Quick Links

Institute of Air and Space Law

McGill University's Institute of Air and Space Law has a rich history of education, public service and scholarship. Its loyal graduates today serve in some of the highest legal positions in the bar, the industry, and governmental institutions in some 120 nations around the world. Read more...

The IASL celebrates 65 Years of Excellence in Air and Space Law!

The Institute of Air and Space Law is turning 65 this year, and is still going strong!

Since 1951, the Instute has trained 1,000 specialists in air and space law from all over the world. Today, the IASL is undoubtedly the most prominent and decorated educational and research institution in the world in the domain.

The countless events, seminars, conferences, and publications over the past sixty-five years are testament to the Institute's dynamism and commitment to outreach and innovative research. This year, we have a whole host activities to mark this special occasion.

We welcome you to join us in celebrating this special year and hope to see you at our events soon!


McGill University Officially Launches the MILAMOS Project

Professor Ram Jakhu launching the MILAMOS Project in front of a group of around 80 conference participants from all over the world.  At the opening of the 4th Manfred Lachs Conference on Conflicts in Space and the Rule of Law, representatives from McGill University and partner institution the University of Adelaide officially launched the interdisciplinary and international project to draft the McGill Manual on International Law Applicable to Military Uses of Outer Space (MILAMOS).

This unique project, which to date enjoys the support of the Government of Canada, the support of the International Committee of the Red Cross, as well as support from a growing number of international experts, aims to draft a widely-accepted manual clarifying the rules applicable to the military use of outer space. These rules would clarify and regulate the range of activities that can be conducted in times of peace, as well as in periods of tension and armed conflict. The Project is  made possible with financial contributions from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the Erin JC Arsenault Trust Fund at McGill University,  established to support initiatives and research into the peaceful uses of outer space and space governance.

The launch event was attended by over 80 people from all over the world. Underlining the importance and necessity of the MILAMOS Project were Dean Jutras welcoming participants and speaking about the contributions of the Institute and Centre as a hub for research and teaching in air and space law. Professor Ram Jakhu, Chair of the MILAMOS Project Management Board, Dr Dale Stephens, Editor-in-Chief of the Project and Director of the University of Adelaide's Research Unit on Military Law and Ethics (RUMLAE), Professor Paul Dempsey, Director of the Institute of Air and Space Law and the Centre for the Research in Air and Space Law, the Dean of McGill Faculty of Law, Professor Daniel Jutras, and McGill University's Vice Principal (Research and Innovations), Dr. Rosie Goldstein.

The Institute and Centre have long been a recognised hub for teaching, critical thinking and research in the field of air and space law, and the MILAMOS Project demonstrates the innovation and strength of these institutions. The project aims to ensure, for the sake of the long-term sustainability and peaceful uses of outer space, that all activities are governed by the rule of law.

Dr. Rosie Goldstein, Vice Principal (Innovations and Research), speaks about how proud McGill is to spearhead the project to produce the Manual on International Law Applicable to Military Uses of Outer Space. Dean Jutras expressed his support for the Institute and the Centre in spearheading the Project that will no doubt have great international influence on public policy-making and the legal regulation of affairs in outer space in years to come.  Dr. Goldstein made welcoming remarks, partly in French, and noted McGill University's pride in leading such a project. Additionally, Dr David Kendall, the incoming Chair of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, gave the Conference's Keynote Address and praised McGill and the University of Adelaide for their foresight in conceptualising and conceiving this groundbreaking and innovative project, particularly in the current geopolitical climate of "considerable distrust". Mr. Niklas Hedman, of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs, spoke about how the Project will address security and sustainability issues that will be a focus of the upcoming UNISPACE+50 event in 2018.

Much of the discussions at the Conference related to issues that will form the challenging concepts and developments that the MILAMOS Project aims to grapple with. The discussions, contacts and fruitful exchanges facilitated at the Conference provided the international community with ideas and means to recognise the legal restraints on conflicts in outer space, to promote a stable, rules-based global order in outer space and to reduce the impetus towards an arms race and conflict in outer space.

The official press statement regarding the MILAMOS Project is available in both English and French, and more information about the MILAMOS Project can be accessed at the dedicated MILAMOS website.

Volume XL of the Annals of Air and Space Law has been published!

In addition to dozens of articles written by experts in the domain of air and space law, this special volume of the Annals contains a focus section dedicated to the discussion on whether various military uses of outer space is compatible with the "peaceful uses" of outer space. For more information and a list of the articles, visit the Volume XL page.

IASL Association Annual Dinner

On 18 April  2016, the Institute of Air and Space Law Association held its Annual Dinner at the McGill Faculty Club.

It was a festive event to induct students of the class of 2015-2016 into the Association and mark the achievements of outgoing Director Professor Paul Dempsey. The IASL alumni and people in attendance also took a moment to remember the contributions of Dr Nicolas Mateesco Matte, who passed away earlier in the week.

Professor Paul Dempsey, the outgoing Director of the Institute of Air and Space Law, and future Director Professor Ram Jakhu exchange hand shakes and smiles at this festive occasion. 

The members of the class of 2015-2016 were inducted into the Institute of Air and Space Law Assosciation to become part of a growing family IASL graduates who are located all over the world.

More pictures can be seen here.

Obituary: Dr. Nicolas Mateesco Matte

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing away of Dr. Nicolas Mateesco Matte at the venerable age of 102 on 13 April 2016. Dr. Matte joins his dear wife Monica, deceased in 2008, and leaves behind his daughter Anne-Karyne (Jacques Latreille) and his son Daniel, as well as his grandsons Jordan-Nicolas and Mikaël-Darcy.

At McGill, Dr. Matte was one of the great experts in air and space law, a prolific scholar, and a formidable figure – leading the Institute of Air and Space Law for fifteen years, between 1976 and 1991. A member of the Royal Society of Canada, Dr. Matte was also chevalier de la Légion d’honneur, a Commander of the National Order of Romania, and an Officer of the Order of Canada.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Nicolas Mateesco Matte Fellowship at McGill University's Faculty of Law (lauren [dot] donnelly [at] mcgill [dot] ca 514-398-2770).

Focus online (Jan. 2014): Happy 100th birthday, Professor Matte!

Globe and Mail (24 May 2016): Nicolas Mateesco Matte: Romanian émigré became eminent legal expert

10 May 2016: Summit on Legal Developments in the Airline Industry

Shanghai, China

Organized by McGill University and the East China University of Political Science & Law.

File 2016 International Forum on Aviation Law (Shanghai) Registration Form


20 May 2016: Ninth Annual Conference on International Aviation Law and Insurance

Edinburgh, Scotland

Organized by McGill University and PEOPIL, this event brings together world-leading aviation liability and insurance experts to address the following topics:

  • Recent Developments  in Aviation Liability and Insurance
  • Comparative Jurisprudence under the Warsaw System and the Montreal Convention of 1999
  • Jurisdiction & Forum Non Conveniens
  • Liability of Airlines, Airports, Lessors, Manufacturers, Maintenance Providers & ANSPs
  • Challenges of Settlement

Download latest version of programme (28 April 2016) and registration form:  File programme_aviation_edinburgh_2016_conference_4may16.docx

This event is sponsored by:


27-28 May 2016: 4th Manfred Lachs International Conference on Conflicts in Space and the Rule of Law

Montreal, Canada (Best Western Ville Marie Hotel)

This 4th Annual Manfred Lachs Conference will address issues related to the state of the art in current and future military and security technologies and activities, the development of military policies and doctrines, the challenges and risks they represent in terms of space security, the national exploitation of space natural resources, space sustainability, and the peaceful uses of outer space for the benefit of all. In addition, presentation will address the adequacy and inadequacy of the current rules of international space law, public international law, and international humanitarian law, with respect to conflict avoidance in outer space.

For more information, please visit the 4th Manfred Lachs Conference page.

You can now register online: bookstore.mcgill.ca/mlc2016

Should you have any question, mlc [dot] iasl [at] mcgill [dot] ca (please contact Maria Manoli).



30 May-3 June 2016 – 3rd Strategic Space Law program

Montreal, Canada (Best Western Ville Marie Hotel)

The McGill University, Centre for Research in Air and Space Law, and the University of Adelaide Law School (Australia) are organizing the 3rd Annual Strategic Space Law Program. This Program is a one-week intensive, interdisciplinary, international and interactive program designed for lawyers and other professionals in the defense services, international relations, government, international organizations, law firms, consulting firms and industry interested in studying space law from a strategic perspective. The Program will follow the 4th Manfred Lachs Conference.

Program Highlights

  • 25 core lectures from experts on the concepts, principles and rules involved in the various disciplines that touch on Strategic Space Law.
  • 10 Hands-on practical exercises linked to lectures, on topics such as diplomatic negotiations, aerospace traffic management, military use of spectrum, space debris and simulated legal, policy and commercial problem-solving and debate.
  • Social and other networking activities.

We have now a PDF icon preliminary program and timetable with registration form [.pdf] available (as of March 24, 2016) and a program explainer [.pdf].

UPDATE: online registration now open: bookstore.mcgill.ca/sslp2016

Should you have any question, please contact Maria Manoli at mlc [dot] iasl [at] mcgill [dot] ca.

4-8 July 2016: Workshop on Aviation Law for Regulators


Organized by McGill University and the Singapore Aviation Academy, this 4-day workshop provides a comprehensive and in-depth coverage on contemporary issues on aviation law for airport regulators and examine how the knowledge can be applied to protect the interests of the various airport stakeholders.  

Upon completion of this workshop, you will be able to:

  • Understand contemporary issues in aviation;
  • Understand the legal and regulatory framework;
  • Examine the common and new challenges faced by regulators of airport operators, aircraft manufacturers, air navigation service providers(ANSPs), and airlines;
  • Apply legal knowledge in decision making and protect the public interest of the relevant stakeholders.

The workshop will be taught by Professor Paul Dempsey, Professor Ludwig Webber, and Ms Kate Markhvida.

Download the Aviation Law Workshop description and program [.pdf]

Download the PDF registration file from saa.caas.gov.sg

Good news from the Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court Competition

Maria Manoli, Aram Daniel Kerkonian, Julius Dunton and Ted Adam Newsome.

McGill’s Institute of Air and Space Law (IASL) Team won the North American Round of the Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court Competition, where it competed against 11 other schools, mainly from the US. The competition took place 1-2 April 2016 in Washington, DC.

The McGill Team successfully mooted over two days and won each and every match it participated in. The final round was judged by Senior Counsels of NASA and Lockheed Martin. In addition, team member Aram Daniel Kerkonian won the best oralist award and our memorials were graded to have the overall highest score amongst all competing teams.

The Team is composed of Aram Daniel Kerkonian, Ted Adam Newsome, and Julius Dunton. Maria Manoli, research assistant at the IASL, coached the team and Professor Ram Jakhu acted as the Faculty Advisor.  The McGill Team will now compete in the International Finals, representing North America, against the winners of the European, Asia-Pacific and African rounds, in Guadalajara, Mexico, in September 2016. The Final competition will be judged by three sitting judges of the International Court of Justice.


New Publications from the CRASL!


The Centre for Research in Air and Space Law is pleased to announce the publication of Global Space Governance, in its Monograph series, and of Unravelling Open Skies, which inaugurates the new Occasional Paper Series.

We invite you to take a look at the latest publications, which deal with the very topical matter of the governance of outer space activities and the debate and controversies surrounding alleged state-subsidies provided to Middle East carriers, and the access of low-cost carrier Norwegian International to the United States.

Ram Jakhu to head IASL for a year

The Faculty of Law is pleased to announce that Professor Ram Jakhu has been appointed Director of the Research Center and the Institute of Air and Space Law (IASL), for a one-year term that will begin on 1 June 2016, when the outgoing director, Professor Paul S. Dempsey, will be stepping down.

“Our colleagues Paul Dempsey and Ram Jakhu have carried the IASL to new heights, in a competitive environment in which we have seen other Air and Space Law centers and institutes emerge elsewhere in Europe and America. Through their hard work, the IASL now works closely with international organizations, including the United Nations, on a broad range of public policy, research and educational initiatives addressing the regulatory regime of aviation, and an optimal governance regime for outer space,” said Dean Daniel Jutras. “And we know how vibrant and loyal the IASL alumni community is, increasing the Institute’s visibility around the world.”

Keep reading...

Congratulations, Md Tanveer Ahmad!

The IASL is pleased to announce that Md Tanveer Ahmad, LLM'10, successfully defended his doctoral thesis on 21 January 2016.

His thesis, which was written under the supervision of Professor Paul Dempsey, is titled “Toward governing emissions from aviation that contribute to climate change and global warming.” Bravo to our newest DCL!

Great news! Our books can now be purchased online!

We are pleased to announce that publications of the Centre for Research in Air and Space Law, including the latest volumes of the Annals of Air and Space Law, are now available for purchase online. In cooperation with the McGill Bookstore, these publications can be purchased and delivered to you promptly all with a few clicks of the button. 

Older volumes of the Annals will gradually also be made available for purchase online. Over the coming period, the website will also feature a searchable index for users to find and access individual articles based on the topic and/or name of the author. These developments will prove to be of great convenience to readers and researchers, so we hope you will make the most use of these new features.

To purchase our publications, visit our McGill Bookstore page.

Celebrating 60 years at the IASL

The Institute of Air and Space Law looks back on a rich history of over 60 years of education, public service and scholarship. Over 900 of its loyal graduates today serve in some of the highest legal positions; at the bar, in the industry; and for governmental and international agencies in some 120 nations around the world. Come and join us at the IASL!