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Background Information

The Canadian Institute of Resources Law is a leading national centre of expertise on legal and policy issues relating to Canada's natural resources. Since its establishment in 1979, the Institute has pursued a three-fold mandate of research, education and publication. The Institute initiates projects and responds to requests from the public and private sectors and from non-governmental organizations.

As mandated, the Institute aims to:

  • Contribute to a better understanding of how legal systems and laws deal with natural resources, to analyse whether such laws accomplish their policy objectives, and to propose reforms for such laws;
  • Analyse the techniques by which resources policies are developed and can best be implemented, to assess the appropriateness of such techniques for the efficient and comprehensive development of resources policies, and to make appropriate recommendations;
  • Disseminate the results of the Institute's research by undertaking educational and publication activities;
  • Complement the responsibilities of existing legal education institutions by providing a pool of expertise and talent in resources law, and to generally promote the effectiveness of resources law.

As well as contributing to the work of governments, universities and the legal industry, the Institute assists the public by providing independent studies that are balanced, well-researched views of the legal problems involved in the management of natural resources.

The Institute was incorporated on the basis of a proposal prepared by a Study Team convened by the Faculty of Law at the University of Calgary. The Institute continues to work in close association with the Faculty of Law, although it is managed by its own Board of Directors and has a separate affiliation agreement with the University of Calgary.

The Institute is supported by grants and contracts from the Alberta Law Foundation, the Government of Canada, provincial and territorial governments, other foundations, and the private sector.