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On Michael Milde - by Paul Stephen Dempsey

Professor Dr. Michael Milde Retires

Prof. Dr. Michael Milde retired in 2006 from the Faculty of Law, the year in which he turned 75. He is an accomplished scholar, teacher, lawyer, and a gentleman.

Born in Prague, he earned three law degrees from that city’s Charles University, and went on to become an Associate Professor there. Like many gifted men of intellect, he fled communist Czechoslovakia in the mid-1960s, and made Montreal his new home. He served for 25 years (1966-1991) in senior legal positions in the International Civil Aviation Organization [ICAO], including as its Principal Legal Officer, and Director of the ICAO Legal Bureau. This is among the highest legal positions in international aviation law anywhere in the world. In that capacity, Dr. Milde put his fingerprints on many of the international treaties, protocols and conventions governing international aviation.

He followed that distinguished career with another, as Director of McGill University’s Institute of Air & Space Law for a decade (1989-1998). As Director, Dr. Milde refined and improved the Institute’s academic curriculum and saw the Institute receive the prestigious Edward Warner Award of the ICAO. He is known among his students as an insightful, vigorous, and dedicated teacher of public and private international air law. Over the years, he has supervised scores of theses authored by our students. And for nearly a decade and a half (1989-2002), he was Editor in Chief of the Annals of Air & Space Law.

Dr. Milde has travelled the world advising nations and clients, and lecturing at seminars and conferences. He, and his literature, are ubiquitously known and respected in international aviation circles. He has published scores of articles, many of them in McGill’s Annals of Air & Space Law, and several important books, including International Air Carrier Liability: The Montreal Convention of 1999.

He is among the Institute’s most dedicated graduates and contributors. Given his tremendous influence in public international law, and his significant contributions to legal education, it is entirely appropriate that the Board of Governors of McGill University conferred upon Dr. Milde the status of Director Emeritus of the Institute of Air & Space Law.

To this author, Dr. Milde is a friend, colleague, co-author, and learned mentor. We at the Institute of Air & Space Law appreciate his contributions to legal education at McGill, and his insightful scholarship on the subjects of Public and Private International Air Law. His mark on the law, and on a generation of McGill students, is enduring.

Paul Stephen Dempsey
Director, Institute of Air & Space Law