Dear Friends of the Institute of Air and Space Law,
These are challenging times for everyone, and for the aerospace industry as a whole, across the globe. How dramatically and unexpectedly the world has been turned upside down in a matter of weeks, with lasting consequences for our interconnected lives, our health, our communities, and our economies. The way we interact, work, and learn has had to adapt to life in the time of the coronavirus. We remain hopeful that after the current pandemic subsides, the world will emerge stronger and more genuinely unified than ever before.
Following guidelines from governments doing their utmost to contain the virus, and paying attention to the advisories from McGill University, my colleagues and I at the Institute are working hard to maintain our educational curriculum and research activities in these uncertain times.
While it is imperative to practice social distancing and to work remotely, we are in constant (virtual) contact with the graduate students and professionals who are enrolled at the Institute. After a mandatory hiatus of two weeks, lectures have resumed through online platforms. Both the University and the Faculty are doing their utmost to support and accommodate students in the sudden transition to new modes of learning and studying. Assessment criteria are being adapted to reflect the difficulties that students and staff have had to overcome because of reduced contact hours. Our students have shown amazing resilience and understanding, and we are touched by the solidarity and support they extend to one another as they navigate the change of circumstances. We remain committed to the well-being of our students, most of whom are from beyond the borders of Canada and who naturally are concerned for the safety and security of their loved ones.
Research projects, such as the Manual on International Law Applicable to Military Uses of Outer Space (MILAMOS), are pressing forward as planned. From the beginning, MILAMOS has been a collaborative effort facilitated largely through online processes in addition to in-person workshops, and we are hopeful that the final manuscript will be sent to the publisher in a few months. We are also proud to announce the upcoming launch of Volumes 44 and 45 of the Annals of Air and Space Law, which will include outstanding original research by IASL graduate students. These volumes will respectively be published in the Summer and Fall of 2020.
As the world slows, we will be using the opportunity to make preparations and improvements. In the coming period, we will be revamping the IASL website to make it more user-friendly and accessible. It will include enhancements to make the website a source of lively commentary on what is sure to be one of the most transformative periods in the evolution of air and space law and policy. A new information portal for alumni will also be featured. This process of revamping the website may take up to two months. We will make every attempt to keep the site up-to-date, but we ask for your understanding for any inconvenience this transition may cause.
It is unfortunate that a series of planned events needed to be postponed for the time being, including our annual International Aviation Liability, Insurance and Finance Conference (which was to be held in Paris in June) and the Qatar Airways/McGill Air Law Speed Moot Court Competition, which this year extended eligibility to students registered in law schools throughout Quebec and Ontario. Rest assured, we are working closely with our colleagues and partners around the world to plan new dates for these highly-anticipated activities.
We are also proud to announce that plans to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Institute in 2021 are well under way. A series of events, including a major international conference headlined by Canadian astronauts, will be part of the IASL’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations that will coincide with the bicentennial of McGill University. At the Institute of Air and Space Law, we continue to work toward and look forward to the moments of hope and joy that enable us somehow to transcend the hardship of times like those we are all now experiencing.
In a matter of weeks, the novel coronavirus has shown the world just how vulnerable we are as human beings. The Institute honours the front-line medical workers, including many McGill students and graduates, who are performing miracles every single day, and we commend the efforts of countless others who are keeping essential services running in dire times. This is a time for contemplation, for gratitude, and for unity. As the governance of both aviation and outer space has demonstrated, there are inflection moments in history when the world is able to put aside differences and come together to address urgent matters of global concern. This is surely one of those moments.
Do take good care of yourselves, and keep calm. We will get through this together.
Ensemble, nous surmonterons cette épreuve.
With very best wishes
Brian F. Havel,
Director, McGill Institute of Air and Space Law
Note: There will be no in-person classes and no in-person sit-down examinations for the Winter 2020 term. Students will not be required to be physically on campus for the rest of the term. Visit the Coronavirus update website for more information.
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...
Photographs from the 12th Annual McGill Conference on International Aviation Liability, Insurance & Finance are available online.
- The 2020 Qatar Airways/McGill Air Law Speed Moot Court Competition has been postponed until further notice due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The 13th McGill International Aviation Liability, Insurance and Finance Conference has been postponed until further notice due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The European Alumae and Alumni Association meeting is postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Association sends it deep regrets .
Latest news and announcements
- Launch of the Sarin-McGill Annual Student Essay Contest on Aircraft Finance and Leasing
- IASL Director holds second virtual meeting with students
- IASL Co-Signs Open Letter on Space as a Global Commons
- IASL Director and faculty conduct online session with students
- IASL Graduate Ms. Isabella Vilhena Declared Winner of IATA’s 2020 Constance O'Keefe Aviation Law Writing Award
- IASL Director Brian F. Havel Receives Honorary Doctorate of Laws from the National University of Ireland
- Annual Holiday Reception and Book Launches
- IASL Students Play Role in Formal Entry into Force of Montreal Protocol
- IASL Student from Singapore meets the Father of Singaporean Aviation
- 12th McGill International Aviation Liability, Insurance and Finance Conference a resounding success
- Dr. Donal Hanley joins the Institute as Adjunct Professor
- Strategic Space Law Course 2019 successfully took off in Montreal
- IASL’s First Fall Colloquium: Eamonn Brennan on Eurocontrol
- IASL Student Nivedita Raju winner of the 2019 IAWA Scholarship Award
- The MILAMOS Project highlighted at the UN Conference on Space Law and Policy
- ICAO’s 40th Assembly in Montreal
- IASL Director Chairs Key Panel at Inaugural CAPA Canada Aviation Summit
- Singapore and the IASL
- New IASL Class
- 68th IASL Association Graduation Dinner
- Qatar Airways/McGill Moot Competition and Rising Scholars Conference Take Off with Resounding Success
- IASL Inks Internship MOU with Global Airline Pilots Organisation IFALPA
- McGill Team wins North American Rounds of Manfed Lachs Space Law Moot
- Artificial Intelligence and Space Law presentation at the University of Helsinki
- UAE Representative to ICAO Captain Aysha Al-Hameli Leads Colloquium at IASL
- Decarbonising Aviation: The Why and The How
The McGill Institute of Air and Space Law (IASL) is honoured to announce the “virtual” launch of the Sarin-McGill Annual Student Essay Contest on Aircraft Finance and Leasing.
This new global essay contest is being sponsored and administered by the Chandigarh-based Sarin & Co., India’s leading law firm specialising in aircraft financing and leasing.
Over 35 IASL students, faculty, and guests joined the IASL Director, Professor Brian F. Havel, to welcome key figures at Sarin & Co. who participated with Professor Havel in making the historic announcement.
Mr. Manmohan Lal Sarin, the Principal at Sarin & Co., expressed his excitement at the launch of this global competition, and highlighted the continuing socially-responsible and philanthropic mission of the firm to light the fires of passion for aviation law in the hearts of young people. Quoting Swami Vivekananda, who famously remarked that “The history of the world is the history of a few men who had faith in themselves”, he urged students to let passion reign to change the world.
Mr. Nitin Sarin, Managing Partner at Sarin & Co., recounted how the Essay Contest came into being during a casual brainstorming session with his colleagues back in February this year. Noting that education is the spice of life, he expressed hope that the contest will allow students to dig deeper into a fascinating issues of aviation finance and leasing, which needs professionals able to approach this ever-evolving field of law with creativity and innovative ideas.
Endorsing the great value of the Essay Contest, Adjunct Professor Dr. Donal Hanley noted that this is a great initiative for students to think outside the box about legal principles and strategies that may be employed to ensure the survival of the industry. Dr. Hanley, the first recipient of a doctorate in aviation acquisition financing law, teaches the module on Aircraft Finance Law at the Institute, and is continuing McGill’s long-standing academic strength in the field which began with the late Dr. Donald H. Bunker.
The Essay Contest is further testament to the commitment of the Sarin Family to social responsibility and advancing legal education and professional training. The Institute is extremely privileged to partner with industry leader Sarin & Co. in spearheading further opportunities for advancing research and interest in aviation across the globe. Through the charitable Sarin Memorial Legal Aid Foundation, the Sarin Family also co-founded the Leiden-Sarin International Air Law Moot Court Competition, which is organised annually by Leiden University’s International Institute of Air and Space Law in the Netherlands.
For full details of the Essay Contest, including procedures and timetables for submission and judging of entries, please visit the dedicated page.
To mark the occasion of the launch of the Contest, we provide here an extract from Professor Havel’s remarks introducing the Sarin family and firm to the IASL audience:
Good morning (and good evening):
Through the power of Zoom we welcome participants from Vancouver, Canada, all the way to Singapore, via Bologna, Italy, Vienna, Austria, and Chandigarh, India, and other places besides. We hope that everyone is keeping safe as we navigate this incredibly precarious and pernicious global health emergency. We are starting this morning with a most pleasant ceremony that will allow us a few moments of happy respite from the Covid-19 crisis. Of course, we would like to have had this ceremony in person, signing a memorandum of understanding and with champagne and cake, but it is still a great pleasure to welcome members of the Sarin family and their guests and colleagues from Chandigarh, India, to announce the newly-established Sarin-McGill Annual Student Essay Contest on Aircraft Finance and Leasing
Before I call upon Nitin Sarin to launch the Contest formally, a few words about the Sarin family, eponymous leaders of our official sponsor, the internationally-renowned, India-based, almost nonagenarian law firm, Sarin & Co. (a bit older than the IASL, which will be a septuagenarian in 2021).
I have been reading the story of the family and their law firm, and this is a rich tapestry from which I only have time to select a few central threads to honour them this morning.
Manmohan Sarin, the family patriarch, is with us this morning. He embodies the family’s longstanding belief in social responsibility and moral values such as honesty and integrity. He is, in fact, much more than a practising lawyer, although he has had a glittering legal career. He is, I would say, a public man, what the French properly call un homme engagé, an “engaged man,” and I need only cite a few examples from his life to illustrate.
Manmohan Sarin was trained in law on two continents (an achievement he and Nitin share). He is the only professional to have served as Advocate General for two Indian states. He is co-author and reviser of textbooks and treatises on rental law, company law, family law, oil and gas law, property law, and, remarkably, a legal handbook on blood bank law published in 2003 and distributed free by Sarin & Co. throughout India. Manmohan Sarin, in fact, is himself a star blood donor and has given blood 115 times at last count and he has been a crusader for the blood donation movement internationally. In the vernacular of our present times, he has been a front-line campaigner for blood donation.
As public men and women tend to be, Manmohan Sarin is a man of passion, and another of his passions has been his role as a global ambassador for Chandigarh, designed by the Swiss architect Le Corbusier as India’s first planned city. Known as the “City Beautiful,” Chandigarh has a profound historical resonance connected with the separation of India and Pakistan. The city became the symbol of the new India and has been the home city of Sarin & Co. since 1955.
You will not be surprised to find, among many honours bestowed upon him, that an homme engagé should twice have received the title of Chevalier – Knight – from the Republic of France, most recently in 2016.
And all of this is on top of his work as head of his law firm, Sarin & Co., founded by his father Harbans Lal Sarin in 1932, a law firm that discharges Manmohan Sarin’s mission of social responsibility through the Sarin Memorial Legal Aid Foundation. Among the Foundation’s activities with which participants today will be familiar is the Leiden-Sarin International Air Law Moot Court Competition, in which McGill has been a frequent and successful participant.
Manmohan Sarin’s family is precious to him, and we also welcome his youngest of three children, Nitin, who I have known since I taught him in the Leiden LLM course more than decade ago.
This new contest is Nitin’s initiative. It arrives at a time when he has become established, as Dr. Donal Hanley [IASL adjunct professor and former aircraft finance global executive] will attest, as one of the most accomplished aviation finance lawyers not just in India but throughout the world. Nitin is the maestro in India of the Cape Town Convention [CTC], having set the benchmark for successful aircraft repossession under the CTC at 48 hours, and having in 2018 completed the first Indian deregistration and export under an IDERA (a feat that will truly be understood only by Dr. Hanley’s students).
Nitin Sarin has headed Sarin & Co.’s aviation department since 2008, doing multibillion dollar transactions and demonstrating (as I think he may have said somewhere) that the Indian legal system and the CTC do work if they are “in the right hands.”
Nitin has inherited his father’s commitment to social responsibility including a strong belief, shared with his father, that lawyers should be committed to the training of law students.
This new Essay Contest is a testament to that commitment and the McGill IASL is honoured to partner with Sarin & Co. in creating an innovative and imaginative initiative that will spread interest in and knowledge of aviation finance law to students in law schools around the world.
We are honoured, further, that Sarin & Co., one of the world’s finest law firms and an aviation law powerhouse, has chosen through this Essay Contest to recognise not only McGill’s dedication to international collaboration and transnational and trans-systemic legal education, but also the IASL’s longstanding academic strength in aviation finance law. We were the first academic institution to offer teaching in this subject through the long professorial reign of the late Donald H. Bunker, regarded as the father of aviation finance law and whose law firm in the United Arab Emirates and Canada is affiliated with Sarin & Co. The Bunker tradition is now carried on by his student, McGill Adjunct Professor Dr. Donal Hanley, who holds the world’s first doctorate in aviation finance law.
On 1 May 2020, Director of the Institute of Air and Space Law (IASL) Professor Brian F. Havel and several members of faculty held the second “virtual” meeting with all IASL students and several faculty members. The first meeting was held in early April, just after students returned after a mandatory two-week hiatus caused by the Covid-19 emergency and lectures transitioned online.
Students, faculty and special guest speakers joined in from various locales around the world, including Singapore, Bologna, Italy, Vienna, Austria, and Chandigarh, India.
Kicking off the meeting was the announcement of the global launch of the Sarin-McGill Annual Student Essay Contest on Aircraft Finance and Leasing. This annual competition is generously supported and administered by the Chandigarh-based law firm Sarin & Co.
The Institute is extremely honoured to partner with Sarin & Co. in this worthwhile initiative, which is open to students enrolled in an undergraduate, graduate or doctoral programme at any law school or legal professional training school worldwide. The Essay Contest will allow students and budding legal professionals the opportunity to delve into a complex and fascinating field of law which has emerged from its former niche status and is today at the heart of the global aviation industry.
Following the exciting contest announcement, IASL master’s and doctoral graduate and head of the World Bank's air transport division, Dr. Charles Schlumberger, shared with participants in the virtual meeting his update on the present impact of the coronavirus on the global airline sector. Making a grim but forceful analogy, Dr. Schlumberger noted that at this unprecedented moment in history, airlines and policy-makers are like passengers in the aftermath of a plane crash: feeling disoriented and unable to fully comprehend everything that is happening and changing so quickly. In the uncertainty and volatility of the market, traffic and tourism has been severely affected. Scheduled flights have declined 67% over the past two months, and 11 major airlines have become insolvent. Sharing various predictions made by analysts, Mr. Schlumberger noted that a quick recovery is not guaranteed. In recent weeks, Mr. Schlumberger has provided the Institute with regular updates from his World Bank bulletin on this subject, and he will continue to provide students and faculty at the Institute with more of his insights as the crisis persists.
Dr. Alexander Batalov, Alternate Representative for Russia on the ICAO Council and Professor of Law at Moscow State University, also joined the virtual meeting. Dr. Batalov gave an overview of how the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is handing the current coronavirus crisis. The latest step is the establishment of the COVID-19 Aviation Recovery Task Force, a multi-agency ICAO taskforce charged with identifying strategic priorities for coping with the ongoing challenges, and facilitating the restart of operations in a sustainable and orderly manner. As the only lawyer elected at the 40th ICAO Assembly to membership of the ICAO Air Navigation Commission, the Institute is privileged to announce that Dr. Batalov will be joining the IASL faculty to teach Government Regulation of Air Transport in the Winter Semester of 2021.
Lastly, IASL fourth-year doctoral candidate, Ms. Upasana Dasgupta, together with her husband, an IT expert and web applications developer Mr Debanjan Sengupta, updated the participants on a new IASL-led initiative to create a real-time portal on government-imposed restrictions on international air travel. The ALERT (Air Line Emergency Restrictions Tracker) portal will display relevant information in a clear and easy-to-navigate manner. Soon travellers, and researchers from across the globe, will be able to access first-hand information relating to travel restrictions across the globe as well as the health screening and quarantining of passengers. The dedicated website, expected to launch later this month, will display relevant regulations and measures in place, while country-specific travel advisories can be easily accessed through an interactive map of the world.
As the world enters another month of life under lockdown, the Institute and its faculty remain committed to ensuring that our students are fully supported throughout this difficult period. Though everyone is social distancing at home, these monthly sessions have allowed students and IASL faculty members to connect and keep informed about the latest developments. The sense of sharing and togetherness fostered through our virtual sessions will strengthen the lifelong bonds that have always united the members of the McGill Family worldwide.
On 20 April 2020, Professor Ram Jakhu co-signed an Open Letter addressed to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada Mr. François-Philippe Champagne on the matter of the recent United States’ Executive Order on Encouraging International Support for the Recovery and Use of Space Resources. Among the other prominent people who co-signed the Open Letter are IASL alumna and Chair of the Space Advisory Board of Canada Dr. Lucy Stojak, former Chair of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNCOPUOS) Dr. David Kendall, and former Canadian Ambassador for Disarmament Ambassador (retired) Paul Meyer.
The US Executive Order acknowledges the long-standing uncertainty regarding the right to recover and use space resources, including the extension of the right to commercial recovery and use of lunar resources. However, it goes on to further assert that the United States does not view the unique domain of outer space as a global commons. The Executive Order also mandates the US Department of State to seek international support for the US position.
The Open Letter, which is also addressed to Prime Minister of Canada Mr. Justin Trudeau, the Deputy Prime Minister, Ms. Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry Mr. Navdeep Bains, and Mr. Seamus O’Regan, the Canadian Minister of Natural Resources, urges the Government of Canada to reiterate the enduring policy that outer space is a global commons. The letter further urged Canada to work through multilateral forums to seek a widely-supported international agreement on how space resources should be recovered and used.
“The words ‘The United States does not view [outer space] as a global commons’ may seem to be a simple, short and harmless statement in relation only to space resources,” Professor Jakhu said of the Executive Order. “But there's more to this than meets the eye”.
The Executive Order may have a weighty impact in the interpretation of the 1967 Outer Space Treaty. Further, it would have implications on the permissibility of activities conducted by States and non-governmental entities in areas beyond national jurisdiction. Professor Jakhu expressed concern that due to severe economic and social fallout as a result of the pandemic, there will be little coverage in the media and discussion at the international governmental level on the profound implications of this foundational shift in the international legal status of outer space.
Due to the pandemic, meetings of the UNCOPUOS, the world’s leading international body with the mandate to address all aspects of exploration and use of outer space, have been postponed. The Legal Subcommittee of the UNCOPUOS, which is currently chaired by IASL alumna Professor Setsuko Aoki, was supposed to convene a meeting at the end of March to discuss, among other matters, the issues relating to the exploration, exploitation and utilisation of space resources.
The Centre for Research in Air and Space Law, the research arm of the Institute of Air and Space Law, has over the years conducted in-depth studies into the issue of space resources. The Outer Space Treaty provides that “outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, is not subject to national appropriation by claim of sovereignty, by means of use or occupation, or by any other means”. There is, however, little guidance on the legality of the recovery and use of space resources.
The Moon Agreement specifically underlines that the Moon, or any part or natural resources on the Moon, shall not be the property of any State, international organisation or person. The Moon Agreement, in the negotiations and adoption of which saw the United States played an active role, also envisions the establishment of a legal framework for States to administer the recovery and use of space resources. It should be recalled that it was the US that co-sponsored and promoted the adoption of an innovative and important provision in the Moon Agreement according to which the “Moon and its natural resources are the common heritage of mankind,” while the Soviet Union was strongly opposed to this concept. To date only 18 States are party to the Moon Agreement, meaning that the provisions of the Moon Agreement have not achieved widespread ratification, although the Agreement was unanimously adopted in 1979 by the members of the United Nations, including the United States.
In March this year, Professor Jakhu participated in the drafting of the Vancouver Recommendations on Space Mining on behalf of the Institute. With input from other prominent experts and practitioners from across the globe, the Vancouver Recommendations call upon the international community to convene multilateral negotiations to establish an international regime for space mining. The negotiations should be open to all States and should seek input from science, industry, and other non-governmental stakeholders.
“The signing of this [Executive Order] is a culmination of the current US administration’s space policy on space resources”, Professor Jakhu said. “With the single stroke of a pen Donald Trump, the President of the United States, undermined the universally recognised concept that outer space is a global commons, and that too during the period when the whole world is nervously preoccupied in the fight against a devastating global pandemic, Covid-19”.
From the beginning of the Space Age, multilateralism has been the universally preferred approach that has produced five UN Treaties on outer space, including the 1967 Outer Space Treaty. It is important to note that irrespective of its nationalistic attitude, unilateral initiative and rhetorical tone, the Executive Order still shows the US commitment to the Outer Space Treaty and requires recovery and use of space resources to be consistent with applicable law. There is therefore hope that the international community and a different President in the White House may eventually prefer multilateral efforts in the governance of exploitation of space resources, which by any stretch of imagination will not become commercially feasible at least for the next 20 years.
“The central research point for the academic community is to determine whether or not a single State can change the international legal status of outer space,” Professor Jakhu said. “And the fundamental question for the international community is whether there should be a unilateral or multilateral approach to governance of outer space”.
International law should respond to realities and facts of international developments and relations. “However, where communal interests are at play,” Professor Jakhu wishes to underline, “it is imperative for States to come together and come to agreement on matters of global concern before unilateral de facto national interests become too hardened or entrenched for compromises to be reached and agreements to be concluded.” The Outer Space Treaty, for instance, was negotiated at the global level ahead of any meaningful space activities. This approach proved right as no serious dispute arose during the last 50 years of existence of this foundational space agreement. A similar approach should be taken with respect to space natural resources, the exploitation of which should only be undertaken pursuant to appropriate international agreement based on the balance of interests of all nations.
Responding to the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic, IASL Director Professor Brian F. Havel, joined by Professor Ram Jakhu and several faculty members, held an interactive information session with all current students of the Institute. This follows a recent message from the Director asking for calm, unity, and hope in these uncertain times.
In this live virtual session with the IASL students, Professor Havel reassured students that the Institute is continuing its operations as usual, albeit in a transformed fashion. To allay concerns about the unexpected interruptions to routine and academic life, the Director underlined that he and his colleagues remain fully committed to support and assist students with their studies and research needs. Ongoing efforts are also being made to coordinate with internship partners to ensure that IASL students will continue to have access to opportunities for professional training and experience in the summer months.
As everyone emerged from a mandated two-week suspension of all activities at McGill University, Professor Havel expressed confidence in the transition to online learning. Courses specific to the Institute, including Professor Ludwig Weber’s Government Regulation of Air Transport and Professor Jakhu’s Law of Space Applications, have been taught online over the past week. While online instruction can be an effective substitute under present circumstances, Professor Havel underlined the value of in-person interactions and discussions, and noted that in-class instruction will continue to be the preferred approach to curriculum delivery at the Institute in the future.
Though several scheduled Institute events needed to be postponed due to present realities, every effort is being undertaken to resume the flurry of activities and events as soon as the pandemic is over. The annual Graduation Dinner, typically organised for the graduating class in April prior to the conclusion of the Winter Semester, is unfortunately no longer feasible but alternative ways to honour our Class of 2019-20 are currently being considered. Still on course is a series of celebratory activities for the Institute’s Platinum Jubilee beginning in January 2021, the year that marks the 70th anniversary of our beloved institution.
During this period of practising social distancing and working remotely, energy will be dedicated to revamping the IASL website to make it more user-friendly and accessible. Also, immediate efforts will be made to collate information on air travel restrictions and bans, as well as pertinent details relating to quarantine and screening of passengers. Living up to its continuing mission to inform and educate the public about the latest developments and trends in aerospace law, the collated information will be made available through an up-to-date open-source portal as a public service offered by the IASL to the world at large.
Airline Business and Law course lecturer and Adjunct Professor Dr. Paul Fitzgerald underlined the severe challenges that airlines around the world are facing. Highlighting innovative ways that airlines have used to adapt their business models in these uncertain economic times, such as implementing social distancing by leaving valuable inventories of seats unsold, Professor Fitzgerald reminded everyone that this is also a time when airlines are stepping up to fulfil common carrier obligations to ensure that communities remain connected. Echoing the profound impact that the current crisis is having on the aviation industry, Adjunct Professor Dr. Ludwig Weber noted the need for massive injections of financial support to ensure that the engine behind the world’s economy and the connectivity it provides can be sustained beyond the crisis.
Institute Director Professor Havel noted that the term “black swan” event, which is supposed to refer to a once-a-century systemic shock, is now being used inaptly to describe events that are hitting the airline industry virtually every decade. Nevertheless, he observed that while the industry has previously survived these recurring challenges, it needs now to have an injection not only of bailout funds but also of “smart” government for aviation. The entire industry is ripe for innovation in the fields of public health, public policy, and public security. He predicted that the aviation industry in the future will be seen also as a “system” as well as a commercial sector, and that private/public partnerships will increasingly form part of the governance of the industry. Mandatory health screenings and health monitoring equipment, for example, would be part of the everyday experience of flying. The new challenge, he concluded, would be to create a much more sustainable aviation industry in the future.
Adjunct Professor Dr. Donal Hanley, who taught the Aircraft Finance Law course this semester, drew comparisons between the current downturn in the aviation industry and the disruption that the aviation sector experienced after 9/11. Though it is clear that the scale and global repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic are unprecedented, Dr. Hanley encouraged students to transform these times of confinement into moments to think creatively about legal principles and strategies that may be employed to ensure the survival of the industry. Indeed, former IASL Director and Faculty of Law Professor Emeritus Armand de Mestral noted that the realities of home isolation and social distancing provide a unique moment in our lives for reflection on the problems that have beset society in recent decades.
Prof Ram Jakhu expressed appreciation to the IASL Director for convening a virtual gathering of all students and faculty of the Institute during a time of social isolation. The solidarity and reassurance provided by the meeting would be a welcome comfort to everyone who is seeking to adjust to the “new normal”. Underlining that challenging times can strengthen will and resolve, Professor Jakhu expressed optimism that the world will be able to get through this period and emerge stronger than ever before. Professor Jakhu also used the opportunity to inform everyone that the MILAMOS Project, the flagship research project of the Institute’s Centre for Research in Air and Space Law, is progressing toward its expected conclusion later this year. Despite having to postpone a scheduled rule-drafting and consensus-forming workshop in the US State of Mississippi at the end of April, the distinguished members of the MILAMOS Group of Experts have renewed their commitments to ensuring the completion of the McGill Manual in 2020.
Over 30 students and faculty connected online for the hour-long session. Besides raising essential housekeeping matters, several students also made encouraging remarks about how they are dealing with their current experience. Earlier, a virtual cocktail party was organised by the a student to ensure that everyone remains connected in the time of social distancing.
In closing the meeting, Professor Havel invited all IASL students and faculty to join him again for a second virtual meeting on May 1, when a special announcement is promised. Details of the announcement will, of course, appear here on the IASL website.
IASL Graduate Ms. Isabella Vilhena Declared Winner of IATA’s 2020 Constance O'Keefe Aviation Law Writing Award
We are proud to announce that IASL graduate Ms. Isabella Vilhena was declared the winner of the 2020 Constance O’Keefe Aviation Law Writing Award by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). The Award, named in honour of IATA’s former General Counsel, is presented annually to young aviation professionals who write a paper addressing a particular legal problem or development of commercial relevance to the leading trade association for the world’s airlines and its members.
“Receiving this award”, Ms. Vilhena said, “was [a] priceless, memorable experience”. Presenting her with the prestigious commemorative plaque (see photo above) were (on left) Mr. Marco Marchegiani, partner at top Italian law firm and Award sponsor Studio Pierallini, and (on right) Mr. Jeffrey N. Shane, IATA General Counsel and former Under-Secretary for Policy at the U.S. Department of Transportation. Ms. Vilhena received the 2020 Award at the 2020 IATA Legal Symposium, IATA’s flagship conference on aviation law and the world's premier annual aviation law event, held on 19-21 February in New York City. Featuring lively panels that address the aviation industry’s most pressing legal and policy challenges, the Legal Symposium attracts renowned aviation law practitioners and an unmatched roster of global airline executives.
“It is a great honour for me, as a Latin American woman and McGill alumna, to receive such a prize”, Ms. Vilhena said. Her paper, titled “Foreign ownership in Airlines: the Brazilian experience” was inspired by IASL Director Professor Brian F. Havel, who in 2016 presented a seminal report on foreign investment in airlines to the World Economic Forum. “I could barely believe that [IATA] chose my paper - that one I wrote and revised a thousand times on those snowy days at Nahum Gelber Library - as the winning entry”.
Ms. Vilhena (LL.M 2018) is currently a Senior Associate at Basch & Rameh, located in São Paulo, Brazil. In addition to winning this great honour, Ms. Vilhena is also the proud recipient of the 2018 International Aviation Women’s Association (IAWA) Scholarship. In 2019, she was on secondment at Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP (Blakes), which acts as the external counsel to the Aviation Working Group (the entity that oversees the development of the Cape Town Convention on aircraft acquisition financing). Ms. Vilhena joined the Blakes Aviation & Aerospace team to work on the introduction of the Convention’s novel Compliance Index.
Several former IASL graduates, including Mr. Andrew Harrington (2013) and Mr. René David-Cooper (2017), have also been named winners of the Constance O’Keefe Aviation Law Writing Award. The IASL is extremely proud of the impressive accomplishments of all our graduates who, like Ms. Vilhena, are recognised around the world for their intellectual acumen and professionalism.
Well done, Isabella!
IASL Director Brian F. Havel Receives Honorary Doctorate of Laws from the National University of Ireland
Professor Dr. Brian F. Havel, the Director of the McGill Institute of Air and Space Law, received an Honorary Doctorate of Laws (LLD) from his alma mater, the National University of Ireland, University College Dublin (UCD), at a conferring ceremony in Dublin, Ireland, on Monday 2 December 2019.
The Citation for the Degree, which describes the IASL as “the world’s most prestigious academic setting for the study of air and space law,” was read by the Dean of the UCD Faculty of Law, Professor Imelda Maher, and the Degree was conferred honoris causa by the President of the University, Dr. Andrew Deeks.
In his speech accompanying the Conferring, Dr. Havel conveyed McGill’s appreciation of this new connection between the two Universities, and in that context he emphasised the importance of maintaining connections in one’s life. He noted for example that as an aviation and space lawyer he is driven to see connections everywhere, especially in the aviation industry which in his view is the ultimate expression of peaceful global connectivity between nations and people as expressed in the preamble to the 1944 Convention on International Civil Aviation.
Continuing a log-standing tradition, the alumni association of the IASL, the Institute of Air and Space Law Association, once again hosted its annual Holiday Reception on Thursday December 5, in the historic Billiard Room of the McGill Faculty Club. Among the guests was Her Excellency the Permanent Representative of Italy to the ICAO Council, Dr. Silvia Costantini. Here are some extracts from the welcome address of the IASL Director, Professor Brian F. Havel (most of the lighter moments in the speech have been removed):
As well as our alumni, we are joined by the members of the IASL LLM and Certificate class of 2018-2019 as well as by a number of exchange students from Brazil, the Czech Republic, Mexico, Poland, Sweden, and Russia, who have taken an interest in air and space law and no doubt will be part of our future graduate programmes in the Institute – a total group of 26 students representing 19 countries and five continents, a most impressive group of individuals
High points of 2019 - our new relationship with the Chinese University of Hong Kong began in January, including an Asian alumni reunion, and our thoughts are with our alumnus, Professor June Lee, who is on the CUHK faculty and who has been a loyal friend of the Institute; here in Montreal we had our first environmental law colloquium/conference, we kicked off a planned new lecture series on technology for air and space lawyers hosted by alumnus Ayman Idlbi, we had a wonderful colloquium with Captain Aysha Alhamili, the UAE supernova and IASL graduate who was a recent candidate for the ICAO Presidency, and we announced a series of new internships . . .
We held the second annual Air Law Speed Moot Court Competition and the first annual McGill Rising Scholars in Air and Space Law Conference, both events endowed by Qatar Airways
Moot court successes included winning the North American finals of the Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court Competition and best brief in the world finals in Washington DC, as well as a best memorial Award in the Leiden/Sarin International Air Law Moot Court Competition in India
We had a beautiful graduation dinner speech from Dr. Lucy Stojak, Chair of the Space Advisory Board of Canada, who is an IASL graduate and who was here at the Institute today to join me and Professor Jakhu in examining the doctoral thesis of Dr. Eytan Tepper
We had outstanding placements of our graduates with ICAO, the European Commission, aviation manufacturers including Pratt & Whitney, airlines, law firms, and government agencies including the Canadian Space Agency and the Office of the Canadian Judge Advocate General, we had lecture and conference appearances all over the world including for Professor Jakhu’s flagship project, the multi-year Manual on International Law Applicable to Military Uses of Outer Space (MILAMOS), for which we conducted expert workshops in Montreal, Berlin, and Tokyo, and we are speeding toward culminaton of this project and a public launch in summer 2020,
We had the admission of two new doctoral candidates, Artur Eberg and Mathieu Vaugeois, and as I mentioned the graduation today of Dr. Eytan Tepper for his excellent disquisition on polycentric approaches to the governance of space, we offer our congratulations to Eytan, for whom this is his second doctorate (the first earned at the Chinese University of Political Science and Law), and he will now begin a research fellowship at New York University.
We recall also our students’ involvement in the 40th ICAO Assembly in September and their role as Rapporeturs for the highly successful 12th Annual McGill Conference on International Aviation Liability, Insurance, and Finance held in Montreal in October, the largest conference we have ever staged and the first time our students assumed the role of rapporteurs
Our colloquia included sessions with John R. Byerly, former U.S. chief negotiator for the U.S./EU Air Transport Agreement, and Eamonn Brennan, the Director General of Europe’s largest aviation regulator, we had the fifth rendition of the Strategic Space Law course that attracted worldwide interest from governments, industry, and private practitioners, and we participated in the establishment of an ICAO-supported worldwide partnership of aviation educators called Alicanto.
We also enjoyed a giant international chocolate and vanilla flag cake bearing the national flags of all of our students to mark the end of classes last week, and last but not least in this brief recitation, our first ever IASL wedding, held at the Institute on a beautiful late October day, between doctoral candidate Maria Manoli and recently graduated DCL Lukas Vanhonnaeker, our FedEx Fellow in Air Law – as far as I know, the marriage has been a great success!
In February 2020 we will formally launch Volumes 43 and 44 of the Annals of Air and Space Law and we will have the editor, Bruno Savoie, here with us to celebrate his third and final volume and we will be getting ready for a series of very special volumes to mark the 70th anniversary of the Institute of Air and Space Law in academic year 2020-2021.
I am also delighted to announce the publication of the 2019 Space Security Index, 16th edition, a project which tracks worldwide developments and trends in the space domain and with which the Institute has been involved as a founding institution, and I also want to acknowledge the participation of our students Tobias Pang, Shaul Gordon, Polly Averns, and Boris Hall in assembling this year’s Index.
Finally, we welcome Dr. Shakeel Ahmad from Islamabad, Pakistan, who is our Erin J.C. Arsenault post-doctoral fellow working on MILAMOS as well as on his research project focused on negotiating customary international law in outer space.
A proud moment for the McGill Institute of Air and Space Law. Three distinguished IASL graduates who are part of the ICAO team – Jiefang Huang (Director, ICAO Legal Affairs and External Relations Bureau), Marla Weinstein (Legal Officer with the Legal Affairs and External Relations Bureau), and Prithviraj Sharma (Aviation Policy Advisor, Nigerian Mission to ICAO) – were honoured to participate in the celebration of an important milestone in the field of aviation law. The Protocol to Amend the Convention on Offences and Certain Other Acts Committed on Board Aircraft, done at Montreal on 4 April 2014 (The Montreal Protocol 2014), will enter into force on 1 January 2020. The necessary twenty-second instrument of ratification was deposited with the Secretary General of ICAO, Dr. Fang Liu, by the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on 26 November 2019.
The instrument was ratified by the President of Nigeria, His Excellency Muhammadu Buhari, on 22 November 2019, and was deposited by Nigeria’s Minister of Aviation, His Excellency Senator Hadi Sirika.
The Montreal Protocol 2014 amends the Convention on Offences and Certain Other Acts Committed on Board Aircraft, done at Tokyo on 14 September 1963 (Tokyo Convention, 1963). The Protocol addresses the issue of rising incidents of unruly and disruptive behaviour on board aircraft by significantly improving the ability of States to expand jurisdiction over relevant offences and acts to the State of landing and the State of the operator. The Protocol will also serve to enhance global aviation security provisions by expressly extending legal recognition and protections to in-flight security officers
Ms. Sarah Wee, a promising student in this year’s IASL class whose studies are sponsored by the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS), had the unique opportunity to enjoy a one-on-one meeting with Mr. Pak Cheow Cheong, who is recognised widely as the Father of Singaporean Aviation. Ms. Wee, the latest of a generation of aviation professionals being cultivated by CAAS, met Mr. Cheong at his residence in Westmount, Montreal.
Mr. Pak Cheow Cheong was a senior civil servant in the Government of Singapore, and was the key person behind the island-nation’s aviation policy. Shortly after gaining independence, Mr. Cheong was tasked with managing the aviation infrastructure and aerodromes left behind by the British. With little expertise to call on, Mr. Cheong singlehanded represented Singapore in the negotiation of bilateral air service agreements as the Director of Civil Aviation and a member of the executive board of the then fledgling flag carrier, Singapore Airlines. He masterminded the development of special economic and industrial zones around airports, and laid the foundations for the then small airfield at Changi to blossom into the global aviation hub it is today.
“It was an honour to meet Mr. Cheong and to hear him speak of his invaluable contributions to the beginnings of civil aviation in Singapore,” Ms. Wee said. “It was especially moving to listen to him describe his vision for Singapore’s future in aviation that I was fortunate enough to witness come to fruition”.
With great foresight, the Father of Singaporean Aviation predicted that Singapore’s geographic location would be well suited to facilitate regional air traffic and transit passengers. Already in the late 1960s, Mr. Cheong foresaw the need for three runways in order to accommodate the exponential rise in demand in air travel and tackle airport congestion. True to his vision, fifty years after his prediction, the three-runway system is expected to be implemented at Changi Airport in the mid-2020s. Before coming to the Institute, Ms. Wee interned at the airport development and planning division of the CAAS. “Part of the work I was involved in was the construction of a third runway for the airport expansion project”.
With his wealth of experience and insight in aviation, Mr. Cheong took up a senior position as an international civil servant at the International Civil Aviation Organization in the mid-1970s. Due to Mr. Cheong’s great appreciation for education, and recognition of the importance of cultivating young talents, the Cheong Family has throughout the decades been great supporters of the Institute and its many overseas students. Recognising the challenges of starting life in a whole new country and setting, Mr. Cheong’s family has extended their home and hospitality to many students over the years.
Ms. Wee is one of many star students who have joined the Institute in this academic year. After completing her A Levels in Singapore, she was awarded a scholarship by CAAS for her undergraduate and postgraduate education. “I am looking forward to working there upon my return to Singapore next fall after the completion of the LLM, and being part of Singapore’s fast-growing aviation industry”, she said. Apart from aviation and space, she also has a keen interest in international adoption advocacy. Last summer, she volunteered at a foster home in China, and led a research project that shed light on the experiences of international adoptive families in Singapore.
The 12th Annual McGill Conference on International Aviation Liability, Insurance and Finance took place on 18-19 October 2019 at the EVO Plaza Centre-Ville in Montreal. More than 200 registered participants from 32 countries took part in the Conference, which spanned 12 highly engaging panels addressing a variety of legal topics and problems of great interest and importance to the aviation industry.
The first day took off with an all-star panel focusing on Recent Developments in Air Carrier Passenger Liability. Moderated by IASL Director Emeritus Professor Paul Dempsey, distinguished speakers addressed recent litigation in light of the crashes and groundings of the ill-fated Boeing 737 MAX. Other panels focused on, among many relevant issues, the liability of airports, air navigation service and maintenance providers, liability issues arising from drone disruption, the Cape Town Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment after 15 years in force, and recent developments in air carrier cargo liability.
A special blue-ribbon panel, moderated by IASL Adjunct Professor Ludwig Weber, was convened on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Montreal Convention of 1999. Dr. Jiefang Huang (Director of the Legal and External Affairs Bureau of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and External Member of the McGill Centre for Research in Air and Space Law), together with Dr. Alexander Batalov (the Alternate Representative of the Russian Federation on the ICAO Council), and distinguished practitioners Mr. Sean Gates (Gates Aviation), and IASL graduate Mr. Andrew Harakas (Clyde & Co., New York) exchanged perspectives on the impact of the Montreal Convention on aviation litigation and insurance.
Institute Director Professor Brian Havel chaired a panel of four in-house counsel with senior lawyers from Etihad Airways, Air France/KLM, Air Canada, and Cargojet, who together offered fascinating insights into issues relating to claims management and compliance with many safety, security and consumer protection regulations in the highly regulated aviation industry. As well as the panel on cargo, other new additions to the Conference panel line-up included a discussion of liability issues among leaders affiliated with four big international aviation organisations (ICAO, the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the International Federation of Airline Pilots Associations (IFALPA), and Airports Council International (ACI)) and a panel of rising aviation legal professionals organised under the capable leadership of IASL graduate Prithviraj Sharma. The latter panel, featuring junior air and space law professionals who are currently practitioners, pursuing doctoral studies, or employed at national and international regulatory bodies, gave recent IASL graduates the valuable opportunity to share their experience and perspectives on pursuing a career in these highly complex and competitive fields.
Another innovation this year was that the students in IASL Director Professor Brian F. Havel’s Private International Air Law class each served as “rapporteurs” for one of the 12 panels and their collective record of the discussions will appear in the forthcoming Volume 44 of the IASL’s official academic journal, the “Annals of Air and Space Law.”
Besides the interactive panels with distinguished speakers and experts, there were ample opportunities for socialising and networking during coffee breaks and luncheons. On the first day of the Conference, Mr. James Kreindler (Kreindler & Kreindler LLP, New York) moved the participants with a compelling keynote speech entitled “9/11: The Greatest Untold Story”. The next day, Mr. Sean Gates, one of the world’s top aviation defence lawyers, streamed in live from London at lunchtime to share with the Conference attendees his personal insights and experiences on aviation liability claims from his illustrious career spanning over three decades.
During the gala reception held on the Friday night of the Conference, a new classic rock band “The Flying Outlaws” (bringing together international aviation lawyers Prof. Paul Dempsey, Mr. Steven Marks, Mr. Urban Olson, and Mr. Alan Reitzfeld, along with guest vocalist Ms. Louise-Hélène Sénécal of Air Canada) made their debut performance. The band’s musical wizardry and rich vocal range were stellar, and rumour has it that further Conference appearances will follow.
As in the past, the Conference, which is highly regarded among aviation practitioners and experts worldwide, was sponsored by leading law firms in the United States, Canada, and Europe including Kreindler, Clifford Law Offices, Stewarts, Advokatfirman Urban Olson, PodhurstOrseck, Alexander Holburn, Arena Alvarez, Borden Ladner Gervais (BLG), Clyde & Co., Gasco Goodhue St. Germain, Holland & Knight, Morgan Lewis, and Paterson MacDougall (pmlaw). Air Canada, Montreal-Trudeau International Airport, and the Canadian Bar Association were also among the proud sponsors of the Conference.
The Conference, which brings together renowned experts and practitioners to address recent trends, issues and developments relating to aviation liability, insurance and finance, is organised annually, alternating between Montreal and another European city. Over the past twelve years, the Conference has been held in Toulouse (2008), Amsterdam (2010), London (2012, 2014), Edinburgh (2016), and Dublin (2018).
The next rendition of the McGill Conference on International Aviation Liability, Insurance and Finance will be held in Paris in June 2020. It will coincide with the annual reunion of the IASL’s European alumni, and will launch the year-long celebrations surrounding the Institute’s 70th anniversary.
We are delighted to announce that Dr. Donal Hanley has formally joined the Institute of Air and Space Law as an Adjunct Professor. In the past two years, Dr. Hanley taught the highly sought-after Aircraft Financing Course to students of the Institute and McGill Faculty of Law. His appointment as Adjunct Professor underlines how this burgeoning field of aviation law is becoming an integral part of the Institute’s educational and research agenda.
In addition to teaching aircraft financing and leasing law as an Adjunct Professor at the Institute, Dr. Hanley is an Instructor at the International Air Transport Association (IATA). He is also a non-executive director of the Irish subsidiaries of WNG Capital LLC, a commercial aircraft leasing company. Previously, he founded and served as first managing director of the Irish office of Aviation Capital Group LLC (ACG), co-founded CIAF Leasing, a joint venture between ACG and the Civil Aviation Ministry of Egypt, and was Vice President, Legal of ACG in charge of all leasing matters. Prior to joining ACG, Dr. Hanley was Director, Legal of the California aircraft leasing subsidiary of Mitsui & Co., Ltd. His wealth of knowledge in aviation finance and leasing builds on his years of private practice experience at McCann FitzGerald (London and Dublin), Anderson Mori (Tokyo), and Linklaters (Tokyo).
Dr. Hanley has been a great supporter of and a familiar face at the Institute for many years. He attends the Annual McGill Conference on International Aviation Liability, Insurance & Finance, both as speaker and participant, and he was a key person behind the the highly successful event held in his native Ireland in 2018.
“It was with great delight that I learned of my appointment as an Adjunct Professor”, Dr. Hanley said. “Before I began my post-graduate studies in air law, I had hoped one day to be a part of [this] world-renowned Institute, even if I was not then quite sure how. Although I ended up studying in Montreal, it was to study for an Aviation MBA at Concordia University, where one of my lecturers was Professor Donald Bunker of the Institute, who was to become a great mentor and friend. And, although I was to pursue post-graduate studies in air law after that, it was to be at Leiden University, “the other place” (as Oxford refers to Cambridge)”.
Dr. Hanley personally vows to be “a worthy successor” to the late Professor Bunker, who for many years lectured at the Institute and was always a great source of encouragement to graduates. “As aircraft finance and leasing law provides a fruitful area for important legal research, and, no less importantly, a source of employment for Institute graduates, the Institute, under the leadership of Professor Brian Havel, is to be commended for the opportunities it provides for its students for research and study in this field of air law.”
Welcome, Dr. Hanley!
On 15-18 October 2019, the Strategic Space Law Course 2019 was held in Montreal, Canada. Organised in cooperation with Spectrum Space Security Inc., headed by Institute graduate Mr. Gilles Doucet, the Course attracted the participation of 40 participants from Canada and overseas.
Over the course of 4 days, participants attended engaging lectures led by some of the most renowned subject-matter experts and practitioners around the world. Among the seasoned lecturers were Professor Ram Jakhu (McGill University, Canada), Dr. David Kendall (Outer Space Institute, Canada; former Chair of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space), Professor Steven Freeland (Western Sydney University, Australia), and Israeli cyberlaw expert Ms. Deborah Housen-Couriel (Interdisciplinary Cyber Research Center, Tel Aviv University, Israel). The participants hailed from Canada, France, Germany, Greece, Pakistan, South Korea, and the United States, and included professionals from various departments of government, from the commercial space sector, as well as students and visiting scholars.
The first two days of the Course covered elementary topics, such as the technical and operational aspects of the military use of space, the sustainability of the space environment, and an introduction to space law making at the international and national level. As the Course progressed, participants delved deeper into topics such as licensing, commercial space transactions, and the intersection of cybersecurity law and space law, subject-matters that space operators and policy advisers must be able to grapple with in a domain that has intrinsically been tied to military applications and uses. The variety of perspectives and expertise of the lecturers provided participants with a valuable understanding of the types of technology and operations currently employed and under development that will have implications for strategic and military operations in space. Among many novel topics of growing relevance for military space strategists and space operators, Dr. Stuart Eves contributed a lecture on Space Situational Awareness Warfare, a topic never before addressed openly. With increasing rhetoric identifying space as a “war-fighting” domain, the Course concluded with lectures by United States Air Force Maj. Brian Green, who addressed the use of force in space, and the application of the law of armed conflict in the event of hostilities in space. Complementing the engaging lectures were hands-on practical exercises, which provided participants valuable opportunities to work collectively and to apply newly acquired knowledge and skills to address legal, policy and commercial issues arising from simulated scenarios.
The Strategic Space Law Course provided legal and policy professionals with a solid understanding of the strategic and economic value of space, and the applicable rules of international law that govern security and commercial activities. With participation from across various policy and legal branches of the government, the Course further provided ample opportunities to stimulate exchanges and networking that will be of value to professionals working in the defence and government services, international organisations, and the commercial space industry.
Since 2015, the McGill Centre for Research in Air and Space Law has convened the Strategic Space Law course, the world's first professional training course focusing on the legal and policy considerations surrounding the strategic uses of outer space. The next rendition of the Course will be organised in early 2020.
On 25 September, the IASL held the first of its fall Colloquia in Air and Space Law. The speaker was Eamonn Brennan, Director-General of Eurocontrol, the huge civil-military organisation that stands astride Europe’s air traffic management system. The title of the talk, Eurocontrol: The Hidden Gem of European Aviation, is a direct quote from the Director-General. Using a spectacular mix of slides and video, Mr Brennan gave a 90-minute overview of Eurocontrol’s many-layered operational process that prioritises what he called “traffic flow versus the nationality of traffic.” He also provided candid insights into how Europe views some of aviation’s pressing policy issues – including the competitive battle between the established airlines and the rising Gulf carriers, the evolving drone culture (and the “hype” that accompanies it), the future of aircraft and of aircraft certification, and the airline industry’s response to the “Greta Thurnberg”-inspired climate change protests. He advised students to consult Eurocontrol’s website for recent publications by its Aviation Intelligence Unit on topics such as the operation of airport slots and the decarbonisation of the aviation economy. In his concluding remarks thanking Mr. Brennan, IASL Director Professor Brian F. Havel observed that, “for all of its technological achievements, the civil aviation sector in North America and especially the United States may well be said to lack a forward-looking leadership group in the form of an organisation on a par with Eurocontrol.” Professor Havel quoted the words of Eurocontrol’s 2019, press release on 5 September 2019 stating that its recent work would contribute greatly to “‘future-proofing’ the sustainability of the aviation industry going forward.”
Eamonn Brennan, the Director-General of Eurocontrol since 1 January 2018, has 35 years of civil aviation experience on three continents, in 25 countries, and in both the public and private sectors. Prior to taking the DG position at Eurocontrol, from 2003 to 2017 he was Chief Executive of the Irish Aviation Authority, where his jurisdiction included supervision of the world’s largest international airline, Ryanair. His diverse experience includes several other major roles in international civil aviation, including as Chairman of the Civil Aviation Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO).
We are extremely delighted to announce that current IASL LL.M. student Ms. Nivedita Raju is the winner of the 2019 International Aviation Womens Association (IAWA) Scholarship Award. Ms. Raju was conferred the honour at IAWA’s latest annual conference held in Lima, Peru, on 16-18 October 2019.
IAWA’s mission is to promote the professional development of women in aviation and aerospace, and develop the next generation of leaders in these bourgeoning industries. With close to 400 members who are prominent management and executive level women working in major companies and organisations in the aerospace and aviation industries, IAWA works tirelessly to build a more inclusive workplace by supporting and advocating for women.
The IAWA Scholarship is awarded based on merit to candidates majoring in law, management business or finance and who have a true passion for aviation. Every year in the past decade, a female graduate of the Institute has been awarded the IAWA Scholarship, which is testament to the high calibre of students admitted to the Institute. For years, there has been increasing recognition of the importance women in aviation and space, and the need to ensure better representation of female aerospace professionals. During her visit to the Institute last year, ICAO Secretary-General Dr. Fang Liu praised the gender balance and cultural diversity of the IASL class, which consists of students originating from 19 different countries, of whom 55% are women.
“With the aim of advancing female leadership, the IAWA conference is designed to facilitate meaningful engagement with women in aerospace. Over the course of three days, I had the opportunity to exchange views and learn from these inspiring women, while attending sessions on professional development and challenging gender biases in our industry,” Ms. Raju said. “I’m honoured to be the IAWA Scholar for 2019 and look forward to contributing to the organization in the future”.
Nivedita’s fascinating with and experience in aviation law stems from her role as primary legal Associate on aircraft finance and leasing transactions at Gagrats Advocates & Solicitors in Mumbai, India. Her passion for the subject culminated in her admission into the LL.M in Air and Space Law at McGill University. Since joining the McGill Family, Ms. Raju has been an active and outstanding member of the Institute, excelling not only in her studies but also in extracurricular activities. She was a member of the Best Team at the Qatar Airways/McGill Intramural Air Law Speed Moot Court Competition, where she was also decorated with the Best Oralist Award. In addition to winning the of Best Team and Best Memorial distinctions at North American Regional Rounds of the Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court Competition, she Ms. Raju was a member of the McGill space law moot team that competed in the World Semi-Finals of the Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot and took home the Best Memorial Award in October 2019. Eager to facilitate dialogue on issues of air and space law, she assumed the position of Conference Coordinator for the inaugural Qatar Airways/McGill Rising Scholars in Air and Space Law Conference, 2019 to enable students to exchange views with academics and professionals alike.
At the annual IAWA Conference, every scholarship recipient is paired with an ambassador, who being a prominent female role model in the aviation industry, inducts the award recipient into the Association and advises the budding young professional of the career prospects. At the Lima Conference, Ms. Raju was paired with Ms. Andrea Brantner, Senior Vice-President and Lead Counsel of commercial aviation financing and leasing company GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS), who connected the 2019 IAWA Award winner with other women in leadership positions in the industry. Reflecting on her experience at the Conference, Ms. Raju underlined how heartening it was to experience a conference culture built to support women in a male-dominated field.
Ms. Raju is keen to explore policy-making in the aerospace industry and worked with the Indian delegation during the 40th Triennial Assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). She continues to contribute to research in both air and space law at various law journals, including the Annals of Air and Space Law, the flagship publication of the McGill Centre for Research in Air and Space Law.
The McGill Centre for Research in Air and Space Law (CRASL) is proud to have been invited to take part in the United Nations/Turkey/APSCO Conference on Space Law and Policy, held in Istanbul, Turkey, on 23-26 September 2019. The Executive Director of the Centre, Mr. David Kuan-Wei Chen, were among the select number of speakers invited to speak at this highly anticipated international conference.
Through various panels and interactive breakout sessions for delegates to exchange viewpoints on core elements of national space legislation or policy, the Conference explored pressing matters of space law and policy in light of the unprecedented development and growth in space activities and applications. The overarching theme of the Conference centred around how to further promote the responsible, safe, and peaceful use of outer space. Other themes that were the focus of panels throughout the four-day conference covered best practices in sharing remote sensing data, the legal regime of outer space and global governance, the long-term sustainability of outer space activities, and strengthening capacity-building in space law and policy.
Mr. Chen was among the first to present in front of close to 200 delegates composed of officials from the space agency and ministries of dozens of States, industry representatives, academics and students. In his presentation titled “The Role of International Manuals in Contributing to the Responsible, Safe and Peaceful Use of Outer Space”, he highlighted the practical value of international manuals as a recognised means of identifying and clarifying the custom and practice in relation to the spectrum of military uses and the conduct of military operations in space. Indeed, the latest Report of the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNCOPUOS) urged States to explore various ways and means to maintaining outer space for peaceful purposes. A manual, produced by a spectrum of experts and stakeholders from across the globe, which outlines the legality of activities in the exploration and use of the outer space, would be a practical means to address the broader perspective of space security and associated matters key to ensuring the responsible, safe and sustainable conduct of space activities.
Indeed, at the latest session of UNCOPUOS, delegates affirmed that, among other matters of concern, in light of the proliferation of new space activities and actors, the “absence of conflicts in space in the past could not be regarded as a guarantee of peace”. There is an urgent need for meaningful efforts to prevent “misperception, misinformation, misunderstanding and miscalculation arising from military activities in outer space”. The McGill Manual on International Law Applicable to Military Uses of Outer Space, which has been under construction for the past three years, can provide “a useful reference” to identifying established customary norms of international law. An international manual clarifying the law as it stands with regard to the principle of due regard in the conduct of space activities, the legality of laser dazzling, and whether the deployment of weapons are permissible in space, would complement the recently adopted Long-Term Sustainability Guidelines. An international manual on military uses of outer space would provide a neutral and objective means of identifying and clarifying the customs and practices of States and international organisations with regard to various types of space activities and operations that have a military or strategic nature and implications for space security.
The presentation was well-received and many participants at the UN Conference showed interest in the objectives and outcomes of the MILAMOS Project. For decades, until the creation of the Group of Governmental Experts on the Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space, States were wary of openly discussing the use of space for defence and military space security. Though the production of such a manual is not without its challenges, the process of producing a manual, and the black-letter rules and associated commentary produced by the group of experts involved, will form a foundation for States and stakeholders at the multilateral level to discuss the sensitive topic of space security and strategic uses of space.
The Conference, co-organised by the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), TUBITAK UZAY, the Turkish Space Agency and the Asia Pacific Space Cooperation Organization (APSCO), was the second such high-level conference of its kind in the world. In 2018, the first UN Conference on Space Law and Policy was held in Moscow, the Russian Federation, where Mr. Chen was invited to take part as a moderator on the panel dealing with space traffic management.
Immediately after the Conference, the eighth rule-drafting and consensus-forming workshop of the MILAMOS Project convened in Montreal, Canada. The opportunity to highlight the meaningful contributions of the McGill Manual to the progressive development of international law governing space activities, as well as the invitation to take part in discussions at high-level fora such as the UN Conference on Space Law and Policy, underlines the recognition of the value of the research and outreach activities of the McGill Centre for Research in Air and Space Law. Just prior to the UN Conference, Mr. Chen was also one of the invited lecturers at the APSCO Space Law Training Course, a biannual capacity-building initiative to raise awareness and enhance the understanding of space law and orderly space governance, particularly for of people from developing spacefaring States.
Also taking place at ICAO was the inaugural business meeting of ALICANTO, a new global organisation that aims to promote collaboration among universities with teaching and research programmes in aviation and aeronautics. The Institute has been instrumental in launching ALICANTO, which has been set up as a non-profit corporation headquartered in the IASL’s home province of Quebec, Canada. Already over 20 universities and institutes of higher education have joined the new organisation. We are grateful to Angela Albritton at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University for her oversight of the ALICANTO project and for organising this ICAO on-site meeting. The Institute was represented at the first meeting by Mario Manoli, DCL candidate and Senior Research Supervisor.
The Institute’s Director, Professor Brian F. Havel, moderated a so-called “blockbuster” panel on Canada’s air transport “access” settings at the first CAPA (Centre for Aviation) Canada Aviation Summit held in Winnipeg on 9-10 September 2019.
Professor Havel’s panel comprised Massimo Bergamini, outgoing director of the National Airlines Council of Canada, Vladimir Zubkov, Secretary-General of the International Air Cargo Association, Professor David Duval of the Faculty of Business & Economics of the University of Winnipeg, Ferio Pugliese, Senior Vice President, Air Canada Express and Government Relations, and Mike McNaney, Vice President, Industry, Corporate & Airport Affairs, Westjet. The energetic discussion focused on Canada’s “blue sky” international policy for air transport negotiations, described by one panelist as “Old Testament” policy that no longer governs how Canadian negotiators actually operate.
The panel also looked at the future of Canada’s air cargo industry, the geographic and economic characteristics of the Canadian marketplace, the issue of foreign ownership of Canadian airlines, rising competition from the Gulf carriers, and the coherence of the current Government’s approach to aviation policy as a national election approaches. The chief executive of CAPA, Peter Harbison, is an IASL graduate.
The entire panel discussion can be viewed online.
The IASL was represented at the 40th Assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), which has been taking place in Montreal, ICAO’s global headquarters city. Students from the Institute attended sessions of the ICAO Assembly’s Legal Commission and interned with a number of ICAO delegations to assist members of the delegations in preparing their contributions to the Assembly debates.
Three new LLM students, Eugene Shevchuk (UK and Ukraine), Charles Brichet (Belgium), and Felicia Schneggenburger (Austria), also attended the United Arab Emirates’ inaugural Youth Council, a project associated with ICAO’s Next Generation of Aviation Professionals (NGAP) programme which is designed to encourage young people to consider careers in all sectors of the global air transport industry. The event was addressed by H.E. Sultan Al Mansoori, Minister of Economy and Chairman of the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority, and also H.E. Saif Al Suwaidi, Director General of the UAE Civil Aviation Authority.
A delegation of the UAE’s young aviation leaders, drawn from the ranks of rising stars in the UAE civil aviation agencies, joined the IASL Director, Professor Brian F. Havel, and Professor Ram S. Jakhu, at the Institute for an exchange of views about the McGill model of air and space law teaching. As well as the UAE Representative to the ICAO Council, Captain Aysha al-Hamili, a graduate of the IASL and candidate for the ICAO Presidency, the visiting UAE representatives included Abdulla Bin Hindi, Sahar Al Zarooni, Yousuf Alawadhi, Saif Al Shamsi, and Shaima Alharmoodi.
The IASL Director, Professor Brian F. Havel, was in Singapore for the month preceding the opening of term to teach the Aviation Law course at the National University of Singapore (NUS). The NUS Faculty of Law, ranked as No. 1 in Asia, welcomed Professor Havel as Visiting Professor of Law to teach an intensive three-week module in public and private air law that is normally the province of Professor Alan Kee-Jin Tan, who was taking a sabbatical break to celebrate his 25th year at the law school. Professor Tan is the leading academic commentator on the aviation policies of ASEAN, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, including its plans for a new open aviation market connecting all of its 10 members including Singapore. 22 students registered for Professor Havel’s course, which took place at the historic NUS Bukit Timah campus in central Singapore.
After his NUS sojourn, Professor Havel joined the head of the Legal Committee of the International Civil Aviation Organisation, Ms. Siew Huay Tan, and the Director of the International Institute of Air and Space Law in Leiden, the Netherlands, Professor Pablo Mendes de Leon, as joint instructor for the annual specialised course in International Air Law and Policy offered by the Singapore Aviation Academy (SAA). Over 40 civil aviation administrators, drawn from national authorities in more than 30 countries, attended the intensive five-day course at the SAA’s beautiful teaching facility adjacent to Singapore’s Changi Airport. Professor Havel’s lectures focused on the Chicago Convention, the bilateral treaty system, and current issues in safety, security, and the environment. Professor Havel was present at the SAA under the terms of a Memorandum of Understanding between the IASL and the SAA signed in 2006.
Consolidating the Institute’s relationship with Singapore, Sarah Wee, an official of the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore, has joined our new LLM class.
The new academic year 2019/20 has opened, and the McGill Institute of Air and Space Law has had a busy first month. A dozen countries are represented in our incoming graduate class, maintaining our strong tradition of cosmopolitanism. The new class includes students from one country that has not previously been represented at the IASL – Iceland. Welcome to Montreal, McGill, and the IASL, to all of our new students. The class has already had its first informal welcome reception, and a more formal event is planned shortly.
On 25 April 2019, the Institute of Air and Space Law Association (IASLA) held its 68th Annual Graduation Dinner in the splendid setting of the McGill Faculty Club. For close to seven decades, this annual festive event, held at the conclusion of every academic year, marks the induction of new members of the graduating class into the Association, which connects over 1100 Institute graduates all over the world. This year, in the most diverse and cosmopolitan class in the Institute’s history, 20 students from 19 different countries joined as new members of this this ever-growing and exclusive club of air and space law professionals.Close to 70 faculty members, graduates, alumni and friends of the Association attended the special occasion, the second Graduation Dinner presided over by Institute Director Professor Brian F. Havel. The Director used the occasion to recap highlights of the past years as well as to outline ambitious plans in the run-up to the 70th anniversary of the Institute in 2021, which coincides with the bicentennial of McGill University. He reported that the well-received Colloquium Series in Air and Space Law continued this academic year with prominent aviation and space professionals and officials, including Dr. Fang Liu, the Secretary General of the International Civil Aviation Organization, and the Permanent Representative of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), Capt. Aysha Al-Hameli. In broadening the professional skillsets of graduate students, the Institute partnered with award-winning Qatar Airways to inaugurate the Qatar Airways/McGill Intramural Air Law Speed Moot Court Competition and the inaugural Qatar Airways/McGill Rising Scholars in Air and Space Law Conference, which attracted media attention worldwide. He also noted major international moot court victories by this year’s IASL students in the Manfred Lachs and Leiden-Sarin space and air law competitions, respectively. In terms of research, the project to draft the Manual on the International Law Applicable to the Military Uses of Outer Space (MILAMOS) was presented before the delegates of the United Nations General Assembly by Professor Ram Jakhu, highlighting the wide interest and acceptance of the mission and vision of the Manual Project which enjoys the support of over 30 experts and institutions across the globe. The Director also reviewed the Institute’s expanding series of permanent internship opportunities. Along with successive internship agreements inked over the two years since he assumed the Directorship, in March, the Institute recently signed a memorandum of understanding to provide Institute graduates with the opportunity of interning at the International Federation of Airline Pilots’ Associations (IFALPA).
In his lively address to the assembled graduates and attendees, Professor Havel took the opportunity to express appreciation to faculty members and sessional lecturers who taught at the Institute, including Adjunct Professor Dr. Yaw Nyampong for assuming responsibilities for the Space Law: General Principles course while Professor Ram Jakhu was on sabbatical, Adjunct Professor Professor Ludwig Weber, who taught Comparative Air Law, and Professor Richard Janda and Professor Joseph Wilson, who jointly taught the Government Regulation of Air Transport course. Much to the delight of students, world-renowned aircraft finance expert and Leiden International Institute of Air and Space Law doctoral graduate Dr. Donal Hanley returned to offer a two-week intensive course in the Winter semester. Amidst warm applause from the students, Professor Havel announced that Dr. Hanley will be joining the Institute as an Adjunct Professor in the new academic year. Noting that IASL Senior Administrator Maria D’Amico was absent through illness, only the second time she has missed the Dinner in over 40 years, Professor Havel celebrated the extraordinary contribution that Maria has made to the success of the Institute: “Maria truly epitomises the concept and benefits of phenomenal institutional memory and total institutional loyalty”, he observed.The LLM and students and graduate trainees of 2018/2019 represent a microcosm of the world aviation community, and come from 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. Ms. Lucy Hidalgo Figueroa, the class president of the 2018/2019 LLM class (who originally hails from Honduras and Spain), delivered an address that recalled the triumphs and tribulations of this year’s cosmopolitan class (including a mention of Montreal’s longer than usual winter). Dr. John Saba, long-term IASL Association Vice President of External Relations, joined IASL Association Treasurer Julius Dunton in inducting the new graduates with distinctive alumni lapel pins. Soon these new members of our closely-knit community of professionals and academics will receive new credit card-format membership cards that they can carry with them and show around the world with great pride.
Accomplished IASL alumni can be found on all continents, many of whom occupy prominent positions in the legal profession, in industry, in academia, and at intergovernmental organisations and government institutions. Indeed, admission to the Institute’s rigorous certificate, graduate and doctoral level programmes is highly competitive. Every year, only a select group of students who possess the requisite academic credentials, ambition and passion for the fields of air and space law are admitted to the Institute. After two intense semesters, and having successfully navigated through libraries of study materials and overcome challenging assignments, exams, moot courts, simulations, and extracurricular events, it is no wonder the students were in a mood to proudly celebrate their journey to their Institute credentials.
The highlight of the Graduation Dinner was the keynote address by accomplished IASL alumna Dr. Marie Lucy Stojak. A native of Montreal, Dr. Stojak has been a long-term friend and loyal supporter of the Institute. Since obtaining her doctoral degree from the Institute in 1986, Dr. Stojak has accumulated an inspiring list of accolades and accomplishments as a space law expert and representative of Canada in various international venues. With years of experience in developing international, interdisciplinary and intercultural educational programmes, Dr. Stojak directed the summer session of the International Space University (ISU). Notably, she is currently the Director of the School on Management of Creativity and Innovation at HEC Montréal. In recognition of her diplomatic career, leadership skills and ability to bring together and foster dialogue among different sectors of the economy and society, Dr. Stojak was the natural candidate to be handpicked to chair the recently revived Space Advisory Board of the Government of Canada. The Space Advisory Board is the government body comprising key industry, civil society and research community stakeholders that advises the Canadian federal Government on long-term objectives in the development of the Canadian space sector. In this key role, Dr. Stojak reminded the attendees of the vision of Canadian space pioneer John H. Chapman, who with great foresight wrote in 1967 that “[in] the second century of Confederation, the fabric of Canadian society will be held together by strands in space just as strongly as railway and telegraphy held together the scattered provinces in the last century”. Indeed, Canada is today a global leader in space robotics, telecommunications, and remote sensing, which have contributed greatly to the social and economic wellbeing of Canada and the world at large, and which will continue to form the foundation of the new space strategy for Canada.
Taking the audience in a retrospective and captivating journey as a traveller through time, Dr. Stojak narrated her past experiences as well as her projections of the marvels to be expected in the future. As they are about to venture into the professional and highly competitive world, Dr. Stojak wisely and with great humility reminded the new graduates not to underestimate the great value of serendipity, the importance of people one meets on life’s journey, and the need to treasure human connections. A degree from a recognised world-class institution such as the McGill Institute of Air and Space Law has even greater value when one considers priceless lifelong friendships built in the lecture halls and during extracurricular activities. Meeting and networking with IASL alumni from across the years and in all walks of life add can be life- and career-changing. In this increasingly interconnected world, Dr. Stojak urged the students to be brave and to take risks as they move forward in their lives and careers, and to not forget to give back to future generations of rising aviation and space law professionals and academics. Most importantly, while enjoying successes and accomplishments, Dr. Stojak underlined, to the great appreciation of the audience, the value of not forgetting to live, and not neglecting to invest in life and in human relations. It was a beautiful and memorable speech from an accomplished alumna that will resonate with the IASL graduates of 2018/19 and with those who follow them. Dr. Stojak opened her address by suggesting that students do not remember who gave the keynote speech at their graduations, or its content, but the IASL graduating class manifestly disagreed with her humble assessment!
Qatar Airways/McGill Moot Competition and Rising Scholars Conference Take Off With Resounding Success - March 2019
A packed two days saw students at McGill University participate in the first Qatar Airways/McGill Intramural Air Law Speed Moot Court Competition and the inaugural Qatar Airways/McGill Rising Scholars in Air and Space Law Conference on 22-23 March 2019. The tremendous success of the two back-to-back events, made possible with the generous contribution and support from award-winning airline Qatar Airways, underlines the shared commitment of both partners to invest in and cultivate future aviation leaders.
Earlier this year, Qatar Airways and McGill University Institute of Air and Space Law (IASL) reached a sponsorship agreement to co-organise the moot court competition and conference. These twin events aim at providing masters and doctoral students with concrete opportunities to enhance their oral advocacy skills and to present their research on cutting edge issues to a wide audience of aviation and space law professionals.
“The McGill Institute of Air and Space Law is delighted to enter this innovative educational partnership with Qatar Airways, one of the world’s leading air carriers”, IASL Director Professor Brian F. Havel said. “Our first priority as an Institute is the professional development of our highly accomplished students, and both the Qatar Airways/McGill moot court competition and the Qatar Airways/McGill Rising Scholars in Air and Space Law conference enable us to offer exciting new programmes that showcase our students as future leaders of the global civil aviation community”.
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, stated that “Qatar Airways is extremely proud of our new strategic collaboration with the Institute of Air and Space Law at McGill University, which is renowned for developing aviation professionals that hold some of the highest positions in international organisations, governments, airlines, and law firms around the world”.
The intramural air law moot was soft launched in 2018 to provide McGill law students at the undergraduate and graduate levels with the opportunity to grapple with fascinating topics and legal issues in aviation. This year, the partnership with Qatar Airways ensured the continued interest in the mooting competition, which was brilliantly choreographed by moot court coordinator LL.M student Ms. Harshita Khera, from India. The competing moot teams registered for the unique opportunity to argue (on both sides) in an intricate case concerning drone incursion into public airport facilities. In maintaining the highest standard of fairness, a select pool of judges comprising aviation professionals at Qatar Airways, McGill faculty members, seasoned law practitioners, and recognised experts working in the aviation industry were invited to adjudicate the competition. Unique to the Qatar Airways/McGill moot, the ratio between participants and judges is almost one to one, thereby ensuring the quality and impartiality of this annual competition.
After intense preliminary rounds, the teams of IASL graduates Ms. Polly Averns and Ms. Nivedita Raju and of 3L students Mr. Eric Abrams and Mr. Andrew Rintoul proceeded to the Grand Final, which was held in the majestic Leo Yaffe Billiards Room of the McGill Faculty Club. The Grand Final bench comprised Qatar Airways’ Senior Vice President of Aeropolitical and Corporate Affairs, Mr. Fathi Atti, the Deputy General Counsel of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Mr. Carlos Tornero, and IASL Director and Professor Brian F. Havel, who served as President of the Court. The Grand Final bench unanimously agreed that the sound legal arguments, poise and eloquence of Ms. Averns and Ms. Raju had the edge over the other team. Ms. Raju was additionally decorated with the Best Oralist Award, while IASL graduate student Mr. Adam Mudge won the Spirit of the Moot Award – awarded by vote of the court clerks – for demonstrating laudable camaraderie and professionalism throughout the competition.
A gala dinner and award ceremony followed where students, professionals, and executives from Qatar Airways had the opportunity to mingle and socialise. As a prelude to the elegant events of the evening, participants and invited guests enjoyed fast-paced videos highlighting the stellar rise and achievements of Qatar Airways, as well as presenting Qatar as a growing tourist destination. Mr. Atti of Qatar Airways, the key person and visionary who eagerly pushed for more entrenched relations with the Institute, presided over the award ceremony with Professor Havel. True to the celebratory mood of the evening, Professor Havel unveiled the exciting news that, with the continued sponsorship of Qatar Airways, from 2020 the moot competition will be open to law schools across North America (Canada, United States, and Mexico).On Saturday 23 March, students and junior scholars and professionals associated with the Institute convened for the inaugural Qatar Airways/McGill Rising Scholars in Air and Space Law Conference. The event, coordinated by Ms. Raju, was held at the EVO Plaza Centre-Ville, which is appropriately located across the street from the Montreal-based International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
Opening the conference were Professor Havel and Qatar Airways’ distinguished representative Mr. Atti, who both reminded participants of the importance of blending academic scholarship with practical industry experience. The Dean of the McGill School of Continuing Studies, Dr. Carola Weil, delivered a video greeting expressing the hope that the conference could inspire similar gatherings in other McGill faculties, and her colleague Associate Dean Dr. Carmen Sicilia was present to convey greetings on behalf of the School’s advanced programmes in aviation management and global aviation leadership.
Spread over four sessions, designated as New Thinking in Air Law I and II and New Thinking in Space Law I and II, and each dealing with a wealth of issues and topics in these twin domains of the Institute’s work, were close to 30 student and recent alumni presentations. Among the cutting-edge topics chosen by students and rising scholars were presentations on the legal and regulatory regime for future autonomous flying taxis, the accommodation of disabilities in the airline industry, the global coordination of aerospace operations, legal issues and challenges surrounding active space debris removal, the risk of cyberattacks against space assets, and the consequences for aviation following Brexit. Ms. Raju, as general rapporteur of the conference, will oversee publication of the conference proceedings in the Institute’s flagship academic publication, the biannual Annals of Air and Space Law. The current Editor of the Annals, Mr. Bruno Savoie, was on hand to announce this excellent initiative at the outset of the conference.Between panel sessions were a number of expert commentaries beginning with a presentation by Mr. Gilles Doucet, a space security consultant and the Lead Technical Expert in the project to draft the McGill Manual on International Law Applicable to Military Uses of Outer Space (MILAMOS), who outlined the challenges that technology poses to the regulation of space activities. Université de Montréal Professor Jérôme Beaugrand-Champagne also addressed the audience on issues in the burgeoning aviation market of China. During lunch, Professor Havel conducted an informal roundtable with two rising aviation professionals, Mr. Julian Rotter, the Director of International Affairs at the Polish Civil Aviation Authority, and recent IASL graduate Mr. René David-Cooper, who is Corporate Advisor/Air Investigations at the Transportation Safety Board of Canada. Their personal anecdotes and experiences as young professionals in a competitive job market provided exemplary models for graduates and rising scholars seated in the room. Mr. Rotter saluted the IASL student presenters as “rising leaders” as well as “rising scholars”.
Those attending the conference, therefore, including distinguished guests and representatives from Qatar Airways, had the opportunity to enjoy a broad spectrum of engaging and interesting presentations and panels across numerous disciplines, attesting to the truly global nature of McGill’s institute and its thinking.
Session moderators Professor Havel, Professor Ram S. Jakhu, Dr. Paul Fitzgerald, and Mr. Doucet, together with representatives of Qatar Airways, were members of a blue-ribbon panel that selected which presenters were deserving of special recognition. At the dinner and awards ceremony organised at the intimate and artistic environs of the Musée James Simon Museum, Ms. Andrea Buitrago-Carranza was awarded the Most Innovative Research Award, Mr. Juan Puerta won the Best Air Law Presentation Award, Mr. Neil Wolf was recognised with the Best Space Law Presentation Award, and Mr. Torridon Linskaill – for a brilliant exposé of the aviation consequences of Brexit – won the Best Overall Presentation Award. Mr. Adam Mudge, again in recognition of his professionalism and camaraderie, was recognised by a vote of his peers for a second “Spirit” award, this time the Spirit of the Conference.
McGill University and Qatar Airways are both extremely pleased with the quality of oral pleading during the Qatar Airways/McGill Intramural Air Law Speed Moot Court Competition, and the stimulating ideas and proposals, as well as the high standard of oral presentation, on display at the Qatar Airways/McGill Rising Scholars in Air and Space Law Conference. The intense events over two days, coupled with the personal attendance of recognised aviation professionals from Qatar Airways and the aviation and space industries, were driven by the strong belief in the value of providing students, future legal practitioners, and emerging academics with opportunities to showcase their capacities for new thinking and their evolving skills in the fascinating fields of air and space law, as well as with unmatched opportunities for networking with established leaders, experts, and academics. “The presence and active participation by the Qatar Always experts and officials were extremely useful for our students to learn about the [practical] issues of airlines”, Professor Jakhu said, “Both Qatar Airways and the McGill Institute of Air and Space Law make very good partners to collaborate in education, research, consulting and outreach activities related to the practical aspects of aviation industries”.
Education at a world-class institution like McGill’s Institute of Air and Space Law places great emphasis on a well-rounded and holistic learning environment. “As aviation plays a vital role in uniting peoples, cultures and economies, we need to continue to nurture the brightest minds and leaders for a dynamic air and space sector that will face increasingly complex aeropolitical challenges”, H. E. Mr. Al Baker of Qatar Airways stated, “That is why Qatar Airways is committed to supporting the next generation of aviation industry leaders at McGill’s Institute of Air and Space Law”.
The valuable partnership with global industry leader Qatar Airways in organising co-curricular pre-professional activities, such as the moot competition and the Rising Scholars conference, will equip our accomplished and cosmopolitan students, who each year represent more than 20 different nationalities, with the skills and practical experience to thrive as effective advocates, practitioners, diplomats, and expert consultants throughout the ever-challenging domains of air and space law and policy.
Thursday 28 March 2019 marked the beginning of an exciting partnership between the McGill Institute of Air and Space Law (IASL) and the International Federation of Airline Pilots’ Associations (IFALPA). Captain Ron Abel, President of IFALPA, and Professor Brian F. Havel, Director of the IASL, signed a Memorandum of Understanding at the Institute’s McGill suite to establish a new internship programme for IASL students as well as graduates who have completed the IASL’s LLM programme within three years. Mr. Christoph Schewe, Managing Director of IFALPA in Montreal, was also present for the signing.
The internship will offer IASL students the opportunity to apply their legal, business, and administrative knowledge over a three-month period each year, assisting IFALPA in achieving its mission as the global voice of the airline pilot profession. IFALPA is a not-for-profit international organisation representing over 100,000 pilots in nearly 100 countries. In providing representation and support to members and the aviation industry as a whole, the mission of IFALPA is to promote the highest level of aviation safety worldwide, and to be the global advocate of the piloting profession.
This internship programme, together with many co-curricular and extracurricular events and opportunities that have been created since Professor Havel assumed the Directorship, affirms the Institute’s commitment to provide its graduates with opportunities to enhance their professional skill-set and gain a solid advantage over other graduates entering a highly competitive industry. Other internship opportunities have been established with several Montreal-based aviation organizations including Airports Council International and Air Canada, and more will be finalised in the coming months. Establishing partnerships with stakeholder institutions in the air and space industries reflects the IASL’s continuing mission to foster the talents of our exceptional students and to advance their pre-professional training as a complement to the world-class education they receive during their time at the Institute.
At the well-attended signing ceremony, Captain Abel stated that IFALPA “is proud to embark on this partnership with McGill University’s Institute of Air and Space Law.” The Federation, he added, “has the vital task of helping to shape international aviation safety and security standards in partnership with the aviation law experts of the future. Aviation is a tremendous industry that helps fuel the global economy and its primary component is people.” “With this agreement,” Captain Abel concluded, “we are furthering our commitment to developing the next generation of aviation professionals.”
Professor Havel welcomed the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between IFALPA and the IASL, noting that the internship – which will include the opportunity to work with affiliated pilot unions of IFALPA – “will enable Institute students to gain professional experience in a major representative association where fascinating legal and policy issues, both national and transnational, are confronted every single day.”
The ceremony concluded with brief remarks by Mr. Torridon Linskaill (LLM 2019), currently the IASL internship liaison officer, who expressed the appreciation of his student colleagues to IFALPA for creating the new internship, noting that they were looking forward to helping IFALPA in its mission of “ensuring that those charged with keeping the skies safe have a strong global voice.”
Please click here to see the official IFALPA press release.
The North American Regional Rounds of the Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court Competition took place in Washington DC, United States, on 29-30 March 2019. The team representing the McGill Institute of Air and Space Law was crowned the winner of the Regional Rounds, and also took home the prestigious Best Brief Award.
The triumphant team fielded by McGill comprised Ms. Polly Averns (England/Canada), Ms. Nivedita Raju (India), and Mr. Mike Bilodeau (New Zealand/Canada), and was coached by current DCL candidate Aram Daniel Kerkonian. Just a week earlier, Ms. Averns and Ms. Raju won the Qatar Airways/McGill Intramural Air Law Speed Moot Competition, in which Ms. Raju was also decorated with the Best Oralist Award.
The 2019 Manfred Lachs moot case concerns the legal consequences of various fictionalised and futuristic outer space activities, particularly in relation to the use of space resources for military purposes. The McGill team was one of 21 teams competing in the North American regionals, and one of 8 teams to proceed beyond the preliminary rounds. In the quarter finals, the team won by a narrow margin over New York University and followed up that success with a semi-final win over the United States Air Force Air Command and Staff College. The McGill team then came face-to-face with worthy opponents from George Washington University in the finals of the North American regionals. With great confidence, poise, and excellent command and presentation of the facts and legal arguments, the McGill team delivered a compelling narrative for the final round bench and they were declared winners of this exciting and tightly-contested competition.
“I want to wholeheartedly congratulate the team on an exceptional job this past weekend and for their dedication and perseverance over the last few months,” said Mr. Kerkonian, proud coach of the McGill team. “As a former participant, I understand the demands of preparing for, and performing in, such a competition and commend the team on a job well done. They were challenged by various teams from across North America but rose to the occasion in each and every round, returning the North American championship back to McGill University's Institute of Air and Space Law!”
The distinguished McGill team will now proceed to the World Finals, where they will compete against the formidable winners of the Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, and Africa regional competitions. The World Finals will take place during the 70th International Astronautical Congress, which this year will take place in Washington DC at the end of October.
Well done, Polly, Nivi, and Mike! As “envoys of McGillkind,” you have made the Institute and the Faculty of Law extremely proud of your triumphant achievements.
On 25 March 2019, the Faculty of Law of the University of Helsinki and the Erik Castrén Institute for International Law and Human Rights held the inaugural workshop titled “International Law and State Responsibility in Territories Beyond National Jurisdiction”. The focus of the one-day event was on “Private and Autonomous Operations in the Artic, High Seas and Outer Space”. Executive Director of the McGill Centre for Research in Air and Space Law, Mr. David Kuan-Wei Chen, was among the many speakers and participants invited to contribute to this innovative event aimed at fostering dialogue between experts and academics working in various domains of international law.
The workshop was convened and co-organised by Dr. Elena Cirkovic (Associate Professor, National Research University Higher School of Economics-St. Petersburg) and Ms. Jenni Tapio (Ph.D. candidate, University of Helsinki). With the aim to initiate a platform for bringing together an international and interdisciplinary group of experts to discuss some of the most challenging and emerging issues in international law, this inaugural event attracted the participation of close to twenty speakers and participants.
One of the challenging legal issues of our time is the increasing use of and reliance on technologies and processes involving artificial intelligence (AI). The advent of AI that can process large quantities of data, learn at an exponential rate and adapt to changing circumstances present various ethical, policy, and legal question that arise in relation to the development and deployment of AI for scientific, commercial, and potentially strategic purposes, on Earth and in outer space. Indeed, increasing use is being made of technologies and machines that can autonomously perform a variety of functions in domains such as outer space, the Arctic and the high seas, where conditions are hostile and hazardous to human life. What these “global commons” share, particularly in relation to the regulation of activities in each respective domain, is the fact that they are regions beyond national jurisdiction. With increased commercial and extractive activities taking place in the Artic, on the high seas, and soon in outer space, the norms of international law on State responsibility for activities undertaken in these domains is deserving of further attention and research.
The Workshop opened with a keynote lecture by Professor Steven Freeland, Dean of the Faculty of Law of Western Sydney University, who outlined the unique legal regime governing outer space. Professor Freeland is also the Co-Editor of the McGill Manual on International Law Applicable to Military Uses of Outer Space. What followed were various presentations by experts and academics from Austria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom, who addressed a myriad of topics surrounding the autonomous operations in the emerging activities in the Arctic and outer space. At lunch, an engaging lecture was given by Professor Freeland and Mr. Alexander Soucek, the Legal Officer of the European Space Agency, who together enlightened the audience and members of the public on the topic “Public International Law: The Wonders of Space Law”.
In his presentation titled “Space Law meets the Montreal Declaration for a Responsible Development of Artificial Intelligence”, Mr. Chen discussed synergies that can be drawn between the declaration that was adopted in December 2018, and space law, which was developed and evolved since the adoption of the space law treaties in the 1960s and 1970s. The Montreal Declaration was the result of a long dialogue between AI experts, lawyers and policymakers, industry stakeholders, civil society organizations, and citizens. The Declaration identifies core ethical values and principles that promote the fundamental interests of human beings as the basis for the future development of policies and regulations governing the development of AI technology and applications. At the critical juncture when emerging modes and means of space exploration and utilisation are being developed and put to use, many of which no doubt rely partly or wholly on AI, it is of great interest to identify and analyse potential synergies between space law and the contents of the Montreal Declaration. Particularly, the commitment to core human values contained in the Montreal Declaration may feed into or strengthen the space law’s commitment to the peaceful expiration and use of outer space and undertaking space activities for the benefit and in the interests of all countries. Such analysis and discussions may be useful to further strengthen the governance of space activities, and enhance the peaceful, safe and sustainable exploration and use of outer space by all States, as well as feed into similar debates in other domains beyond national jurisdiction.
The Helsinki Workshop concluded with agreement among all participants that there is great value in fostering ongoing exchange and dialogue among experts in different branches of international law. Such continuing dialogue will be useful to clarify the concept of State responsibility in domains beyond national jurisdiction. Follow up events and publication compiling the papers presented at the Workshop are being considered.
Since its inception, the McGill Centre for Research in Air and Space Law has been at the forefront of conducting innovative and interdisciplinary research. Opportunities to contribute to collaborative scholarship and research, such as this groundbreaking workshop inaugurated by the University of Helsinki, is squarely in line with the objectives of the Centre to ensuring that core principles of humanity, and commitment to peaceful uses of outer space, continue to form the core of the governance of activities in outer space.
On 12 March 2019, the Permanent Representative of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), Capt. Aysha Al-Hameli, was the latest speaker in the Institute’s Colloquium series in Air and Space Law.
The Colloquium series is intended to give Institute students at all degree levels an opportunity to listen to and interact with inspiring leaders of the Canadian and global air and space law communities.
Captain Aysha, as she is known, holds a Graduate Certificate in Air and Space Law from the Institute. She is currently a candidate to succeed the current President of the ICAO Council, Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, who is also a graduate of the Institute and who will step down later this year.
The Director of the IASL, Professor Brian F. Havel, introduced Captain Aysha by presenting the highlights of her fascinating professional history. She qualified as the first female pilot in the UAE at the age of 16, and went on to a career as the UAE’s negotiator for international air services agreements and then as her country’s permanent representative at ICAO. She is at the same time the youngest member of the ICAO Council and also one of its longest-serving members. Professor Havel described Captain Aysha as a visionary presence on the Council and noted her leadership of key Council initiatives including “No Country Left Behind,” the “Next Generation of Aviation Professionals” (NGAP), and the promotion of aviation and aerospace sciences among schoolchildren (the “Dreams Soar” project).
Captain Aysha led a highly interactive Colloquium session in which she addressed not only her professional accomplishments but also her personal history and her experience as a young woman rising in a field where she was (and still is) on both counts a minority. She also gave the students an insider view of global governance, focusing on how the 36 members of the ICAO Council collaborate to achieve ICAO’s complex legislative agenda. In closing, Captain Aysha encouraged the IASL’s women students to play an active role in the future of the global aviation industry.
Captain Aysha was joined at the Colloquium by Ms. Elene Tchezhia (who graduated with an LLM from the Institute in 2018), a native of the State of Georgia, Eastern Europe. Elene is currently the senior administrator and technical expert for the UAE delegation at ICAO. Elene was the coordinator of the in-class moot court competition held last fall in Professor Havel’s Private International Air Law class and has been immensely supportive of the Institute’s activities and programmes.
On 13 February 2019, the Institute of Air and Space Law held its first Colloquium in Air and Space Law of the year. Under the theme “Decarbonising Aviation: The Why and The How”, a panel of leading scientists and technical experts took part to in an interactive roundtable discussion on alternative decarbonisation measures that could be adopted in addition to CORSIA, the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme under the auspices of the International Aviation of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
Under CORSIA, ICAO Member States have committed themselves to a phased implementation of offsetting emissions from aviation in achieving carbon-neutral growth from the year 2020. A criticism of CORSIA is that it relies heavily on market-based measures to offset carbon emissions, and neglects technological and operational improvements and alternative fuels that can be also be effective means of decarbonisation.
This unique Colloquium was organised in cooperation with the International Coalition for Sustainable Aviation (ICSA), a group of national and international environmental non-governmental organisations that has ICAO observer status. ICSA strongly believes that addressing the issue of aviation emissions cannot solely rely on market measures but must involve coordinated efforts between stakeholders in the aviation sector that employ a variety of technical means to reduce emission. The panel of experts from a variety of European research institutions and government agencies were gathered in Montreal to attend the Eleventh Meeting of the Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection (CAEP/11).
The Colloquium was moderated by Institute Director Professor Brian F. Havel, who introduced the distinguished panel participants by noting that they had been invited by ICAO to present their findings and proposals before CAEP, the Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection, the technical committee that assists the ICAO Council in formulating policies and adopting Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) in relation to the environmental impact of international civil aviation.Although CORSIA represents an extraordinary feat of multilateral compromise and is ambitious in its scale and commitments, market-based measures should not overshadow scientific and technological advancements in aircraft designs and development in utilising biofuels and other alternative sources of energy. As Professor Havel noted, with a newly composed ICAO Council, there may be more willingness to look beyond purely economic schemes and to consider the broader basket of measures that together, in a holistic way, address the issue of environmental impact of aviation.
The two-hour colloquium began with a presentation by Dr. Martin Cames of the Germany-based Öko-Institut (Institute for Applied Ecology), who illustrated the various “pathway” challenges to meeting decarbonisation targets. One conclusion was that targets cannot be met with market-based measures alone, and must be combined with policies and incentives to prompt technical and operational improvements in the aviation sector, as well as with offsetting of emissions in other sectors.
Dr. Joris Melkert, an expert in the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering of the Technical University (TU) Delft in the Netherlands, highlighted opportunities and limitations in the way that aircraft have been designed since the dawn of commercial aviation. In recent decades there have been tremendous advances in how aircraft are configured that have led to increased efficiencies and decreased emissions. However, the razor-thin margins of commercial aviation act as a deterrent for airlines to invest in the use of alternative fuels on a grand scale.
Dr. Chris Malins, of renewable energy consultancy firm Cerulogy, offered attendees insight into the opportunities and challenges that the use of alternative fuels present. Existing alternative fuels unfortunately require biomass that creates environmentally unsound footprints in water consumption and land use. Dr Harry Lehmann, of the German Environment Agency, introduced the Colloquium to power-to-liquid, which comprises several pathways for using chemical processes to produce energy to drive combustion engines. Finally, Dr. Volker Grewe, the Chair for Climate Effects of Aviation at TU Delft, concluded the panel with a presentation on the effects and seriousness of non-carbon dioxide aviation emissions, urging participants to understand that emissions mitigation must not just focus on decarbonisation but must compromise of measures to mitigate the impact of non-CO2 emissions such as soot, nitrogen dioxide, and sulphur oxide, as well as the as-yet uncertain climate effects of airplane “contrails.”
A vigorous 45-minute question-and-answer session with the panel highlighted the diversity of views about the viability and methodology of aviation decarbonisation, and whether in fact aviation (especially for large-thrust engines) can ever be truly achieved outside the traditional framework of highly combustible fossil fuel technology. Among the issues considered in the discussion were engagement of the military in this effort, particularly as the military is not a party to agreements for civil aviation emissions reduction. The participants also discussed the necessity for public/private shared investment to combat carbon emissions growth, and the role of public opinion in driving a decarbonisation ethos. Further, the possibility that legal rules, such as antitrust and the banning of State subsidies like launch aid for new aircraft, may be detrimental to the collaboration needed to find alternative energy sources for propulsion and to the reduction of congestion and more consolidation on high-demand routes, stimulated much debate among panellists and the audience.
Despite inclement weather conditions and heavy snowfall, the Colloquium in Air and Space Law proceeded as scheduled and attracted an attendance of 40 members of the public as well as faculty and students. The Colloquium offered the IASL students in particular an opportunity to hear and critique the kind of expert scientific and policy presentations that ICAO’s own environmental panel had heard just the day before.
The Institute is especially grateful to Mr. Andrew Murphy, ICSA’s aviation manager for transport and the environment, for facilitating the Colloquium.
Decarbonisation of aviation does not have a quick, one-stop solution, but requires dialogue and interaction among policy-makers, industry stakeholders, and scientists and technical experts like the ones present at this unique Colloquium. Members of the public, as well as future aviation professionals currently studying and researching at the Institute of Air and Space Law, can benefit greatly from events such as the Colloquium in Air and Space Law to develop a keener understanding of the challenges and opportunities present in today’s global aerospace industry.
The McGill Institute of Air and Space Law Proudly Announces New Sponsorship by Qatar Airways - February 2019
The Institute of Air and Space Law (IASL)_is pleased to announce that global airline Qatar Airways will be the new sponsor of the Qatar Airways/McGill Intramural Air Law Speed Moot Court Competition which will be held on 21 and 22 March 2019. This highly anticipated annual event was successfully inaugurated at McGill in March 2018. With the generous sponsorship of Qatar Airways, in the coming years the scope and reach of this event will be extended to participation by students at law schools throughout Canada and the Americas.
The “speed moot” will be assessed on oral arguments rather than written briefs, providing law students with opportunities to engage with complex and current issues in international aviation law and policy. The novelty of the speed moot court is the focus on issues of relevance to the agenda of the Montreal-based International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). Senior officials from ICAO have actively taken part in judging the competition, and adding to its prestige and importance, the moot competition will be staged at McGill University and at the headquarters of ICAO in Montreal. It is hoped that the Grand Final will take place in the chamber of the ICAO Assembly.
The Qatar Airways/McGill Intramural Air Law Speed Moot Court Competition will be an integral part of the academic curriculum at McGill and provide further opportunities for enhancing the skillset of future aviation specialists. Also being organised to coincide with the new moot court competition is the IASL’s inaugural Rising Scholars in Air and Space Law Conference, which this year will be held on 23 March 2019. Coordinating the moot court competition on behalf of Qatar Airways are Dr. Md Tanveer Ahmad (Manager, Aeropolitical Affairs), Mr. Marcelo Garcia Rosales (Manager, Regulatory & Corporate Affairs) and Mr. Yifei Xie (Senior Aeropolitical Affairs Analyst), who are all recent graduates and proud alumni of the IASL. Seasoned aviation professionals from Qatar Airways, led by Senior Vice President Aeropolitical and Corporate Affairs Mr. Fathi Atti, will also be taking part in the Qatar Airways/McGill moot court competition as honourable judges.
Air traffic to and from the Middle East region has grown dramatically over the past decade, and Skytrax 5-star airline Qatar Airways is a key player behind this impressive growth. Establishing partnerships with government and private entities in the region is in line with the IASL’s continuing mission to cultivate talent and disseminate expertise in air and space law worldwide.
The IASL looks forward to the blossoming of our partnership with Qatar Airways, and to the many advantages that will flow from a stronger relationship with the recipient of so many awards and accolades from the travelling public and the airline industry.
Meet the IASL class of 2018-2019! Taken here with Faculty of Law members (front row, from left to right) Associate Dean Richard Gold, Professor Ram Jakhu, Dean Robert Leckey, IASL Director Brian Havel, Adjunct Professor Ludwig Weber and Adjunct Professor Yaw Nyampong. This year, we have a very diverse and multicultural group of students from 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.