News & Events

Changing and Dynamic Oceans: Gauging Law and Policy Responses


Marine & Environmental Law InstituteThe George Washington University Law School and Environmental Law Institute (ELI)

  • Location: George Washington University Law School, Washington DC
  • Date: November 9-10, 2018

Download the agenda for further information [PDF - 292kB]

MELAW PhD candidate Cecilia Engler part of panel decision on Ecuador's complaint against RMFO conservation measure

Sept. 12, 2018

In April 2018, Cecilia Engler, PhD Candidate with the Marine & Environmental Law Institute, was appointed as a Member of an Expert Panel established under the Convention on the Conservation and Management of High Seas Fishery Resources in the South Pacific Ocean to review the objection filed by Ecuador against a conservation measure adopted by the South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organization (RFMO).

Ecuador objected to a decision adopted by the RFMO’s Commission that allocated quota shares in the Jack mackerel fishery for the period 2018-2021. The Convention establishing the South Pacific RFMO considers a “ring-fenced” objection procedure that requires the objecting party to justify the objection on an admissible ground (inconsistency of the decision with the Convention or international law of the sea as reflected in the United Nations Law of the Sea Convention and the 1995 Fish Stocks Agreement; or the discriminatory nature of the measure with respect to the objecting party) and the adoption of alternative conservation measures equivalent in effect to the decision to which an objection was presented. Additionally, the objection triggers the establishment of a three-person Review Panel to consider the objection and to submit its findings and recommendations to the RFMO’s Commission.

The proceedings took place in May 2018 in The Peace Palace, The Hague, Netherlands, and the Permanent Court of Arbitration served as a Registrar. The findings and recommendations of the Review Panel were submitted to the South Pacific RFMO on 5 June 2018. The Review Panel found that the conservation measure objected by Ecuador is not inconsistent with the provisions of the Convention or other relevant international law, and does not unjustifiably discriminate, in form or in fact, against Ecuador. Furthermore, it found that the alternative measures proposed by Ecuador were not equivalent in effect to the objected decision.

The findings and recommendations, as well as the objection, the written submissions by the participating Parties and the transcript of the hearing, can be found at the Permanent Court of Arbitration’s website in the following link:


Previous MELAW News & Events


JOINT SEMINAR: "Voyages in Maritime Affairs: A Testament to the Inter-disciplinary approach of Dalhousie's Marine Affairs and Marine & Environmental Law Programs"

DATE: Thursday, September 27, 2018
3:00 P.M.
 Room 204, Weldon Law Building, Schulich School of Law, 6061 University Ave.

All Welcome, Free & Open to the Public


May 16, 2018  


Professor Jamie Baxter has been awarded a JSD from Yale University. Congratulations on completing your doctoral studies, Jamie!

November 2, 2017  

JOINT SEMINAR with Marine & Environmental Law Institute and Marine Affairs Program

DATE: Thursday November 2, 2017
Room 305, Weldon Law Building, Room 305, Weldon Law Building, Schulich School of Law, 6061 University Avenue

“What explains the implementation of the policy in the Norwegian Barents Sea Management Plan?”

Ecosystem based management is an ambitious concept that has been notoriously difficult to implement. It should be time to investigate systematically under which conditions successful implementation is possible. Implementation theory offers a platform for this. Gunnar Sander will present an analysis of what explains the results when the policy in the Norwegian Barents Sea Management Plan was put into practice. He will also present ideas for how studies of a Canadian case (the ESSIM process) can be another building block in developing conditional theories for implementation of EBM.

About Gunnar Sander

Gunnar Sander has a multidisciplinary background with master degrees in planning and the law of the sea. He has worked with integrated planning of land use, transport and the environment for 15 years prior to starting at the Norwegian Polar Institute in 1997 where he was involved in integrated marine planning. He now is a PhD candidate at the Norwegian College for Fisheries Science at the University of Tromsø in Norway, and is visiting Dalhousie University fall 2017.



This seminar is co-sponsored with the Marine Affairs Program and the Marine & Environmental Law Institute

See the poster for the event here.

March 7, 2017  
In Nova Scotia, Mi’kmaw and African Nova Scotian communities are disproportionately threatened by polluting industries and other environmental harms. How do communities organize to resist environmental racism, and how can law and policy help to secure communities’ access to justice? On March 7, the Marine & Environmental Law Institute and the Environmental Law Students’ Society at the Schulich School of Law hosted a panel discussion featuring Jim Maloney (District Chief for Sipekne'katik), Stuart C.B. Gilby (LL.B., LL.M. – Burchells LLP), Ingrid Waldron (Associate Professor, School of Nursing, Dalhousie University), and Lisa Mitchell (LL.B. – Executive Director, East Coast Environmental Law Association).  
January 9, 2017  

Edward Elgar Publishing has released the first edition of Aquaculture Law and Policy: Global, Regional and National Perspectives as part of its New Horizons in Environmental and Energy Law series. Professor David VanderZwaag, Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) in Ocean Law and Governance and Associate Director of the Schulich School of Law’s Marine & Environmental Law Institute, co-edited the almost 500-page book with Nigel Bankes of the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Law and Irene Dahl of the K.G. Jebsen Centre for the Law of the Sea in Norway. Read the full story here.

November 17, 2016

The topic of the 8th annual Douglas M. Johnston Lecture was "Progressive Global Environmental Constitutionalism and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development." The lecture was co-sponsored with the College of Sustainability.  

Elizabeth Mrema is the Director of the Division of Environmental Law and Conventions. She has worked for the United Nations Environmental Programme for over two decades focusing primarily on the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws. A lawyer and career diplomat by training, Mrema has also worked as the principal legal officer and Deputy Director in the Division of Environmental Policy Implementation of UNEP in Nairobi. Before that, she was the Executive Secretary of the UNEP Convention on Migratory Species of Wild Animals in Bonn, Germany. She also formerly served as Senior Legal Counsel with the Tanzania Ministry for Foreign Affairs. You can download her lecture here.

Elizabeth Mrema with MELAW Professors David VanderZwaag (left) and Meinhard Doelle.

October 27, 2016  

Tore Henriksen, Professor of Law
UiT The Arctic University of Norway

On October 27, 2016, Prof. Henriksen gave a presentation on “The Arctic Ocean, Environmental Stewardship, and the Law of the Sea” at the Schulich School of Law. His presentation can be viewed here. [PDF 864 KB]

Henriksen was the first director of the LLM program on law of the sea, established at UiT in 2008. Since earning his PhD in international fisheries law in 2001, he has published on international marine environmental law and international maritime law. In recent years, he has been particularly interested in the law of the sea as applied to the Arctic. Henriksen is also the director of the K.G. Jebsen Centre for the Law of the Sea (JCLOS). The research centre was established in 2013 based on funding from a private foundation, UiT The Arctic University of Norway, and other external funding. JCLOS currently employs 27 associates who cover a wide spectrum of issues relating to the law of the sea.

February 9, 2016  

Our warmest congratulations to our colleague, Professor Aldo Chircop, who was named the Canada Research Chair in Maritime Law and Policy in recognition of his globally recognized leadership in this field of research.  

The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, along with the Honourable Scott Brison, President of the Treasury Board, made the announcement at Dalhousie’s Heavy Structures Lab at an event celebrating the appointment of six new innovative and talented Dalhousie researchers as Canada Research Chairs.

The Marine & Environmental Law Institute is home to both Professor Aldo Chircop, Canada Research Chair in Maritime Law and Policy, and Professor David VanderZwaag, Canada Research Chair in Ocean Law and Governance.

Congratulations, Aldo!

Read the news story here.

Southeast Cuba (COSTASURESTE, 2010-2015)  

Professor Aldo Chircop worked on the project Local Integrated Coastal Zone Management in Southeast Cuba (COSTASURESTE, 2010-2015), it was a project funded through the University Partnerships in Cooperation and Development Program (UPCD)’s Scaling Up Competition launched in 2008.

Two documentaries were products of the project Local Integrated Coastal Zone Management in Southeast Cuba (COSTASURESTE, 2010-2015) funded by the Government of Canada. Led by Dalhousie University, the Universidad de Oriente and Universidad de Guantanamo, the project built capacity to implement local integrated coastal zone management (ICZM) and pursue the interrelated Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) of development and poverty eradication, environment protection, good governance and protection of vulnerable people in the coastal zone of Southeast Cuba from climate change impacts. The key beneficiaries were the Municipalities of Guamá and San Antonio del Sur, considered to be among the poorest municipalities in Southeast Cuba and their communities are vulnerable to climate change-related threats such as drought, coastal erosion, and salinization of soil and water resources.

Documentary 1: “Guamá entre el mar y la montaña”

Documentary 2: “San Antonio del Sur la tierra que renace”



Student achievements

Learn more about the achievements of our graduate students.

MELAW in the news