Jamie Benidickson

Jamie Benidickson
Jamie Benidickson

BA (Trent)
LLB (Toronto)
LLM (Harvard)

57 Louis Pasteur St., Room 357
Office: 613-562-5800 ext. 3214


Jamie Benidickson teaches Canadian and International Environmental Law, Water Law, Sustainable Development Law and Canadian Legal History. His publications in these areas include Environmental Law 5th (Irwin Law, 2019) and The Culture of Flushing: A Social and Legal History of Sewage (UBC Press, 2007), short-listed in 2008 for the Harold Adams Innis Prize. 

In addition to these academic interests, Jamie has been actively involved in the public policy process through his work with a number of royal commissions and inquiries, including the Royal Commission on Economic Union and Development Prosepects for Canada and the Walkerton Inquiry. He has also held several administrative positions with professional and academic organizations and recently served as Director of the IUCN Academy of Environmental Law.

His ongoing research projects centre on governance regimes for watersheds, biodiversity and sustainable development in Canada, and the regulation of beer and breweries. Jamie’s non-academic interests in canoeing and wilderness travel have also led to a number of publications, including Idleness, Water and A Canoe (University of Toronto Press).


Environmental Law Publications

  • Environmental Law, 5th edition (Toronto: Irwin Law, 2019)
  • Environmental Law: Canada(International Encyclopaedia of Laws, Kluwer International, 2023)
  • Environmental Law and Sustainability after Rio(Edward Elgar, 2011) co-edited with Ben Boer, Antonio Benjamin and Karen Morrow.
  • Canada (with Heather McLeod-Kilmurray) Ch. 6 in The Role of the Judiciary in Environmental Governance, Louis Kotze and Alexander Paterson eds. (Wolters, Kluwer, 2009) 209-248
  • “Public Health and Environmental Law in Canada,”in Tracey M. Bailey, Timothy Caulfield and Nola M. Ries, Public Health Law and Policy in Canada, 3d (Lexis Nexis Canada, 2013) 539-582.
  • Health Policy Approaches to Children's Environmental Health (with Daniel Krewski, Michael G. Tyshenko, Michelle C. Turner, Connie Berry, Lorraine Craig, Vic Armstrong, John Harrison, Don Wigle) (October, 2006)
  • Practicing Precaution and Adaptive Management: Legal, Institutional and Procedural Dimensions of Scientific Uncertainty Final Report Submitted to SSHRC and Law Commission of Canada, June 2005 (Principal Investigator)
  • “Sustaining Old Growth Pinelands in Ontario: Pathways to Reform” (2000) 9 Journal of Environmental Law and Practice 199-226
  • “Forest Management and Environmental Values: Ontario’s Old Growth Pinelands” (2000) 9 Journal of Environmental Law and Practice 93-117
  • "Canadian Environmental Law and Policy: Considerations from the Investment Perspective" in Jamie Benidickson, G. Bruce Doern and Nancy Olewiler, Getting the Green Light: Environmental Regulation and Investment in Canada (Toronto: C.D. Howe Institute, 1994)
  • "Environment and Investment: What's the Problem?" Introduction to Jamie Benidickson, G. Bruce Doern and Nancy Olewiler, Getting the Green Light: Environmental Regulation and Investment in Canada (Toronto: C.D. Howe Institute, 1994) 1-52
  • "Canadian Environmental Law Survey, 1980-1992: Part II Individual Environmental Responsibility and Citizen Action" (1993) 25 Ottawa Law Review 123-154
  • "Canadian Environmental Law Survey, 1980-1992: Part I Toxic Substances and Environmental Assessment" (1992) 24 Ottawa Law Review 733-811

Water Law Publications

  • Levelling the Lake: Transboundary Resource Management in the Lake of the Woods Watershed (UBC Press 2019) Albert B. Corey Prize 2020.
  • “The Evolution of Canadian Water Law and Policy: Towards the Conservation of Sustainable Abundance,” (2017) 13 McGill Journal of Sustainable Development Law, 59-104
  • The Culture of Flushing: A Social and Legal History of Sewage (UBC Press, 2007)
  • "KVP v McKie" in Bruce Ziff et al eds. Property Law Stories (Irwin Law, 2012)
  • “Once Around the Hemispheric Waterfront: Five Issues and Five Themes” Proceedings, Organization of American States, Workshops on International Law, 2005 
  • “The Great Lakes and the Mediterranean Sea: Ecosystem Management and Sustainability in the Context of Economic Integration,” (2004) 14 Journal of Environmental Law and Practice 107-137
  • Water Supply and Sewage Infrastructure in Ontario, 1880-1990s: Legal and Institutional Aspects of Public Health and Environmental History, Issue Paper for the Walkerton Inquiry (Toronto, 2002)
  • “Ontario Water Quality, Public Health and the Law, 1880-1930" in Jim Phillips and Blaine Baker eds. Essays in the History of Canadian Law: Essays in Honour of RCB Risk, (Toronto: Osgoode Society, 1999) 115-141
  • "Ontario's James Bay Vision", (Fall 1980) 15 Journal of Canadian Studies pp. 60-73

Canadian Legal History Publications

  • “From Empire Ontario to California North: Law and Legal Institutions in Twentieth-Century Ontario” in DeLloyd Guth and W. W. Pue eds. Canada’s Legal Inheritances (Canadian Legal History Project, Faculty of Law, University of Manitoba, 2001) 620-53
  • “Aemilius Irving: Solicitor to the Great Western Railway, 1855-1872" in Carol Wilton ed. Inside the Law: Canadian Law Firms in Historical Perspective (Toronto: The Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History, 1996) 100-121
  • “Survey of Canadian Legal History in the Nineties” (1996-97) 28 Ottawa Law Review 433-465
  • "From Conscience to Consequences: Combines, Competition and Canada Legal Thought 1880-1920" (1993) 43 University of Toronto Law Journal 799-850
  • "The Canadian Board of Railway Commissioners: Regulation, Policy and Legal Process," (1991) 36 McGill Law Journal 1222-1281
  • "Private Rights and Public Purposes in the Lakes, Rivers and Streams of Ontario, 1870-1930" in David H. Flaherty ed. Essays in Canadian Legal History, Vol. 2, (University of Toronto Press, 1983) pp. 365-417

Selected Presentations

  • “The History of Sewage and Society: From Public Health Challenges to Climate Change Opportunities” Law for a Green Planet Conference, 20 June 2020
  • “Reducing GHG Emissions from Canadian Agriculture” CIRL, 2020
  • “Sustainable Development, Water and Sanitation” Canadian Bar Association 13 August 2018
  • “Toilet Training for the 21st Century: The Past, Present and Future of ‘Waste’ Water” University of Toronto, Mississauga 5 April 2018
  • “Dead Lion Still Roars” CCIL, 2016
  • "Turning Water into Wine: The Chaffey Family and Inter-continental flows in Water Law" University of New England, Armidale, Australia (July 2013)
  • "Regulation of the Lake of the Woods Sturgeon Fishery, 1890-2010" University of Waikato, New Zealand (June 2013)
  • "The Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, 1972-2012" University of Dundee, June 2013
  • "Toilet Training for the 21st Century" International Forum on Water and Forests, Iguazu, Brazil, April 2013
  • "Finding the Watershed: The Lake of the Woods-Rainy System" American Society for Environmental History April 2013
  • "Canadian Experience with Watershed Governance" University of Maryland, July 2012
  • "Wastewater" George Washington University, March 2012
  • "Evolution of Canadian Water Law and Policy" South Africa, July 2011 
  • "Evolution of Canadian Water Law and Policy," CBA, NEERLS, May 2011
  • `Perspectives on Canadian Water Law and Policy,`CBA, NEERLS, Vancouver, May 2009 
  • `Plumbers without Borders`CIPS, Ottawa, March 2009
  • `Sewage and Society,`Guelph, March 2009
  • The Culture of Flushing: A Social and Legal History of Sewage, lectures and presentations in Calgary, Edmonton, Windsor, Toronto, Waterloo, Montreal, Ottawa 2007-2008
  • “Wells and Public Health: Perspectives from Legal History” Canadian Conference on the Public’s Health and the Law, Toronto, 6 November 2006
  • “Municipal Evacuation and the Water Closet Revolution in Cottage Country” Edwardian Peterborough Conference, Trent University, Peterborough, May 2005
  • “The Canadian Biodiversity Agenda,” IUCN Academy of Environmental Law, Maquarie University, Sydney, Australia, July 2005
  • “Once Around the Waterfront” Organization of American States, International Law Workshops, University of Ottawa, October 2005
  • “Justice and Sustainability,” Department of Justice, Sustainability Conference, Ottawa, January 2006
  • “Environmental Law in Canada,” Mexico City, February 2006
  • “Urban Infrastructure and Sustainability” Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, March 2006
  • “Remarks” at the launch of Environmental Law for Sustainability (Osgoode Reader Series, 2006) edited by Ben Richardson and Stepan Wood, Osgoode Hall Law School, April 2006
  • “Canadian Water Policy: Fifteen Decades in Fifteen Minutes” Policy Research Initiative Water Conference, Gatineau, Quebec, May 2006
  • “Canadian Water Law and the Environment” Training Course in European, Comparative and International Environmental Law, Montreal, July 2006

Public Policy Experience and Research

  • Jamie Benidickson’s experience with inquiries and public policy began in 1973 when he worked as a research assistant for Professor T.H.B. Symons on a report for the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, To Know Ourselves: Report on Canadian Studies. He was subsequently Special Assistant to the Chairman (Hon. Donald S. Macdonald) and Policy Co-ordinator for Federalism and Institutions with the Royal Commission on Economic Union and Development Prospects for Canada, and later assisted Justice Willard Z. Estey with his Inquiry into the Collapse of the CCB and Northland Banks.
  • Jamie’s other policy-related research includes co-authoring with J.R.S. Prichard a paper on "Securing the Canadian Economic Union: Federalism and Internal Barriers to Trade" in M.J. Trebilcock et al eds. Federalism and the Canadian Economic Union, (University of Toronto Press for the Ontario Economic Council, 1983). He later worked for Dean Prichard on the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Inquiry into Health Care Liability and Compensation.
  • Additional policy research includes a background study on the history of royal commissions and inquiries for the Ontario Law Reform Commission’s Public Inquiries Project, (Kent Roach, Director of Research). Most recently, he wrote an Issue Paper for the Walkerton Inquiry on Water Supply and Sewage Infrastructure in Ontario, 1880-1990s: Legal and Institutional Aspects of Public Health and Environmental History, (Toronto, 2002).
  • Administrative Experience
  • Jamie Benidickson has held a series of administrative experience with academic, professional and voluntary organizations. He was the initial Executive Director of the Council of Canadian Law Deans and then held the same position with the Council of Canadian Administrative Tribunals. From 1994-1997 he was Vice Dean of the Common Law Section, Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa, where he was later Vice Dean, Research.
  • Jamie was Executive  Director of the IUCN Academy of Environmental Law from 2004-2008 and from 2010-2016.

Canoeing and Recreational History

  •  A personal enthusiasm for canoeing as a hobby and recreational pastime developed over time into a research and writing interest. The Temagami Experience: Recreation, Resources and Aboriginal Rights in the Northern Ontario Wilderness with Bruce Hodgins (University of Toronto Press, 1989) began as an idea on the shores of Lake Temagami. Idleness, Water and A Canoe: Reflections on Paddling for Pleasure (University of Toronto Press, 1997) is a social history of recreational paddling. The book discusses the social, cultural, and environmental values of canoeing as expressed primarily by paddlers from Canada and the United States over a hundred and fifty years or so. A subsequent essay, “Pierre Elliott Trudeau: Why He Paddled” was published in Kanawa, Fall 2001, 54-59.
  • Between 1989 and 1993 Jamie was President of the Canadian Canoe Museum and remains on the Museum’s Council of Advisors.