Pierre Cloutier de Repentigny

Study program:
Current affiliation:
University of Ottawa

Pierre Cloutier de Repentigny (environmental law, University of Ottawa) critically analyzes rules under the law of the sea that protect marine biodiversity with a view to promoting a more sustainable relationship between marine life and humanity.

Projet de recherche

Protecting marine life through the reformation of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea: envisioning what environmental law could be

States’ attempts to limit environmental degradation through national and international environmental laws have seldom attained their goal. Economic development is and continues to be the main driver of our legal system. If we are serious in our desire to protect the environment, as we should be, we need to shift environmental law’s dominant paradigm.

Pierre’s research contributes to the development of this critical approach to law. It focuses on the decline of marine biodiversity. Marine life, which has value in and of itself, plays important cultural, spiritual, and subsistence roles in our societies. Its protection is currently governed in part by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the framework treaty regulating the world’s oceans. Pierre’s research links the innefectiveness of UNCLOS’ marine protection provisions to the treaty’s underlying liberal paradigm. It seeks to identify these fundamental flaws in order to rectify them and construct a new regime that puts ecology, and thus the survival of life on Earth, at the center.

Pierre Cloutier de Repentigny is a doctoral student and a Part-Time Professor at the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law. He is the recipient of a Bombardier Doctoral Canada Graduate Scholarship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. Pierre holds a civil law and a common law degree (LL.L. & LL.B.) from the University of Ottawa, and a Master of Laws (LL.M.) from the University of British Columbia, where he wrote a thesis on the sustainability of biofuels legislation in the European Union.

Pierre’s doctoral thesis, supervised by Professor Heather McLeod-Kilmurray, analyzes the marine life protection provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea through the lens of critical environmental law. It seeks to uncover the pervasive liberal biases of the framework regime preventing a sustainable relationship between marine life and humanity.

Currently, Pierre co-teaches the bilingual Environmental Law Clinic course in the Common Law Section of the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law. The clinic is a partnership between the Common Law Section and the public interest environmental law firm Ecojustice, and it aims at providing practical skills through experiential learning to the environmental lawyers of tomorrow. Pierre is also voluntarily assisting Professor Cissé Yacouba of Côte d’Ivoire in his duties as a member of the United Nations’ International Law Commission, and is actively involved in the University of Ottawa’s Centre for Environmental Law and Global Sustainability’s activities.

Throughout his education and career, Pierre had the chance to gain valuable experiences in environmental law through volunteering, and through his work at Environment Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada, the International Centre for Criminal Law Reform and Criminal Justice Policy, and the Cohen Commission of Inquiry into the Decline of the Fraser River Sockeye Salmon. He was also Law Clerk to the Honorable Justice Richard G. Mosley of the Federal Court. Additionally, Pierre has been active in the defence and promotion of LGBTQ2S rights, work which he continues as Director of Research for JusticeTrans, a non-profit promoting access to justice for trans people.

  • September 27, 2019
    Marches to support the Global Climate Strike on September 27th, 2019 represent a powerful mobilization to draw attention to pressing environmental and climate issues. Members of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation community are among the participants who hope the marches will help make a difference in public policies to preserve the environment and fight climate change.