- About -
Olga Koubrak, BA/BPHE, JD, LLM
Legal Advisor, PhD Candidate (Dalhousie)
My name is Olga. I'm a lawyer who fell in love with sea turtles and switched practice areas from business to conservation. I'm not a diver. And I haven't snorkelled in years. But I laugh and fill with wonder when I see pictures and videos of marine life. That’s a downside of being a lawyer – I very rarely see sharks, turtles, whales and sawfish. It was too late for me to re-train as a marine biologist or a veterinary after years in law school, articling, writing the bar exams, finding a job and practicing. So I stuck with law. I actually like law; it’s a good fit for me.
Since completing my master of laws thesis on the international legal frameworks protecting critically endangered sawfishes in the Caribbean, I’ve been actively involved in promoting protection in priority countries. I stayed at Dalhousie for my PhD and got experience in major interdisciplinary research projects looking at the Regional Fisheries Management Organizations (RFMOs) regime as well as whale protection in Canada. My thesis critically reviews the operations of the biodiversity protocols under the UNEP's Regional Seas Programme.
SeaLife Law was initially envisioned as a Caribbean environmental legal clinic that provides free legal information to grassroots conservation groups and introduces law students to the subject. I’m not longer certain if the clinic model is feasible, but regardless, I’m less attached to a model than to the objectives I hope to achieve through SeaLife Law.
- Countries fulfill their international environmental law commitments;
- National environmental laws are accessible in an easy-to-understand language;
- They are drafted with input from a broad range of stakeholders and respect customs of affected communities;
- Violations of environmental laws are taken seriously by the justice systems; and
- Environmental law is a viable career path for lawyers in the Caribbean region.
Thank you for learning about SeaLife Law! Fair winds and following seas to you on your journey.