Foreword to the first edition

AuthorConstance Hunt
ProfessionAlberta Court of Appeal
to the First Edition
When I graduated from law school in 1972, nowhere in the curriculum
could one f‌ind a course called Environmenta l Law. To the extent that
that subject matter was considered at all, it was t hrough, at most, passing
reference in courses such as Municipal Law, Torts, or International Law.
Twenty-f‌ive years later, the scene is remarkably changed. All Can-
adian law schools offer at least one such course. Ma ny offer more. There
are speciali zed law reports and journals, loose-leaf serv ices, news-
letters, casebooks, and national and provincial organi zations devoted
to research, education, and law reform. Thi s f‌lurry of activit y ref‌lects
society’s recognition of the importance of the environment. It also
ref‌lects the fact that law i s one of the tools essential to env ironmental
protection. Every day, courts and other tribunal s in our country are
called on to resolve disputes among par ties such as governments, agen-
cies, business, and private citizens, each of whom has a role to play in
ensuring th at our children will h ave a clean, healthy, and esthetically
acceptable planet on which to reside.
As a judge, I appreciate the immense contribution made by my for-
mer academic colleagues to the clarif‌ication and explan ation of law
and legal systems. Academics are able to specialize in a way t hat most
judges cannot. Judges must resolve specif‌ic case s; academics can take
the long, wide view. I often turn to books and article s written by aca-
demic commentators to help me understand both the narrow and the
broad aspects of a case t hat I have to decide.

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