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Michael M'Gonigle, MSc, LLM, JSD

Former Eco-Research Chair of Environmental Law and Policy
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Dr. Michael M’Gonigle is the founder of POLIS. At the University of Victoria, he held the Eco-Research Chair in Environmental Law and Policy and was cross-appointed between the School of Environmental Studies and the Faculty of Law until his retirement.

A lawyer and political ecologist, his work with Greenpeace in the 1970s led to the international moratorium on commercial whaling, during which time he also co-founded Greenpeace International. In the 1980s, he was a leader in wilderness conservation and forestry reform in British Columbia. As Chair of the Board of Greenpeace Canada, he initiated its forests campaign in 1990. A co-founder of SmartGrowth BC, Forest Futures (Dogwood Initiative), and the Sierra Legal Defence Fund. His work on campus sustainability reflects his search for new strategies for policy change, in this case by creating a micro-level, place-based example of “comprehensive local innovation” that has broader ripple effects. Michael has written widely on environmental and resource management issues (particularly in forest policy), international and environmental law, and theories of ecological political economy (political ecology). He is author of Planet U: Sustaining the World, Reinventing the University (with Justine Starke) (New Society Publishers) (2006).

With the assistance of several POLIS researchers, Michael undertook an innovative SSHRC- funded initiative to launch a new field in legal thought and practice: Green Legal Theory (GLT).

Michael received his BA Hon (British Columbia) in 1969, MSc (Econ) (London School of Economics) in 1970, LLB (Toronto) in 1976, LLM (Yale) in 1979, and JSD (Yale) in 1982; He became a member of the Bar, District of Columbia, United States in 1980, and British Columbia in 1987.

Page last updated: 09/26/2019