Jutta Brunnée

Jutta Brunnée

Faculty of Law


Professor Jutta Brunnée was born in Germany and earned a law degree and doctorate in law (summa cum laude) at Johannes-Gutenberg Universität in Mainz, and an LL.M. from Dalhousie University (1987). Her teaching career began at McGill University’s Faculty of Law (1990-1995), from where she moved to the Faculty of Law at the University of British Columbia (1995-2000). In July 2000, Professor Brunnée joined the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Law as the Metcalf Professor of Environmental Law, and has since served in additional capacities such as Associate Dean, Graduate Studies (2006; 2008; 2010-2014; 2017) and Interim Dean (2014).

She has received virtually every international honour in her field. She was elected to the Board of Editors of the American Journal of International Law (AJIL), the most respected and cited journal in the field, at a time when only a handful of non-Americans had served in the over a century of the journal’s history. She is one of very few scholars who has been awarded two Certificates of Merit by the American Society of International Law, most recently for her book International Climate Change Law (2017 – with Daniel Bodansky and Lavanya Rajamani) and for her earlier book Legitimacy and Legality in International Law: An Interactional Account (2010 – with Stephen Toope). In 2017, she was elected to the Institut de droit international and recently appointed as Co-Rapporteur for its new Commission on Harm Prevention Rules Applicable to the Global Commons. Last year, Professor Brunnée gave an invited course at the Hague Academy of International Law, the ultimate honour for an international lawyer.

Professor Brunnée has done discipline-shaping research in two fields: She is the world’s most significant scholar of international environmental law, and a leading figure in the general theory of international law. The combined power of her scholarship in these fields makes her work of the first importance to addressing global climate change. One of the foremost scholars of public international law, she has also been influential beyond her discipline in international relations scholarship. Building on her analysis of the distinctive issues raised by international environmental law, she has, together with Stephen Toope, developed a broader account of the emergence and stabilization of legal norms through practices, which illuminates difficult problems in such diverse areas as environmental lawmaking, climate change regime building, the rules governing human rights, and states’ use of force in self-defence or in humanitarian intervention.

In addition to more than 100 articles, book chapters and book reviews, Professor Brunnée has authored, coauthored, or co-edited seven books. She has been a Scholar-in-Residence at the Department of Foreign Affairs (1998-1999), providing legal advice in negotiations under the Climate Change and Biodiversity Conventions. In 2016, she was a Senior Research Fellow in the Research Group “The International Rule of Law: Rise or Decline” (Freie Universität, Humboldt Universität and the Universität Potsdam, Berlin).

Professor Brunnée’s research has been continuously funded by SSHRC since 1999. Her stature at the forefront internationally in each of her fields of research and her recognition beyond the discipline of law are reflected in the fact that she has co-edited the Yearbook of International Environmental Law (1997-2001), served on the Board of Editors of the American Journal of International Law (2006-2016) and serves on the board of the leading interdisciplinary journal International Theory (2007-). She was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 2013.