Evangelos Raftopoulos writes:
It is with great sadness that I report that Professor Meinhard Doelle, a distinguished scholar of international environmental law, suddenly passed away on September 17, 2022, at the age of 58.
Meinhard Doelle was a prominent Academic Fellow of MEPIELAN Centre and a long-time collaborator and unfailing contributor to MEPIELAN E-Bulletin, a friend and a thoughtful environmental law scholar.
Meinhard, a German-born Canadian lawyer, was Professor at the Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie University and the founder and executive director of several environmental law organizations, as well as the drafter of the Environment Act of Nova Scotia. He also served as the Canadian Chair of Marine Environmental Protection at the World Maritime University in Malmo, Sweden, from 2019 to 2021. From 2000 to 2006, he was a non-governmental member of the Canadian delegation to the UN climate change negotiations and he continued to follow the negotiations as an official observer.
Meinhard Doelle’s research interests involved the intersection of environmental law and governance, energy law and climate change. He has written on a variety of environmental law topics, including climate change, energy law, invasive species, environmental assessments, and public participation in environmental decision-making. His book projects include “Research Handbook on Climate Change Law and Loss & Damage”, “Environmental Law: Cases and Materials”, “Promoting Compliance in an Evolving Climate Regime”, “The Federal Environmental Assessment Process, a Guide and Critique”, and “From Hot Air to Action: Climate Change, Compliance and the Future of International Environmental Law” (A more complete reference to Meihard’s work and activities can be found in the MEPIELAN Centre’s webside).
It was a great privilege to work with Meinhard in the framework of MEPIELAN Centre’s activities. We both shared a commitment to an interdisciplinary, contextual, participatory, and process-based approach to international environmental law and sustainability governance. I first met him in 2009, when, as a Director of the First COST Training School on International Environmental Negotiation as a Governance Process (Glyfada, Athens, Greece, 23-27 November 2009), organized by MEPIELAN Centre, I invited him to participate as a member of the MEPIELAN Faculty of the Training School. Meinhard gave an insightful and impeccably organized lecture on “Governance of Climate Change: The Negotiation Process” followed by a simulation exercise. At that time, I was immediately able to appreciate not only his high quality as an international environmental lawyer and teacher, but also the captivating kindness, smiling straightforwardness and the enticing simplicity of his character. Ever since, we have been collaborating in the framework of the MEPIELAN E-Bulletin, as he contributed to a number of its editions since 2011 insightful and very perceptive articles on the negotiating process and governance of climate change regime. His last contribution to the Bulletin was on Remedies for Loss and Damage from Climate Change in 2020, co-authored with his colleague Sara Seck, and we the last communicated in August 2022 when we chatted about our projects. And I was shocked to hear the news of his untimely demise, alas, several months after. This note is a late tribute to the living memory of Meinhard, a brilliant scholar and good friend, who will be greatly missed and dearly remembered.
About the author
Professor Emeritus of International Law, Panteion University, Athens, Greece, Fellow, C-EENRG, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom