The Laboratory was created in 2007, at the initiative of Adelle Blackett, professor at McGill University's Faculty of Law.
The development of the Laboratory is based on three phases.
The first phase involved grouping together a number of internationally renowned researchers interested in the issues of labour law and development in order to form the Labour Law and Development Research Network (the network).
This interdisciplinary network brings together professors from Africa, the Caribbean, Canada, and the United States.
The network met for the first time on August 24th and 25th 2007, and meets several times each year, by videoconference, in order to define its research axes and priorities.
The second phase of the project, currently underway, involves collecting information on the subjects of interest identified by the Laboratory, classifying them, and indexing them in a database.
This collection of information is based on research at national archives, at relevant administrations and unions in several countries (France, Canada, Ghana, Senegal...) and on the digitization of documentation, generally rare and difficult to access, collected by the laboratory researchers.
It also involves classifying and indexing works relevant to the laboratory’s subjects of study (informal labour, domestic labour, labour and social contradictions, rural labour, development policies and labour law...).
The last phase of the project aims to consolidate the progress of the first two phases, to continue the research activities undertaken by the laboratory, and to make accessible a selection of the collected and classified information to researchers interested in the issues identified by the laboratory.
The objective is to strengthen both cooperation between researchers from the North and South and reflection on the links between labour law and development.