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10th Annual McGill Conference on International Aviation Liability and Insurance
22-23 June 2017, Montreal, Canada

The McGill Institute of Air and Space Law cordially invites you to attend the 10th Annual McGill Conference on International Aviation Law and Insurance, which will be taking place on 22-23 June 2017 in Montreal, Canada.

This seminar was accredited by a recognized provider for 8.5 hours of continuing legal education.

For more information about the conference, visit the dedicated website.

The presentations of some of the speakers are available. Also, we have uploaded some conference photos.

Recent thesis defenses: Isavella Vasilogeorgi and Andrea Harrington

The IASL is proud to announce that two of its graduate students have completed their degree with flying colours!

April 20, 2017: Andrea Harrington (centre, seen here with her jury) successfully defended her doctoral thesis, “Governing activities in outer space: responsibility, liability, regulation and the role of insurers”, which was written under the supervision of Professor Ram Jakhu (second from left).

April 6, 2017: Isavella Vasilogeorgi (centre) successfully defended her thesis, “Jurisdictional implications from the use of hybrid aerospace objects: at the crossroads of regenesis and redefinition”, which was written under the supervision of Professor Ram Jakhu (3rd from right).

Tanveer Ahmad appointed Executive Director of the Centre for Research in Air and Space Law

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Md Tanveer Ahmad has been named the Executive Director of the Centre for Research in Air and Space Law (CRASL).

Dr. Ahmad (LLM'10, DCL'16), is an Arsenault postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Air and Space Law, McGill University, the Editor of the Annals of Air and Space Law, and an Assistant Professor of Law (on leave) at the North South University, Bangladesh. During his doctoral studies, he held the prestigious Assad Kotaite Fellowship of the International Civil Aviation Organization and the Boeing Fellowship in Air & Space Law.

Founded in 1976 by Dr. Nicolas Matte, the CRASL performs multidisciplinary research on technical, economic, policy and legal implications of a variety of aviation and aerospace issues. The Centre also produces several publications, among which the Annals of Air and Space Law, the world’s only bilingual journal in the field. Through various conferences and symposia, the Centre has been at the frontline of promoting research and capacity-building in the highly specialised domain of aviation and space law over the past four decades. Most notably, the Centre has spearheaded the International Study on Global Space Governance and, together with the University of Adelaide, is leading the ground-breaking project to draft the McGill Manual on International Law Applicable to Military Uses of Outer Space (MILAMOS), which aims to promote the sustainability and security in the final frontier.

As its Executive Director, Dr. Ahmad will oversee the Centre's many outreach and research programs. With his professional experience and academic credentials, Dr. Ahmad will play important role in revitalising the Centre and cementing the Faculty of Law’s position as the world’s foremost research and educational institution in the areas of air and space law.

Obituary: Martin Bradley (1929 - 2017)

On 26 February 2017, Prof. Martin Anthony Bradley passed away at the age of 87. He was the last of, what I call, the first generation of incredible teachers, who laid the solid foundation of air and space law education at the Institute of Air and Space Law (IASL) of McGill University. Consequently, they paved the way for formal academic teaching in this field in the world.  Coming from his native Australia, Bradley enrolled in the 1956-57 Master of Laws class of the Institute and earned his LL.M. with a thesis on Air Carrier's Liability in Australia. When he joined the IASL as a Professor, after many years of work as a technical assistance expert at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in Montreal, the subject of his thesis became the basis for his teaching both the International Private Air Law and Government Regulation of Air Transport. In addition to the publication of several scholarly articles, he co-edited, with Edward McWhinney, two books entitled The Freedom of the Air and New Frontiers in Space Law, both published in 1969. They contained very highly scholarly papers by several early scholars in the field of air and space with ideas that were groundbreaking at the time and till this day still remain relevant. These books were used by students, government officials and practitioners in various countries. During more than three decades of dedicated service at the IASL, Prof. Bradley inspired, taught, and helped hundreds of students from numerous countries, most of whom them have been holding high professional positions in the field of air and space law. They all remain indented to this great teacher (a real guru) with incredible humanistic values. I am one of them, as I was admitted to the IASL on his personal recommendation.

Thank you, Prof. Bradley.

Ram S. Jakhu, Director, Institute of Air and Space Law

Workshop I of the MILAMOS Project held in Adelaide, Australia - February 2017

More than 50 legal experts, technical experts, researchers and others came together in Adelaide over the period 20–22 February 2017 for the first MILAMOS Workshop. Following the preliminary coordination Workshop in October 2016 in Montreal, this was the first of a set of nine Workshops to reach consensus on draft Rules and Commentaries for the prospective McGill Manual on International Law Applicable to Military Uses of Outer Space (McGill Manual).

The MILAMOS members who were gathered together in Adelaide tackled several of the most foundational rules (and their associated commentary), as well as complex issues at the intersection of international space lLaw, iInternational humanitarian law and international law on the use of force. The MILAMOS Project remains on track to publish the McGill Manual in 2020. This Workshop was very successful and set a solid foundation for the following Workshops. The next MILAMOS Workshop is expected to be 20–23 June 2017 in New Delhi, India.

For more information on the Workshop and the Project, please visit the dedicated MILAMOS Project website.

The IASL class of 2016 visits Air Canada and ICAO

On 28 November 2016, a group of 22 students enjoyed the unique opportunity to visit the headquarters of Air Canada. Under the hospitality of employees at Air Canada, they were given a special tour of the crew training facilities and enjoyed lectures by seasoned professionals at the legal and regulatory affairs department and the network planning department of Canada's flag carrier. The visit was a special occasion to learn about the fascinating issues and challenges of operating in the competitive airline industry. There, students  gained first-hand understanding on how, through a variety of innovative business practices and careful management and planning, Air Canada is recognised as one of the top air carriers in North America. The visit was made possible with the kind assistance of IASL alumna and Adjunct Professor Martine de Serre, who teaches Government Regulation of Air Transport, and Ms. Kerianne Wilson, who during her studies at the Institute began working in legal and regulatory affairs at Air Canada.

The visit to Air Canada, as well as a recent visit to and guided tour of the headquarters of the International Civil Aviation Organization, is one of many class trips to renowned aviation and space industries and forms an integral part of the educational programme at the IASL. Great emphasis is placed on practical experiences and allowing students to network with professionals in the field. The group of students is made up of students from the regular LLM programme in Air and Space Law, exchange students and final year undergraduate students at the McGill Faculty of Law who are taking the Airline Business and Law course on offer at the Institute. As in previous years, the students hail from 14 countries and are representative of the international and intercultural learning environment that the Institute is proud of.

Institute of Air and Space Law 65th Anniversary Gala

On 7 October 2016, the Institute of Air and Space Law celebrated its 65th anniversary at a gala event held in Montreal. The festive event was attended by over 120 participants. Dr. Fang Liu, Secretary-General of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), and Mr. John Augustin, Director of the ICAO Legal Bureau, were among the VIPs present and added to the celebratory mood with their presence.

An inspiring keynote speech was delivered by Mr. Yves Desjardins-Siciliano (President and CEO of VIA Rail, a graduate of the IASL). Prof. Armand de Mestral (former Director of the IASL) presented thoughts on the important role that IASL plays in the air and space law education in the world, while Dr. Michael Milde (former Director of the IASL) traced the historical origin of the Institute. Current IASL Director Ram Jakhu provided the guests at the gala with a "State of the IASL" address to highlight the proud achievements of the Institute in the past six and a half decades as well as the role its various directors, staffs, and students have played, and continue to play, in the extensive academic, research, and outreach activities of the Institute. In recognition of her commitment to the Institute and her passion for her work in the past thirty-eight years, Ms. Maria D'Amico was presented with the Lifelong Dedicated Service Award amid a standing ovation.

After 65 years, the McGill Institute of Air and Space Law remains the world’s premier educational and research institution in the field of air law and space law. With the largest number of fellowships and prizes on offer to encourage students and professionals to engage in the study of air and space law at the masters, doctoral, and post-doctoral levels, to date over a thousand proud graduates of the Institute occupy recognised and senior positions in many government ministries, international organisations, airlines, the judiciary, and academia. In 1996, the Institute was decorated with the prestigious Edward Warner Award for its ground-breaking achievements and "unparalleled contributions to the development of international air law and to the examination of contemporary aviation issues”.

The education programme and research agenda of the Institute and its research arm, the Centre for Research in Air and Space Law, have evolved over the years to keep in touch - often with creative foresight - with the new issues and challenges. The Centre has been prolific in publishing and disseminating peer-reviewed publications related to this rapidly developing field of law, including the renowned Annals of Air and Space Law. Further, the Institute and Centre have organised countless events and conferences around the world and been at the forefront of spearheading innovative projects, such as the Global Space Governance Study and most recent project to draft the Manual on International Law Applicable to Military Activities in Outer Space.

All these achievements could not have been possible without the hard work and determination of the Institute’s dedicated staffs and students, the great generosity of the Institute’s donors and supporters, as well as the continual support of the Institute’s extensive network of alumni around the world. At 65, the Institute is entering a new future and will continue to fulfil its mission and vision of being the world’s foremost centre for research and education in the fields of air and space law.

More pictures can be seen under the News section.

Occasional Paper Series on Sustainable International Civil Aviation

In the run-up the 39th Triennial ICAO Assembly that was held 27 September to 7 October 2016 to address the matter of CO2  emissions from international aviation, researchers and academics at the McGill Institute of Air and Space Law and the Centre for International Sustainable Development Law (CISDL) teamed up to publish a number of papers falling under the umbrella theme of Sustainable International Civil Aviation.

The research papers in this special Occasional Paper Series address various policy, legal and technical means and issues relating to the regulation of the impact of international aviation on the environment, and will form the core of a much anticipated book that will be published at a later date by Cambridge University Press. These papers aim to contribute to the growing interest and debates on the issue of the environmental impact and sustainability of civil aviation. It is hoped that these papers will contribute to the work of the Assembly and that informed readers and delegates participating at the ICAO Assembly will have constructive comments to share with the authors.

The full papers can be accessed and downloaded from the dedicated page on Sustainable International Civil Aviation.

Professor Ram Jakhu honoured with IAASS 2016 Leonardo da Vinci Award

Professor Ram Jakhu, the new Director of the Institute, received the Leonardo da Vinci Life-Long Achievement Award from the International Association for the Advancement of Space Safety (IAASS).

The Leonardo da Vinci Award honours distinguished individuals who advance space safety and the mission goals and core values of the IAASS. The award itself is a bronze plaque with the "Vitruvian Man", which is symbolism for recognising those space safety professionals who dedicate themselves to the truth and innovative discovery.

Professor Jakhu has been the Chairman of the IAASS Space Safety Legal and Regulatory Committee for nine years running, and he is the second person ever to receive this prestigeous award. He was recognised for his "lifelong passion for promoting knowledge centred on the value of care for the wellbeing of space explorers and travelers, and for the protection of the orbital environment". Further, the IAASS recognised Professor Jakhu's contributions in championing space safety and sustainability through space law and took note of his "oustanding research on regulatory aspects of space regulations".

In a letter congratulating Professor Jakhu, Vice-Principal (Research and International Relations) Rosie Goldstein underlined the Leonardo Da Vinci Life-long Achievement Award is "a testimony to [his] accomplishments in the development and advancement of space law", and praised his work for reinforcing McGill University's position at the forefront of research and training.

Congratulations, Professor Jakhu!

May 2016 - McGill University Officially Launches the MILAMOS Project

 At the opening of the 4th Manfred Lachs Conference on Conflicts in Space and the Rule of Law, representatives from McGill University and partner institution the University of Adelaide officially launched the interdisciplinary and international project to draft the McGill Manual on International Law Applicable to Military Uses of Outer Space (MILAMOS).

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

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

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

Dean Jutras expressed his support for the Institute and the Centre in spearheading the Project that will no doubt have great international influence on public policy-making and the legal regulation of affairs in outer space in years to come.  Dr. Goldstein made welcoming remarks, partly in French, and noted McGill University's pride in leading such a project.

Additionally, Dr David Kendall, the incoming Chair of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, gave the Conference's Keynote Address and praised McGill and the University of Adelaide for their foresight in conceptualising and conceiving this groundbreaking and innovative project, particularly in the current geopolitical climate of "considerable distrust". Mr. Niklas Hedman, of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs, spoke about how the Project will address security and sustainability issues that will be a focus of the upcoming UNISPACE+50 event in 2018.

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

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

IASL Association Annual Dinner 2016

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

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

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

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

More pictures can be seen here.

September 26-30, 2016 - McGill space law moot team at the Semi-Finals of the Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court

Our Space Law Moot Team, representing North America, participated in the 2016 World Finals of the Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court Competition, taking place , in Guadalajara, Mexico, where they won the Eilene M. Galloway Award for Best Memorials.

The Team is composed of Aram Daniel Kerkonian and Ted Adam Newsome, with Maria Manoli as the coach and Prof. Ram Jakhu as the Faculty Advisor.

We are very proud of them and send them our warmest congratulations!

Photo courtesy of Adam Newsome - The team posing with ICJ judges Hanqin Xue, Peter Tomka & Kirill Gevorgian

30 May 2016: Professor Paul Dempsey retires

Professor Dempsey celebrates his retirement with colleagues, Professor Ludwig Weber, Ms. Maria D'Amico and Professor Ram Jakhu, who is the incoming Director.

After 14 years as the Director of the Institute of Air and Space Law and the Centre for Research in Air and Space Law, Professor Paul Dempsey took his retirement from McGill University. Close colleagues celebrated his retirement and expressed gratitude for the noticeably professional, collegial and fun spirit that was the hallmark of the directorship of Professor Dempsey. Over the past fourteen years, the Institute firmly cemented its place as the foremost place of learning and education in the field of air and space law, and the Centre has seen its publications, research and outreach activities proliferate and be highly recognised and sought after around the world. 

In recognition of his achievements and contributions to the field of air and space law and continuig success of the Institute, Volume XL of the Annals of Air and Space Law is specially dedicated to Professor Dempsey. At the dinner, he was presented with a booklet containing many wellwishes and messages from alumni, students and colleagues around the world and photographs that capture the many memories and adventures from Professor Dempsey's time at the Institute. Though he is retiring, there does not seem to be any sign that Professor Dempsey is slowing down. He is and will always remain closely affiliated with the Institute

We wish Professor Dempsey every bit of success in his future endeavours and a happy retirement!

18 April 2016: Institute of Air and Space Law Association Annual Dinner

The Annual Dinner of the Institute of Air and Space Law Association was held at the McGill Faculty Club on Monday April 18, 2016. The event was well attended by over sixty IASL alumni and this year's graduating class (2015-2016).  This year’s event held special significance for two reasons. Our Institute is celebrating the 65th Anniversary of its founding in 1951. Moreover, Professor Dr. Paul Dempsey, will be retiring this year after over a decade as our Institute’s Director. To mark the this special occassion, Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, President of the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and a proud graduate of our Institute, was the honoured guest speaker.

Professor Ram Jakhu, the future Director of the Institute, toasting Professor Paul Dempsey, who will be leaving the Institute in May after 12 years as its Director. Professor Jakhu reminded the people in attendance of the great achievements and accomplishments under Professor Dempsey's tenure.

In recognition of Professor Dempsey's work and achievements throughout his career, Volume XL of the Annals of Air and Space Law is specially dedicated to him.

 The IASL graduating class of 2015-2016 made a special McGill hoodie to give to Professor Dempsey as a gift. The hoodie was presented by class President Julius Dunton.

Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, President of the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and a graduate of our Institute (class of 2008-2009) was the Guest Speaker. He noted the IASL's importance and special ties with ICAO. The Institute's "highly significant contributions to the development of international air law" was recognised by ICAO with the presentation of the Edward Warner Award to the IASL in 1996, making the Institute the first institute to ever receive such a decorated award. 

Professor Dempsey and the IASL's Edward Warner Award, which was symbolically passed to Professor Jakhu at the event.

Despite the festive spirit, Professor Ludwig Weber took some time to remind us of the contributions of Dr. Nicolas Mateesco Matte, who passed away earlier in the week. Dr. Matte founded the Centre for Research in Air and Space Law and the Annals of Air and Space Law , which this year are both celebrating their fortieth anniversary.

Students, like Ermanno Napolitano from Italy, were keen to receive Professor Dempsey's autograph.

The IASL class of 2015-2016.

From left to right: Professor Ludwig Weber, Professor Paul Dempsey, Ms. Martine DeSerres, Ms. Iryna Volodymyrova (Ukraine), Mr. Eng Teong See (Malaysia), Mr. Eytan Tepper (Israel), Ms. Ritzkia Amelia Putri (Indonesia), Mr. Ted Newsome (US), Ms. Fanny Magalhaes Gonçalves (France), Mr. Ermanno Napolitano (Italy), Mr. Iseoluwa Christopher Akintunde (Nigeria), Ms. Maria Iannini (Colombia), Mr. Julius Dunton (Canada), Mr. Aram Daniel Kerkonian (Canada), Ms. Maria D'Amico, Mr. Bayar Goswami (India), Professor Ram Jakhu and Mr. Kuan-Wei Chen

...elsewhere in the world, in Brussels, Belgium, former IASL graduates Gerrit de Boer (class of 1968-1969), Adjunct-Professor Peter van Fenema and Mr. Kees Veenstra toasted to Professor Dempsey and wished him all the best in his future endeavours.

Obituary: Dr. Nicolas Mateesco Matte

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

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

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

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

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

Good news from the April 2016 Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court Competition

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

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

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

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

21 October 2015: nice day for a photo!

IASL graduate students, professors, and the Dean of Law stopped for a photo. Thank you to all who braved the brisk weather!

September 10-2, 2015 - McGill Centre for Research in Air and Space Law International Expert Roundtable

Given the increase in the number of nations and non-State actors becoming active in space, and the increased reliance militaries have on space technologies, concerns have grown in recent years that there may be a risk of conflict taking place in space.

There is an urgent need to clarify the rules of international law applicable, especially the prohibition on the use of force and international humanitarian law. Given that no specific international legal instrument exists that effectively deals with this, McGill gathered scholars, government and space operations experts from seven different countries, including Europe, North America and the Asia-Pacific region, and members of the International Committee of the Red Cross.

There was a clear consensus on the urgent need to develop a Manual on international law applicable to security activities in outer space, in order to reduce the risk of conflict and constrain State behaviour in the case of a conflict.

Such an international Manual might be developed, under the leadership of  the CRASL,  by scholars and international experts in their individual capacity, free from official State positions, in order to ensure international participation, neutrality and legal objectivity. State engagement would be a part of the process at a later stage; however, clarification on international law cannot be dependent upon the politics of any given moment.

Hosting this Expert Roundtable, and working towards an international Manual on international law applicable to security activities in outer space, are in line with the commitment the McGill Institute of Air and Space Law has to uphold the core principles of the outer space treaty: that all outer space activities must occur in accordance with international law (including the UN Charter),  in the interests of international peace and security and for the benefit of all countries.

We look forward to the unfolding of this important project which will have global impact – and beyond.

International Conference on New Challenges in Space Law

August 28-29, 2015 - Athens, Greece

This conference's main topics were: Rationale and scope of the space treaties • Challenges to the rescue agreement and the liability convention • Challenges to the registration convention • Challenges to the space treaties resulting from new activities • The space treaties and environmental issues • Space exploration and exploitation # 1: the moon and the other celestial bodies • Space exploration and exploitation # 2: the interaction with other legal regimes • Where and how should international space law be made.

Left to right: Dr. Tare Brisibe, Prof. Paul Dempsey, Prof. Ram Jakhu, Dr. George Kyriakopoulos, and Prof. Steven Freeland at the last session, which dealt with Considerations for de lege ferenda.

We thank all the participants for coming!

Happy Birthday, Gerrit de Boer!

IASL alum Gerrit de Boer, LLM 1970, recently celebrated his 75th birthday. While celebrating in Amsterdam with some friends, he had this fun photograph taken of his wife Hannie and himself dressed up as characters in Johannes Vermeer paintings.

Many happy returns, Gerrit!

Participants in the 11th Space Security Index Workshop convened by the Institute of Air and Space Law, on 1-2 May 2015.

News from the Manfred Lachs Space Moot

Pictured are the proud team members Matthew King, John Goehring, Kerianne Wilson with their coach Maria Manoli (first from left). Their second coach, Dr. Jinyuan Su was absent, but just as proud of the final result. The North American regional rounds of the Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Competition was held in Washington D.C. on March 20 and 21, 2015, and 12 teams from around the Americas competed at a very high level. The McGill team won Best Brief, and made it to the Quarter Finals of the oral rounds where they were beaten by a small margin by the University of Mississippi, who went on to win the regional rounds. After months of hard work, the team members have become experts on questions of State responsibility for intercepting near-earth objects or for damage caused to commercial space assets, and issues surrounding the mining of asteroids, all of which are at the cutting edge of space law today. Heartfelt congratulations.

Five IASL students represent their countries at the Model ICAO council session

ICAO celebrated the 70th Anniversary of the signing of the Chicago Convention last December and as part of this celebration, ICAO hosted an invitation-only Model ICAO Council Session for university-level students on the morning of December 5, 2014.

Each Sitting Council State had to select an Next Generation Aviation Professional (NGAP) from their country for the Council Session. Each selected NGAP Representative had to draft a Model Council  working paper in English focussing on NGAP issues. Thereafter, the NGAP Representatives had to participate in a simulated Council Session to discuss NGAP-related issues.

Five students from the IASL represented their respective countries at the United Nations International Civil Aviation Organization:

Dayan Hochman - The United States of America (on right)

Juliana Macedo Scavuzzi – Brazil

Mathieu Vaugeois – The United Kingdom

Prithviraj Sharma – India

Timiebi Aganaba-Jeanty – Nigeria

The students gained a lot from this experience of international diplomacy and consensus building at ICAO. The lessons they learnt at the IASL in their Public International Air Law classes i.e., the complexity of international decision making and the need to reach consensus were reconfirmed.

Law Forum in Celebrating 70th anniversary of the Chicago Convention and 100th anniversary of World Commercial Aviation - Shanghai International Aviation Court of Arbitration, December 18-19, 2014

More than 70 experts, scholars, aviation enterprise delegations and representatives of institutions in foreign and domestic aviation industry attended the forum. Professor Paul S. Dempsey, Director of the Institute of Air and Space Law of McGill University, was among the invited keynote speakers, and he made a speech on “Challenges of International Aviation in the 21st Century.”

The Forum was jointly hosted by Northwest University of Politics and Law (Xi'an, China) and McGill University's Institute of Air & Space Law, Canada.

Blumenkron succeeds Keenan

John T. Keenan, BCL'67, LLM'69, outgoing President of the Institute of Air and Space Association, passed on the torch to Jimena Blumenkron, LLM'09, (on left) at the IASLA Holiday Cocktail on December 3, 2014. Ms Blumenkron has now taken on the role and duties of President of the IASLA. The Institute is grateful to them for their unfailing support and loyalty!

Photo credit: Ari Munisami.

October 27-31, 2014 - Strategic Space Law Program

We had many participants to our first Strategic Space Law Program, which was an intensive, interdisciplinary, interactive week-long workshop. Thank you all!

The aim of the program was to provide a unique opportunity for lawyers and other professionals in the defence services, international relations, government, international organisations, law firms, consulting firms and industry around the world to study space law in a strategic context. 

Great day for the annual graduate students photo

This year, we gathered on the steps of the Gelber Law Library for the annual graduate students and profs photograph.

The IASL visits the International Astronautical Congress in Toronto

The 65th International Astronautical Congress 2014, the world's premier space event, took place this year in Toronto, from September 29 to October 3, 2014. The Institute had a booth there and we were delighted to have many visitors, alumni and friends drop in on us!

L to R: Mario Seretis (doctoral candidate, IASL, McGill); Murat Yasar Bayrak (Director General, Dept of External Relations and Legal Affairs, APSCO, Turkey); Prof. Haifeng Zhao (Harbin Institute of Technology, China); Madam Justice Xue Hanqin (Int'l Court of Justice); and Hodjat Khadjavi (LLM, IASL, McGill).

Biennial meeting of European Alumni in Switzerland - 25-27 September 2014

Three of our Swiss Alumni – Philip Chrystal, Laurent Chassot and Julien Subilia – arranged a wonderful meeting in Switzerland. The program included, as usual, both aviation related visits and recreational activities. Participants shared their time between the shores of Lake Geneva, enjoying its beautiful sights and vineyards, and the Aeropole of Payerne, originally an air force base which is now opening up to civil aviation and various aerospace activities. There were workshops, visits of Payerne outfits, walking tours, and even some vineyard visits.

Professor Ram Jakhu on WSJ

India's Mangalyaan satellite reached Mars orbit on September 24, 2014, becoming the first Asian country to reach the red planet. Professor Ram Jakhu from the Institute of Air and Space Law was invited by The Wall Street Journal to comment on this achievement!

Inaugural IBA Air Finance Opportunities Conference
11-13 June 2014, at the Intercontinental Hotel, Montreal, Canada

The Institute was proud to support the Air Finance Oportunities Conference. The first of its kind, this event was a must attend for all lawyers within the aviation industry, banking lawyers involved in aviation financing, risk advisors, lenders and aviation finance executives and will cover all of the latest developments and hot topics in aircraft financing today, including:

  • The state of the aircraft finance industry
  • Regional challenges - aircraft financing in diverse markets
  • Aircraft financing tools
  • Risk management in aircraft financing
  • The Cape Town convention
  • Enforcement of rights and security interests

In addition to the substantive programme [.pdf], the conference also delivered opportunities to network with international peers during the event social programme, opening with a reception at the InterContinental Hotel. Delegates wre also invited to attend a conference dinner taking place at the University Club Montreal, a venue established in 1906 by the academic elite of Montreal and housed in a beautiful historic building, and a fantastic setting to discuss the day's events in more depth.

May 29-31, 2014- Manfred Lachs International Conference on Global Space Governance
Faculty of Law, McGill University, Montreal

This second conference covered comprehensive deliberations on all aspects of the space regime.

Please see our Lachs Conference section to see the program and see the presentation papers!

May 7-9, 2014 - Melbourne, Australia
McGill Workshop on Emerging Issues in Space Law, and 33rd ALAANZ Annual Air Law Conference

The 2014 ALAANZ Conference will be held with the support of McGill's Institute of Air & Space Law at McGill University. Current plans are that the Director of the Institute, Dr Paul Dempsey and other staff from the Institute will be speakers at the conference and McGill University will be also conducting a Space Law Workshop on Wednesday 7 May 2014 in Melbourne.

Download the IASL workshop program [.pdf] (updated March 24, 2014) and the registration form for the IASL workshop [.doc].

Please visit the  to see ALAANZ program and to register to that conference too.

The IASL at the International Conference on Air Law - Montreal, March 26-April 4, 2014

This month, the Institute enjoyed observer status at the International Conference on Air Law to amend the Tokyo Convention at the headquarters of the International Civil Aviation Organization in Montreal.

The Institute's students and graduates served on many national delegations, including Argentina, Canada, Greece, India, Indonesia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, as well as the International Air Transport Association.

Sixth Annual McGill/PEOPIL Conference on International Aviation Liability & Insurance

April 10-11, 2014 – The Law Society, 113 Chancery Lane, London, UK

This event (Program [.docx]) brought together world-leading aviation liability and insurance experts to address the following topics:

  • Recent Developments  in Aviation Liability and Insurance
  • Comparative Jurisprudence on the Montreal Convention of 1999 
  • Air Carrier Liability under Antitrust and Competition Laws
  • Criminal Liability and Accident Investigations
  • Consumer Protection Regulation
  • Jurisdiction and Forum Non Conveniens Dismissals of Jurisdiction

Back from the Manfred Lachs Moot!

On March 28-29, Paul Dawson, Philippine Dumoulin, Brian Green, and their coach, Andrea DiPaolo, represented the McGill Institute of Air and Space Law at the Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court Competition in Washington, DC.

The fourteen participating teams were divided into two divisions for the competition. Each team was given the opportunity to argue twice in the preliminary rounds on the 28th, once as respondent and once as applicant. These scores were averaged and added to each team’s written memorial scores. Based on these composite scores, the McGill team ranked first, both in their division and across the competition.

On the 29th, the eight qualifying teams progressed to the tournament-style rounds, beginning with the quarterfinal, where McGill faced Michigan. McGill progressed to face Georgetown in the semifinals, and successfully moved to the final argument against Florida State. Florida State won the final argument and will progress to the international competition in Toronto this fall, while McGill won the Second Place award. Heartiest congratulations to the team for their outstanding performance!

25-26 October 2013 - Hilton Montreal Bonaventure
Fifth annual McGill Conference on International Aviation Liability & Insurance

The Fifth annual McGill Conference on International Aviation Liability & Insurance provided a review of contemporary laws, jurisprudence and developments in International Air Law and Liability Insurance from the perspective of airlines, airports, ANSPs, insurers, manufacturers and lessors.


This event gathered some of the world’s leading experts to address the following topics:

  • Recent Developments in Aviation Liability and Insurance
  • Unruly Passengers and Liability for Acts of Unlawful Interference
  • Jurisdiction & Forum Non Conveniens
  • Liability of Manufacturers and Lessors of Aircraft, Engines & Component Parts
  • Comparative Interpretations of the Montreal Convention of 1999 and their Impact on Airlines, Manufacturers, Insurers & Claimants

Two simulations were also held:

  • Moot Court Appellate Argument
  • Insurance Negotiations

In addition, the conference held luncheons and receptions to facilitate networking between attorneys, insurers, air carriers, manufacturers and governmental representatives.

This event was accredited by the Barreau du Québec for 13.25 hours of continuing legal education for jurists. No. certification: 10068643.

The IASL 1966-67 class held a reunion in Montreal on June 12-16 and dropped in for a visit to the Institute. Top row (L to R): Lu Mays (USA), Ian Archer (Barbados), Francois de Curraize (France), Howard Cluver (USA), and Prof. Ram Jakhu (IASL); and Hans Martin (Germany). Seated: Mostafa Forootan (Iran), Maria D'Amico (IASL), Monique Regnoux-Culver (France), and Roman Karpishka (Canada and Class President).

It was lovely to see everyone!

Manfred Lachs Conference on the Regulation of Emerging Modes of Aerospace Transportation - 24-25 May 2013, Centre Mont-Royal

Thank you to all our participants and speakers. To access the papers, visit the conference page.

21-22 September 2013 - ICAO/McGill University Pre-Assembly Symposium - ICAO Headquarters, Montreal, Canada

On Facilitating Air Transport-Passengers, Cargo, Technology and Profitability

ICAO and McGill University, Institute of Air & Space Law again cooperated for the Fourth ICAO/McGill University Pre-Assembly Symposium, from 21 to 22 September 2013, at ICAO Headquarters in Montréal. This Symposium addressed key issues identified by ICAO and McGill University in the air transport economics and navigation fields on operational, management and policy levels. The principal objective of the Symposium was to provide a preparatory forum for State delegates and stakeholders attending and/or interested in the issues proposed for the 38th Session of the ICAO Assembly on 24 September 2013.

This event featured top-level speakers engaged in interactive panel discussions. With the newest technologies and profitability as important guideposts, the event focused on many questions including:

  • How are air passengers and freight impacted by impediments to operational efficiency?
  • What impact do taxes, fees and charges, regulation, security & facilitation have on air carriers and the public?
  • How do we balance aviation security and facilitation?
  • How do we enhance seamless connectivity between air transport and transport modes?
  • How to secure the billion dollars needed to finance infrastructure and air navigation systems?
  • How do we ensure that the inherent advantages of air transport (i.e., time) are not eroded by regulatory, technological, procedural and structural impediments to efficiency?
  • How well does existing and future technology facilitate the flow of passengers, air freight and air traffic management?
  • Cargo security, e-passports, e-visas and other documentation-- How well do they deal with emergent threats to security?
  • What are the opportunities, efficiencies and challenges of passenger profiling?
  • Do security, safety and consumer protection laws and regulations serve the public well?
  • What are the tools, policies and best practices that will foster regulatory harmonization across boundaries?
  • How can ICAO improve cooperation at a global level?

For more information: ICAOMcGill_Symposium [at]


6th IAASS International Space Safety Conference: Safety Is Not An Option
21-23 May 2013, McGill Faculty of Law

Organized by the IASL and the International Association for the Advancement of Space Safety (IAASS), the conference was an opportunity to reflect on a number of topics in space safety and sustainability, and to promote mutual understanding, trust, and the widest possible professional international cooperation in such matters.

Visit the IAASS conference website for the programme, registration information, and full details.

Space Security Index Working Group meeting in April 2013

The Space Security Index project partners were proud to host the 10th annual Space Security Working Group workshop at McGill University's Faculty of Law on April 12-13, 2013.

The Space Security Index is a joint research project of the Institute of Air and Space Law at McGill University, Secure World Foundation, Project Ploughshares and The Simons Foundation, in cooperation with the Space Policy Institute at George Washington University and the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada.

The purpose of this Working Group meeting was to seek feedback on relevant developments in 2012 through a review of the draft research and a debate of their implications for the security of outer space, based on open discussion held under the Chatham House rule. The discussion will inform the development of the Space Security Index 2013 report, to be released in the summer of 2013.

See the SSWG 2013 Program [.pdf]

IASL class of 2012-2013

Students, faculty and staff of the IASL photographed on a snowy November day in front of Old Chancellor Day Hall.

24-25 January 2013, in London, UK
Commercialisation of Space: Opportunities and Challenges

The Dhawan Chair in the Department of War Studies, King’s College London, and McGill's Institute of Air & Space Law held a two-day Conference at King’s College where several invited experts from different countries with developed space programmes and related commercial activities discussed the civil uses and commercialisation of space activities.

See the preliminary programme [.doc] and the background paper [.doc].

For more information

Contact: Bhupendra Jasani

Organization: King's London College

Email: bhupendra.jasani [at]

Office Phone: 44 (0)20 7848 2311

Friday, October 5, 2012 –
Emissions Trading & International Civil Aviation Symposium: Making the Links & Lessons Learned

Time: from 8:00 to 16:30
Place: Room 312, New Chancellor Day Hall
Faculty of Law, McGill University, 3644 Peel Street, Montreal (Quebec)

McGill’s Institute of Air & Space Law, Centre for International Sustainable Development Law, the International Emissions Trading Association and the German Embassy organized a one-day symposium on emissions trading developments and international aviation sector emissions issues.

Symposium participants heard from industry & academic experts about a range of increasingly inter-connected issues, implementation/legal challenges, and future policy pathways related to emissions trading developments and tackling international aviation sector emissions.

See the Emissions Trading & Aviation Symposium - Flyer & Program [.pdf] (updated 4 Oct 2012)

For backgrounder information on EU ETS and aviation, please review IETA’s 2012 briefing memo [.pdf].

Key questions that symposium speakers & panelists covered include:

  • What is the state of Quebec's carbon market? How do various market participants perceive the design & operationalization of Quebec's carbon market?
  • What are the prospects & timelines for Quebec's linkage to California's market...and beyond?
  • What are projected supply-demand dynamics & price projections for Quebec's market?
  • What is the state of play in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS)? How is the EU planning to treat the aviation sector? What policy is guiding Canadian airlines?
  • What role do registries play in carbon market operation & oversight? What lessons can be learned from the EU experience? Where might registries fit into aviation sector proposals?
  • What role do exchanges play in market development & price discovery? What lessons can be learned from the EU experience? Where might exchanges fit into aviation sector proposals?
  • What regional/international legal issues arise in tackling aviation sector emissions, and how might future scenarios play out in Canada and abroad?
  • How does Quebec treat aviation under its cap-and-trade system? Is there any potential role for its tradable units in connection with aviation and the EU ETS?

APRIL 25-29, 2012
Workshop and International Conference on Law & Regulation of Air Transport & Law Of Space Applications

National Law University, New Delhi, India

Organised by the IASL, with the National Law University, New Delhi, India, and the International Foundation for Aviation, Aerospace & Development, (India Chapter), the event aimed to introduce the participants to the basic principles of air transportation, aviation law and regulation of space activities. It was designed for lawyers and law students with no prior knowledge in the discipline, as well as airline and airport managers and government officials.

For more information, see the Workshop & International Conference on Law & Regulation of Air Transport [.pdf].

APRIL 19-21, 2012

Held in London, UK, this conference brought together world-leading aviation liability and insurance experts who addressed the following topics:

  • Recent developments in aviation liability and insurance
  • Jurisdiction & forum non conveniens
  • Comparative interpretations of the Montreal Convention of 1999 from Europe and the US
  • Air carrier liability under the antitrust and competition laws
  • Criminal liability and accident investigations
  • Consumer protection regulation
  • Forum non conveniens dismissals of jurisdiction and how the cases are handled in European Courts

See the programme: liability-conf-london-april2012.pdf

APRIL 16-17, 2012
Aviation Law Seminar for Judges of the Nigerian Federal High Court

Sheraton Lagos Hotel, Lagos, Nigeria.

For more information on the program, download aviation-seminar-lagos-april2012.pdf

The 2012 Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot team from McGill was in Washington, DC, March 2012, at the Georgetown University Law Center – L to R: Maxime Puteaux, Joyeeta Chatterjee and Christopher Paul Roberts.

June 2012 Stockholm meeting a great success!

It was wonderful to visit our grads in Stockholm this June for the 13th biennial meeting of the European Alumnae and Alumni. IASL Director Paul Dempsey joined the participants for the various workshops, along with visits to the Swedish Space Corporation, Bromma Airport and VASA Museum, and various functions and short trips. About 30 people attended. Many thanks to Stephan Eriksson, Urban Olson and Fredrik Brandel for organizing this meeting!

Update: some photos and videos of the meet-up have been uploaded to Facebook.

International Interdisciplinary Congress on Space Debris Remediation – November 11-12, 2011

The International Interdisciplinary Congress on Space Debris Congress, was held at McGill's Institute of Air and Space Law in Montreal on 11 and 12 November 2011.

Congress participants examined technical means, legal and economic aspects, operational and organizational requirements for space debris remediation and on-orbit servicing of satellites.

We have received presentations from most speakers and posted them, along with a few photographs. Read further...

Echoes from the International Astronautical Congress and IISL/IAF Scientific and Legal Roundtable in October 2011

The Institute of Air and Space Law was well represented in the recent International Astronautical Congress (AIC) held in the first week of October in Cape Town, South Africa.

Professor Paul Stephen Dempsey and Professor Ram Jakhu, along with post-doctoral fellow Catherine Doldirina and DCL candidate Diane Howard, presented in various sessions of the Congress: not only in those of the Colloquium on the Law of Outer Space organized by the International Institute of Space Law, but also in the actual technical sessions of the Congress. Catherine Doldirina was invited to present in the IISL/IAF Scientific and Legal Roundtable (see picture below), which this year was devoted to the various issues of space debris remediation. The IAC 2011 Highlights can be accessed here.

L to R: Michael Brett, Chair Space Generation Advisory Council; Catherine Doldirina, Co-Chair SGAC; Ariane Cornell, Executive Director SGAC; Andrea Jaime, Deputy Executive Director, SGAC, in Cape Town, South Africa.

Catherine Doldirina also led, as the co-chair, another yearly event that precedes IAC – Space Generation Congress. This event offered 130 delegates from 45 countries around the world to opportunity to discuss pertinent space issues and share their ideas with each other and with such high-level professionals like NASA administrator Charles Bolden, the chairman of COPUOS Dimitru Prunariu, president of the IAF Berndt Feuerbacher and many other prominent space leaders. Some of the presentations made during SGC can be accessed from Space Generation's channel.

Professor Ram Jakhu was also honoured for his work by the International Academy of Astronautics during a gala.

Ivan A. Vlasic (1929-2011)

It gives us great sadness to announce that Professor Emeritus Ivan A. Vlasic, LLM'55, passed away on Wednesday, April 20, 2011. He was 84.

The McGill University Flag will be lowered, on April 27, in memory of Ivan A. Vlasic, Professor Emeritus, Institute of Air & Space Law.

We have received many moving tributes to Professor Vlasic:

International Galileo Governance and Liability Workshop - Bruxelles, May 27, 2011

On 27 May 2011, the Idelux Galaxia Business Park in Transinne hosted an international meeting concerning the Galileo European Programme for Global Navigation Services in the presence of 35 experts, on the topic: "International Governance and Liability of the Galileo programme". As a reminder, Galileo is a satellite navigation programme, the European counterpart of the American GPS system.

This workshop was organised by Eutralex Aerospace Consulting within the framework of the space application developments being encouraged on the Galaxia Business Park, with the support of McGill University's Institute of Air and Space Law and Idelux. International Governance and Liability of the Galileo programme. 27 May 2011

2011 Annual McGill Conference on International Aviation Liability & Insurance

6-7 May 2011, at the Hilton Bonaventure, in Montreal

*** This conference is certified by the Barreau du Québec for 12.5 CLE hour credits. ***

This event, which marked the 60th Anniversary of McGill University's Institute of Air & Space Law, brought together some of the world's leading aviation liability experts to address the following topics:

1. Recent developments in aviation liability and insurance
2. Recovery of non-economic damages
3. Unruly passengers and liability for acts of unlawful interference
4. Jurisdiction & Forum Non Conveniens
5. Liability of manufacturers of aircraft, engines & component parts
6. Comparative interpretations of the Montreal Convention of 1999 and their impact on airlines, manufacturers, insurers & claimants
7. Disputes between insurers and re-insurers.
8. Four moot simulations.

In addition, the conference hosted luncheons and a cocktail reception to facilitate networking between attorneys, insurers, air carriers, manufacturers and governmental representatives.

Download the complete Brochure, Programme & Registration: 2011 Annual McGill Conference on International Aviation Liability & Insurance [.pdf] (This document also contains hotel accommodation details).

8th Annual Space Security Index - Montréal, April 8 and 9, 2011

Participants to the 8th Space Security Index - Montreal, April 8 and 9, 2011

On April 8 and 9, 2011, the Institute of Air and Space Law, hosted the eighth annual Space Security Working Group meeting at the Faculty of Law. This was attended by over 30 experts from all over the world. The Space Security Index is a joint research project of the McGill University Institute of Air and Space Law, Project Ploughshares, Secure World Foundation and The Simons Foundation, in cooperation with the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada. The objective of the Space Security Index is to support transparency and dialogue on space security challenges and potential cooperative responses by providing an annual assessment of space security based on background information and in-depth analysis on key trends related to outer space. This annual assessment is developed through primary research in consultation with space security experts.

IASL Team wins 2011 Sarin Leiden International Air Law Moot Court Competition in Dubai

McGill IASL Team won 2011 Sarin-Leiden International Air Law Moot Court in Dubai - Left to right: H.E. Mohammed A. Ahli (Director General of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority), Joseph Wheeler (Grad. Cert.), Mithun Pemmaiah (LL.M.) and Auguste Hocking (LL.M.)

Congratulations to the McGill Moot Court Team for winning first place in the 2011 Sarin Leiden International Air Law Moot Court Competition in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The extraordinary team consisted of the following Institute of Air & Space Law graduate students: Auguste Hocking (Australia), Joseph Wheeler (Australia) and Mithun Pemmaiah (India); our Doctoral candidate, Paul FitzGerald (Canada), coached the team. The McGill team also placed first in oral argument for both the Applicant's and Respondent's side of the competition. The problem addressed issues of aviation safety in light of a volcanic eruption, emissions charges, traffic rights, cabotage, and foreign ownership and control. The court was chaired by a Judge Gilbert Guillaume of the International Court of Justice.

Next year's competition will be in Istanbul.

Congratulations to the IASL Moot Team

McGill IASL Moot Team 2011. Left to right: Auguste Hocking (LL.M.), Joseph Wheeler (Grad. Cert.), Coach: Paul Fitzgerald (DCL) and Mithun Pemmaiah (LL.M.)

Conference on International Aviation Liability & Insurance: Current Issues and Controversies - Amsterdam, October 8 and 9, 2010

This event, sponsored by the Pan-European Organisation of Personal Injury Lawyers and the McGill Institute of Air & Space, was held in Amsterdam October 8 and 9, 2010. It gathered some of the world's leading experts on aviation liability and insurance.

The IASL Class of 2010 gathered on the steps of 3474 Peel Street for the traditional annual group photograph with professors.

We enjoyed meeting with our European colleagues and graduates.

Some IASL students and graduates in Amsterdam, attending the International Aviation Liability & Insurance in October 2010. Pictured L to R: John Thachet (LLM'95); Paul Fitzgerald (BCL/LLB'88 and DCL candidate); Diane Howard (LLM'09 and DCL candidate); Stephan Eriksson (class of '03); Jae Woon (June) Lee (LLM'06); Andrew Harakas (LLM'90); Philip Chrystal (LLM'85); Yaw Nyampong (LLM'05 and DCL candidate); Darcy Beamer-Downie (LLM'00); Joseph C. Wheeler (graduate certificate candidate); Olivier Ferrante (LLM'00); and Paul Dempsey, Director of the IASL.

The IASL at the International Astronautical Congress - September 27 - October 1, 2010 in Prague

Graduate students and professors of the Institute participated in the most important space-related event of the year, which occurred September 27 - October 1, 2010 in Prague (Czech Republic).

Professor Ram Jakhu presented a paper at the Scientific-Legal Roundtable on small satellite missions. DCL candidate Diane Howard made a presentation of the paper on the legal issues related to the gathering of space solar power that she co-authored with Professor Jakhu.

DCL candidate Michael Mineiro gave an overview of his research, particularly the application of the public choice theory to the US commercial communication satellite export controls. DCL candidate Catherine Doldirina presented two papers: one on the influence of the European Union harmonised law on the development of the market for remote sensing data, and another on the scope of the international obligation to protect environment of outer space. Finally, LLM student Michael Dodge had a poster presentation on the implications of the GPS/ Galileo/ GNSS Agreement for peaceful international relations. A number of IASL alumni were also present.

Contributions to the sessions of the International Astronautical Congress are important for both research at the Institute, as well as for the outreach with regard to its programme and activities, as the event gathers all leading actors and specialists within the field of space activities in general and of space law in particular.

Graduates and students who took time to visit the Pilsner Urquell Brewery during the conference.
Pictured L to R: Back: Mr. Sanat Kaul - Mr. Jan-Helge Mey - Mr. Jiri Hornik - Ms. Diane Howard - Dr. Steve Doyle - Professor Stephan Hobe - Professor Francis Lyall - Professor Setsuko Aoki - Professor Ram Jakhu - Dr. Milton (Skip) Smith
Middle: Professor Kopal - Ms. Anne-Marie Hébert - unknown mannequin - Dr. Ranjana Kaul
Front: Ms. Axelle Cartier - Dr. Peter van Fenema - Ms. Catherine Doldirina. Present at the IAC but not pictured: Dr. Martha Mejia-Kaiser, Dr. Sylvia Ospina, Professor Paul Larsen, Michael Mineiro, Maria Buzdugan, and Professor Paul Dempsey.

Air Transport: What Route to $ustainability? - September 26-27, 2010 at the Hilton Bonaventure, Montreal

Held Sep. 26-27, 2010 at the Hilton Bonaventure, Montreal, this ICAO/McGill worldwide conference and exhibition preceded the the triennial meeting of the ICAO General Assembly. The conference covered themes such as State of the Aviation Industry; Aviation and the Environment; Aviation Security and Facilitation; and Strategies and the Way Forward.

Thank you to all speakers, conference-goers, and volunteers who made this event a success!

International Conference on Air Transport, Air Law and Regulation — 24 – 26 May 2010 in Singapore

Jointly organised by the Institute of Air & Space Law, the National University of Singapore Centre for International Law, and the Singapore Aviation Academy, this three-day conference addressed critical issues facing civil aviation in current challenging times with an emphasis on Asian air transportation. Current and new updates on legal and policy issues relevant to today’s air transportation environment were discussed.

Download the Brochure and registration [.pdf]

May 6, 2009, in Montreal
International & Interdisciplinary Roundtable on Space Governance

Preceding the International Interdisciplinary Congress on Space Debris, this high-level interdisciplinary event was an opportunity to discuss space, its governance and its peaceful use. Attendees can now download the presentations.

May 7-9, 2009, in Montreal
International Interdisciplinary Congress on Space Debris

Many joined us for this important two-part congress organised by the IASL, in collaboration with the Cologne University Institute of Air and Space Law (Germany) and the International Association for the Advancement of Space Safety (The Netherlands).

Attendees can now download the presentations.

The second part of this congress will take place in Bonn-Cologne, Germany, in May-June 2010. See you there!

Research Paper Competitions at ICPSR

We are now accepting applications for two 2018 competitions (ICPSR Undergraduate and ICPSR Master's), which are listed below.

2018 ICPSR Research Paper Competitions (Undergraduate & Master's categories)

For papers on any topic using data from the ICPSR General Archive or Thematic Collections.

Awards: $1,000 for first place, $750 for second place. There are separate undergraduate and master's prizes for this competition.


  • Entrants must be current master’s or undergraduate students, or recent graduates who graduated on or after April 1, 2017. (Students who graduated before April 1, 2017, are not eligible.)
  • Entrants must be from ICPSR member institutions.
  • Entrants may be from the US or outside the US.

Entry Requirements

All entries must meet the following criteria:

  • Author Status: Must be an undergraduate or graduate student, or recent graduate (graduated on or after April 1, 2017).
  • Coauthorship: Papers written by more than one student are permitted. Coauthored or multiple-authored winners will share the specified monetary awards.
  • Single Submission: Only one paper entered by author, whether as sole author or as a coauthor.
  • Student Authorship: Papers coauthored with faculty are not eligible. Only student-authored papers are eligible.
  • Originality: Each paper must be an original analysis and must be the author’s own work. Papers previously published are not eligible.
  • ICPSR Data: Each paper must analyze data held in the ICPSR archive or one of the Thematic Collections. (Students may use a dataset accessed from another source if ICPSR also holds a copy of the same dataset.)
  • Work Product: Papers submitted must be the product of work toward completion of an undergraduate or master’s degree.
  • Preparation: Paper adheres to preparation requirements (see below).
  • Entry Form: Entry form is completed and submitted (see below).
  • Deadline: All papers and corresponding entry forms must be received by midnight Pacific Standard Time, January 31, 2018.

Paper Preparation Requirements

The paper must be written in English and follow these requirements:


Paper should be no longer than 20 pages for undergraduate entries, and no longer than 30 pages for graduate student’s entries. Page limits include all charts/graphs, references, and any appendices.

Appearance and Format

  • Font should be Times New Roman — point size 12
  • Margins of 1 inch (2.5 cm) all around
  • Double spaced
  • Papers must be submitted in MSWord (DOC or DOCX) or Adobe Acrobat (PDF) format.

Charts and Citations

  • Charts and graphs should be “stylized”; that is, exhibits should be developed, formatted, and inserted into the document appropriately. Cutting and pasting direct output from statistical software into the document is not satisfactory.
  • Datasets, publications, and other documentation must be properly cited. See ICPSR's FAQ, Why and how should I cite data?; see American Psychological Association Bibliographic Style, 6th Edition (PDF 128K) or MLA Bibliographic Style, 7th Edition, 2009 or American Sociological Association (ASA) Style Guide, 4th edition for guides on citing publications. (Linked content provided by Purdue University’s library site.)

Title Page and Abstract

  • The title page must include the author’s name, faculty advisor’s name, institutional affiliation, expected degree (or recently received degree) and graduation date (month/year), and email address.
  • An abstract of no more than 150 words must follow the title page. Title and abstract pages are not included in page limits.
  • Page headers and/or footers should contain page numbers and a shortened title of the paper. They are not to include the author’s name or the name of his or her institution. This ensures anonymous review by the judges.

Entry Forms

  1. Papers must be submitted electronically along with the proper Entry/Publication Release Form for the entered competition. They must be sent to the correct email address, as indicated in this section. A complete entry includes the research paper and the appropriate Entry and Publication Release Form in the same, single email.

    Note:The email must copy the faculty advisor or mentor listed on the application form and any coauthors listed on page 4 of the application form.
  2. Please complete all information and save the files (entry form and the research paper) using the appropriate file-naming format from among the following:

    ICPSR Undergraduate Competition - LAST NAME
    ICPSR Master’s Competition - LAST NAME

    Use the name of only the contest category (ICPSR Undergraduate, ICSPR Master's) you are entering. Follow this naming format for the entry and paper file names, and the email subject line.

  3. The content of the email also must include:

    Student/Author Name(s):
    Email Address:
    Telephone Contact:
    School Affiliation:
    Faculty Advisor or Mentor:
    Title of Paper:
    Competition Category Entered: (ICPSR Undergraduate, ICPSR Master's)


After all materials have been received, a confirmation email will be sent to the author(s) and to the academic advisor/mentor listed on the application form.


  • Panels: Papers will be judged by panels of at least three judges drawn from the ICPSR staff and member institutions.
  • Criteria: Papers will be judged according to scholarly criteria including statement of purpose, thesis development, quality of analysis, and supporting documentation.
  • Anonymity: The judges will not know the entrants’ name or school.


  • Awards will be announced in April 2018.
  • Cash prizes will be awarded in each competition.
  • First-place papers will be published in a special edition of the ICPSR Bulletin, and all winning papers will be published on the ICPSR website.
  • Each winner will receive a framed certificate in recognition of the award.
  • Letters of achievement will be written to the student, and to the faculty, departments, and deans at the student’s institution, upon request.

Promoting the Competition

ICPSR encourages the early promotion of this competition in your campus community. Please share and/or post this flyer (212K) to help student authors be made aware of it.

For more information, please contact Dory Knight-Ingram,


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