University of Calgary

Martin Olszynski

  • Associate Professor


Martin joined the Faculty on July 1, 2013, following several years of public service in environmental and natural resources law and policy. From 2007 to 2013, he was counsel with the federal Department of Justice, practicing law in the legal services unit at Fisheries and Oceans Canada. During this period, he also spent time on secondment to the Legislative and Regulatory Affairs Division at Environment Canada.

Martin holds a B. Sc. (Biology) and an LL.B., both from the University of Saskatchewan, and an LL.M. (specialization in environmental law) from the University of California at Berkeley. Following law school, Martin clerked for the Hon. Justice Denis Pelletier of the Federal Court of Appeal (2006). Prior to joining the University of Calgary, he was a part-time professor with the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law, where he taught environmental law.

Natural Resources, Energy and Environmental Law research group

Bar admissions

Member of the Ontario Bar


Law 406: Torts
Law 503: Administrative Law
Law 583: Water Law

Research/Scholarly Activities

Martin's primary teaching and research interests are in environmental, natural resources, and water law and policy. He is also interested in the continuous development of related core areas of law, including constitutional, administrative, tort and regulatory law. His articles have been published in various journals, including the Dalhousie Law Journal, the Queen’s Law Journal, the Osgoode Hall Law Journal and the Canadian Bar Review, as well as both of Canada’s environmental law journals, the Journal of Environmental Law and Practice and McGill’s Journal of Sustainable Development Law and Policy. He has also appeared as a witness in environmental hearings before both the House of Commons and the Senate.

Research Areas

  • Environmental Assessment and Adaptive Management
  • Ecosystem Services and Environmental Valuation
  • Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
  • Climate Change Litigation and Liability
  • Empirical Legal Research

Confederation of Scholars profile

Selected Publications and Presentations

Selected Papers

  • “The Role of Science in Contemporary Canadian Environmental Decision-Making: The Example of Environmental Assessment” (2019) UBC L. Rev. (with Alana Westwood, Aerin Jacob, Caroline Fox, JW Moore, Wendy Palen and Adam Ford) (forthcoming)
  • “Testing the Jurisdictional Waters: The Provincial Regulation of Interprovincial Pipelines” (2018) Review of Constitutional Studies (forthcoming) (SSRN)
  • "Towards Linking Environmental Law and Science" (2018) 3 Facets 375 (with JW Moore, Linda Nowlan, Aerin Jacob, Brett Favaro, Lynda Collins, GLT-L Williams-Davidson, and Jill Weitz) (Link)
  • "From Smokes to Smokestacks: Lessons from Tobacco for the Future of Climate Change Liability" (2018) 30:1 Georgetown Env. L. Rev. 1 (with Sharon Mascher and Meinhard Doelle) (Link) (SSRN)
  • "Failed Experiments: An Empirical Assessment of Adaptive Management in Alberta's Energy Resources Sector" (2017) 50:3 UBC L Rev 657 (SSRN)
  • “From ‘Badly Wrong’ to Worse: An Empirical Analysis of Canada’s New Fish Habitat Protection Laws” (2015) 28(1) J. Env. L. Prac. 1 (SSRN)

Recent Presentations

  • "Bill C-68: Amendments to the Fisheries Act” Submission to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans (Ottawa, ON, April 2018) (Brief)
  • "Bill C-69: The Proposed Impact Assessment Act": Submission to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development (Ottawa, ON, April 2018) (Brief)
  • "Has Trudeau Delivered? A Discussion of Bills C-68 and C-69" York University's Sustainable Energy Initiative's Seminar Series (webcast, March 2018) (Link)
  • “The Trudeau Administration on Water: Restoring (Improving?) Protections for Fish and Fish Habitat" presented at the University of Toledo's Great Lakes Water Conference (Toledo, OH, November 2017)

ABlawg: The Faculty of Law Blog

Professional Service

Martin has been the co-editor of the Journal of Environmental Law and Practice since 2011. In 2012, he was a recipient of the Deputy Minister’s (Justice) Excellence Award.

In late 2016, he was appointed to the Council of Canadian Academies' Expert Panel on Integrated Natural Resources Management.

Photograph of Martin Olszynski

Curriculum Vitae

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