Our Mission

Photo: Ian McAllister / Pacific Wild

We are CELL — the Pacific Centre for Environmental Law and Litigation.

CELL is a non-profit society incorporated under the laws of British Columbia and Canada’s first charity focused on training and inspiring Canada’s next generation of public interest environmental litigators.

As its founders, we bring to the table diverse experiences, perspectives and skillsets. Yet we are bound together by some core beliefs.

We believe that much more can and should be done to inspire, educate and equip junior lawyers and law students with the tools necessary to take on public interest environmental litigation work.

Opportunities for students to learn about litigation in a hands-on, real time setting while in law school are exceedingly rare; and even rarer in public interest environmental cases. If anything, for most young lawyers, once they are called to the Bar, exposure to the craft of litigation in a public interest setting diminishes further.

We believe that litigation is a fundamental lawyering skillset to which junior lawyers and law students deserve exposure in much more creative ways than currently exist in Canada.

Finally, we believe that public interest environmental litigation plays a key role in the Canadian society. Not only does such litigation promote access to justice for deserving individuals and organizations, it also disseminates emerging scientific knowledge and legal principles, and enhances public decision-making by holding powerful private and public interests to account under the rule of law.

CELL is founded upon and designed to serve these beliefs.

Accordingly, its mission is to be a vehicle for providing cutting-edge experiential opportunities for junior lawyers and law students to develop litigation skills. It will pursue this goal by offering students the opportunity to gain hands-on litigation experience working as part of a team on carefully selected and closely supervised public interest environmental cases that have strong experiential learning potential. By promoting access to justice and the rule of law today, and by training the public interest environmental lawyers of tomorrow, CELL will play a significant role in ensuring the future health and wellbeing of public interest environmental litigation in Canada.