Dr. Rudiger P. Tscherning, PhD

Rudiger Tscherning

Associate Professor

Faculty of Law

Media contacts

Ali Abel, MPR, CMP
Manager, Marketing & Communications
Faculty of Law

O: 403.210.8720
C: 403.630.1232


Educational Background

PhD Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg, 2019

LLM Climate Change and Energy Law and Policy, The Centre for Energy, Petroleum and Mineral Law and Policy, University of Dundee, 2011

LLM International Commercial Law, The University of Nottingham, 2003

LLB Trinity College Dublin, 2002


Dr. Rudiger Tscherning joined the Faculty of Law in July 2016. He is a PhD graduate of the Institute for Comparative Law, Conflict of Laws and International Business Law at the Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg and is a former research fellow of the Canadian Institute of Resources Law.

Prior to his PhD studies at the University of Heidelberg, Dr. Tscherning was the founding Executive Director of the Center for Energy and Sustainability Law at Qatar University College of Law, where he also was a Lecturer of Law teaching in energy and sustainability law and policy. Before joining academia, Rudiger practiced as a solicitor in London, England and was called to the Law Society of England and Wales in 2007.

During his time in Qatar, Rudiger acted as legal consultant to the Ministry of Environment of the State of Qatar, the United States Department of Commerce Commercial Law Development Program (CLDP), the World Bank, and Qatar Diar Vinci Construction. While in the Middle East, he initiated a number of academic conferences and programs, including the first regional academic conference on renewable energy and nuclear law and policy; a conference on the UNFCCC Clean Development Mechanism and gas flaring in the MENA oil and gas sector; and a series of professional legal education courses in collaboration with the University of Houston Law Center and the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators (AIPN) Middle East Chapter.

Since joining the University of Calgary, Tscherning has secured research funding from the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, the Canadian Foundation for Legal Research, and the Alberta Law Foundation. He was awarded the Faculty of Law's Stikeman Elliott LLP Fellowship in Corporate Law in 2018 and in 2020. 

Dr. Tscherning received honorable mention for a University of Calgary Sustainability Teaching Award in the spring of 2020, in recognition of his efforts of embedding sustainability and the principles of the UN Sustainable Development Goals 2030 in his law courses. 

Research Activities 

Dr. Tscherning researches and teaches in the areas of domestic and international energy and natural resources law, infrastructure and construction law, and private international law. His activities are focused on clean energy, including renewables and nuclear law; the construction of critical infrastructure; climate adaptation of infrastructure; private international law (the conflict of laws); and the transportation of energy and commodities.

Prospective Graduate Students

Dr. Tscherning currently accepts graduate research supervision solicitations in topics related to clean and alternative energy law, and to private international law only. A sought-after, discerning, and rigorous graduate supervisor, Dr. Tscherning will not accept solicitations for graduate supervision unless they are specific to these areas of research focus. Please note that a minimum academic standing for consideration of graduate supervision by Dr. Tscherning is a First Class Honours/GPA of 3.85 ranking or equivalent at the JD, LLB or equivalent law degree. To provide his students with the best possible graduate experience, Dr. Tscherning typically supervises no more than one graduate thesis student per academic year at the University of Calgary.


Areas of Research

Critical Infrastructure and Construction Law, Transportation of Energy and Commodities, Clean Energy, Renewable Energy and Nuclear Energy Law, The Conflict of Laws (Private International Law), Climate Adaptation of Critical Energy Infrastructure

Participation in university strategic initiatives


Course number Course title Semester
LAW 403 Legislation
LAW 613 Conflict of Laws
LAW 617 Alternative Energy Law
Law 640 Energy Transportation and Infrastructure Law


  • "Developing a Canadian Clean Hydrogen Economy: Maximising the Export Potential". Rudiger Tscherning. Oil, Gas and Energy Law Journal 1, Special Issue on the Hydrogen Economy. (2021)
  • "Navigating the Emerging Lithium Rush: lithium extraction from brines for clean-tech battery storage technologies". Rudiger Tscherning and Brady Chapman. 39(1) Journal of Energy & Natural Resources Law 13. (2021)
  • "Climate Litigation and the Class Action Mechanism — The Potential Role of the UN Sustainable Development Goals". Rudiger Tscherning. 33:2 Journal of Environmental Law and Practice. (2020)
  • "The Role of Cross-Border Energy Infrastructure in Accelerating Germany’s Energy Diversification and Renewable Energy Expansion: Implications for Alberta’s Energy Transition". Rudiger Tscherning. Canadian Institute of Resources Law, Occasional Paper #72. (2020)
  • "Corporate Risk and Climate Impacts to Critical Energy Infrastructure in Canada". Rudiger Tscherning. 42:2 Dalhousie Law Journal. (2019)
  • "Construction Disputes in Major Infrastructure Deliveries: Lessons from the United Kingdom for the Introduction of Statutory Adjudication in Canada". Rudiger Tscherning. 18 Asper Rev of International Business and Trade Law. (2018)
  • "De-Escalating Construction Disputes in Major Infrastructure Delivery". Rudiger Tscherning. 121 Resources Law. (2018)
  • "Nuclear Law and Policy". Rudiger Tscherning and Paul Rice, Pinsent Masons LLP. 11:1 Oil, Gas and Energy Law Journal 1, Special Issue on Nuclear Law and Policy. (2013)
  • "Transportable Nuclear Power Plants for Natural Resources Extraction in the Arctic – International Environmental, Proliferation and Security Concerns". Rudiger Tscherning. 10:2 Oil, Gas and Energy Law Journal 1, Special Issue on Polar Energy Law. (2012)
  • "The European Offshore Supergrid and the Expansion of Offshore Wind Energy in Germany, Ireland and the United Kingdom – Legal, Political and Practical Challenges Part I". Rudiger Tscherning. 20:3 European Energy and Environmental Law Review. (2011)
  • "The European Offshore Supergrid and the Expansion of Offshore Wind Energy in Germany, Ireland and the United Kingdom – Legal, Political and Practical Challenges, Part II". Rudiger Tscherning. 20:4 European Energy and Environmental Law Review. (2011)
  • "The European Union Emission Trading Scheme Rules on Carbon Leakage and Energy Intensive Industry in the Federal Republic of Germany". Rudiger Tscherning. 20:1 European Energy and Environmental Law Review 2. (2011)
  • "Long-Term Liabilities for Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage in Germany: What Contribution can Legal Developments in the USA Make to a Revised Draft Carbon Capture and Storage Law?". Rudiger Tscherning. 14 CEPMLP Annual Review of Energy, Petroleum and Mineral Law and Policy. (2011)
  • "Decommissioning Oil and Gas Installations in the North Sea: To What Extent Should the United Kingdom Experience Influence the Decommissioning Regime for Offshore Wind Energy Installations on the United Kingdom Continental Shelf?". Rudiger Tscherning. 14 CEPMLP Annual Review of Energy, Petroleum and Mineral Law and Policy. (2011)
  • "Indirect Expropriation of Carbon-Intensive Investments and the Fair and Equitable Treatment Standard in International Investment Arbitration: A Commentary on the Pending Vattenfall v Federal Republic of Germany Dispute". Rudiger Tscherning. 14 CEPMLP Annual Review of Energy, Petroleum and Mineral Law and Policy. (2011)
  • Construction Disputes in International Energy and Natural Resources Infrastructure Project Delivery. Rudiger Tscherning. Verlag Dr Kovac. (2020)
  • "Canada’s Emerging LNG Export Industry and the Project Approval Challenge". Rudiger Tscherning. in Oyewunmi, T. et al. (eds.), Decarbonisation and the Energy Industry: Law, Policy and Regulation in Low-Carbon Energy Markets. (2020)
  • "Transportable Nuclear Power Plants – An Update on Regulatory Responses in International Nuclear Law". Rudiger Tscherning. in Proceedings of the International Nuclear Law Association Conference 2013. (2014)
  • "Renewable Energy for Food and Water Security in Dry-Land Countries: A Model Legal Framework for the Qatar National Food Security Programme". Rudiger Tscherning. in Talus, K. (ed.), Handbook on International Energy Law. (2013)
  • "The Business of Hydrogen: A Focus on Canada and Japan", November 9, 2021, with The Japan Society and BLG LLP (co-organiser and presenter). (2021)
  • "Commercializing Resilient Global Food Systems - International and Climate Law Challenges and Opportunities for Alberta's Ag Sector", Hunter Hub for Entrepreneurial Thinking, University of Calgary, October 6, 2021 (presenter). (2021)
  • "Towards Net-Zero: Low Carbon and Clean Tech Innovations for Alberta’s Energy Transition", Canadian Institute of Resources Law, Webinar. (2021)
  • "The Business of Hydrogen: A Focus on Canada and Germany", April 12, 2021, with BLG LLP, Bird & Bird LLP, German Institute for International and Security Affairs, and Cummins (co-organiser and presenter). (2021)
  • "There must be Something in the Water. Let’s Talk Hydrogen", Virtual Panel Event with Alberta’s Associate Minister of Natural Gas and Electricity, McMillan LLP . (2021)
  • "Corporate Risk and Climate Impacts to Critical Energy Infrastructure in Canada". Canadian Bar Association, Environmental Law Section – Alberta South. (2020)
  • "Class actions in Canada: Finding a safe space for mass environmental and climate justice tort claims". Second Canadian Law of Obligations Conference. (2019)
  • "Risks and resilience in climate adaptation of critical energy infrastructure – the adaptive corporation”. Dalhousie University Schulich School of Law Purdy Crawford Business Law Workshop. (2018)
  • "De-escalating Construction Disputes in Major Infrastructure Delivery: Lessons from the United Kingdom as Canada moves to Statutory Dispute Adjudication”, he Asper Review of International Business and Trade Law’s 4th Annual INTLaw Conference. (2018)
  • "Climate Change, Resources and Infrastructure Use", William & Mary Law School and the World Resources Institute, Washington D.C. (2014)
  • "Transportable Nuclear Power Plants – the Need for a Global Legal Framework?", International Nuclear Law Association (INLA) International Nuclear Law Conference. (2013)
  • "Best Case Practices in Renewable Energy for the GCC", Second Qatar Alternative Energy Investor Summit. (2013)
  • "Opportunities and Challenges of Nuclear Energy in the Middle East", Power-Gen Middle East Conference. (2013)
  • "Renewable Energy Policy and Law Roadmap for the State of Qatar", World Future Energy Summit Abu Dhabi. (2012)

More Information

Dr. Tscherning's Teaching Philosophy

Based on my research and teaching interests as well as my professional experience, my teaching philosophy is closely connected to the global energy industry and to the practice of energy law. In the first instance, my philosophy is influenced by the foundational question of what “energy” is. For me, the multi-faceted question of “energy” is one of the fundamental challenges of any society. It is a question at the forefront of how human societies and industries have been, currently are, and will be shaped in the future. What has attracted me to the energy industry is that energy is, in many ways, the gateway to all aspects of our global society and economic activity. I view the question of energy as a truly global topic. This makes teaching in energy-related subjects real and tangible, and dynamic and exciting.

At the same time, my experience as a lawyer in private practice taught me that my academic and scholarly activities must make real impact on my students, the legal profession and the wider community. But how can something as “truly global” as the laws pertaining to the energy and natural resources sectors be reconciled with what Northwestern University Professor Carole Silver, a recognized legal education expert, calls the “uniquely local” nature of the law? For me, an overarching motivation is to deconstruct “local” law for my students and to expose its broader regional and international economic, social, and political dimensions.

Teaching and researching on the local, regional and global challenges of the energy and natural resources sectors allows me to make an important impact on my students. In these efforts, I am reminded of Jean Monnet, a fellow European, who once noted that: “Nothing is possible without [people]; nothing is lasting without institutions.” In this context, I read people as future lawyers, and institutions as the institutions of the law and legal systems. To drive any and all economic and societal change, such as the global energy transition, we must have legal capacity. Hence, my teaching philosophy is about building this capacity. As an educator, my goal is to help:

Build the practice-ready local, regional and international lawyer. In short, to help foster the truly global lawyer.