Peter A Allard School of Law

Specialization in Environmental and Natural Resource Law

One of the core programs of the Centre for Law and the Environment is the Specialization in Environmental and Natural Resource Law for JD students at the Peter A. Allard School of Law.

Students in the JD program may earn a Specialization in Environmental and Natural Resource Law by undertaking a course of study that thoroughly prepares them for a demanding practice in environmental or natural resource law in a global environment. Eligible students receive a certificate that they have completed the Specialization. No official notation appears a student’s academic transcript, but students may note achievement of the Specialization on their CVs. The Specialization is not available to graduate (LLM or PhD) students, although such students may enroll in some of UBC’s environmental and resource law courses.

Specialization Requirements

In order to earn the Specialization, a student must compete three requirements:

  1. Either Natural Resources Law (LAW 392B) or Environmental Law (LAW 387C);

  2. One course with international law content from the following list:
    • International Law and Natural Resources (LAW 398D)
    • International Environmental Law (LAW 323D)
    • Marine Resources Law (LAW 318D)
    • Sustainable Development LAW (LAW 386)
    • Another course with relevant international law content (including an individual directed research paper) approved by the Director of the Centre for Law & the Environment.

  3. At least two additional courses from the following list, excluding any course used to fulfill the requirements in sections 1-2 above:
    • Corporate Social Responsibility and the Law (LAW 306D)
    • Environmental Law (LAW 387C)
    • Environmental Law in Practice (LAW 388C)
    • Environmental Law Workshop (LAW 390)
    • Forest Law (LAW 395)
    • Fisheries Law (LAW 396)
    • Global Environmental & Resources Law Externship Program (LAW 379 & 380) (this counts as two courses).
    • International Law and Natural Resources (LAW 398)
    • International Environmental Law (LAW 323)
    • Land Use Planning (LAW 375)
    • Marine Resources Law (LAW 318D)
    • Mining Law (LAW 394)
    • Natural Resources Law (LAW 392B)
    • Oil and Gas Law (LAW 397A)
    • Selected Issues in Environmental Law and Policy: Climate Change (LAW 389D)
    • Sustainable Development Law (LAW 386C)
    • Topics in Environmental Law (LAW 391D—all versions)
    • Topics in Natural Resources (LAW 398C—all versions)
    • Water Law (LAW 393)
    • Other courses with sufficient environmental or natural resource law content, including environmental law moots and directed research papers, as approved by the Director of the Centre on a case-by-case basis.

Please note that not all of these courses are offered in any given year.

Other Qualifying Courses

You are not limited to the courses listed above to fulfil the international law and additional courses requirements. The courses offered change from year to year. New courses are introduced frequently, and some of the courses listed above have not been offered for some time. The Director of the Centre has discretion approve any courses with relevant content. To simplify the process of identifying relevant courses, here is a list of courses that the Director will approve for the specialization, provided any conditions listed below are met. This list will be updated periodically as course offerings change.

If you plan to rely on a course listed below, you still need approval. Please contact the Director of the Centre for approval, preferably before taking the course.

The list below is not exhaustive. If you think another course could fulfill the requirement, please contact the Director of the Centre to discuss.

Courses satisfying the international law requirement

The following courses will be considered to fulfill the international law requirement:

  • Topics in International Law & Transactions: Legal Institutions and Resource Extraction in the Global South (LAW 324D.001)
  • An independent directed research course on an international law topic related to environment or natural resources
  • An international law moot court competition on a topic related to environment or natural resources.

The following courses will be considered to fulfill the international law requirement if the student’s major paper or project is on a topic related to environment or natural resources (students relying on these courses will need to provide a copy of their final paper or project for verification):

  • International Criminal Law (LAW511D)
  • International Human Rights (LAW 319D)
  • International Justice & Human Rights Clinic (LAW379A, 379G, 380B)
  • International Law (LAW 316D)
  • Topics in Comparative Law: The World Trade System (LAW 342D.001)
  • Topics in Human Rights: Global Legalities (LAW351D.003)
  • Topics in International Law & Transactions: International Finance: Law, Governance and Regulation (LAW 324D.002)
  • Topics in International Law & Transactions: Transnational Business and Human Rights (LAW 324D.003)

Courses satisfying the additional courses requirement

The following courses will be considered to fulfill the additional courses requirement:

  • First Nations and Economic Development (LAW 356)
  • Green Rights and Warrior Lawyers (LAW 393D)
  • An independent directed research course on environmental or natural resource law
  • A moot court competition on environmental or natural resource law

The following courses will be considered to fulfill the additional courses requirement if the student’s major paper or project is on a topic related to environment or natural resources (students relying on these courses will need to provide a copy of their final paper or project for verification):

  • Aboriginal & Treaty Rights: Aboriginal and Treaty Rights Litigation (LAW 353D.001)
  • Externship: ĆELÁṈENEȽ: A Field Course in the Re-emergence of W̱SÁNEĆ Law (LAW 379D.005, 380C.005)
  • Topics in First Nations Law: An Introduction to Indigenous Legal Orders within the Settler State (LAW 358D.001)
  • Topics in First Nations Law: Current Legal Issues (LAW 358D.002)
  • Topics in Public Law: Government Liability (LAW 343D.002)
  • Topics in Tort Law: Mass Torts and Class Actions (LAW 435D.001)

Completion Checklist

If you have met or expect to meet the above requirements in the current academic year, please complete the Environmental law specialization checklist and submit it to the CLE Director, Professor Stepan Wood, at wood@allard.ubc.ca at least two months before your anticipated graduation date, and preferably sooner. When Professor Wood has verified your completion of the requirements, he will arrange for issuance of your certificate.

Questions about the Specialization?

Please contact Professor Wood, wood@allard.ubc.ca.

Sample student specialization certificate
Sample certificate
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