Summer 2024 - REM 319 D100

Environmental and Planning Law (3)

Class Number: 3673

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    May 6 – Jun 17, 2024: Mon, Wed, 9:30 a.m.–12:20 p.m.

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Jun 21, 2024
    Fri, 9:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    45 units.



Provides a practical introduction to the legal system governing the use and protection of the environment and planning and land use law in Canada. A central theme is the difference between the law on paper and the law in practice. Students who have taken ENV 399-3 "Special Topics in Environmental Law" in 2012 may not take this course for further credit. Students with credit for ENV 319 or PLAN 319 may not take this course for further credit.


This course is a participatory introduction to Canadian environmental and planning law.

Lectures will present Canada’s key environmental laws in their historical, environmental, socio-political and court contexts and on key topics such as biodiversity, climate change, division of powers and Aboriginal-Indigenous rights.

No previous legal training is required. The classes will give foundational knowledge (eg: what is a legal case, how are laws interpreted) towards understanding context, application and future direction of environmental law.

Reflecting that laws and their application are shaped by debate, each class will begin with assigned student debates – students briefly debating on a lecture topic’s key environmental/legal issue.


After completing this class, you should understand at a high level:

  • the role and jurisdiction of Canada’s governments, including Indigenous governments, in creating, applying and enforcing/complying with environmental law;
  • how Canada’s legal system works including a basic understanding of how laws are made and how they are applied by Canada’s court system, how that system is engaged and by whom, how it makes its decisions, and how to learn about those decisions;
  • Canada’s key environment and planning laws and the key issues surrounding their application in the most relevant environmental contexts; and,
  • the possible evolution of environmental and planning law.


  • Assignment #1 - Participate in One In-Class Debate 20%
  • Assignments #2 - Prepare Written Reflection on Debate 15%
  • Assignments #3 - Prepare Written Reflection on Debate 15%
  • Final Exam 50%



All required readings will be posted in Canvas. These will be legal cases, legal commentary, legislation, government policies or reports, NGO reports, and news articles.


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at:

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating. Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the university community. Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the university. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the university.


Students with a faith background who may need accommodations during the term are encouraged to assess their needs as soon as possible and review the Multifaith religious accommodations website. The page outlines ways they begin working toward an accommodation and ensure solutions can be reached in a timely fashion.