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Environment • Aboriginal • Energy

Speaking Engagements

January 19, 2017

Environmental Law Forum: Proving Environmental Health Impacts

On January 19, 2017, Marc McAree will be attending and presenting at the 2017 Environmental Law Forum.

Marc will be presenting in Session 4: Proving Environmental Health Impacts.

Liability for environmental health damage was a hot topic of discussion at ELF 2016.  This year, we will take a more in-depth look at liability for environmental health impacts, with particular focus on the difficult task of proving (and defending) these claims.  Evidentiary requirements will be examined in the context of civil cases and permitting applications and review procedures.

Some of the questions that we will explore include:

  • What constitutes admissible and conclusive evidence of health impacts?
  • Are there differences in evidentiary requirements in various types of civil proceedings (class action certification, injunction, nuisance, negligence), in permitting and in challenges to regulatory decisions?
  • How can the development of conclusive evidence be forced (medical monitoring) in Canada?
  • How should scientific certainty be treated by the courts, administrative tribunals and regulators, and how does the precautionary principle influence that treatment?
  • Is the legal protection afforded to human health less than protection afforded to the “environment” (as though separate), and if so why?

We will suggest and discuss possible ways of enhancing protection against environmental health impacts and report on high profile environmental health damage cases.

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