University of Calgary

Property rights

October 19, 2009

Law professor tackles property rights

Barry Barton
Barry Barton is an expert on energy, natural resources and environmental law.
There is currently no agreement as to whether oil, gas, water and fisheries should be private or public property. Publicly-owned natural resources such as minerals are generally allocated under statutory licenses or permits that may include the setting or royalties and conditions of use.

New legislation is looking at this issue with not only fisheries and water laws, but also laws for tradable allowances to emit carbon dioxide or other pollutants.

Professor Barry Barton from the University of Waikato in New Zealand will be visiting the U of C law school to discuss this contentious issue in a lecture entitled “Statutory rights to oil and gas, water and fisheries: are they private property?” Barton researches the approach that the courts take to the relationship between property and legislation in different common law countries.

His talk will take place on Tuesday, Oct. 20, from 12:15 p.m. to 2 p.m., in Murray Fraser Hall 2370. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Barton is a world-leading authority on energy, natural resources and environmental law. He graduated from the University of Auckland with a BA in geography and an LLB (Hons), and practiced law in Auckland for some years.

After completing an LLM at the University of British Columbia, he stayed in Canada to work at the Canadian Institute of Resources Law, based in the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Law. His research here over a period of seven years included the legal aspects of water, oil and gas, surface rights, northern and indigenous issues, and mining.

In 1991 he moved back to New Zealand to conduct research at the new School of Law at Waikato. He is the New Zealand member and chair of the Academic Advisory Group of the Section of Energy, Environment, Natural Resources and Infrastructure Law of the International Bar Association.

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