The Institute of Air & Space Law and the Centre for Research in Air & Space Law

McGill University's Institute of Air & Space Law and its research arm, the Centre for Research in Air & Space Law, have a rich history of education, public service and scholarship.

Since 1951, the Institute 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. 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...


Latest news and announcements

Take a look at our the Events page for past and upcoming events, and the Press Room for past activities and news.


The Institute of Air and Space Law hosts an Air Law Conference and Alumni Reunion in Dublin, Ireland

IASL faculty and staff – and several of our students – were in Dublin, Ireland, from 17-21 October 2018 for two major events in the Institute’s calendar: the Eleventh Annual McGill/PEOPIL Conference on International Aviation Liability, Insurance & Finance, and the latest reunion of Europe-based IASL alumni. Featuring beautiful venues and the best of the famous Irish hospitality, both events proved hugely successful.

Participants at the Eleventh Annual McGill/PEOPIL Conference on International Aviation Liability, Insurance & Finance, held in Dublin, Ireland.

Eleventh Annual McGill/PEOPIL Conference on International Aviation Liability, Insurance & Finance:

The Conference was held within the spectacular complex of the National Gallery of Ireland in central Dublin, allowing the more than 130 delegates an opportunity to stroll through galleries showcasing Ireland’s finest painting and sculpture collection. Of particular note was the newly-opened 20-metre-high atrium that separates the old and new wings and that was the venue for coffee breaks and lunches. The Conference featured a packed schedule of 10 panels and 45 speakers over two days. As well as the well-recognised focus on current issues in private aviation law liability and litigation, a new dimension of the 2018 Conference was the inclusion of a high-level panel on “The Challenges of Aircraft Leasing and Finance” – tailored to Ireland’s status as one of the world’s leading aircraft finance jurisdictions. The Conference dinner at Dublin’s 19th Century St. Stephen’s Green Club was keynoted by Stephen Kavanagh, retiring CEO of the Irish national carrier Aer Lingus. After an introduction by the IASL Director, Professor Brian F. Havel, Mr. Kavanaugh made the case for why Aer Lingus has thrived in a very demanding economic environment, and outlined expansion plans including new services between Dublin and Montreal starting in 2019.

The Institute is extremely grateful to our Conference Sponsors:
Diamond (Clifford Law Offices), Gold (DLA Piper, Speiser Krause), Silver (Clyde & Co., PodhurstOrseck, Dillon Eustace, and Bronze (Arena Alvarez, Baumeister & Samuels, Kreindler & Kreindler).

The Twelfth Annual Conference, which will continue our Dublin focus on the three areas of aviation liability, insurance, and finance, will take place in Montreal, Canada, on 17-18 October 2018. The IASL is also very grateful to our European collaborator, PEOPIL, the Pan-European Organisation of Personal Injury Lawyers, with whom we are now already planning our Thirteenth Conference, in Prague, Czech Republic, in 2020.

IASL European Alumni Reunion:

On October 20, immediately following the Aviation Conference, 30 European-based IASL alumni gathered for a reception in the impressive setting of the Wellington Room of Dublin’s heritage Merrion Hotel (birthplace in a former existence of the Duke of Wellington), marking the latest in the IASL European alumni group’s ongoing series of reunions in different European cities. As well as exchanging professional news and ideas and hearing a report on the Institute from Director Brian F. Havel, the alumni were also treated to a brilliant lecture on the impact of Brexit on the border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland by Professor Imelda Maher, Sutherland Professor of Law and the first female Dean of the law school of University College Dublin.

The Dublin alumni event was held with the generous sponsorship of Ireland’s top aviation finance commercial law firm, A & L Goodbody. Firm chairman Catherine Duffy as well as firm events coordinator Eavan Sheehan were on hand to open the proceedings. The Institute is extremely appreciative of the support received from A & L Goodbody.

The general sentiment of the Dublin alumni group was that get-togethers of this kind have great social and professional value and it was resolved to host further events in the coming years, with Warsaw in 2019 emerging as the group favourite.

The Institute’s Dublin sojourn closed with a unique social occasion – all alumni and Conference attendees were invited to the private townhome of Dublin barristers Linda and Brian O’Shea-Farren for a gala evening of champagne, Irish cuisine, and – no other word describes it – the special kind of Irish merry-making that is called (in Gaelic) “craic.” Brian and Linda, whose home with the Tiffany blue door on Raglan Road has truly become a “salon” for all kinds of visitors from U.S. President Bill Clinton to leading Irish poets and musicians, were marvellous hosts for over 75 IASL guests from points all over the globe.

IASL European alumni at the recent reunion in Dublin, Ireland.

 


Conference on Legal Aspects of the Usages of Outer Space: Opportunities & Challenges

The Centre for Research in Air and Space Law is pleased to co-organise the conference on Legal Aspects of the Usages of Outer Space: Opportunities & Challenges with the College of Law of the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU). The Conference will be held on 20-21 November 2018, and will be held at UAEU, located in Al Ain, the United Arab Emirates.

The conference is the twenty-sixty annual international conference of the UAEU, and it will address various legal aspects related to the use and exploration of outer space, including the definition of outer space and the rights of States, military uses of outer space, the regulation of commercial uses of outer space, and the settlement of disputes related to space activities. The Conference will attract various international experts, academics and professionals in the space law community, and participants from government institutions, research institutions and the commercial space sectors are expected to attend the Conference. In addition to the two day programme, a special Roundtable titled “Conflicts in Space and MILAMOS” will be held, with McGill Manual Co-Editor Steven Freeland and MILAMOS Editorial Committee members Dr. Philip de Man and Mr. Peter Hulsroj taking part.

The programme of the conference can be downloaded here. For more information, please visit the official conference website.


IASL Director's timely article on Brexit and the Governance of Global Civil Aviation is released

The McGill University Institute of Air and Space Law has released a detailed new paper by its Director, Professor Brian F. Havel, that comprehensively analyses the legal and policy consequences of Brexit for the airline industries of the United Kingdom (UK), the European Union (EU), and the United States (US).

In the paper, Professor Havel lays out ways in which the UK Government can help its airlines to survive the Brexit disruption, but he also expresses scepticism that the EU will simply allow Britain to hold on to its existing air traffic rights as it leaves the Single Aviation Market. Instead, Professor Havel proposes that the UK’s aviation negotiators should make a dramatic offer to their EU counterparts to allow EU airlines to own or control UK airlines or to establish their own airlines or airline subsidiaries in the UK. In return, the EU would take similar action with respect to UK airlines seeking to operate in the EU. This mutual exchange of a so-called “right of establishment” would allow UK airlines continued access to the most liberal aspects of the Single Aviation Market.

At the same time, this mutual deal would be huge step forward for regulation of the global airline industry: it would be the first international air services agreement to completely scrap the antiquated rule that stops airlines from entering foreign markets through buying a foreign airline or setting up their own airlines or airline subsidiaries in a foreign country. In Professor Havel’s view, the EU has been frustrated by its failure to persuade other leading aviation countries to sign onto such an agreement and therefore the UK has the chance to leverage Brexit to make this happen. Major aeropolitical powers like the United States might well follow the UK/EU lead. The current tight restrictions on foreign investment in national airline industries, which have persisted worldwide for almost 75 years, continue to deny airlines free access to global capital markets and the ability to create truly global carriers.

The new paper, entitled How Brexit Can Transform the Governance of Global Civil Aviation, will be the lead article in the forthcoming volume of the McGill Institute’s flagship biannual publication, the Annals of Air and Space Law, which will be published in November 2018 and distributed by WS Hein. A preview version of the article is available for download.


The Institute Welcomes the LL.M. Class of 2018/19, the most Diverse and Cosmopolitan Class in its History

Incoming and returning IASL students and faculty gathered on 20 September 2018 to mark the start of the 2018/2019 academic year. The boisterous reception was held in the fine setting of the McGill Faculty Club, and over 50 attendees joined the Director to celebrate the most diverse and cosmopolitan entering class in our almost 70-year history.

IASL Director Professor Brian F. Havel warmly welcomed the new and returning LL.M. and DCL students as well as professionals undertaking the Graduate Certificate in Air and Space Law and three new Graduate Research Trainees. Starting their career- and life-changing year at the Institute this year are students from 19 countries - Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, England, Germany, Guyana, Honduras, Hong Kong, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, Poland, Scotland, Slovenia, South Korea, Switzerland, Uganda, and the United States.

The Director congratulated the incoming students for successfully negotiating McGill’s rigorous admissions process and earning their place in the new programme. He noted that the new students would eventually join a more than 1,000-strong global network of aviation and space professionals who have been receiving their graduate air and space law education at McGill since the Institute opened its doors in 1951. He also took note of a series of reunions of overseas IASL graduates that will begin in Dublin, Ireland, this October and continue in Hong Kong in January and in Warsaw, Poland, in October 2019. But of more immediate concern to the new students, Professor Havel issued an invitation to meet him for coffee and macadamia nut cookies at the McGill Faculty Club during the following week to discuss their individual course selections and to begin planning for their research projects and dissertations.

One of the nicest aspects of the reception was the great number of IASL graduates from the LL.M. class of 2017-18 who joined us to welcome their successors and to mentor them about life at the Institute. In a sense, their presence supplied living testimony of the Director’s boasts about the greater IASL community and we thank them sincerely!

In the year ahead, students will be able to benefit not only from the knowledge and expertise of highly qualified IASL faculty but also from the various professional and extracurricular events that are being planned. Planning is now at an advanced stage for the 10th Annual McGill Aviation Liability, Insurance and Finance Conference to be held in Dublin, Ireland, in October. The successful Colloquium Series in Air and Space Law will continue with distinguished speakers such as Dr. Fang Liu, Secretary General of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (invited), and John R. Byerly, former chief air services negotiator for the United States, who will be sharing their unique personal insights on developments in the field of air and space law. Students will be able to take part in three moot court competitions, including the Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court Competition, where last year’s McGill team won Best Briefs in the North American Regional Round, the 10th annual Leiden/Sarin International Air Law Moot Court Competition in India, and the second iteration of the Institute’s own sponsored Intramural Air Law Speed Moot Court Competition. Further, students will be invited to take part in the various research activities of the Centre for Research in Air and Space Law, including assisting in the publication of the now twice-yearly Annals of Air and Space Law, and to provide research assistance to our flagship project to draft the McGill Manual on International Law Applicable to Military Uses of Outer Space.

Keep an eye on the website and social media for regular announcements about forthcoming events and activities. With a busy semester ahead, and so many activities and opportunities on offer for our new and returning graduates, 2018/2019 promises to be another exciting and memorable academic year at the IASL.

IASL Director Professor Brian Havel welcoming the class of 2018/19.


And... a Recent Reunion at the Institute

IASL Director Professor Brian Havel and Professor Ram Jakhu met with students from the IASL class of 1988, who met up in Montreal to mark the 30th anniversary of meeting at the Institute. Mr. Jitu Thaker (ICAO) and Mr. Brian Challenger (Government of Antigua and Barbuda) are pictured here with Maria D'Amico and current DCL student Ms. Upasana Dasgupta.

The Institute of Air and Space Law welcomed the return of several graduates who gathered to mark the 30th anniversary of the first time they met in Montreal. Mr Jitu Thaker (South Africa), Mr. Brian Challenger (Antigua and Barbuda), Mr. George Petsikas (Canada) and Mr. Burkhart von Erlach (Belgium) were all students from the LL.M. class of 1988. Despite the fact they are spread across different continents, they committed to meet up 30 years to the day they first met.

Since graduation, these graduates have moved on to occupy prominent positions at (respectively) the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), the Government of Antigua and Barbuda, Air Transat, and the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation (EUROCONTROL). They credit their successes to the well-rounded education the Institute offers, and the IASL alumni network, which connects graduates of the Institute with promising opportunities in the domains of air and space law around the world.

These members of the IASL alumni bonded over lunch with current Director Professor Brian F. Havel, and Professor Ram Jakhu and Ms. Maria D'Amico, the latter two of whom were also at the Institute back in 1988. They spoke fondly of their time at the Institute, which was then under the directorship of the late Emeritus Professor Nicolas Matte. Dr. Matte’s vision and leadership placed the Institute on the map as the go-to institution for quality education and research in air and space law.

While touring the hallways and classrooms of the Institute, the graduates from the class of 1988 recalled many memorable moments they shared with their fellow students from all over the globe. The renown of the Institute brought them together 30 years ago, and that brief period of their lives when they studied together and learned from one another sowed the seeds for life-long friendships. Occasionally, they meet at conferences or industry networking events, but they made it a point to gather at the Institute where it all began three decades ago.

As the premier institution for education and research in the dual disciplines of air law and space law, the Institute will soon celebrate its 70th anniversary. As the careers and life experiences of these returning graduates can attest, studying at the Institute is life- and career-changing. Thanks to the dedication of faculty members, and to the many graduates who leave the Institute with such fond memories and experiences earned during their time in Montreal, we are proud to bring together like-minded students and professionals and offer them opportunities to nurture their enthusiasm and interest in the domains of air law and space law.


Launch of Major New Edited Collection of Essays on Aviation and Sustainability by IASL Authors

On 2 October 2018, at the McGill Faculty Club, the Institute joined with Cambridge University Press to launch Sustainable Development, International Aviation, and Treaty Implementation, a new collection of essays co-edited by Professor Armand de Mestral, former IASL Director, Emeritus Professor of Law at McGill, and world-recognised authority on international trade issues, Dr. Paul Fitzgerald, IASL doctoral graduate, Adjunct Professor at the IASL and recently retired member of the Canadian Transportation Agency, and Dr. Tanveer Ahmad, IASL doctoral graduate, former Executive Director of the McGill Centre for Research in Air and Space law, and currently Manager, Aeropolitical Affairs, with Qatar Airways in Doha, Qatar. The occasion was festive and drew a large attendance including many IASL students and graduates as well as representatives of Montreal-based air transport organisations including ICAO, IATA, and the International Federation of Airline Pilots’ Associations, IFALPA. The Cambridge University Press announcement of the new publication can be found here.

The new collection is the 15th book to emerge from the Institute's Centre for Research in Air and Space Law in the past decade and it is our first publishing association with CUP. In his remarks at the launch, IASL Director Professor Dr. Brian F. Havel observed that the book is in fact a third milestone for the Institute’s research and scholarship in the field of aviation and the environment, linking it to earlier published DCL dissertations on aviation and climate change by Dr. Alejandro Piera Valdes and Dr. Ahmad. He noted, however, that the new work considerably enlarges the scope of the work pursued by Dr. Piera and Dr. Ahmad because it places aviation in the much broader context of its future sustainability using a large range of legal and policy considerations. Some draft chapters of the book were released by the Institute to the delegates to ICAO’s 39th Assembly in 2016 and shaped some of the thinking that led to the CORSIA emissions programme adopted at that Assembly. Professor Havel also thanked a number of IASL master’s and doctoral students who had assisted in the editing process including Vani Munisami (currently with Air Canada), Branislav Turcina (now with the European Commission), and Dhananga Patharina (currently working with Sri Lankan Airways).

In his own remarks, Professor de Mestral encouraged the students in the audience to become involved in book projects at the Institute. He offered the intriguing thought that the new book could already have a future successor in the guise of a collection of essays that assesses the performance of ICAO’s ambitious CORSIA programme.


IASL Director Professor Brian Havel Chairs ABA Celebration of 40th Anniversary of US Airline Deregulation

At the Annual Meeting of the American Bar Association (ABA)’s Forum on Air & Space Law, held at the Intercontinental Hotel in Chicago on 27 and 28 September 2018, the IASL Director, Professor Dr. Brian F. Havel, chaired the opening panel marking the 40th anniversary of the signing of the US Airline Deregulation Act on 24 October 1978.

Mr. Jeffrey N. Shane, General Counsel of IATA, with IASL Director Professor Brian Havel. Professor Havel was joined on the stage by the General Counsel of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Jeffrey N. Shane, who was formerly Under Secretary of Transportation for Policy in the US Department of Transportation, as well as James H. Burnley IV, former US Secretary of Transportation 1987-89, and Paul V Mifsud, former KLM Vice President for Government and Legal Affairs in the United States.

A notable feature of the panel was the use of excerpts from filmed interviews conducted in past years by Professor Havel and other interlocutors with leaders of the deregulation era including former Chair of the US Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB), the late Professor Alfred E. Kahn, and former CAB senior director, the late Professor Michael E. Levine, both of whom paved the way for deregulation through a flexible interpretation of their CAB mandate to liberalise route entry and pricing even before the final passage of the new deregulation statute. IASL Director Professor Brian Havel hosting the opening panel at the ABA, with panelists Jeffrey N. Shane, James H. Burnley IV, and Paul V Mifsud.

Click here to see a compilation of the video extracts* used in the panel, also featuring contributions from legendary figures in U.S. aviation history including Frederick W. Smith, founder, Chairman, and CEO of FedEx, Robert L. Crandall, former CEO of American Airlines, former Governor Gerald L. Baliles of Virginia, who chaired President Clinton’s National Commission to Ensure a Strong Competitive Airline Industry in 1993, and Mr. Shane.

*We are very grateful to FedEx Manager, Production, Grant Guffin and his team, led by Bradley Van Gunda, for creating this compilation.


Chinese Professor of Air Law Yu Dan Enthralls Students with Insights into how the Warsaw Convention Operates in China

Sometimes it is  good to get new perspectives, and that is certainly what the new LL.M student cohort received in their Private International Air law class on 25 September 2018 when Professor Yu Dan, Associate Professor of Law at the prestigious East China University of Political Science in Shanghai, lectured on the application of the Warsaw/Montreal Convention on air carrier liability in the People's Republic of China. As well as updating students on some of the MH370 litigation that has occurred in China, Professor Yu Dan described the functioning of the Chinese court system and how Convention cases are assigned within that system. She also described a new series of “Guiding Cases” adopted by the Chinese court system which have de facto binding effect as a kind of “precedent” for various areas of law, and discussed a group of these cases that are of special relevance to aviation liability.

Professor Yu Dan has been a visiting professor at the Institute since fall 2017 and will return to her home institution at the end of October 2018. She is Director of her University’s Aviation Law Institute and her academic research focuses principally on Air Law and Private International Law. She graduated form Jilin University in 2012 with a Doctorate of Laws. She is a Council member of Shanghai Law Society Air Law Seminar and a member of the China Law Society. She has previously visited at UNIDROIT in Rome, where she authored a major report on the Cape Town Convention’s application in the People’s Republic of China. She has also participated in revising China’s Civil Aviaiton Law. Professor yu Dan is widely published, with over 10 articls in various journals to her credit.

Professor Yu Dan has been a wonderful colleague at the Institute and has also been a willing mentor to many of our students, to whom she has enthusiastically given advice and counsel and support on moot court questions and on research projects and dissertations. The Institute looks forward to maintaining our friendship with Professor Yu Dan and to working with her and East China University of Political Science for many years to come.


MILAMOS Experts at the First United Nations Conference on Space Law and Policy

MILAMOS Experts Professor Steven Freeland (Western Sydney University), Professor Setsuko Aoki (University of Keio), Dr. Ksenia Shestakova (St Petersburg State University), Ms. Elina Morozova (INTERSPUTNIK) and Mr. Gabriel Swiney (US State Department) pictured here with Managing Editor Mr. Kuan-Wei Chen (McGill University) at the UN Conference on Space Law and Policy, which took place in Moscow, Russia.

Several members of the MILAMOS Group of Experts were invited to participate in the First United Nations Conference on Space Law and Policy, which took place in Moscow, Russia, on 11-13 September 2018. The first major multilateral capacity-building event of its kind, the Conference focused on topical legal and policy aspects of activities in outer space. The Conference was co-organised by the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and the Government of the Russian Federation, and hosted by the Russian space agency ROSCOSMOS.

The UN Conference attracted the participation of over 100 delegates and invited participants from across the world. By bringing together State officials and representatives of intergovernmental organisations, scientists and technical experts in the space industry and the private space sector, students and academics, the Conference aimed to promote awareness and understanding of pertinent legal and policy issues in the peaceful use and exploration of outer space. On several panels focusing on various types of space activities, invited panelists openly exchanged their perspectives on possible opportunities and obstacles in a complex and strategic environment that in recent years has experience a proliferation of the number of actors and emergence of new types of space activities.

Among the issues addressed were the progressive development of international law, the legal challenges of space resources utilisation, and adequacy of the existing legal and technical framework for the implementation of a viable space traffic management regime. Engaging discussions between panelists and participants at the conference noted various challenges and threats to the safety, security and long-term sustainability of space activities. The Conference underlined the need to address military activities that undermine the peaceful uses of outer space, destabilise the space environment and threaten international peace and security.

Several participants, including the dignitaries representing host State Russia, highlighted the alarming developments in the threat or use of force in outer space and the placement of weapons in space. Further, the question of whether the right of self-defence is compatible with the peaceful purposes of outer space, triggered intriguing debates and a common understanding that such a fundamental issue must be prioritised as a matter of international discussion. These discussions among policy-makers, experts and practitioners in the space domain, highlight the need for a manual that clarifies the legality of various aspects of military uses of outer space, which is the very purpose and rationale behind the MILAMOS Project.

MILAMOS Experts Professor Steven Freeland (Western Sydney University), Professor Setsuko Aoki (Keio Univeristy), Dr. Philip de Man (University of Sharjah), Dr. Guoyu Wang (Beijing Institute of Technology), Dr. Ksenia Shestakova (St. Petersburg State University), Ms. Elina Morozova (INTERSPUTNIK), Mr. Gabriel Swiney (US Department of State), Mr. Chris Johnson (Secure World Foundation), and Managing Editor Mr. David Kuan-Wei Chen (McGill University), were among the invited participants at the Conference.

Mr. Johnson was invited to address ways and means for maintaining outer space for peaceful purposes. Dr. Aoki (Core Expert in the MILAMOS Project) was one of the distinguished speakers on the panel addressing legal aspects of space debris mitigation and remediation, a matter that is vital for the long-term sustainability of outer space activities. Dr. Wang, Dr. de Man and Mr. Swiney were invited by the organisers to present their perspectives on the exploration and utilisation of space resources, a topical issue that attracted great interest and extensive discussion. Professor Freeland was a panellist in the segment dedicated to discussions on the viability of a future space traffic management regime on a panel co-moderated by Mr. Chen. Ms. Elina was invited by the Conference organisers to share her perspectives on how to strengthen capacity-building efforts in space law and policy, a panel that emphasised the role of education and training in ensuring that future generations value the importance of international coordination and cooperation to safeguard the peaceful uses of outer space.

No doubt, with salient issues relating to the security and long-term sustainability of outer space and space activities high on the agenda at the multilateral level, the MILAMOS Project and rules that aim to identify and clarify the legal situation in relation to military space activities, are sure to attract the interest and continuing support of States and stakeholders in the space domain.


IASL Director facilitated ICAO Council Off-Site Strategy Meeting COSM 2018

IASL Director Professor Brian Havel speaking at the ICAO Council Off-Site Strategy Meeting. This year’s International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Council Off-Site Strategy Meeting, entitled “Aviation of the Future”, was facilitated by IASL Director Brian F. Havel. This fifth off-site meeting of the ICAO Council was held in Estérel, Québec from 21 to 22 June 2018.

For two months, Professor Havel worked with the ICAO Implementation, Strategy and Planning Group (ISPG) to elaborate the content of the meeting and the issues to be addressed.

Thirty-four Council Members, ten non-Council Member State Representatives, four Members of the Air Navigation Commission (ANC) and three representatives from the aviation industry (the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO), the International Air Transport Association (IATA), and the International Coordinating Council of Aerospace Industries Associations (ICCAIA)) participated in the meeting, as well as members of the Secretariat from Headquarters and the Regional Offices.

A major focus of the COSM was the role ICAO should play in responding to rapid technological changes, including the emergence of new modes of aerospace transport.

The President of the Council, Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, a graduate of the McGill IASL, opened the meeting by providing his views on the need for the Organization to maintain its relevance in the face of emerging disruptive technologies. The President also identified priority areas that would need to be addressed by the ICAO in the future, such as the level of safety for commercial space flights as compared to the existing safety levels for air transport and liability issues.

The chair of the ISPG, McGill IASL graduate Captain Aysha Alhameli, highlighted the significance of ICAO’s social responsibility to foster the development of safe, efficient, secure and sustainable civil aviation systems and the need to start preparing today in order to meet the challenges of civil aviation in the future.

During the two-day meeting, Professor Havel moderated discussions related to ICAO’s mandate and regulatory role regarding disruptive aviation technologies such as Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS, i.e., “drones”), ICAO’s responsibility to society as a whole, the need for ICAO’s leadership in the future, ICAO’s need to enhance its partnerships with aviation stakeholders, and the future of work in the aviation sector.Professor Havel holding an original copy of the Chicago Convention, which was signed by then US Secretary of State Edward Stettinius. This signed copy of one of the most important treaties governing international aviation was a source of great wonderment to the retreat participants.

The meeting was punctuated by breakout table discussions that focused on areas such as the lessons learned in addressing the emergence of UAS and the rapid growth in their use, as well as the future challenges associated with the emergence of commercial space flight. The COSM also benefited greatly from an impromptu panel of young people who provided their insights into their career goals and their possible aspirations to pursue a future as aviation professionals.

 


IASL Director Addresses CAPA Americas Aviation Summit

IASL Director Brian F. Havel was presenter and moderator for a panel on North Atlantic airline competition at the Centre for Aviation (CAPA) Americas Aviation Summit in Houston, Texas, on 16 April 2018.  Professor Havel was joined on the panel by Brian P. Hedberg, Director of the Office of International Aviation at the U.S. Department of Transportation, and Tamur Goudarzi Pour, Vice President, Americas, for the Lufthansa Group. CAPA, one of the world’s leading sources of market intelligence for the aviation and travel industry, is headed by Peter Harbison, a graduate of the McGill Institute of Air and Space Law.  You can view the panel discussion on CAPA's website.   


IASL celebrates with its Annual Graduate Dinner

IASL faculty and staff (front row) and students of the class of 2017-2018 at the Graduation Dinner

The Institute of Air and Space Law Association (IASLA) held its 67th Annual Graduate Dinner at the McGill Faculty Club on 12 April 2018. This festive event is held annually at the conclusion of the academic year and, true to tradition, students from the graduating class of 2018 were inducted into the Association by IASLA Vice President of External Relations Dr. John Saba and duly awarded their special alumni lapel pins.

Over 60 faculty members, graduates, alumni and friends of the IASL Association attended the celebratory occasion.  It was the first IASLA Annual Dinner since Professor Dr. Brian F. Havel assumed the Directorship of the Institute 1 August 2017. Professor Havel used the occasion to recap many of the highlights of the year as well as to lay out ambitious plans for the coming years.  He noted that his priority in the academic year just ending was to focus on the graduate student experience at the IASL and on enhancing the Institute’s existing good relations with the IASLA. He recalled curricular changes including the arrival of Dr. Donal Hanley as the Institute’s new instructor in aircraft finance, the return of McGill law professor  Richard Janda and ICAO Legal Officer Yaw Nyampong to the teaching curriculum, the new Colloquium Series in Air and Space Law, the new McGill Intramural Air Law Speed Moot Court Competition, Phase II of Professor Ram Jakhu’s massive signature project to create a Manual on the International Law Applicable to the Military Uses of Outer Space (MILAMOS), and many other initiatives.  He also thanked IASLA for its work in establishing the Institute’s new permanent internship program. In closing, Professor Havel presented floral bouquets to the Institute’s Senior Administrator, Ms. Maria D’Amico, and the LL.M Class President, Ms. Victoria Frost. Professor Havel noted that he could not have negotiated his first year as Director without the phenomenal support of Ms. D’Amico’s institutional and administrative skills. The standing ovation that then greeted Ms. D’Amico indicated that the audience fully concurred.

IASL Director Professor Brian Havel and IASLA President Ms. Jimena Blumenkron.

Highlighting the evening was the keynote speech by Ms. Lauren Small, who is a proud alumna of the IASL and currently the Director of Quebec Waterways at Parks Canada. Ms. Small enrolled in the Graduate Certificate* programme in 2014, and has enjoyed an illustrious career in public service spanning over two decades.  With an impassioned account of the personal struggles she encountered in the formative years of her education, Ms. Small inspired those present by recalling how she overcame adversity and loss with strong personal convictions and an unwavering commitment to the value of public service.  Ms. Small has worked at Environment Canada, the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (now Global Affairs Canada), and the Canadian Space Agency. She played instrumental roles in the drafting of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, the Species at Risk Act, and the Remote Sensing Space Systems Act, and was the lead Canadian negotiator for the U.S. Department of State’s International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). In recognition of her commitment to cancer care and community service, she was awarded the Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award in 2002, and decorated with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012. Ms. Small concluded her talk with an appeal to this year’s graduating class to continue pursuing their interests and passions in the aviation and space domains. Personal conviction, she reminded the students, together with the prestige of their degree from the Institute and the support of the strong network of IASL alumni across the globe, will take them far in their lives and careers.

Ms. Lauren Small, Director of Quebec Waterways at Parks Canada and proud IASL alumna, was the keynote speaker of the evening.

Ms. Jimena Blumenkron, the President of the IASLA, briefly presented the work of the Association over the past year.  In addition to launching a donation campaign to support IASL students in attending air and space law events and conferences, Ms. Blumenkron also announced several upcoming events co-hosted by the Association, including a Business Luncheon with the International Aviation Club of Montreal that took place on 17 May with keynote speaker Mr. Bruno Pasturel, Vice President and AIRBUS Representative in Montreal.

This year’s cohort of over 35 LL.M, DCL, Graduate Certificate, Graduate Trainee, and post-doctoral students includes nationals of over 20 countries.  The geographic and gender diversity, the compact size of classes, and the direct engagement of faculty, all create a close-knit intercultural learning environment of which the IASL is extremely proud and which was at the heart of the Annual Graduation Dinner celebration.

For more pictures of the event, please visit this page.

* The Graduate Certificate attracts many seasoned working professionals who wish to enhance their credentials and add value to their professional expertise with a recognised diploma from the Faculty of Law of McGill University. As of Fall 2018, working aviation and space professionals can also opt for the extended three-year part-time LL.M. programme, which will be launched to cater to those who wishing to obtain a full Masters of Law degree.


IASL and McGill BCL/LLB Students mark their Final Class in International Trade Law 

The Law and Practice of International Trade class of 2018 and the special cake.

Professor Dr. Brian F. Havel, the Director of the IASL, celebrates with his students at the final class of his course in Law and Practice of International Trade.  A special “International Trade” cake was shared, bearing the image of a “ratchet,” which denotes the fact that under the theory of the World Trade Organization tariffs should head in only one irreversible direction – downwards.  That theory, of course, is being unsettled by current U.S. practice. The course in international trade law was made available to IASL students as a “complementary” course in addition to their regular air and space law instruction. In the fall semester Professor Havel will be teaching both of the foundational IASL aviation law courses:  Public Iinternational Air Law and Private International Air Law.

Professor Havel holding up part of the cake to mark the conclusion of the Intl Trade Law and Practice class of 2018.


In memoriam Professor Dr. Michael Milde (1931-2018)

The late Professor Michael Milde at the 65th Anniversary Gala of the Institute in 2016.

With a heavy heart, the McGill Institute of Air and Space Law (IASL) announces the passing of its former Director Emeritus Professor Dr. Michael Milde.

NEW: There will be a remembrance ceremony on October 25, 2018, at noon in the Birks Chapel of McGill University.

Prior to his academic career at McGill University, Professor Milde served in various senior legal posts at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) for 25 years (1966-1991), including as its Principal Legal Officer and as the Director of the ICAO Legal Affairs and External Relations Bureau.  During his time at ICAO, Professor Milde oversaw the negotiation of a number of international conventions and protocols on aviation safety and security, the significance of which resonates to this day.

Having acquired a wealth of experience and expertise in the global regulation of aviation law, Professor Milde was named Director of the IASL in 1989 and held that position until 1998. His continuous efforts to enhance the academic curriculum and to support a broad platform of research culminated in the award to the Institute in 1996 of ICAO’s highest honour, the Edward Warner Award. This prestigious award was bestowed in recognition of the Institute’s “unparalleled contributions to the development of international air law” and the Institute’s “accomplishments in teaching, research and publication [….] as a center of excellence in the field.”  A few years later, in acknowledging Professor Milde’s efforts to advance the study of air and space law from both pedagogical and scholarly perspectives, the Board of Governors of McGill University conferred upon him the title and status of Director Emeritus of the Institute.

Professor Milde receiving the prestigious Edward Warner Award on behalf of the Institute of Air and Space Law from ICAO Council President Dr. Assad Kotaite in 1996 Professor Milde was a prolific scholar who authored dozens of books and articles that  received the highest respect in the academy and beyond.  Among his most distinguished works are International Air Carrier Liability: The Montreal Convention of 1999, and International Air Law and ICAO, the third edition of which was published in 2016 (and which has just appeared in a Russian translation, a development that made him especially proud). Professor Milde served on the editorial board of various academic journals, and for over a decade (1989-2002) he was also the Editor-in-Chief of the Annals of Air and Space Law, the flagship publication of the Centre for Research in Air and Space Law, the IASL’s research arm.

Professor Milde was a motivating and inspiring educator, known among his students as an “insightful, vigorous, and dedicated teacher of public and private international air law.” He took particular delight in interacting with students, junior academics, and early-career professionals and was happy to provide counseling and advice for those who might be considering a future in the field he loved so passionately.  Even after his official retirement in 2006, Professor Milde continued to write regularly and to work as an independent legal consultant on the multiple issues confronting the aviation sector.  As an unflagging supporter of the Institute and its work, Professor Milde’s familiar face and warm nature continued to grace conferences and social gatherings held by the Institute in the years after his retirement.  His keynote address at the Institute’s 65th anniversary dinner in 2016 was a timely reminder of his powerful skills of oratory and storytelling.

Professor Michael Milde was 87, and will be deeply missed by his loved ones and by his colleagues and students who knew this accomplished scholar, professor, and kind human being.  He will also be much missed as an iconic figure in the global aviation law community.

In fall 2018, the IASL will host a special memorial gathering to remember Professor Milde and to celebrate his life and achievements.

We have created a special section of the website where friends, colleagues and students of Professor Milde can share their thoughts and condolences.
If you would like to post a personal message, kuan-wei.chen [at] mcgill.ca (subject: Tribute%20to%20Professor%20Michael%20Milde) (please contact the webmaster).


If you would like to make a donation in memory of Professor Milde, please visit the dedicated page or  make sure of this form. Donations to the fund will be used to support graduate students at the Institute of Air and Space Law.

Professor Michael Milde and his wife pictured here at the 65th Anniversary Gala of the Institute in 2016. The third edition of International Air Law and ICAO was presented to the then-IASL Director Professor Ram Jakhu, who is accompanied by Mrs. Jakhu.


 

Erin J.C. Arsenault Postdoctoral Research Fellowships for 2018-19

As in the previous six years, the Centre for Research in Air and Space Law (CRASL) of the Faculty of Law at McGill University, Montreal, Canada, intends to appoint one or two Postdoctoral Research Fellow(s) during the 2018-2019 academic year.

The Postdoctoral Research Fellowship(s) will be funded by the Erin J C Arsenault Trust Fund and the appointment(s) shall be for an initial duration of one year with a possibility of renewal for a second year. The Postdoctoral Fellow(s) will work as part of a research team at the Centre for Research in Air and Space Law under the leadership and supervision of Professor Dr. Ram S. Jakhu, Project Director of McGill’s MILAMOS Project.

Principal objective of the Postdoctoral Research Fellowship program is to train the next generation of Space Law professionals interested in pursuing academic careers in Space Law. Accordingly, in addition to completing a major research project (described below), successful candidates, as members of the CRASL team, may also be required to participate in all activities of the CRASL and the Institute of Air and Space Law (IASL).

The deadline for receiving applications is 15 May 2018. This full-time position will begin on 1 August 2018 and will last until 31 July 2019. For more information on the Erin J C Arsenault Postdoctoral Research Fellowship 2018-2019, please see the attached document.


Beijing Institute of Technology joins the MILAMOS Project

The Beijing Institute of Technology (BIT) is very proud to be joining other key stakeholders in the project to draft the McGill Manual on International Law Applicable to Military Uses of Outer Space (MILAMOS). BIT is highly prestigious academic institution in the People’s Republic of China, and its Institute of Space Law is recognised as a centre of excellence in the field within academic and government circles. BIT is also the host institution for the Space Law Center of the China National Space Administration (CNSA), the official resource centre providing legal advice to the Chinese space agency. BIT will be joining Founding Institution McGill University, Partner Organisation the University of Cologne, and a host of global collaborators and stakeholders in Phase II of the three-year project to clarify rules governing the scope of military uses of outer space.

As a Partner, BIT will add great value to the MILAMOS Project by providing Chinese and non-Western perspectives on matters of global interest. The partnership with BIT will provide the Project with valuable institutional support, allow the Project to directly draw from the intellectual expertise in China, as well as provide the Project with a direct conduit to interact and engage with relevant stakeholders and government officials in China. Read more...


IASL Student presents at the ECSL Young Lawyers’ Symposium 2018

Current Erin J. C. Arsenault Fellow in Space Governance and LLM student Ms. Georgia Maria (Yolanda) Kalogirou attended the European Centre for Space Law (ECSL) Practitioners’ Forum and the ECSL Young Lawyers’ Symposium 2018. The event, held this year on 23-24 March 2018, at the headquarters of the European Space Agency in Paris, France, is organised annually to provide young professionals and lawyers working in the space sector a forum to network and discuss issues of space law and policy.

Yolanda presented her research on “On-Orbit Servicing and Tacit Consent under International Law” during the Symposium. Her presentation was inspired by Dextre, the Canadian-built robotic handyman on the International Space Station, and its ability to service and refuel satellites in orbit, especially those not built to be refurbished. She examined the applicability of Article 2(7) of the United Nations Charter and Article 20 of the Articles on Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts in the context of servicing operations taking place on-orbit.

Prior to pursuing her studies at the Institute of Air and Space Law, Yolanda has worked in law offices and non-governmental organisations both in Greece and abroad, and also completed a summer internship at the Legal Department of the European Space Agency (ESA). Originally from Greece, Yolanda was part of the team that won the World Finals of the 2016 Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court Competition. Yolanda’s participation at the ECSL Symposium was facilitated by the Graduate Research Enhancement and Travel Award (GREAT Award) of the McGill University , which supports graduate students to attend conferences and help with the dissemination of their research. Her participation in the conference gave her the excellent opportunity to exchange opinions with the other speakers and participants of the symposium and gain valuable feedback to fuel her passionate interest in space law.


Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court Competition 2018: McGill Team wins Best Brief

McGill Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court team members David Fox, Victoria Frost, Valérie Bastien-Dupuis, and team coach Aram Kerkonian. The McGill Space Law Moot team took part in the North American Regional Competition of the Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court Competition on 23-24 March 2018, capturing the award for Best Brief. The team, comprising current LLM students Ms. Victoria Frost (Finland), Ms. Valérie Bastien-Dupuis (Canada), and Mr. David Fox (USA), was coached by current DCL candidate Mr. Aram Daniel Kerkonian (Canada, LLM 2017). After months of intense preparation and trial moots, they competed in Washington, DC, with 18 student teams from all over North America.

This year’s case dealt with the legal consequences of various fictionalized and futuristic outer space activities, including intentional interference with space objects, space mining, and attempts at terraforming the natural environment of Mars. The McGill team advanced to the Quarter Finals and lost by the narrowest of margins to the team from the William & Mary College of Law. But the McGill competitors drew compensation from their great success in winning the award for Best Brief, an achievement that stands in a fine tradition for McGill teams at the Manfred Lachs. 

Congratulations to our excellent McGill team!

The McGill Manfred Lachs team posing with IASL alumni at the North American Regional Rounds, Mr. Milton “Skip” Smith, Ms. Sylvia Ospina, Dr. Andrea Harrington and Mr. Michael Dodge.

 

 


McGill Air Law “Speed Moot” Competition successfully launched

        Best Oralist Ms. Elene Tchezhia pleading at the Finals before an esteemed bench composed of IASL Director Professor Brian Havel, Professor Ram Jakhu and Professor Ludwig Weber, who also presided as President of the Court.

The inaugural McGill Intramural Air Law Speed Moot Court Competition took place at the McGill Faculty of Law on 23 March 2018. The first rendition of the McGill Air Law Speed Moot was the soft launch of a new sponsored competition that will formally begin in 2019.

Participants Mr. Eric Abrams and Andrew Rintoul receiving the Best Team Award from IASL Director Professor Havel.

The Speed Moot was conceived to provide McGill law students at the undergraduate and graduate levels with the opportunity to grapple with fascinating topics and legal issues in international aviation. Despite having only been announced two months ago, there was a tremendous show of interest in the Competition, and four teams took part in the finals on March 23. Half of the participants were pursuing BCL/LLB studies at McGill and were evidently intrigued by the “transsystemic” possibilities of a moot court competition focused on the niche field of international air law.

Ms. Elene Tchezhia receiving the Best Oralist Award and congratulatory words from IASL Director Professor Brian Havel.

The case in this year’s McGill Air Law Speed Moot concerned the topical and contentious matter of subsidies provided to airlines (The State of McGillia v. the State of Concordia: In the Matter of State Subsidies to Airlines). To maintain the highest standards of fairness and quality, impressive panels composed of faculty members, visiting scholars, seasoned law practitioners, and highly recognised experts working at the Montreal-based International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), were involved in judging the competition.

Ms. Melina Alexandra Magazin and Mr. Kevin Hill, both 1L students at the Faculty of Law, took part in their first moot court competition and were praised for their enthusiasm and spirit. After intense preliminary rounds, the strongest two teams went head-to-head in the Grand Final before a bench comprised of IASL Director Professor Brian F. Havel, and IASL Professors Ram Jakhu and Ludwig Weber, with Professor Weber serving as President of the Court.

The Grand Final Bench unanimously selected the highly energetic and articulate Team 1, composed of 2L students Mr. Eric Abrams and Mr. Andrew Rintoul, as team winners. In recognition of her eloquence, composure and command of the law throughout the competition, the judges awarded current LLM student Ms. Elene Tchezhia (who hails from from the Eastern European State of Georgia) the title of Best Oralist.

Also taking part were first year BCL/LLB law students Ms. Malina Alexandra Magazin and Mr. Kevin Hill. Despite not having previously studied public international law or air law, the judges were impressed by the courage, spirit, and enthusiasm displayed by these two participants.

The competition winners were announced at a gala awards ceremony held across the street from the IASL at the James Simon Museum. The participants dined with other VIPs and invited guests to the accompaniment of live jazz music in this eclectic setting – a 23-room mansion that houses the studio and artwork of celebrated Quebec portrait artist James Simon. Mr. Simon himself, with his friend Ms. Jade Pollack, acted as most genial hosts for the evening.

The McGill Air Law “Speed” Moot is unique in the world as there are very limited written submissions and teams make oral arguments only before the simulated International Court of Justice. Each team is allocated a total of 15 minutes for argument and appears in successive rounds either for the appellant or the respondent State. Assessment is based (among other criteria) on the originality and structure of the teams’ arguments and on their ability to respond effectively and flexibly to questions from the bench while maintaining the coherence of their arguments within the tight time-frame allowed. The McGill Air Law Speed Moot is not only an excellent platform for apprentice lawyers to perfect their oral advocacy and public speaking skills; it is a key initiative that will raise the awareness and interest of students at the Faculty of Law, and beyond, about the activities and the work of the Institute of Air and Space Law. In future years, the Competition is expected to attract even more participation among McGill graduate and undergraduate students as it expands with support from external benefactors. The Competition will also continue to enjoy the support and involvement of highly-qualified publicists and professionals in the field of international air law who will serve as neutral arbiters in this prestigious initiative.

Finally, special thanks from all of us at the Institute to the Co-Convenors of the 2018 Competition, IASL LLM students Swarathmika Kumar and Pier-Olivier Turcot. They did an outstanding job of recruiting participants and in ensuring that the Competition ran with total efficiency – including procuring a deeply resonant traditional hand bell that heralded the arrival of the Bench for the Grand Final.

The resounding success of the inaugural McGill Air Law Speed Court would not have been possible without the dedication and efforts of Ms. Swarathmika Kumar and Mr. Pier-Olivier Turcot.

Well done to all the participants for taking part, congratulations again to Eric and Andrew and Elene for capturing the awards at the inaugural Competition, and we look forward to the second rendition of the McGill Air Law Speed Moot Court Competition in 2019.

Participants at the Awards Ceremony and dinner after the successful McGill Air Law Moot Court Competition: (from left to right) Mr. Andrew Rintoul, Mr. Kiran Nair, Ms. Elene Tchezhia, Mr. Chih-Ting Liu and Mr. Rachid Tiroual.

More photographs are available in the designated gallery.


IASL Graduate Dr. Jiefang Huang appointed Director of ICAO Legal Bureau

We are proud to announce that former graduate of the Institute, Dr. Jiefang Huang, has been appointed as the new Director of Legal Affairs and External Relations Bureau of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

Dr. Jiefang Huang, graduate of the Institute of Air and Space Law, was appointed the Director of the ICAO Legal Affairs and External Relations Bureau

Dr. Huang completed his LLM degree at the IASL in 1985, and began his career as an international civil servant at ICAO, the Montreal-based United Nations organization that regulates the safety and security of international civil aviation.  In addition to his many professional commitments, Dr. Huang is actively engaged in the activities of the Institute and its alumni association. He has taught courses at the Institute, and throughout the years has also provided thesis supervision to many of our students. In addition, Dr. Huang is a member of the Editorial Board of the Annals of Air and Space Law, and an External Member of the Board of the Centre for Research in Air and Space Law.  In 2009, Dr. Huang received his doctorate in law from Leiden’s International Institute of Air and Space Law. 

As the Director of ICAO’s Legal Bureau, Dr. Huang will play an instrumental role in providing advice and assistance to the ICAO Secretary General and ICAO Member States on matters relating to international law, air law, and other key administrative and procedural matters. This well-deserved appointment is a testament to Dr. Huang’s valuable contributions and dedication to ICAO and the global aviation community.

Originally from China, Dr. Huang is one of many of our graduates who, after obtaining their degree at the IASL, go on to occupy prominent positions at the national and intergovernmental level. Current ICAO Council President, Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, is also a graduate of the Institute. In the very words of Dr. Huang, the Institute is “the jewel of the crown in this field”, and a degree from McGill is “regarded as a precious currency fluidly circulated in [the] aviation world”.

We wish Dr. Huang every success in his new role at ICAO!


New course in Aircraft Finance Law offered to IASL students

Dr. Donal Hanley together with Institute of Air and Space Law Director Professor Brian Havel. Dr. Hanley inaugurated a new course in Aircraft Finance Law at McGill.

The McGill Institute of Air and Space Law welcomed Dr. Donal P. Hanley last month to teach a new specialised course in Aircraft Finance Law. Dr. Hanley has 25 years of experience in aircraft leasing and finance law in Ireland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. He is Vice President, Legal, of Aviation Capital Group (ACG), a large aircraft leasing company headquartered in Newport Beach, California, and is Managing Director of its Irish subsidiary, ACG Aircraft Leasing Ireland Limited, based in Dublin. He also serves as a director on the board of ACG’s other Irish and Swedish subsidiaries and was a founder of ACG’s joint venture in Egypt, CIAF Leasing.Dr. Donal Hanley (white bowtie) celebrating the successful defence of his PhD in the presence of, among others, IASL Director Professor Havel (far left), thesis supervisor Professor Peter Haanappel (raised glass), the late Dr. Donald Bunker (in red), IIASL Director Professor Pablo Mendes de Leon, and Cologne Institute of Air and Space Law Director Professor Stephan Hobe.

According to Dr. Hanley, “aircraft finance is one of the most dynamic aspects of global aviation at the moment and likely will remain so for the foreseeable future. Long seen more as a part of finance law, with the majority of commercial aircraft being held pursuant to a lease or financing, aircraft financing law has now evolved into an integral part of air law. In this course, I try to focus students initially on the business concepts of aircraft finance, and then transition from there to the legal structures that implement those concepts.”

As well as holding professional qualifications in each of the jurisdictions where he has worked, and also MBA and LLM degrees, Dr. Hanley received his PhD in international aircraft finance law from Leiden University’s International Institute of Air and Space Law (IIASL). The IASL Director, Professor Dr. Brian F. Havel, served with the IIASL Director, Professor Dr. Pablo M. J. Mendes de Leon, on the committee that conducted Dr. Hanley’s defence of his PhD dissertation.

We are delighted that Dr. Hanley has joined our teaching faculty. For many years our lectures in aircraft finance law were taught with great enthusiasm and panache by the late Dr. Donald H. Bunker (whose obituary appears on this site), who held a DCL from the Institute and who championed aircraft finance law as a key part of our air law curriculum. We believe that Dr. Hanley, also a gifted lecturer, will be a most worthy successor to Dr. Bunker.


MILAMOS Project enters Phase II and embraces more global partners

We are pleased to announce that the project to draft the McGill Manual on International Law Applicable to Military Uses of Outer Space (MILAMOS) has matured and is entering a new phase of expansion. After over 18 months of intense drafting and four consensus-forming and government engagement workshops in various parts of the world, Phase II of the MILAMOS Project will see a streamlining of the work process, and intensified engagement with new global partners succeeding the University of Adelaide and the University of Exeter, which have recently elected to conclude their participation in the Project. These new McGill-led efforts will ensure the Project steadily progresses toward maintaining the original objectives and scope of the Project as well as its the scheduled completion date of 2019.

With support from several international partners and stakeholders, the MILAMOS Project was originally conceived and publicly inaugurated at McGill University in May 2016. The Project aims to develop a widely-accepted manual that clarifies the fundamental rules applicable to military uses of outer space by both States and non-State actors in times of peace, in periods of rising tensions, and in times of armed conflict. From the outset, the Manual was never intended to be drafted solely for the benefit of military operators “in the field”. The McGill Manual was conceived as a comprehensive expression of the lex lata (the law as it is) for use by a wide spectrum of space operators and stakeholders with an interest in the security and sustainability of space activities, rather than solely as a field manual for military operations. The value of the Manual will be its relevance and salience to States, militaries, private space actors, civil society, academics and other relevant stakeholders with an interest in the orderly conduct of space activities, and that original conception will be sustained in Phase II of the MILAMOS Project.

The Project has already gathered the support and endorsement of various stakeholders and governments around the world, and has gained widespread attention in the international media. To date, McGill University has played a leading role in garnering the necessary financial and human resources to initiate and sustain the MILAMOS Project. An International Group of Experts, comprised of individuals with recognised expertise who are representative of the international community at large, is already actively involved in the drafting of the McGill Manual, and rule-drafting workshops and State engagement events have been held in Canada, Australia, India, and the United States of America. Having provided funding of over $400,000 in the MILAMOS Project to date, McGill remains fully committed to the original vision and mission of the McGill Manual to be a neutral, inclusive, innovative, interdisciplinary, and representative clarification of the applicable law that enjoys the endorsement of States from around the world. The Government of Canada, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), ROOM, The Space Journal, and the Erin JC Arsenault Fund at McGill University have been instrumental in providing most of the resources for the MILAMOS Project.

A truly global partnership of stakeholders and representation of perspective will be crucial to the ultimate success and acceptance of such an ambitious international endeavour. New partners, including institutions and expertise from Russia, China and other non-Western States, are actively being engaged to ensure the McGill Manual accurately captures the nuances and perspectives of different States and stakeholders, and is reflective of the wide spectrum of interests and concerns relating to the military uses of outer space. Only by embracing partners around the globe will the manual-drafting and consensus-forming process and the resultant Manual achieve the intended objective of being an accepted, authoritative and instrumental document in shaping the security and sustainability of activities in outer space.

More information on the progress and developments surrounding Phase II of the MILAMOS Project will follow shortly.

Prof. Dr. Ram S. Jakhu
MILAMOS Project Director


IASL’s New Colloquium Series in Air and Space Law

The new IASL Colloquium Series[1] in Air and Space Law has hosted four events in the 2017-2018 academic year.

Former U.S. Under Secretary of Transportation for Policy, Jeffrey N. Shane with IASL Director Professor Brian Havel.On 26 October 2017, John R. Byerly, former U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary for Transportation Affairs at the Department of State, presented insights into the conduct of aerodiplomacy from his vantage point as the former chief of air services negotiations for the U.S. State Department.  Mr. Byerly particularly shared his experience of the lengthy process that led to the 2007 U.S./EU Air Transport Agreement which, together with its 2010 Protocol, remains the most ambitious open skies bilateral agreement ever signed.

On 9 November 2017, air transport consultant Chris Lyle, whose career at the Montreal-based International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) encompassed several key portfolios including economic regulation, did his remarkable modified “pecha kucha”[2] slide presentation (i.e., 60 slides for about 60 seconds each) on Brexit and aviation. The UK Government, it seems, remains at war with itself about the shape and consequences of the UK’s future relationship with the European Union and air transport is caught in that vortex of indecision and uncertainty.

In the Winter Semester, on 25 January 2018, the general counsel of the Montreal- and Geneva, Switzerland-based International Air Transport Association (IATA) and former U.S. Under Secretary of Transportation for Policy, Jeffrey N. Shane, enthralled students with his “insider” perspective on IATA’s litigation docket, which currently includes two amicus briefs filed with the U.S. Supreme Court. He also laid out the breadth of IATA’s landscape of law-related activities and initiatives including its standard-setting machinery (the e-ticket, for example).Participants attending the colloquia of Mr. Michael Gill, IATA’s Director for Aviation Environment and Executive Director of the Air Transport Action Group (ATAG).

Most recently, on 8 February 2018, we were joined by Mr. Shane’s fellow Geneva-based colleague, Michael Gill, who is both IATA’s Director for Aviation Environment and also Executive Director of the aviation industry’s cross-sectoral coalition for environmental sustainability, the Air Transport Action Group (ATAG). Mr. Gill gave our students a “deep-dive” exposure to the emergence and planned introduction of the “Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA), the multilateral aircraft emissions reduction measure that has been adopted by ICAO.

More Colloquia will follow, including speakers discussing future convergences between the governance regimes for air and space.

More pictures from the Colloquia to date can be found on the Events section of the website.

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[1] Colloquium: a conversation in an academic setting in which specialists address a specific topic and answer questions relating to that topic; distinguished from a Symposium, originally a drinking party but now used to describe a more formal academic conference in which multiple scholarly papers are presented and discussed; a Seminar is also a more formal academic setting, usually involving the presentation of a single scholarly paper; in our IASL Colloquium, if the speaker is scheduled beyond 5 p.m., a glass of wine is usually served, thereby blending the Colloquium with the original idea of the Symposium

 

[2] “Pecha kucha” is a PowerPoint presentation methodology that limits the speaker to 20 slides shown for 20 seconds each.  See http://www.pechakucha.org/.  Too inflexible (and gimmicky) for law-focused presentations, in our view. We much prefer Mr. Lyle’s approach.

 


In Memory of Dr. George S. Robinson

With tremendous sadness, we regret to announce that Dr. George S. Robinson passed away on 4 February 2018.

For over four decades, Dr. Robinson dedicated himself to public service, the space law profession, and education. The recipient of the first Doctor of Civil Law (DCL) degree in space law awarded by the McGill Institute of Air and Space Law, Dr Robinson worked as legal counsel at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC. Dr. Robinson worked tirelessly to advance interest and research in international and national space law and policy, and is well-known for organising conferences on forward-looking legal and practical topics in space. As a reflection of his brilliance and foresight, and underpinned by the strong belief that biological evolution and space migration are instrumental to the survival of humankind, he conceived and initiated a unique symposium addressing legal and bio-medical aspects of a future space society.

In his long, rich and illustrious career, Dr. Robinson also served as an international relations specialist at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), where he was Desk Officer for developing collaborative research and educational programmes with Canada, the United Kingdom, Japan, Spain, and Pakistan. Upon leaving the Smithsonian Institution in 1995, Dr. Robinson established (with his sons and daughter-in-law) the firm of Robinson & Associates Law Offices, P.C. (now Robinson and Robinson, LLC), a domestic and international law practice specialising in the laws of corporations, intellectual property and space commerce. Despite his professional commitments, Dr. Robinson served on the board of directors of various science research facilities, foundations, and hospitals, and dedicated himself to educating and inspiring future generations. Throughout the years, Dr. Robinson taught and lectured in law and business at numerous universities in the United States and elsewhere. He authored over 100 articles and books on a broad range of subjects, including public and private international law relating to space activities, space commerce, and aviation law; science/technology law, maritime law and policies relating to oceanography and limnology; the law relating to conservation of land, critical habitats, and animal and plant species; terrestrial and oceanographic environmental law, and business law. Dr. Robinson was a prolific contributor to the IASL’s flagship journal, Annals of Air and Space Law, producing many insightful and enriching articles that outline philosophical ideas and visions of the space governance system that are well beyond our time.

Even after leaving the IASL, Dr. Robinson was a proud alum and remained a great friend and supporter of its mission and work. He found great pleasure in interacting with students at the Institute, often going to great lengths to assist emerging scholars and professionals with their research and connecting their with opportunities in the aviation and space law fields. In recognition of Dr. Robinson's unique contributions to the study of space law, the Institute established the George S. and Ann K. Robinson Prize for Excellence in Space Law to support innovative and original contributions to space jurisprudence. Dr. Robinson was one of an elite group of space lawyers who was far ahead of his peers in imagining and envisioning life and human evolution in the 21st Century and beyond.

George Robinson was a mentor and friend to all of us at the IASL. The international space law community has lost an extraordinary and visionary scholar. We extend our most sincere condolences to his family. May he rest in peace.

Professor Brian Havel
Director, Institute of Air and Space Law

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The McGill Faculty of Law magazie, Focus, carried an interview with the late Dr. Robinson, who offered some anecdotes about his life at McGill and what inspired him to pursue studies in air and space law.

In memory of Dr. Robinson and his tremendous contributions to education and the study of space law, you can support the George S. and Ann K. Robinson Prize for Excellence in Space Law using the attached donation form.


Remembering Donald H. Bunker

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our dear colleague Professor Dr. Donald Harry Bunker, on January 25, at the age of 77 in his home, following a brief illness. As Adjunct Professor, Dr. Bunker was always happy to return to Montreal every year and teach Aviation Finance at the Institute, where he declared he had "so many livelong friends (...) which [brought] [him] back all the time". He will be greatly missed by his family, friends and colleagues.


The 11th McGill University/PEOPIL Conference on International Aviation Law, Liability, Insurance and Finance

19-20 October 2018

The dedicated conference page is now available.

We look forward to welcoming you in October 2018 in Dublin, Ireland.

This event will bring together world-Leading aviation liability, insurance & finance experts to address the following topics:

  • Comparative Jurisprudence under the Warsaw System and the Montreal Convention of 1999 
  • Liability of Airlines, Airports, Maintenance Providers & Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs)
  • Products Liability of Manufacturers Aircraft, Engines & Component Parts
  • Governmental Liability
  • Challenges of Settlement
  • Consumer Protection Regulation & Litigation
  • Unruly Passengers and Liability for Acts of Unlawful Interference
  • Accident Investigations, Annex 13 & Criminalization of International Aviation
  • Regulation of Drones and Liability of Operators
  • Aircraft Leasing and Finance

In addition, the conference will host a luncheon and reception/dinner to facilitate networking between attorneys, insurers, air carriers, manufacturers and governmental representatives.

The preliminary version of the programme and registration form are now available.

Prior conferences

Toulouse 2008

Montreal 2009

Amsterdam 2010

Montreal 2011

London 2012

Montreal 2013

London 2014

Montreal 2015

Edinburgh 2016

Montreal 2017


 


Publications of the Centre for Research in Air and Space Law available through WS Hein

 The Centre for Research in Air and Space Law is proud to announce our new partnership with WS Hein to streamline the publication, marketing and distribution of the Centre’s publications.

In the coming period, all of the Centre’s past, present and future publications, including the Centre’s flagship publication, the Annals of Air and Space Law, will be available for purchase or for reading at the click of a button on HeinOnline’s website.

Keep reading...

 


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!