July 1, 2022
Public Interest Law Clinic welcomes new executive director
The Public Interest Law Clinic at the University of Calgary Faculty of Law is pleased to announce Professor Shaun Fluker as its new executive director. Shaun takes over from Christine Laing, who served at the clinic’s helm for three years.
I’m excited to take over the reins of the Public Interest Law Clinic, and to improve access to justice in Alberta. The clinic is a great experiential learning opportunity for our students, and I look forward to working alongside them on key public interest law issues.
Opened in 2015, the Public Interest Law Clinic works with organizations and individuals to advocate for systemic change in public law matters, and advocates for law reform through legislative proposals and impact litigation. The clinic offers law students the opportunity to work on public interest issues through legal research, writing and advocacy, and to help strengthen access to justice in Alberta.
Recent clinic successes include collaborating with partner organizations and volunteer lawyers to establish a consumer debt negotiation process for Albertans struggling with debt, representing a national environmental organization as an intervenor in the environmental impact assessment process concerning proposed open pit coal mine in the Rocky Mountains, and serving as legal counsel for an applicant in a recent Court of Appeal decision which has significantly expanded the scope for public participation in environmental decision-making in Alberta. The clinic also represented an Alberta surface landowners association in their intervention before the Supreme Court of Canada in the 2019 Redwater case involving orphan oil and gas wells.
Shaun’s research areas include public participation and transparency in resources and environmental decision-making, the implementation of environmental norms with law, and public interest litigation.
The clinic’s focus areas for the next year will include environmental public interest cases, facilitating access to government records and other information, and a law reform project on legislation to address strategic lawsuits against public participation (anti-SLAPP).