University of Calgary

Nigel Bankes

  • Chair - Natural Resources Law
  • Professor

Bar admissions

Member of the Alberta Bar


Nigel has been with the Faculty of Law since 1984 and is the current holder of the Chair of Natural Resources Law. He teaches or has taught courses in property law, aboriginal law, natural resources law, energy law, oil and gas law and international environmental law. He was seconded to the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade in Ottawa as Professor in Residence in the legal bureau in the 1999/2000 academic year. He holds an appointment as an adjunct professor at the University of Tromsø, Norway. In 2010 the University of Akureyri, Iceland conferred an honorary doctoral degree on Nigel in recognition of his contributions to the development of Arctic law in the areas of natural resources law, international environment law and the rights of indigenous peoples. Nigel is the Vice-Chair, Board of Directors for the Canadian Institute of Resources Law.

Natural Resources, Energy and Environmental Law Research Group


Law 637: Energy Law

Research/Scholarly Activities

Nigel's research work covers a number of areas including carbon capture and storage, indigenous property rights in settler states, unitization and joint development agreements in marine areas, electricity regulation, and dispute settlement under the Law of the Sea Convention and the Columbia River Treaty. He was the editor of the Journal of Energy and Natural Resources Law between 2008 and 2011.

Research Areas

  • Aboriginal Law
  • Circumpolar Law (Arctic)
  • Energy Law
  • International Environmental Law
  • International Water Resources Law (esp. the Columbia River Treaty)
  • Law of the Sea (esp. dispute resolution)
  • Oil & Gas Law (Regulation and Private Law)

Confederation of Scholars profile

Current Graduate Students

PhD students

  • Elizabeth Whitsitt (Trade and Investment Law)

Thesis-based LLM

  • Garima Garima
  • Julia Gaunce

Course-based LLM

  • Sharilyn Nagina

Selected Publications and Presentations

  • "The First Example of Compulsory Conciliation under the Law of the Sea Convention: delimitation of the maritime boundaries between Timor-Leste and Australia" in Trude Haugli, Gunnar Eriksen and Ingvild Jakobsen (eds), Rettsvitenskap Under Nordlys og Midnattssol: Festskrift ved det Juridiske Fakultets 30-Årsjubileum, UIT Norges Artiske Universitet, Fegbokforlaget, Bergen, 2018, pp. 27 – 49
  • "Transitioning to a Lower Carbon Future: Phasing out coal and promoting renewables in Alberta's electricity sector" in Zillman, Godden, Paddock and Roggenkamp (eds), Innovation in Energy Law and Technology (2018 Oxford University Press).
  • "Emerging Trends and Issues in Energy Law," Energy Law Fundamentals Seminar, hosted by the Canadian Energy Law Foundation, March 16, 2018, Banff, AB.
  • "Pore Space Ownership in Western Canada" in Havercroft, Macrory and Stewart (eds), Carbon Capture and Storage: Emerging Legal and Regulatory Issues (2ed) (2018 Hart Publishing).
  • "Canada" in Eduardo Pereira and Kim Talus (eds), Upstream Law and Regulation: A Global Guide, Second Edition, Global Law and Business (Woking, Surrey: 2017) Volume I, pp. 401 – 412.
  • “Clarifying the parameters of the Crown’s duty to consult and accommodate in the context of decision-making by energy tribunals” (2017) Journal of Energy and Natural Resources Law. (read)
  • "The Report of the Expert Panel on the Modernization of the National Energy Board and the Response of the Government of Canada" (2017), 5(2) Energy Regulation Quarterly 11 – 24. (read)
  • "Precluding the Applicability of Section 2 of Part XV of the Law of the Sea Convention" (2017), 48 (3) Ocean Development and International Law 1 – 30. (read) This article was part of a special issue of ODIL on dispute resolution under Part XV of the Law of the Sea Convention. Bankes along with Øystein Jensen was the co-convener and editor for this special issue and for the jointly written “Introduction” see (2017), 48 (3) Ocean Development and International Law 1- 7.
  • 'The Columbia River Treaty between Canada and the United States of America – time for change?' in Water Resource Management and the Law (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2017) 262-278
  • "The Legal Dimensions of Food Security" with second-year law student Ana Kosa, 10th Polar Law Symposium (November 13-14, 2017).

ABlawg: The Faculty of Law Blog

Professional Service

Nigel has served as the chair of the Canadian Arctic Resources Committee, as Past-Chair and long-time Board member of Calgary Legal Guidance, as a member of the Steering Committee of the Province of Alberta's Regulatory Framework Assessment on Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) and as a member of the Water Initiatives Advisory Panel of the Columbia Basin Trust.

Nigel is currently a director of the Alberta Law Reform Institute. He is a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of World Energy Law & Business, the Yearbook of Polar Law and the Arctic Review on Law and Politics.

Photograph of Nigel Bankes
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