Sara Seck

Sara Seck

B.Mus. (Memorial) 1988; M.Mus. (U. Ottawa) 1990; LL.B. (Toronto) 1999; Ph.D. (Osgoode Hall Law School) 2008; called to the Ontario Bar 2000

Sara Seck, PhD, joined the Faculty of Law, Western University, as an Assistant Professor in July 2007 and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2013. Sara’s research and teaching expertise include corporate social responsibility, international environmental, human rights, and sustainable development law, climate change, and indigenous law, with a focus on extractive industries. She has a strong interest in international and transnational legal theory, notably the relationship between Third World Approaches to International Law (TWAIL) and international legal process theories that are informed by constructivist understandings of international relations. Her research has been supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, including a critical analysis of the 2011 United Nations Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights.

In May 2015, Sara was appointed a Senior Fellow with the International Law Research Program (ILRP) of the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) to undertake research on business responsibilities for human rights affected by climate change. Also in 2015, Sara was the recipient of the Emerging Scholar Award from the IUCN Academy of Environmental Law.

Phone: 519 661-2111 ext. 81567
Office: LB 110

1. Law Journal/Review Articles

“Business, Human Rights, and Canadian Mining Lawyers” (2015) 56 Canadian Business Law Journal 208-237.

“Transnational Judicial and Non-Judicial Remedies for Corporate Human Rights Harms: Challenges of and for Law” (2013) 31:1 Windsor Yearbook of Access to Justice 177-195:

“Emerging-Market Multinational Enterprises, Human Rights, and Sustainable Development: Lessons from the Canadian Experience”, (2013) 22 Transnational Corporations 73-100.

(with Craig Brown), “Insurance Law Principles in an International Context: Compensating Losses caused by Climate Change”, (2013) 50:4 Alberta Law Review 541-576 (special issue on insurance law).

“Home State Regulation of Environmental Human Rights Harms as Transnational Private Regulatory Governance”, (2012) 13 German Law Journal 1363-1385:

“Canadian Mining Internationally and the UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights” (2011) 49 Canadian Yearbook of International Law 51-116.

“Transnational Business and Environmental Harm: A TWAIL Analysis of Home State Obligations” (2011) 3(1) Trade, Law & Development 164-202 (TWAIL special issue, invited):

“Unilateral Home State Regulation: Imperialism or Tool for Subaltern Resistance?” (2008) 46 Osgoode Hall Law Journal 565 -603 (edited volume, Comparative Constitutionalism and Transnational Law, guest editors Craig Scott & Peer Zumbansen) (invited).

“Home State Responsibility and Local Communities: The Case of Global Mining” (2008) 11 Yale Human Rights & Development Law Journal 177-206; Reprinted in C. Sri Krishna, ed., Global Mining Experiences (Amicus Books, Icfai Press, India, 2009).

“Strengthening Environmental Assessment of Canadian Supported Mining Ventures in Developing Countries” (2001) 11 Journal of Environmental Law & Practice 1-82.

"Environmental Harm in Developing Countries Caused by Subsidiaries of Canadian Mining Corporations: The Interface of Public and Private International Law" (1999) 37 Canadian Yearbook of International Law 139-221.

2. Book Chapters and Conference Symposia

a. Book Chapters

“Transnational Corporations and Extractive Industries” in International Environmental Law: Perspectives from the Global South edited by Shawkat Alam, Sumudu Atapattu, Carmen G. Gonzalez and Jona Razzaque, (Cambridge University Press, 2015).

(with Anna Dolidze), “ITLOS Case No. 17 and the Evolving Principles for Corporate Responsibility under International Law” in Responsibilities of the Non-State Actor in Armed Conflict and the Market Place, edited by Noemi Gal-Or, Math Noortmann, and Cedric Ryngaert, (Brill Publishers, 2015) 235-259.

“Corporate Law Tools and the Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights” in Manoj Kumar Sinha, ed., Business and Human Rights (Sage Publishers, 2013) 93-130.

“Collective Responsibility and Transnational Corporate Conduct”, in Richard Vernon & Tracy Isaacs, eds., Accountability for Collective Wrongdoing (Cambridge University Press, 2011) 140-168.

“Conceptualizing the Home State Duty to Protect Human Rights”, in Karin Buhman, Mette Morsing, & Lynn Roseberry, eds., Corporate Social and Human Rights Responsibilities: Global Legal and Management Perspectives, (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010) 25-51.

“Ecological Integrity and Third World Approaches to International Law”, in Laura Westra, Klaus Bosselmann, & Colin Soskolne, eds., Globalisation and Ecological Integrity in Science and International Law (Cambridge Scholars Press, 2011) 165-185.

b. Conference Proceedings

“Corporate Responsibility and Human Rights” in Proceedings of the 108th Annual Meeting of the American Society of International Law: The Effectiveness of International Law (April 7-12, 2014) (ASIL: Washington DC, 2015).

“Introductory Remarks to International Environmental Law Interest Group Roundtable on Research Methodologies”, in Proceedings of the 105th Annual Meeting of the American Society of International Law: Harmony and Dissonance in International Law (March 23-26, 2011) (ASIL: Washington DC, 2012) 253-254.

“Corporate Civil Wrongs Committed Abroad” in Responsibility of Individuals, States and Organizations, Proceedings of the 35th Annual Conference of the Canadian Council on International Law, Ottawa, October 26-28, 2006 (Ottawa: Canadian Council on International Law, 2007) 135-145.

“Keynote Address: Exploding the Myths; Why Governments are Reluctant to Regulate” in Regulating Canadian Mining Companies Operating Internationally: Materials for a Conference held in Ottawa, October 20, 2005 (MiningWatch Canada; Ottawa, October 2005).

3. Accepted for Publication (i.e. forthcoming)

(with Kirsten Stefanik), “Business and Human Rights: Challenges in Accessing Remedy and Justice” in Gordon DiGiacomo, ed, Human Rights (University of Toronto Press, forthcoming)

4. Discussion Papers/Technical Writings

“International Corporate Social Responsibility Standards,” Review and Discussion Paper, Conference theme: Human Rights, Environmental Rights, and Corporate Social Responsibility, prepared for the 3rd UNITAR-Yale Conference on Environmental Governance and Democracy, 5-7 September 2014, New Haven, USA, Human Rights, Environmental Sustainability, Post-2-15 Development, and the Future Climate Regime.

(with Antony Crockett), Discussion Paper for International Law Association Study Group on Business and Human Rights, presented at the International Law Association’s 76th Biennial Conference (ASIL/ILA), April 7-12, 2014, Washington DC.

(contributor), Discussion Paper for International Law Association Study Group on Due Diligence in International Law, presented at the International Law Association’s 76th Biennial Conference (ASIL/ILA), April 7-12, 2014, Washington DC.

Discussion Paper, “Redressing Resource Company Foreign Environmental Harm: Extraterritorial Environmental Liability Reform Proposals”, prepared for International Bar Association Conference, Vancouver, B.C., October 6, 2010. (invited)

Submission to the OECD Working Party on Export Credits and Credit Guarantees: “The Legal Obligations with Respect to Human Rights and Export Credit Agencies”, prepared by Özgür Can and Sara L. Seck (ECA-Watch, Halifax Initiative Coalition and ESCR-Net, June 2006). 

5. Book Reviews

Review of The Governance Gap: Extractive industries, human rights, and the home state advantage By Penelope Simons and Audrey Macklin, (2015) 15 Osgoode Hall Law Journal (forthcoming).

Review of Chinese Contemporary Perspectives on International Law: History, Culture and International Law (Pocketbooks of The Hague Academy of International Law)

By XUE Hanqin, (2015) 5 Asian Journal of International Law 209-210.

Review of Corporate Social Responsibility: A Legal Analysis by Michael Kerr, Richard Janda and Chip Pitts, (2010) 49 C.B.L.J. 335-342.

6. Other Significant Unpublished Works

PhD Dissertation

Home State Obligations for the Prevention and Remediation of Transnational Harm: Canada, Global Mining and Local Communities (PhD Thesis, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, 2008) [unpublished].

7. Other

Blog, “Kiobel and the E-word: Reflections on Transnational Environmental Responsibility in an Interconnected World” Law at the End of the Day (July 5, 2013)

Featured, Blog by Larry Catá Backer, “Sara Seck on the Possibilities and Limits of Extraterritoriality in a Corporate Social Responsibility and Human Rights Context” Law at the End of the Day (September 6, 2012).