2018 Environmental Law Scholarship Awards

Distinguished Scholarship Award, Senior Faculty

Sheila R. Foster

Sheila Foster

Sheila R. Foster is a joint Professor of Law and Public Policy at Georgetown University. Prior to joining Georgetown, she was a University Professor and the Albert A. Walsh Professor of Real Estate, Land Use and Property Law at Fordham University. She also co-directed the Fordham Urban Law Center and was a founder of the Fordham University Urban Consortium. Prior to joining Fordham, she was a Professor of Law at the Rutgers University in Camden, New Jersey.

Professor Foster is the author of numerous publications on environmental law, and is one of the country’s leading scholars on environmental justice. She is co-author of the classic text From the Ground Up: Environmental Racism and the Environmental Justice Movement (NYU Press 2001) (with Luke Cole) and co-editor of The Law of Environmental Justice: Theories and Procedures to Address Disproportionate Risks (American Bar Association 2009) (with Michael Gerrard).    Over the last two decades, she has worked with government agencies, non-government organizations, scholars, and policymakers to reform environmental and land use policies and practices consistent with the principles of environmental justice. Her most recent work explores city growth and governance through the lens of the “commons,” bringing the analytical lens of her environmental law and policy to the city and the management of urban resources. Her latest article, The City as a Commons, is published in the Yale Law and Policy Review (with Christian Iaione) and is the basis of a forthcoming book for MIT Press.

Professor Foster has been involved on many levels with environmental and urban policy. Currently she sits on the New York City Panel on Climate Change (and co-chairs one of its working groups on community-based equitable adaptation), is chair of the advisory committee of the Global Parliament of Mayors, and an advisory board member of the Marron Institute for Urban Management at NYU.

Distinguished Scholarship Award, Emerging Faculty

Saiful Karim

Saiful Karim

Associate Professor (Dr) Saiful Karim is the Director (International) of the School of Law at the Faculty of Law, Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Brisbane, Australia. Dr Karim has held Visiting Faculty position at Sydney University and a consultant at the University of the South Pacific and a visiting research fellow at the National University of Singapore. Dr. Karim has published extensively in the fields of public international law and environmental law and has presented research papers in many conferences and workshops organised by various academic and research organisations based in Asia, Europe, North America and Oceania.

Dr Karim is a lead author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (SROCC). The Australian federal government also nominated him as an expert in the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) established under the auspices of the United Nations.  He is currently contributing as a lead author of the Asia Pacific Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Assessment Report and the Global Assessment of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Report of the IPBES. He is member of the IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law (WCEL) and the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA).  Dr Karim traveled to all continents of the world (except Antarctica) for research, academic and professional activities.

Dr Karim is also the author of  Prevention of Pollution of the Marine Environment from Vessels: The Potential and Limits of the International Maritime Organisation (Springer, 2015), Maritime Terrorism and the Role of Judicial Institutions in the International Legal Order (Brill-Nijhoff, 2017) and Shipbreaking in Developing Countries: A Requiem for Environmental Justice from the Perspective of Bangladesh (Routledge, 2018). Dr Karim made substantive contributions to three different but interrelated areas, namely, international maritime security law, law and decision-making process of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and the implementation of international marine environmental legal instruments in developing countries. In several publications, he critically examined the law-making process and politics of IMO from a different perspective. One of his major contributions in this field is to show that IMO member states are deeply divided into camps of developed, developing and least developed states, and if unmitigated in an innovative way, that may create an obstacle in the global community’s effort to combat maritime security and environmental threats. His another major contribution is the identification of major causes behind non-implementation of IMO legal instruments in developing countries. In his articles examining the issue of reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from the international maritime sector, he also highlighted how north–south tensions hinder the formation of an effective international legal framework. He also made a major scholarly contribution in the area of regional marine and environmental legal governance.

Distinguished Education Award Senior Faculty

Catherine Iorns Magallanes

Catherine Iorns Magallanes

Catherine Iorns is a Reader in the School of Law at Victoria University of Wellington, Aotearoa New Zealand. She has more than 25 years' experience teaching a range of subjects, including statutory interpretation, indigenous rights, and international law, in addition to a range of environmental law courses. Catherine has focused on pedagogy from the beginning of her career, with presentations and papers on teaching international law, for example, in the 1990s. This has continued today, with her recently undertaking a Higher Education Learning and Teaching course, writing on changing ideas of effective innovations in environmental law teaching.

Catherine is also a well-respected researcher in both indigenous rights and environmental law. Her research achievements include ‘A’ rankings for her written outputs, two writing awards for environmental law papers from the New Zealand Resource Management Law Association, and citations in decisions by the New Zealand EPA. She has recently held external research contracts in relation to precaution and ecosystem-based management, and a current National Science Challenge contract in relation to climate adaptation.

Catherine is also a national Board member of Amnesty International Aotearoa New Zealand, and the Academic Advisor to the New Zealand Council of Legal Education. She is a member of the International Law Association Committee on the Implementation of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, a member of the IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law, and a member of the Bioethics Panel for the New Zealand Biological Heritage National Science Challenge. 

Distinguished Education Award Emerging Faculty

Estair Van Wagner

Estair Van Wagner

Estair Van Wagner is an assistant professor at Osgoode Hall Law School where she is a co-director of the Environmental Justice and Sustainability Clinic. Her research and teaching interests are in the areas of property, land use planning, and natural resource law. Estair has developed a unique place-based approach to legal education, building on her relational approach to research about land use conflicts and people-place relations. She is a member of the organizing committee for Osgoode’s Anishinaabe law camp, developed in partnership with the Chippewas of Nawash First Nation.

Prior to joining Osgoode, Estair was a lecturer at the Victoria University of Wellington Faculty of Law, where she taught Property, Natural Resource, and Resource Management Law. Her contribution to legal education at VUW was recognized through a university-wide Teaching and Learning Grant, awarded to support her place-based approach to land use law subjects, including a qualitative study of the role of technology and community-engaged learning in legal education. The results of the study were the subject of a special section of Resource Management Theory and Practice and an article in a special edition of the Environmental and Planning Law Journal.

Estair is currently a co-investigator in a qualitative study examining Indigenous land rights and environmental jurisdiction on private forest land, funded by a Social Science and Humanities Research Council Insight Grant. She is also currently involved in research about mining and Indigenous communities in both Aotearoa New Zealand and Canada. Estair reimagined a major climate change decision of the New Zealand Supreme Court as a judgment writer in the 2017 Feminist Judgments Project Aotearoa. She has published widely on the relationship between property, land use planning, and environmental law.