University of Calgary

Nickie Nikolaou

  • Associate Professor
  • Associate Dean - Academic

Bar admissions

Member of the Alberta Bar


Nickie has been with the Faculty since July 2007. From 2013-2015, she was on leave in Doha, Qatar. Prior to joining the Faculty, Nickie was a Research Associate at the Canadian Institute of Resources Law from 2001 to 2007. Before that, she practiced law in Calgary and served as legal counsel to the Honourable Madam Justice C. Hunt of the Alberta Court of Appeal. Nickie articled with the Courts of Appeal and Queen’s Bench in Calgary, and completed her Master of Laws degree in 2000 with a specialization in environmental and oil and gas law. Her thesis, which was awarded the Governor General’s Gold Medal, considered the liability regimes for well abandonment, reclamation, releases of substances, and contaminated sites in Alberta. In 2002, she was a visiting assistant professor with the Faculty of Law.

Natural Resources, Energy and Environmental Law research group
Canadian Institute of Resources Law (CIRL)


Law 403: Legislation

Research/Scholarly Activities

Nickie's research interests are in the areas of energy, natural resources, environmental, and property law. She is the current editor of the Canada Energy Law Service - Federal (Thomson/Carswell). Her publications and research include work on such topics as: public participation in energy, natural resources and environmental decision making; theories of environmental liability, including the polluter pays principle; liability regimes for the clean-up of environmental damage; the role of human rights law in natural resources development; the constitutional jurisdiction of administrative tribunals; the role of municipalities in natural resources and renewable energy development; the legal and regulatory framework for oil and gas, including oil sands, development in Alberta; and the role and mandate of Canada’s National Energy Board.

Research Areas

  • Energy Law
  • Natural Resources Law
  • Environmental Law
  • Property Law

Confederation of Scholars profile

Selected Publications and Presentations

Selected Publications

  • Editor, Canada Energy Law Service - Federal (Toronto: Thomson Carswell) [looseleaf].
  • An Update on the Legal and Regulatory Framework for Oil Sands Development in Alberta (forthcoming).
  • With Michael S. Quinn et al., "The Ecological and Political Landscapes of Alberta's Hydrocarbon Economy" in Laurie E. Adkin, ed., First World Petro-Politics: The Political Ecology and Governance of Alberta (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2016).
  • "A Single Regulator for Oil and Gas Development in Alberta? A Critical Assessment of the Current Proposal" (2012) 113 Resources 1.
  • "The Regulation of Wind Power Development in Alberta: The Case of Municipalities" (2011) 22 J.E.L.P. 125
  • "Alberta's Approach to Local Governance in Oil and Gas Development" (2010) 48 Alta. L. Rev. 55
  • (with J. Owen Saunders) "Alberta's Water for Life and Recent Trends in International Law" Occasional Paper No. 33 (Calgary: Canadian Institute Resources Law, 2010), online:
  • "The Issues and Challenges with Public Participation in Energy and Natural Resources Development in Alberta" (2010) 108 Resources 1, online:

Selected Presentations

  • "Alberta Oil Sands Past and Present: Critical Gaps in the Regulatory Framework," ConocoPhillips IRIS Seminar, Centre for Corporate Sustainability at the University of Calgary's Haskayne School of Business (November 15, 2017, Calgary, AB).
  • "Lessons from Canada: Key Issues in Designing a Regulatory Framework for Natural Resources Development," presented at the Symposium on Post-Conflict Natural Resources Extraction and Mining Law, hosted by the Centre for Energy and Sustainability Law (College of Law, Qatar University), US Department of Commerce, Commercial Law Development Program (funded by USAid) and the Afghanistan Ministry of Mining and Petroleum Law (June 2-4, Doha, Qatar).
  • “The Intersection of Human Rights Law and Environmental Law”, paper presented at the Symposium on Environmental Education for Judges and Court Practitioners, organized by CIRL and sponsored by Environment Canada (March 23-24, 2012), online.
  • "Foundations for Public Participation in Energy and Natural Resources Development", Conference organized by the Canadian Institute of Resources Law entitled Public Participation in Energy and Natural Resources Development  in Alberta -- Is There Room for Improvement? November 19, 2010, University of Calgary
  • "Theoretical Foundations for Public Participation in Energy, Natural Resources and Environmental Decision-Making", Colloquium on Environmental Scholarship, Vermont Law School, October 22, 2010.

ABlawg: The Faculty of Law Blog

Photograph of Nickie Nikolaou
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