Jaye Ellis

Associate Professor,
McGill University

Faculty of Law
E-mail: jaye.ellis@mcgill.ca
Institution page


D.C.L. (McGill University) Thesis: Soft Law as Topos: The Role of Principles of Soft Law in the Development of International Environmental Law 1997-2001
Karl-Ruprechts-Universitat Heidelberg, German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) Scholarship Holder, 1999-2000
LL.M. (University of British Columbia) 1995-97
LL.B. and B.C.L. (McGill University) 1988-92
B.A.(Hons), (University of Calgary) 1984-88


Professor Jaye Ellis explores how people use rules and principles to solve problems and understand their environments. Specifically, she investigates how environmental rules come into being and influence actors, and how environmental issues affect public international law. Her doctoral thesis, Soft Law as Topos: The Role of Principles of Soft Law in the Development of International Environmental Law, examines international environmental law principles and their influence on the development of international regimes for environmental protection. In “The Precautionary Principle in International Law: Lessons from Fuller’s Internal Morality”, a paper published in the McGill Law Journal, she developed research questions, a new analytical perspective, and a theoretical and pragmatic approach to the precautionary principle. Her joint appointment with the School of Environment places her in constant contact with fellow scholars in Law and Environment, allowing her research and her teaching to extend beyond disciplinary boundaries.

QCBS students

Previous students (since 2009)

Caroline Haywood

(Start: 2011, End: 2013)
Filling the gap: The role of transnational sub-national government networks in a multilevel global climate change regime


24- Legalization in international environmental law
Ellis J ,
2018 The Changing Practices of International Law (Date Added: 2018-06-03)

23- Form meets function: The culture of formalism and international environmental regimes
2017 The Law of International Lawyers: Reading Martti Koskenniemi (Date Added: 2018-05-23)

22- Form Meets Function: The Culture of Formalism and International Environmental Regimes
Ellis, J
2017 SSRN Electronic Journal (Date Added: 2018-05-14)

21- Scientific expertise and transnational standards: Authority, legitimacy, validity
Ellis J ,
2017 Transnational Legal Theory (Date Added: 2017-11-07)

20- The Role of Translation in Transnational Governance
Ellis J ,
2017 Tilburg Law Review (Date Added: 2017-10-28)

19-Political economy and environmental law: a cost-benefit analysis
Ellis J ,
2016 Research Handbook on Political Economy and Law ( Date Added: 2018-05-14)

18- Stateless law: From legitimacy to validity
Ellis J ,
2015 Stateless Law: Evolving Boundaries of a Discipline (Date Added: 2016-01-06)

17- Constitutionalization of Nongovernmental Certification Programs
Ellis, J
2013 Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies (Date Added: 2014-03-31)

16- The King Is Dead, Long Live the King? A Reply to Matthias Goldmann
Ellis, J
2012 Leiden Journal of International Law (Date Added: 2012-09-15)

15- Shades of Grey: Soft Law and the Validity of Public International Law
Ellis, J
2012 Leiden Journal of International Law (Date Added: 2012-05-22)

14- Extraterritorial Exercise of Jurisdiction for Environmental Protection: Addressing Fairness Concerns
Ellis, J
2012 Leiden Journal of International Law (Date Added: 2012-05-22)

13- General Principles and Comparative Law
Ellis, J
2011 European Journal of International Law (Date Added: 2012-09-15)

12- Sustainable Development and Fragmentation in International Society
Ellis, J
2010 Global justice and sustainable development (Date Added: 2012-09-15)

11- On the Nature and Meaning of International Legal Obligation: Canada’s Response to Kyoto
Ellis, J
2010 Is our house in order? Canada's implementation of international law (Date Added: 2012-09-15)

10- The Precautionary Principle and Risk Communication”
Ellis, J, Maguire, S
2009 Handbook of risk and crisis communication (Date Added: 2012-09-15)

9- Fisheries Conservation in an Anarchical System: A Comparison of Rational Choice and Constructivist Perspectives
Ellis, J
2007 Journal of International Law and International Relations (Date Added: 2012-09-15)

8- Overexploitation of a Valuable Resource? New Literature on the Precautionary Principle
Ellis, J
2006 European Journal of International Law (Date Added: 2011-05-17)

7-Redistributing the burden of scientific uncertainty: Implications of the precautionary principle for state and nonstate actors
Maguire, S, Ellis, J
2005 Global Governance ( Date Added: 2011-04-12)

6- Mapping of marine soft-sediment communities: Integrated sampling for ecological interpretation
Hewitt, JE, Thrush, SF, Legendre, P, Funnell, GA, Ellis, J, Morrison, M
2004 Ecological Applications (Date Added: 2011-08-11)

5-Precautionary Principle in International Law: Lessons from Fuller's Internal Morality, The
Ellis, J, FitzGerald, A
2003 McGill LJ ( Date Added: 2011-05-17)

4- The precautionary principle and global chemical risk management: Some insights from the case of persistent organic pollutants
Maguire, S, Ellis, J
2003 Greener Management International (Date Added: 2011-04-12)

2- International regimes and the legitimacy of rules: A discourse-ethical approach
Ellis, J
2002 Alternatives (Date Added: 2011-04-12)

1- The straddlings stocks agreement and the precautionary principle as interpretive device and rule of law
Ellis, J
2001 Ocean Development and International Law (Date Added: 2011-04-12)

In the media

The next mass extinction event
(Parages, Cedric) 2016-11-21

Jaye Ellis Appointed Acting Director of School of Environment
McGill Channel 2015-03-24

Payer pour travailler ?
Le Délit (Lapierre, Stephany) 2013-11-05

Jaye Ellis: Lire avec intention
McGill 2012-10-31