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Dayna N Scott

Dayna N Scott

Associate Professor

Joint Appointed with Osgoode Hall Law School
York Research Chair (Tier 2) in Environmental Law & Justice


PhD Law, Osgoode Law School
LLB, Osgoode Law School
MES, York University
BSc Ecology, University of Guelph

Research Keywords

Environmental Justice; Gender & Environmental Health; Feminist Theory Of The Body; Critical Sociology Of Risk; Trends In Regulation & Governance.

Dayna N Scott

Contact Information

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, ON M3J1P3

416 736 2100

Research Interests

I was appointed as York Research Chair in Environmental Law & Justice in the Green Economy in 2018. I am cross-appointed with York’s Faculty of Environmental Studies. I am a Co-Director of Osgoode’s Environmental Justice and Sustainability Clinic and a Co-Coordinator of the joint MES/JD program.

I joined Osgoode’s faculty in 2006 after completing a SSHRC Post-Doctoral Fellowship at McGill’s Faculty of Law and a Hauser Global Research Fellowship at NYU. My research interests focus on contestation over extraction; exercises of Indigenous jurisdiction over lands and resources; the distribution of pollution burdens affecting marginalized communities and vulnerable populations; gender and environmental health; and the justice dimensions of the transition to a greener economy.

I am the Primary Investigator on the SSHRC-funded project, “Consent & Contract: Authorizing Extraction in Ontario’s Ring of Fire” with colleagues Andrée Boisselle, Deborah McGregor and Estair Van Wagner, and a related grant titled “Implementing a Regional, Indigenous-led, and Sustainability Informed Impact Assessment in the Ring of Fire.” I am also part of the SSHRC Partnership Development Grant, “Reconciling Sovereignties: New Techniques for ‘Authorizing’ Extraction on Indigenous Territories” led by Professor Shiri Pasternak, in partnership with the Indigenous Network on Economies and Trade (INET) and MiningWatch Canada.

Past projects included SSHRC-funded research in partnership with environmental justice activists from the Aamjiwnaang First Nation, near Sarnia`s Chemical Valley, that applied a critical, feminist perspective to the examination of law’s treatment of the risks of long-term, low-dose exposures to pollutants, and another SSHRC-funded project (“Investigating Regulatory Chill”) that examined the contemporary constraints on regulation to protect the environment, with a focus on investor rights in the resource extraction context.

Recent publications explore impact-benefit agreements in “Extraction Contracting: The Struggle for Control of Indigenous Lands” (2020) in a special issue of South Atlantic Quarterly, co-edited with Shiri Pasternak; “Extractivism” in the Handbook on Law & Society edited by Mariana Valverde (forthcoming); the resurgence of Indigenous law in Treaty 9, with Andrée Boisselle (2019 UNB Law Review); the dynamics of “sacrifice zones” in the context of the emerging green energy economy (McGill Law Journal 2017, with Adrian A. Smith); anti-toxics politics (“Wanna-be Toxic Free? From Precautionary Consumption to Corporeal Citizenship” in Environmental Politics 2016); and the tactics of activists resisting tar sands extraction in Peace River Alberta (“‘We are the Monitors Now’: Experiential Knowledge, Transcorporeality and Environmental Justice” (2015) in Social & Legal Studies).

I am the editor of Our Chemical Selves: Gender, Toxics and Environmental Health (UBC Press, 2015) and the past Director of the National Network on Environments and Women`s Health. Among other awards, I have been a recipient of the York-Massey Fellowship, Fulbright and SSHRC Fellowships, and the Law Commission of Canada’s “Audacity of Imagination” Prize.

I gave an expert testimony to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development in June 2016 as part of their review of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act:

Reforming the Canadian Environmental Protection Act: The assessment and regulation of toxic substances should be equitable, precautionary, and evidence-based. Brief to the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development, 3 June 2016.

Research Projects

2016-2019 SSHRC Insight Grant (PI) with Andrée Boisselle, Deborah McGregor, & Estair Van Wagner, Consent & Contract: Authorizing Extraction in Ontario’s Ring of Fire

2016-2019 SSHRC Partnership Development Grant (PI) with Emilie Cameron, Shiri Pasternak, Adrian Smith, Anna Stanley, in partnership with the Indigenous Network on Environments and Trade (INET) and MiningWatch Canada, Reconciling Sovereignties: New Techniques for Authorizing Extraction on Indigenous Territories

2016-2017 SSHRC CURA (Community-University Research Alliance), Adapting Canadian Workplaces (ACW) Sub-Grant (PI Carla Lipsig-Mumme), Taking Ownership (and Control) of the Green Energy Economy (with co-investigators Professor Adrian Smith and Bruce Campbell of the Canadian Center for Policy Alternatives)

2012-2015 Co-Investigator, Investigating Regulatory Chill: Contemporary Constraints on Decision-Making to Protect the Environment (with Professor Gus Van Harten), SSHRC Insight Grant

2008-2011 Primary Investigator, Environmental Justice for Aamjiwnaang: Constructions of Cause and the Assignment of Blame at the Local/Global Interface, SSHRC Standard Grant

Research Output

Dayna Nadine Scott (ed.) Our Chemical Selves: Gender, Toxics and Environmental Health, UBC Press, 2015 (412pp).

Dayna Nadine Scott & Adrian A. Smith, “The Abstract Subject of the Climate Migrant: Displaced by the Rising Tides of Renewable Energy Economy” (2017) Journal of Human Rights and the Environment (forthcoming).

Dayna Nadine Scott, Jennie Haw & Robyn Lee, “Wannabe Toxic-Free? From Precautionary Consumption to Corporeal Citizenship” (2016) Environmental Politics 21pp.

Dayna Nadine Scott, “Pollution et limites des corps: échelle des perturbations endocriniennes, genre et recours au droit par une communauté amérindienne du Canada” (2016) 34 (3) Sciences Sociales et Santé 77-101 (French translation of book chapter in Feminist Torts, below).

Dayna Nadine Scott, “‘We Are the Monitors Now’: Experiential Knowledge, Transcorporeality and Environmental Justice” (2016) 25(3) Social & Legal Studies 261-287 (2015 for OnlineFirst version).

Gus Van Harten & Dayna Nadine Scott, “Investment Treaties and the Internal Vetting of Regulatory Proposals: A Case Study from Canada” (2016) 7(1) Journal of International Dispute Settlement 92-116.

Leila Harris, Megan Peloso, Dayna Nadine Scott & Jyoti Phartiyal, “Women Talking about Water: Feminist Subjectivities and Intersectional Understandings” (2015) 2/3 30 Canadian Women’s Studies Journal, Special Issue on Women and Water 15-22.

Dayna Nadine Scott, “The Networked Infrastructure of Fossil Capitalism: Implications of the New Pipeline Debates for Environmental Justice in Canada” (2013) 43 Revue générale de droit, Special Issue on Environmental Justice and Human Rights 11-66.

Dayna Nadine Scott, “Situating Sarnia: Unimagined Communities in the National Energy Debate”, Special Issue on the National Energy Strategy, (2013) 25 Journal of Environmental Law and Practice 81-112.

Roxanne Mykitiuk & Dayna Nadine Scott, “Risky Pregnancy: Liability, Blame and Insurance in the Governance of Pre-natal Harm”, (2011) 43(2) UBC Law Review 311-360.

Dayna Nadine Scott, “Body Polluted: Questions of Scale, Gender and Remedy”, (2010) 44(1) Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review 121-156 (Special Symposium Issue on Injuries Without Remedies).

Dayna Nadine Scott, “The Environment and Federalism, In Context” in Natalie Des Rosiers, Patrick Macklem and Peter Oliver (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of the Canadian Constitution, OUP, forthcoming.

Dayna Nadine Scott, “The Smell of Neglect: Material Feminisms for Environmental Justice”, Sheryl Hamilton, Diana Majury, Neil Sargeant, Dawn Moore, and Christiane Wilke (eds.) Sensing the Law (forthcoming, Routledge).

Dayna Nadine Scott, Lauren Rakowski, Laila Zahra Harris & Troy Dixon, “The Production of Pollution and the Consumption of Chemicals in Canada”, in Dayna Nadine Scott (ed.) Our Chemical Selves: Gender, Toxics and Environmental Health, UBC Press, 2015.

Dayna Nadine Scott & Sarah Lewis, “Sex, Gender and the Chemicals Management Plan”, in Dayna Nadine Scott (ed.) Our Chemical Selves: Gender, Toxics and Environmental Health, UBC Press, 2015.

Dayna Nadine Scott, “Pollution and the Body Boundary: Exploring Scale, Gender and Remedy” in Janice Richardson and Erica Rackley (eds.) Feminist Perspectives on Tort Law (Routledge, 2012) 55-79.

Dayna Nadine Scott & Sidra Sabzwari, "The Quest for Environmental Justice on a Canadian Aboriginal Reserve", in Yves Le Bouthillier, Miriam Alfie Cohen, Jose Juan Gonzalez, Albert Mumma and Susan Smith, Environment, Law & Poverty, IUCN Academy of Environmental Law (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2012).

Recognition & Awards

  • York-Massey Visiting Scholarship
  • York Research Chair in Environmental Law & Justice in the Green Economy
  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Post-doctoral Fellowship, McGill University Faculty of Law
  • Law Commission of Canada, Nathalie Des Rosiers Audacity of Imagination Award, Risk and Trust
  • Canada – US Fulbright Scholarship, Independent Research AwardPolicy Research Initiative (SSHRC, CIHR, NSERC) Canadian Policy Research Awards Graduate Prize
  • York University Thesis Prize