This year, we are celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Marine & Environmental Law Programme (MELP) and the 10th anniversary of the Marine & Environmental Law Institute, located on the 4th floor of the Weldon Law Building, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada.
It all began in the spring of 1974 when the Faculty Council, under the leadership of then Dean of Law, Ronald St. John Macdonald (LL.B.’52), designated marine and environmental law as an “area of special interest.” Professor Douglas M. Johnston, the newly recruited coordinator of the marine and environmental programme, proposed a two-year plan for curricular development. This programme, offering a total of 12 courses in the two fields, involved full and part-time faculty such as Brian Flemming (LL.B.’62), Professors Edgar Gold, Hugh Kindred and Paul Emond. Since its inception, the Marine & Environmental Law Programme (MELP) has provided LL.B. and then, later, post-graduate students (LL.M. and Doctoral) with one of the most extensive academic course offerings in these two fields in the world.
Today, with more than 12 full and part-time faculty members currently teaching in the Programme, Dalhousie students have a unique opportunity to learn about public and private practice in marine and environmental law taught from domestic and international perspectives. Students that specialize in these fields have the option of working towards a certificate of specialization in either Marine or Environmental Law, or both, while completing the three-year J.D. degree.
Director, Marine & Environmental Law Institute