Canada’s transport policies. The report of that Panel—“Vision and Balance”—caused Dr. Flemming to be given the national “Award of Achievement” in 2003.

In the mid-1960s, following graduate studies in England and the Netherlands, Dr. Flemming taught the first graduate course in public international law at Dalhousie’s law school and wrote many peer-reviewed articles for learned publications and international conferences. He was a key figure in the establishment of the Dalhousie Ocean Studies Program (DOSP) in the 1970s. He was founding chairman of the International Centre for Ocean Development, a Crown Corporation headquartered in Halifax in the 1980s.

Dr. Flemming is a former member, vice chairman and interim chairman of The Canada Council and is a former director of the CBC. He is honorary chairman of the Dalhousie Law Alumni Association of Canada, having been its founding chairman in 1983. In 2010, he won the Weldon Award for Unselfish Public Service at Dalhousie’s Schulich School of Law. He is a former chairman of the Board of Governors at University of King’s College. He was the founding chairman of Symphony Nova Scotia and has been on the boards of many local, regional and national not-for-profit organizations. He was awarded an honourary degree by Saint Mary's in 2014, given an honourary degree by King’s in 1991 and, in 1989, was made a Member of the Order of Canada.

Edgar Gold, QC, Master Mariner

Professor Edgar Gold, CM, AM, QC, grew up and went to sea in Australia but settled in Halifax, Canada, in the early 1960s. He is a former senior partner with the law firm Ritch Durnford in Halifax, where he specialized in maritime,
energy and environmental law and international commercial law. He was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1995. He also served as the Honorary Consul of the Federal Republic of Germany for Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, 1986-1998. He is a former President of the Canadian Maritime Law Association and a Titulary Member of the Comité Maritime International. Dr. Gold is a Master Mariner (UK and Canada) and served at sea for 16 years, including several years in command. He was Professor of Law (1975-1994) and Professor of Resource and Environmental Studies (1986-1994) at Dalhousie University, Halifax. He is a founding member of Dalhousie Law School’s Marine and Environmental Law Institute (formerly MELP).

Professor Gold was a founder and former Executive Director of the Dalhousie Oceans Studies Programme (DOSP), and the International Institute for Transportation and Ocean Policy Studies (IITOPS), the predecessors of the International Oceans Institute of Canada. He was a member of the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board 1996-2003, and a member of the Roster of Experts of the Asian Development Bank, Manila, Philippines, 2001-2004. He is also a former Adjunct Professor and former Canadian Member of the Board of Governors of the World Maritime University, Malmö, Sweden, and a former member of the Governing Board of the IMO-International Maritime Law Institute, Malta. Until the end of 2010 he also held an appointment as Adjunct Professor at the T.C. Beirne School of Law, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia, where was involved with the School’s Marine and Shipping Law Unit. Professor Gold has active experience in most regions of the world and has completed over 250 publications in the maritime law and policy field. He has received honorary degrees from the Canadian Coast Guard College (1992) and the World Maritime University (2007), and was awarded the Commander’s Cross of the Order of Merit by the German Government in 1997; the Order of Canada (C.M.) in 1997, and the Order of Australia (A.M.) in 2005. In 2012 he was honoured with the presentation of a ‘Festschrift’ entitled The Regulation of International Shipping: International and Comparative Perspectives—Essays in Honour of Edgar Gold. Professor Gold is now based in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

Arthur Hanson, OC

Professor Arthur J. Hanson, OC, is a Distinguished Fellow and former President of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD). He was a Professor and Director of the School for Resource and Environmental Studies at Dalhousie University. Prior to that, during the mid-1970s, he worked with the Ford Foundation in Indonesia. Dr. Hanson addresses environment and economy, biodiversity, oceans, and international development concerns globally, in Asia and in Canada. He was one of the founders of the Dalhousie Ocean Studies Programme (DOSP) in the 1970s.

He has served on Canada’s National Round Table on the Environment and Economy (NRTEE), as Canada’s Ministerial Ocean Ambassador with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, and in a number of other national advisory posts. He has initiated several major international development activities in Southeast Asia, and currently is a Member and Lead Expert of the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development (CCICED). He is chairing a Working Party on Biotechnology, Sustainable Development and Canada’s Future Economy for the Canadian Biotechnology Advisory Committee. Dr. Hanson is a member of the Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI), and a Mentor with the Trudeau Foundation. He is an Officer of the Order of Canada.

Hugh Kindred

Professor Hugh Kindred, who joined the Law School as a faculty member in 1971, continues to research and write in the fields of ocean transportation, overseas trade and international law, as well as to assist with the supervision and examination of LLM and PhD students. He is a member of the bars of Nova Scotia and England as well as a past Chair of the Carriage of Goods Committee of the Canadian Maritime Law Association. He was appointed Senior Legal Officer in the Shipping Division of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in Geneva for 1985-86, and he was the Director of the Marine and Environmental Law Program (MELP) at the Law School during 1996-97 and again in 2001. In 1998 he went as Visiting Professor of maritime law to the University of Sydney, Australia.

Hugh is a member of the editorial boards of the Ocean Yearbook and the Canadian Yearbook of International Law, and he serves as the coordinator of Canadian contributions to the Oxford Reports on International Law in Domestic Courts.

In addition to many articles and book chapters on maritime, commercial and international law, Hugh has published Marine Cargo Delays (with Max Ganado), Multimodal Transport Rules (with Dr. Mary Brooks) and Canadian Maritime Law (with Drs. Edgar Gold and Aldo Chircop), which was co-winner of the Walter Owen Book Prize for 2003-05. In 2014, together with Phillip Saunders and Rob Currie, he produced the 8th edition of International Law Chiefly as Interpreted and Applied in Canada. Also in 2014 he completed a research project with Steve Coughlan, Rob Currie and Teresa Scassa with the publication of Law Beyond Borders: Extraterritorial Jurisdiction in an Age of Globalization.

In 2003 Hugh Kindred was honoured by the Canadian Association of Law teachers with its Award for Academic Excellence and in 2010 he was designated by Dalhousie University as Professor of Law Emeritus.

Moira McConnell

Professor of Law

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 the 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 in MELAW.

Professor McConnell's research interests are in the fields of public and private international law and domestic law including international law, law of the sea, maritime law and policy, international labour law, environmental law, governance systems, corporate law and governance, administrative and constitutional law, social justice, contract law and human rights. She has over 100 publications in a wide range of topics in these fields. She is also 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 board of the WMU Journal of Maritime Affairs.


Dawn Russell

Associate Professor Dawn A. Russell practiced law in Halifax for five years with the Atlantic law firm of Stewart McKelvey Stirling Scales before beginning her career as a law teacher in 1987 as an Assistant Professor. She received tenure and was promoted to Associate Professor in July 1992. She served as Acting Dean of Dalhousie Law School from May 1, 1995 to March 31, 1996 and as Dean from April 1, 1996 to June 30, 2005.

Professor Russell is currently the President of St. Thomas University in Fredericton, New Brunswick.

  Wendell Sanford

Wendell Sanford holds degrees from Saint Mary's University (BA and BEd), Dalhousie (LL B) and Victoria University of Wellington, NZ (MPP)

Mr. Sanford has been a career diplomat, international lawyer, and naval officer. Most recently at the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development he has been Canadian High Commissioner to Brunei and the first Canadian Representative to the Government of Burma. In Ottawa he has served as Director of Oceans and Environmental Law and Director of Criminal, Diplomatic and Security Law. During his lengthy diplomatic career he has been involved in the negotiation of the UN High Seas Fisheries Convention, Western and Central Pacific Tuna Convention and NAFO reform process. With respect to Canadian Arctic Mr. Sanford held the lead in the legal aspects of extending the Arctic Waters Pollution Prevention Act to 200 nautical miles and the regulation which made compulsory reporting to NORDREG. He held the Foreign Affairs lead in developing the Canadian Extended Continental Shelf Submission for the first two years of the seven year process.

Prior to joining Canada's foreign ministry Mr. Sanford had an extensive naval reserve career including servicing as Staff Officer Naval Control and Shipping at Maritime Command Headquarters in Halifax.

Christian Wiktor, Professor Emeritus

Professor Emeritus Christian L. Wiktor was the Sir James Dunn Law Librarian at Dalhousie Law School for 27 years. Before working at Dalhousie Law Library, he spent ten years in library positions at the New York Public Library in Manhattan, and the State University of New York at Buffalo, Faculty of Law and Jurisprudence. In addition to his formal degrees he was a doctoral candidate in international law at the University of Paris (Sorbonne), specializing in the law of treaties. He continued this interest in producing a number of research tools such as the collection of Unperfected Treaties of the United States, 1776-1976, and the Canadian Treaty Calendar, 1928-1978, both published by Oceana, and two new publications on treaties, Multilateral Treaty Calendar 1648-1995, and Treaties Submitted to the U.S. Senate: Legislative History, 1989-2004, published by Nijhoff in 1998 and 2006. In 2003, Professor Wiktor published the Index to Canadian Treaties 1979-2003. His previous training as a bibliographer at the New York Public Library caused him to produce the first Canadian Bibliography of International Law published by the University of Toronto Press in 1984. He was the founder and editor of the Marine Affairs Bibliography, a current comprehensive index of marine law and policy literature (Vols. 1-13, 1980-1992. Professor Wiktor published recently two essays in tribute to two outstanding international legal scholars and co-editors of remarkable publications, entitled: “The Publications of Ronald St. John Macdonald,” (1954-2006), published in the Canadian Yearbook of International Law (Vol. 44, pp. 479-502), and, with Ted L. McDorman, “The Publications of Douglas Millard Johnston,” (1960-2008), published in The Future of Ocean Regime-Building, edited by Aldo Chircop, et al., published by Nijhoff in 2009 (pp. 739-765). 

Professor Wiktor was an associate of the Oceans Institute of Canada, and is now an honourary fellow of the Marine & Environmental Law Institute. He has been for many years, a member of the Board of Editors for the Ocean Yearbook. Professor Wiktor continued research on the history of U.S. treaty practice (from 1789) at the U.S. Senate Library in Washington, D.C., and as visitor at the University of South Carolina Law School in 2008 and 2009.

Part-time Faculty

Persons teaching part-time in one or more courses in MELP offerings. 

Ella Dodson

Ella Dodson has more than 30 years’ experience representing businesses of all sizes, governments, non-profits, financial institutions, and others with respect to:

  • Structuring, negotiating, drafting and closing cross-border contracts and business deals;
  • Advising on structure, and a broad range of business issues;
  • Researching and drafting maritime and corporate law and policy.

She graduated from Columbia University in New York with an LL.M. in International Law.  She also holds a JD with High Honors from Illinois Institute of Technology-Chicago-Kent College of Law and an AB from Washington University in Saint Louis in Political Science and Asian Studies.

Ms. Dodson is admitted to the New York Bar and the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society. She is a member of Financing Sounding Board of the Baltic and International Maritime Council, (http://www.bimco.org).

Further information about her maritime practice may be found at http://www.hillbetts.com/ella-dodson.html.

Ramón Filguera Ramón Filgueira grew up in Galicia, Spain, where seafood has dominated the economy, culture and diet of the Galician people for centuries. He completed his undergraduate degree in Marine Sciences at the University of Vigo in Spain. He then went on to complete a Master diploma in Environmental Management and Sustainable Development at the University of Valencia. Ramón obtained his PhD in Marine Sciences from University of Vigo on the ecophysiology of mussels. In 2008, he came to Canada for a postdoctoral fellowship in ecosystem modelling at Dalhousie University. In 2012, Ramón began a postdoctoral fellowship at the Gulf Fisheries Centre, Fisheries and Oceans Canada. There he developed ecosystem models of aquaculture sites that could be used for marine management decision-making. Ramón joined the Marine Affairs Program at Dalhousie University in March 2016. Since then, Ramón has expanded the scope of his research to cover aquaculture from an interdisciplinary perspective, fully embracing an “ecosystem approach to aquaculture.” 

Sadira Jan Sadira Jan is a partner with Stewart McKelvey’s Halifax office. Admitted to the Nova Scotia Bar in 2007 after completing her law degree at Dalhousie University, Sadira works with a broad range of clients across diverse industries, focusing on mergers and acquisitions, financing transactions and general corporate advice.

Balancing a demanding client schedule with volunteerism, Sadira is actively involved in nonprofit organizations across the Halifax Regional Municipality, contributing time and leadership as a member of the Board of Directors for the Prescott Group; Prescott Futures Committee; and Art Gallery of Nova Scotia.
Lisa Mitchell Lisa Mitchell is a lawyer (Dalhousie, 1991) and principal of LJM Environmental Law.  She has a Masters of Environmental Studies from the School for Resource and Environmental Studies (Dalhousie, 1994), and more than fifteen years of experience working in the areas of environmental law, policy and environmental management. Lisa’s law practice is exclusively in the area of environmental law.  She has developed a broad-ranging practice base that includes governments, non-government organizations, private-sector companies, community groups and individual clients.  Her expertise in this area originated in the challenging field of agri-environmental law and has expanded to include contaminated sites, environmental impact assessment, water regulation, professional and corporate environmental liability, coastal management and other areas.  Lisa has provided advice and training on environmental legislation and policy in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Ontario and federally. Lisa’s interest in environmental law grew out of a childhood spent in the woods and this history continues to infuse her law practice on a daily basis.  Over the past three years her practice has evolved to a primarily public interest practice providing legal advice and support to community groups, environmental and conservation organizations.  Since 2011 she has served as the lawyer for the East Coast Environmental Law Association, an organization that seeks to use and improve the law in a manner that supports a clean and healthy environment for present and future generations.

Daniel Watt Daniel Watt is an associate at the Halifax office of McInnes Cooper. His practice focuses on commercial litigation, offshore oil and gas, and maritime law. Daniel has advocated for clients before various courts, including the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia, Nova Scotia Court of Appeal, and the Federal Court.

Daniel advises and advocates for various clients in the marine and oil & gas industries, including: offshore regulators; exploration and production companies; energy processing companies; shipbuilders; ship and specialized offshore vessel owners; charterers; protection and indemnity (P&I) clubs; salvors; Canadian Port Authorities and private port owners; fishing and aquaculture interests; and freight forwarders.  He also provides advisory and dispute resolution services to energy and natural resource companies, customs brokers, construction companies, insurers, leasing and finance companies, and private clients, among others.

He is a director and secretary of the Eastern Admiralty Law Association and a member of the Canadian Maritime Law Association, where he sits on the Ports and Harbours Committee. He is also a volunteer director for Bridgeway Academy.

Daniel received his Bachelor of Arts (First Class Honours) in political science from Dalhousie University (2005) and his Bachelor of Laws from Dalhousie Law School (2008).