University of Calgary

Fenner Stewart

  • Associate Professor


Dr. Fenner Stewart is an assistant professor of law at the University of Calgary. He is the 2018 Dentons Canada LLP Research Fellow in Energy Law and Policy. Prior to this, he was the 2017 Shea Nerland Calnan LLP Research Fellow in Tax Law, the 2016 Association of International Petroleum Negotiators Research Fellow, the 2016 Stikeman Elliott LLP Research Fellow in Corporate Law, and a 2016 Peak Scholar in Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Knowledge Engagement. The Peak Scholar award was for innovative course design across all faculties at the University of Calgary. He has a Ph.D. in law from Osgoode Hall Law School (Toronto), where he was an adjunct professor for four years. He was also a Visiting Fellow at Columbia Law School (New York City), studying American corporate law and finance.



Law 509: Business Associations
Law 571: Oil and Gas Law
Law 693: Dentons' International Energy Law Study Tour
Law 705: Graduate Seminar in Legal Theory

Research/Scholarly Activities

Dr. Stewart’s procedural focus is on the theory and practice of flexible regulation. Flexible regulation leverages non-legal forces (such as community norms and market forces) to reach policy ends. It uses regulatory tools that divide decision-making between industry, civil society, and public authorities. Flexible regulation does not fit neatly into the box of public nor private law, blurring this line in both theory and practice.

Dr. Stewart’s substantive focus is on energy generation, transmission, and distribution. He studies the challenges facing the governance of energy markets, including: decarbonization, innovation, new urbanism, intergovernmental battles over jurisdiction, risk management, duties to indigenous populations, environmental protection, and public trust.

His work addresses the public dimensions of energy regulation (such as energy federalism), the private dimensions (such as corporate responsibility), and the public-private dimensions (such as managing risk governance networks). Topics from his recent publications and current research include electricity capacity markets, carbon pricing, energy federalism and transport, energy innovation and utilities in smart cities, the priority of environmental obligations in bankruptcy proceedings, and the application of security risk management by energy companies in politically unstable countries.

An emerging normative theme in his work is Philip Pettit’s modern civic republicanism (MCR). MCR endorses the pursuit of freedom as non-domination. At times, MCR demands the removal of state interference (imperium), but at others, state action is needed to remove domination between private actors (dominium). Dr. Stewart employs MCR to help frame his arguments within governance discourses over energy justice.

Dr. Stewart teaches Business Associations, the Dentons’ International Energy Law Study Tour, and Oil and Gas Law in the JD program, as well as the graduate seminar in legal theory, which is mandatory for all thesis-track LL.M. students. He has supervised research papers and LL.M. projects on many aspects of energy governance, including topics focused on regulated industries, corporate governance, risk management, contract law, and public-private governance.

Research Areas

  • Energy Market Reform
  • Corporate Governance
  • Responsible Regulation
  • Legal Theory

Confederation of Scholars profile

Selected Publications and Presentations

Publications since 2018

Publications prior to 2018

Selected Presentations

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