Picture of                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Jason MacLean

Jason MacLean Assistant Professor

218 Law

Research Area(s)

  • Environmental law
  • Natural resources law
  • Climate change and energy policy
  • Sustainability pathways and co-benefits
  • Transnational corporate law
  • Administrative law
  • Contract law
  • Legal education

Professional education

PhD (University of Alberta) expected 2019
BCL / LLB (McGill) 2006


Jason MacLean joined the College of Law in 2017. Before joining the faculty, Jason was an assistant professor at the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law at Lakehead University. He began his legal career as a corporate and commercial litigator with the Wall Street firm Shearman & Sterling LLP in New York and later joined the Bay Street firm Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP in Toronto. As a practicing lawyer Jason has appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada, the Federal Court of Appeal and Federal Court Trial Division, the Ontario Court of Appeal, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, the Competition Bureau, the Supreme Court of the State of New York, the New York City Housing Court, and the Bronx Family Court, among other courts and administrative tribunals. He is called to the Bar in Ontario and the State of New York. As a member of the Board of Directors of the Pacific Centre for Environmental Law and Litigation (CELL), Jason continues to actively consult on public interest environmental law litigation and law reform matters in Canada.

After graduating from the combined BCL/LLB program at the McGill University Faculty of Law, Jason clerked at the Supreme Court of Canada for Madame Justice Marie Deschamps.

Jason’s scholarly research focuses primarily on interdisciplinary approaches to Canadian climate change and sustainability law and policy, which is also the subject of his ongoing doctoral research. He conducts additional research on issues of corporate law, including transnational corporate liability for violations of human rights and environmental pollution, as well as contract law, administrative law, and legal education. Jason’s research has been published in a number of leading academic journals, including the McGill Law Journal, Dalhousie Law Journal, Journal of Environmental Law and Practice, and Canadian Business Law Journal, among others.

Jason has also published opinion editorials on a variety of environmental and natural resources law issues in The Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, Maclean’s, Policy Options, and the Canadian Bar Association’s National Magazine.

Courses Taught

Environmental law
International environmental law
Natural resources law
Administrative law
Contract law
Corporate governance
Corporate social responsibility
Constitutional law
Civil procedure

Publications and Research Work

Journal Articles

“Troubled Waters: Reinvigorating Great Lakes Governance through Deliberative Democracy” (2017) Sea Grant Law & Policy Journal, Fall 2017 (forthcoming)

“Autonomy in the Anthropocene? Libertarianism, Liberalism, and the Legal Theory of Environmental Regulation” (2017) Dalhousie Law Journal, Summer 2017 (forthcoming)

“Battered Women Under Duress: The Supreme Court of Canada’s Decision in R. v. Ryan” (2017) 29:1 Canadian Journal of Women and the Law 60 (lead author, with Nadia Verrelli & Lori Chambers)

“Polyjural and Polycentric Sustainability Assessment: A Once-In-A-Generation Law Reform Opportunity” (2016) 30:1 Journal of Environmental Law and Practice 36 (lead author, with Meinhard Doelle & Chris Tollefson)

“The Death of Contract, Redux: Boilerplate and the End of Interpretation” (2016) 58:3 Canadian Business Law Journal 289

“Canadian Law and the New Economic and Environmental Global Realities: Chevron Corp. v. Yaiguaje” (2016) 57:3 Canadian Business Law Journal 367

“Striking at the Root Problem of Canadian Environmental Law: Identifying and Escaping Regulatory Capture” (2016) 29 Journal of Environmental Law and Practice 111

“Au Revoir, Monsieur Big? Confessions, Coercion, and the Courts” (2015) 23:1 Criminal Reports 184 (lead author, with Frances E. Chapman)

“Parasomnia, Sexsomnia, and Automatism in R v. Hartman” (2015) 21(2) Criminal Reports 299 (with Frances E. Chapman)

“‘Pulling the Patches’ of the Patchwork Defence of Duress: A Comment on R. v. Aravena” (2015) 62:4 Criminal Law Quarterly 420 (with Frances E. Chapman)

“The Past, Present, and Future of Canadian Environmental Law: A Critical Dialogue” (2015) 1 Lakehead Law Journal 89 (lead author, with Meinhard Doelle & Chris Tollefson)

“Like oil and water? Canada’s administrative and legal framework for oil sands pipeline development and climate change mitigation” (2015) 2 The Extractive Industries and Society 785

“Review of Penelope Simons & Audrey Macklin, The Governance Gap: Extractive industries, human rights, and the home state advantage” (2016) 3:1 The Extraction Industries and Society 262 (book review)

“Hanover Shoe, Retreaded: Economic Complexity, Judicial Competence and Procedural Purity in Canadian Competition Law (Part Two)” (2014) 7:2 Global Competition Litigation Review 79

“The Cult of Corporate Personality: Yaiguaje v. Chevron Corporation” (2014) 55 Canadian Business Law Journal 283

“Going Down the Illinois Brick Road (if the Hanover Shoe Fits?) Economic Complexity and Judicial Competence in the Context of Canadian Competition Law’s Possible Futures (Part One)” (2013) 6:2 Global Competition Litigation Review 85

“No Toilets in Park” (2005) 50:4 McGill Law Journal 721 (co-author, with Roderick A. Macdonald)

Book Chapters

“Environmental Law and Policy of Canada” in E. Burleson, N. Robinson & L.H. Lye, eds, Comparative Environmental Law and Regulation (Wellfleet, Mass: West Law Publishing, 2017) (lead author, with Meinhard Doelle) (forthcoming)

“Principle 5 – Precautionary Principle” in C. Pitts, ed, Corporate Social Responsibility: A Legal Analysis (Toronto: LexisNexis, 2009), pp. 347-416

“Principle 6 – Accountability” in C. Pitts, ed, Corporate Social Responsibility: A Legal Analysis (Toronto: LexisNexis, 2009), pp. 417-496

Opinion Editorials

“A plan that promotes environmental sustainability”, Policy Options (30 May 2017): http://policyoptions.irpp.org/magazines/may-2017/plan-promotes-environmental-sustainability/ (lead author, with Jocelyn Stacey, Aerin Jacob, Caroline Fox, Chris Tollefson & Martin Olszynski)

« Un plan prônant le développement durable », Options Politiques (30 mai 2017): http://policyoptions.irpp.org/fr/magazines/mai-2017/un-plan-pronant-le-developpement-durable/ (lead author, with Jocelyn Stacey, Aerin Jacob, Caroline Fox, Chris Tollefson & Martin Olszynski)

“Here is why B.C. must do its own review of the Trans Mountain pipeline”, The Globe and Mail (23 May 2017): https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/why-bc-must-do-its-own-review-of-the-trans-mountain-pipeline/article35095482/?utm_source=Shared+Article+Sent+to+User&utm_medium=E-mail:+Newsletters+/+E-Blasts+/+etc.&utm_campaign=Shared+Web+Article+Links (with Chris Tollefson)

“Greening the Charter? Why trying to constitutionalize a right to a healthy environment is misguided”, CBA National Magazine (28 February 2017): <http://nationalmagazine.ca/Articles/February-2017/Greening-the-Charter-Why-trying-to-constitutionali.aspx>

“We can’t build pipelines and meet our climate goals”. Maclean’s (9 December 2016): <http://www.macleans.ca/economy/economicanalysis/we-cant-build-pipelines-and-meet-our-climate-goals/>

“No, carbon pricing alone won’t be enough to lower emissions: A response to economist Trevor Tombe’s argument against blocking pipelines”, Maclean’s (29 November 2016): <http://www.macleans.ca/economy/economicanalysis/no-carbon-pricing-alone-wont-be-enough-to-lower-emissions/>

“Trudeau’s carbon price clever politics, not credible climate policy”, Policy Options (12 October 2016): <http://policyoptions.irpp.org/magazines/october-2016/trudeaus-carbon-price-clever-politics-not-credible-climate-policy/>

“How to restore trust in Canada’s environmental regulations”, Toronto Star (23 June 2016): <https://www.thestar.com/opinion/commentary/2016/06/23/how-to-restore-trust-in-canadas-environmental-regulations.html>

“The misleading promise of ‘balance’ in Canada’s climate change policy”, Policy Options (29 March 2016): <http://policyoptions.irpp.org/magazines/march-2016/the-misleading-promise-of-balance-in-canadas-climate-change-policy/>

“Ontario’s cap-and-trade regime off to a shaky start”, Toronto Star (3 March 2016): <http://www.thestar.com/opinion/commentary/2016/03/03/ontarios-cap-and-trade-regime-off-to-a-shaky-start.html>

“How to evaluate Energy East? Try evidence”, Toronto Star (7 February 2016): <http://www.thestar.com/opinion/commentary/2016/02/07/how-to-evaluate-energy-east-try-evidence.html>