Natasha Affolder


LLB (Alberta), BCL (Oxford), D.Phil. (Law) (Oxford)
Member of the Bar, Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Tel: 604.822.0734
Office: Allard Hall, room 264


Professor Affolder’s teaching and research in the areas of transnational law and environmental governance address some of the most challenging and complex issues of our time. Her scholarship seeks to illuminate a number of ‘unseen’ and ‘less examined’ dimensions of transnational environmental law and practice. This has led her to dissect the drafting choices in forest carbon contracts, and to uncover the significance of ‘business’ interactions with environmental issues through mechanisms missed by the ‘bright light’ focus on large transnational corporations. Her research reveals the ‘private lives’ of international treaties. Across legal fields, she is investigating how legal ideas travel and the consequences of law’s unexpected ‘infectious tendencies’. Beyond the law, this work challenges scholars and policymakers to resist the temptation to uncritically export boiled down versions of ‘lessons learned’ and ‘best practices’.

Professor Affolder is a Professor at the Allard School of Law and serves as the School’s Associate Dean Research & International. Committed to research conversations that span disciplines, she is a Faculty Associate at the Institute for Resources, Environment & Sustainability and the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies. Professor Affolder’s first law degree is from the University of Alberta. Her Bachelor of Civil Law (BCL) and doctorate in law were completed at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar.

Natasha is a leader in environmental law education. She has opened up the field to a more diverse group of students and is committed to the thoughtful creativity that excellent pedagogy demands.  She is a sought-after and frequent panelist, keynote speaker and commentator within the academy, and outside. Professor Affolder has put her scholarly expertise to work as an advisor to First Nations, environment and development NGO’s, and governments, both in Canada and internationally. She has taught in the Asian Development Bank’s Environmental Law Champions ‘Train the Trainers’ program in Thailand and offered judicial training on sustainability and law. Prior to joining the University of British Columbia, Natasha was a lawyer in private practice in Boston, Massachusetts with the firms Hill & Barlow, and (what is now) DLA Piper. She also held a research associate position at Harvard Business School and consulted for Oxfam International, working to integrate gender and development law perspectives in the negotiations leading to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

Natasha's recent research appears in leading law reviews including the American Journal of International Law, the Leiden Journal of International Law, the Chicago Journal of International Law, UBC Law Review, and the McGill Law Journal.  Among her professional activities, Natasha is an expert advisory board member of the journals Transnational Environmental Law, and the McGill Journal of International Sustainable Development Law. She serves on the editorial board of the Chinese Journal of Environmental Law and Edward Elgar’s IUCN Academy of Environmental Law Book Series. She is the recipient of numerous awards including, UBC's Killam Faculty Research Fellowship

For Professor Affolder's publications available on SSRN, go here:

Selected publications are also listed on the Law Library Faculty Research Publications Database.