Climate Change and the Right to Protest

Climate protests and activism are increasing in Canada and other nations in response to the perceived inadequacies of governments and corporations to take climate action with the urgency and ambition needed to address the gravity of global warming. Protesting may be an expression of human rights, but also is portrayed by some as unlawful civil disobedience that disrupts the interests of workers, businesses and essential government services. This panel will critically discuss a variety of legal issues associated with current climate change protests, including the validity of the “climate emergency” defence that protesters assert to justify ethically and legally their defiance.

Professor Benjamin J. Richardson, University of Tasmania, Faculty of Law and currently a Visiting Professor at Queen’s University, Faculty of Law
A global specialist in environmental law, Professor Benjamin J. Richardson is based at the University of Tasmania, Australia. He previously held a Canada Research Chair in Environmental Law at the University of British Columbia, and earlier was a Professor at Osgoode Hall Law School of York University.

Professor Fenner Stewart, University of Calgary, Faculty of Law
Dr. Fenner Stewart is an associate professor at the University of Calgary. He is an award-winning teacher and scholar, recently receiving two prestigious awards: the 2019 University of Calgary International Achievement Award (for the development of his international energy law travel course); and the 2018 British Willoughby Prize for Article of Outstanding Merit.

Professor Jason MacLean, University of New Brunswick, Faculty of Law
Jason received his joint BCL/LLB from McGill in 2006 before clerking at the Supreme Court of Canada for Madame Justice Marie Deschamps.
Jason is a staunch supporter of the fight to stop climate change. He is passionate about environmental protection and promoting sustainability. Much of his research focuses on environmental law, natural resources law, climate change and energy policy, and sustainability pathways and co-benefits.




Jan 20 2022


1:00 pm


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