Book Review of Unnatural Law: Rethinking Canadian Environmental Law and Policy by David R. Boyd

Document Type

Book Review

Publication Date



Canada, Environmental Issues, International Efforts, Sustainability, Critique, Book Review


Unnatural Law is a critique of Canada's record of developing and implementing environmental legislation with an emphasis on the past decade. The author considers Canada's performance in the context of international efforts to address environmental issues and warning signs at home that Canadian society is heading in an unsustainable direction. In the process, he carries out an examination of the state of the environment in Canada, and provides an analysis of why there is good news in only a select few areas, and why Canada's record is clearly unimpressive on most environmental challenges facing this country. The final chapters of the book suggest a more sustainable way forward. By proposing to identify the problem, assess the causes, and propose solutions, the book sets a very ambitious agenda. In the process, it creates perhaps unreasonable expectations that the final chapters of the book cannot hope to meet completely.