Stéphanie Roy

Study program:
Administrative law
Current affiliation:
Université Laval

Stéphanie Roy (administrative law, Université Laval) wants to redefine the obligations of the state towards the environment to reflect ethical guidelines and protect the environment for generations to come.

Doctoral research

Judicial Review of Environmental Matters and the Trusteeship Theory: Rethinking State’s Obligations Towards the Environment

Since the 1970s, political and legal thinkers have explored ways to apply the trusteeship theory and related fiduciary duties in such a way as to address the environmental crisis. The trusteeship theory is promising because it would call upon governments to act not only in the interest of today’s citizens, but also in the interest of future generations. It would also attribute greater responsibility for managing the environment to the government. This said, the exact nature of the fiduciary obligations that this theory would attribute to government are not clear.

At present, Canadian courts impose certain duties on the federal and provincial governments insofar as environmental protection is concerned. Working from the hypothesis that many of these duties correspond to fiduciary obligations, Stéphanie Roy plans to study the Canadian judicial review case law with a view to identifying ways to apply the trusteeship theory in such a way as to cause states to better protect the environment going forward.

Stéphanie Roy is a student, researcher, and lawyer motivated by the desire to redress the current environmental crisis. She is a doctoral candidate in administrative law at Université Laval and she is particularly interested in the government’s obligations with regard to the environment. Her doctoral research examines the trusteeship theory, a form of governance that would allow greater responsibility for the environment to be attributed to the state.

Stéphanie completed a bachelor of laws (international profile) at Université Laval in 2010, earning the rank of “excellent” on the Faculty of Law’s Honour Roll. She then completed her studies at the École du Barreau du Québec and worked as a litigation lawyer in a large firm. Stéphanie’s love of research and her desire to assist with the environmental crisis led her to complete a master’s program in environmental law at McGill University, where she received the Bourse de maîtrise Hydro-Québec en droit for outstanding students entering the program. Her thesis, on civil liability for oil spills from deep-water platforms in the Gulf of the St. Lawrence, won the Michel-Robert Award from the Canadian Bar Association and was published by Éditions Yvon Blais.

Stéphanie’s desire to make a difference explains her engagement in various social and cultural causes during her academic and professional career. She has volunteered with such organizations as the legal information bureau at Université Laval, the Club musical de Québec, and Pignon bleu. She is also on the board of directors of the Centre québécois du droit de l'environnement. Her community involvement has been rewarded by a Québec Lieutenant-Governor’s Medal (2005).

  • 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.
  • July 25, 2019
    A tale from a visiting researcher in Aotearoa New Zealand This article was authored by 2017 Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Scholar Stéphanie Roy  Thanks to my Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Scholarship, I had the opportunity last spring to complete a two-month internship as a visiting researcher at Victoria University of Wellington in Aotearoa, New Zealand. This was an invaluable opportunity for someone with a vast interest in environmental issues, as New Zealand possesses such a rich natural heritage.