CIGI appoints environmental lawyer David Estrin as Senior Research Fellow with International Law Research Program

News Release

September 12, 2014

The Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) is pleased to announce the appointment of David Estrin as Senior Research Fellow with the think-tank’s International Law Research Program, effective September 2014.

At CIGI, Estrin is involved with developing and leading examinations of the effectiveness of international environmental law regimes, including the following areas:

  • Governance and regulation of the extractive and energy sector, including rapidly evolving international law expectations for effective environmental standards and related corporate conduct, particularly considering how non-responsiveness to these expectations may impact on human rights;
  • Assessing international, transnational and local law-based and market-based approaches to reversing climate change and its impacts (case studies); and
  • International environmental law related trade and investment and intellectual property issues.

“David is one of Canada’s leading experts in environmental law and will make a significant contribution to CIGI’s influence on environmental law and policy in Canada and beyond,” said Oonagh Fitzgerald, Director of CIGI’s International Law Research Program.

“The international law program at CIGI is an important resource for policy makers and practitioners in Ontario, Canada and abroad. I’m delighted to be involved and leading research that will shape how the world thinks about critical environmental legal challenges,” said CIGI Senior Research Fellow David Estrin.

Recognized as Canada’s senior environmental law specialist, Estrin has for over 40 years practiced exclusively in this area, taught the subject at many law and environmental studies faculties and has written leading texts on the subject. He has been a partner in the Toronto office of Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP since 1990, where he was the founder and initial head of its Environmental Practice Group, and he is current head of its Toronto Aboriginal Practice Group.

In recent years, Estrin has been actively involved with the International Bar Association (IBA), and is currently chair of its Environment, Health and Safety Law Committee. He is also co-chair of the IBA President’s Task Force on Climate Change Justice and Human Rights.

Estrin will be involved with CIGI on a part-time basis until he completes his transition from current roles and takes up his full-time position in Waterloo in May 2015.

The International Law Research Program at CIGI is a $60 million, 10-year initiative launched in 2013. It aims to develop Ontario’s knowledge economy, and is building world-class intellectual strengths to understand and help shape the international law and frameworks that are vital to Canada’s prosperity. With up to 19 research fellows and 20 scholarships, the law program is jointly funded by CIGI and Ontario’s Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities. For more information on the law program and CIGI Senior Research Fellow David Estrin, please visit

Kevin Dias, Communications Specialist, CIGI
Tel: 519.885.2444, ext. 7238, Email: [email protected]  

The Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) is an independent, non-partisan think tank on international governance. Led by experienced practitioners and distinguished academics, CIGI supports research, forms networks, advances policy debate and generates ideas for multilateral governance improvements. Conducting an active agenda of research, events and publications, CIGI’s interdisciplinary work includes collaboration with policy, business and academic communities around the world. CIGI was founded in 2001 by Jim Balsillie, then co-CEO of Research In Motion (BlackBerry), and collaborates with and gratefully acknowledges support from a number of strategic partners, in particular the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario. For more information, please visit


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