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Stepan Wood

Archived Content

Osgoode Law

Associate Professor
Osgoode Hall Law School
322 Osgoode
Tel: 416-736-5036

Summary Biography
Stepan Wood (B.A., LL.B. York, S.J.D. Harvard) is an Associate Professor at Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, where he teaches environmental and international law and serves as Law Faculty coordinator of York University’s LL.B./Master in Environmental Studies combined program. His research deals with, among other things, corporate social responsibility, the ISO 14000 environmental management standards, global environmental governance and Canadian environmental law.

Research Interests
Environmental law; environmental politics; globalization; international law; sustainability; corporate social responsibility; regulation theory; governance theory; transnational private governance; law and society; legal pluralism.

Current Projects
During academic year 2004–05, Stepan is a Virtual Scholar in Residence with the Law Commission of Canada (, helping the Commission prepare a public Discussion Paper on “Governing Beyond Borders”. The project examines the challenge of governing globalization in a Canadian context, with a focus on its implications for law and legal systems.

Stepan is conducting a three-year research project (2004–07) on the implications of corporate social responsibility standards currently being developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). The project, entitled “Governing Global Business in a Post-Regulatory Era: The International Organization for Standardization and Global Standards for Corporate Social Responsibility,” is funded by a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Standard Research Grant.

He is also a member of a research team based at Osgoode Hall Law School investigating the role of citizen engagement in the development of biotechnology law and policy in Canada. This one-year project (2004–05) is funded by the Law Commission of Canada and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada as part of their Relationships in Transition research program. The theme of this year’s competition is “The Environment: Emerging Scientific Knowledge and Managing Legal Risk”. Other team members are Roxanne Mykitiuk (Osgoode), Liora Salter (Osgoode/Faculty of Environmental Studies), Dayna Scott (Ph.D. candidate, Osgoode) and Jeff Nisker (University of Western Ontario, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry).

Stepan also maintains an active research and professional interest in environmental management system (EMS) standards. He is vice-chair of the Canadian national standards committee dealing with EMSs and a regular Canadian delegate to international meetings of the ISO Technical Committee responsible for the ISO 14000 standards. His principal research interest in EMS standards concerns their implications for environmental governance, in particular their characteristics and effects as a form of regulation in their own right, as well as their relation to official government regulation, both domestic and international.

Selected Publications
Richardson, Benjamin J. and Stepan Wood, eds. (forthcoming 2006) Environmental Law for Sustainability: A Critical Reader (Oxford: Hart)

Wood, Stepan (forthcoming 2005) “Three Questions About Corporate Codes: Problematizations, Authorizations and the Public/Private Divide,” in Wesley Cragg, ed., Ethics Codes: The Regulatory Norms of a Global Society? (Aldershot, UK: Edward Elgar, in press) 245–288

Wood, Stepan (2004) “The Role of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in Governing Environmental Conflict and Corporate Social Responsibility in Developing Countries: Questions for Research” in Beatriz Londoño Toro, ed., Propriedad, Conflicto y Medio Ambiente (Bogotá: Universidad del Rosario) 15–56

Wood, Stepan (2004) “Canada’s ‘Forgotten Forests’: Or, How Ottawa is Failing Local Communities and the World in Peri-Urban Forest Protection,”Journal of Environmental Law and Practice 14: 217–250

Wood, Stepan (2004) “Commentary: Toward a Counterdisciplinary Agenda for Research in International Law and International Relations,” in Proceedings of the 31st Annual Conference of the Canadian Council on International Law (The Hague: Kluwer Law International) 260–273

Wood, Stepan (2003) “Green Revolution or Greenwash? Voluntary Environmental Standards, Public Law and Private Authority in Canada,” in Law Commission of Canada (ed.) New Perspectives on the Public-Private Divide (Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press) 123–165

Wood, Stepan (2003) “La révolution verte est-elle diluée? Les normes environnementales volontaires, le droit public et l’autorité du privé au Canada” dans Commission du droit du Canada (dir.) La réforme du droit et la frontière entre le public et le privé (Québec: Les presses de l’Université Laval) 183–247

Wood, Stepan (2003) “Sustainability in International Law”, in UNESCO Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems, article no., online:

Wood, Stepan (2002-03) “Environmental Management Systems and Public Authority in Canada: Rethinking Environmental Governance,” 10 Buffalo Environmental LawJournal 129–210

Wood, Stepan (2001) “The High Price of Habitat Protection” 27(3) Alternatives: Environmental Thought, Policy and Action (Summer 2001) 9–11

Slaughter, Anne-Marie, Andrew S. Tulumello and Stepan Wood (1998) “International Law and International Relations Theory: A New Generation of Interdisciplinary Scholarship” 92 American Journal of International Law 367–397

Wood, Stepan (1997) “Renegades and Vigilantes in Multilateral Environmental Regimes: Lessons of the 1995 ‘Turbot War’,” in Lawrence Susskind et al. (eds.), Innovations in International Environmental Negotiation (Cambridge, MA: Harvard Program on Negotiation, 1997) 184–200

Stepan is an associate professor at Osgoode Hall Law School. He received his B.A.(Hons.) in International Relations from York University in 1988 and his LL.B. from Osgoode in 1992, where he graduated as Gold Medalist. Stepan worked as a law clerk to the late Justice John Sopinka of the Supreme Court of Canada in 1992–93, after which he practiced law with the New York-based global law firm White & Case for two years, concentrating on international commercial arbitration and domestic antitrust and commercial litigation. Stepan conducted his graduate studies at Harvard Law School under the supervision of professors Anne-Marie Slaughter, David Kennedy and the late Abram Chayes. He completed his doctoral dissertation, a Foucaultian analysis of the ISO 14000 environmental management system standards, in 2003. He joined the faculty of Osgoode Hall Law School in 1997. He is a member of the bar of New York.

Web Links
Stepan’s home page,

Osgoode Hall Law School’s main page,