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Professor Masao Sekiguchi Fellowship in Air and Space Law

Established in 2008 by Mrs Teruko Sekiguchi in honour of her husband, Professor Masao Sekiguchi (1934-2004), LLM'82, a graduate of the Institute of Air and Space Law. These Fellowships are available for eligible outstanding students in the Master’s program at the Institute of Air and Space Law.

Successful applicants to the LLM programs offered by the Institute of Air and Space Law are eligible to be selected as Sekiguchi Fellows by the Graduate Admissions Committee and thus to not need to apply.

Fellowships will be offered in the course of the admissions process administered by the Faculty of Law and the University. Value is variable and determined by the Graduate Law Admissions Office.

Deadline to apply for admission to our LLM programs is January 15.

Our Sekiguchi Fellows

Milan A. Plücken - 2010

Juliana Macedo Scavuzzi Dos Santos - 2011

Ramya Sankaran - 2012

Yifei Xie - 2012

Jared Hautamaki - 2012

Francisco Castillo-Ruiz - 2013

Matthew King - 2014

Sandy Belle Habchi - 2014

Professor Masao Sekiguchi (1934-2004) – An appreciation by Professor Paul Dempsey, Director of the IASL

This text was originally published in the 2004 Annals of Air and Space Law (vol. 29).

Masao Sekiguchi

Professor Masao Sekiguchi was Dean and Professor of Law at Komazawa University in Tokyo, where he had taught since 1971. A prolific author, he published more than 100 articles on Air Law, and several books, including Liability System of the International Air Carriers (Seibbundou 1998), which earned him the Komazawa University Scientific and Cultural Award for a Scientific Book. He was also Director of the Air Law Institute of Japan, Member of the International Institute of Space Law, and the Korean Association of Air and Space Law.

Professor Sekiguchi received an LL.B. (1959) and LL.M. (1962) from Chuo University, and yet another LL.M. degree from McGill University’s Institute of Air and Space Law in 1982. Always an enthused visitor to Montreal and McGill, Prof. Sekiguchi was among our most loyal and generous of graduates. He was proud of his McGill University degree, and deeply loved the Institute of Air and Space Law, visiting us often. He made the most significant financial contributions of any IASL graduate to ensure the success of the Institute of Air and Space Law's 50th Anniversary Conference in the Spring of 2002, and McGill's worldwide Conference on Current Challenges in International Aviation this past September. He published a number of articles in the Annals of Air and Space Law, and was influential in the development of Japanese aviation policy.

Professor Sekiguchi advanced the modern law of international commercial aviation. He was a proponent of the Japanese initiative on removing ceilings on carrier liability, which became the catalyst for the IATA Intercarrier Agreement, and the Montreal Convention of 1999. Few people hold such historical distinction.

Back in 1999, long before I became Director of this Institute, I contacted Professor Sekiguchi, whom I had met at an earlier McGill Conference, to seek his assistance. I was writing a book on airport planning and development, and was having difficulty getting permission to visit Osaka International Airport to interview the engineers who planned and designed the airport.

It seems the airport, built on an artificial island, was sinking and had become tremendously expensive, and the public relations team was quite skeptical about anyone who wanted to write about it. I assured them that I was looking at all new “green field” airports around the world – Denver, Munich, Oslo, Athens, Hong Kong, Macau, Seoul, and Kuala Lumpur, for example – but they were not anxious to have me visit. Then Professor Sekiguchi intervened, and doors were miraculously thrust open. He greeted my flight at Osaka, and hosted me through the day, from one interview to another he had arranged.

That evening, Professor Sekiguchi treated me to dinner, and gave me an inspiring insight into what the Institute had meant to him. He was immensely grateful of the intellectual insights he had earned as a student in Montreal. As he said it, he was honored to be of modest assistance to a fellow McGill graduate. For me, it was a wonderful education in how supportive the McGill family of air and space lawyers can be.

The Institute of Air and Space Law proudly dedicate this issue of the Annals of Air and Space Law to Professor Sekiguchi. He was an inspiration to all graduates of the McGill Institute of Air and Space Law, that we can become as loyal and dedicated a graduate as he. We will miss Professor Sekiguchi, as will aviation lawyers in the McGill family worldwide, and the Japanese legal community. We extend our heartfelt sympathies to his wife and family.