CISL Centre for International Sustainable Development Law | Canadian Branch of the International Law Association

The Green Economy in the Context of International Law: Key Developments for Canadian Lawyers

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Welcome to the introductory page for the following module: The Green Economy in the Context of International Law: Key Developments for Canadian Lawyers

In this course, legal professional will be introduced to the growing significance of the Green Economy in national and international political and legal agendas. An in-depth analysis of various aspects of the Green Economy will be particularly useful in demonstrating to those legal professionals working in private, governmental, and non-governmental contexts that measures aimed at facilitating the transition toward a Green Economy are being implemented. The course sheds light light on how these measures are becoming increasingly diversified and complex, especially with regard to their legal effects.

The course is structured as follows: first it introduces the notion of the Green Economy, focusing specifically at its history, its connection to the field of environmental economics, and its place within the international policy agenda, most notably with the recent Rio+20 Declaration. Second, the course explains how international economic law, in particular international trade law and international investment law, has the potential to both facilitate and hinder the implementation of measures aimed at greening the economy based on the policy design of these measures. Third, the course reviews various initiatives found within the European Union as they relate to the Green Economy and evaluates their impacts on countries' economic actors with a particular focus on Canada. Fourth, the course provides an analysis of specific international conventions and how those international instruments contribute to the transition to a Green Economy. Fifth, the course presents the specific situation in the United States as an example of how Green Economy concerns have emerged in domestic law and how these concerns have led to the development of legal best practices. Finally, the course provides an overview of international climate finance and its implications for the Green Economy, highlighting some important concerns that were raised at the 2012 Doha Climate Change Conference.



Frederic Perron-Welch

Mr. Perron-Welch, M.A. (University of Toronto), LL.B. (Dalhousie University) is Programme Coordinator for International Sustainable Biodiversity & Biosafety Law with the CISDL. He is called to the bar of Ontario and articled at the Canadian Environmental Law Association. He has also worked with East Coast Environmental Law Association (ECELAW), IUCN Environmental Law Center, and the ABS Capacity Development Initiative.

John Dernbach

John C. Dernbach is a Distinguished Professor of Law at Widener's Harrisburg campus and co-director of Widener’s two-campus Environmental Law Center. He teaches environmental law, property, international law, international environmental law, sustainability and the law, and climate change. His research concentrates on sustainable development, climate change, and environmental law. Professor Dernbach received a B.S. summa cum laude from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in 1975, and a J.D. cum laude from the University of Michigan in 1978, where he served as Legislative Notes Editor for the Michigan Journal of Law Reform. He is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania and the U. S. Supreme Court. John leads a project, Sustaining America, that reviews sustainable development efforts in the United States and makes recommendations for future action. He also writes and lectures on climate change and environmental law.

Markus W. Gehring

Pr Markus W. Gehring, LLM (Yale University), Dr iur (University of Hamburg), MA (University of Cambridge), is Deputy Director of the Centre for European Legal Studies (CELS) and University Lecturer at the Faculty of Law, University of Cambridge. He is Director of Studies in Law and Fellow at Hughes Hall and serves as pro bono Lead Counsel for Trade, Investment and Finance Law with the Centre of International Sustainable Development Law (CISDL). Dr Gehring has been a Visiting Professor at several universities around the world and is ad personam Jean Monnet Chair in Sustainable Development Law in the Faculty of Law, at the University of Ottawa. He is a member of the Frankfurt/Main Bar and a Barrister & Solicitor, Law Society of Upper Canada. Selected publications include Sustainable Development in World Trade Law (Kluwer Law International, 2005) and Sustainable Development in World Investment Law (Kluwer Law International 2010); Dr Gehring also co-edits the Cambridge University Press Series Implementing Treaties on Sustainable Development. His current research centres on Sustainable Development in European and International Law, including climate change and green economy law.

Alexandre Genest

Mr. Alexandre Genest is a PhD researcher in international law at the Universities of Ottawa and Leiden (Netherlands) since September 2011 (under the supervision of Professors Markus Gehring and Freya Baetens). Alexandre has acted as research assistant for Professors Patrick Dumberry, Markus Gehring and Céline Lévesque. Alexandre has taught Public International Law as Part-Time Professor at the University of Ottawa in 2012 and 2013.

A Vanier Canada Graduate Scholar (2012-2015) (SSHRC), Alexandre specializes in international economic law and environmental and climate change law and focuses his research on the law and policy of trade-related investment measures (TRIMs) and performance requirements.

Alexandre graduated from the Faculty of Law of the Université de Montréal (2005) and is a lawyer and member of the Québec Bar (2007). Alexandre worked in the Montréal office of Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg from 2004 to 2009 before completing a Diploma in public administration at the École nationale d'administration of France (ÉNA) (CIL Promo Rousseau, 2009-2011) and a Professional Master in Public Affairs at the Université Paris-Dauphine (2009-2011).

In 2010, Alexandre completed a research internship within the Trade and Markets Division of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO-UN). During that research internship, Alexandre co-authored, along with Aziz Elbehri and Mary Burfisher, a report entitled “Global Action on Climate Change in Agriculture: Linkages to Food Security, Markets and Trade Policies in Developing Countries” (2011).

In 2011-2012, Alexandre worked as Counsel at the Trade Law Bureau (JLT) within the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade of Canada. Alexandre worked on the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (“CETA”) negotiations and on St Marys VCNA, LLC v. Government of Canada, an investor-state dispute instituted by a foreign investor against Canada under NAFTA Chapter Eleven which revolved around the denial of benefits provision under the NAFTA.

In 2013, Alexandre was awarded a Michael Smith Foreign Study Supplement (SSHRC) to complete a three-month internship at the International Investment Agreements Section (IIA Section) within the Division on Investment and Enterprise (DIAE) of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).