GLSA Annual Conference

Law Actually: Intimacy and Trust - Program cover image

Rescheduled! - “Law Actually” : Intimacy and Trust

24-26 September 2020 - online

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year's conference has been reformulated and will now be taking place online.

The Graduate Law Students Association (GLSA) of McGill University’s Faculty of Law is pleased to announce the 13th annual McGill Graduate Law Conference on the theme of intimacy and trust.

Law invokes seriousness. One tends to see it to be objective, and even impersonal. It “must be public, universal, and reasonable. Emotion, understood as mere inclination and based in a self-interest, individual perspective, or self-reference that cannot apply to all alike, is irrelevant and distracting to the obligation to do one's duty.” (Meyer, The Justice of Mercy, 11). To think like a lawyer is to maintain a safe distance from the issue at hand.

Yet, law permeates our relationships. Law regulates intimate issues in personal relationships (such as those with our parents and our spouses) and also professional relationships. Legal norms tend to operate on the basis that we may or may not trust each other to carry out our respective duties. This element of trust also applies to many relationships that are deemed to be of a “legal” nature, such as contracts, commercial transactions, and international relations.

This conference is an invitation to approach ‘law’ as a more intimate discipline and to engage in legal scholarship as an exercise in intimacy and trust.

Email [at] if you have a question or a comment.

See our Call for Submissions.

Reprogrammée - « Law Actually » : intimité et confiance

24-26 septembre 2020 - en ligne

En suite à la pandémie de la COVID-19, la conférence de cette année a été reformulée et se déroulera en ligne.

L’Association des étudiant.e.s des cycles supérieurs en droit de la Faculté de droit de l’Université McGill est fière d’annoncer la tenue de la 13e édition de sa conférence annuelle sur le thème de l'intimité et de la confiance.

Le droit est perçu comme une affaire sérieuse. Il faut l’approcher de façon objective, certains diraient même de façon impersonnelle. Il « faut [que le droit] soit public, universel et raisonnable. Les émotions, comprises comme de simples inclinaisons émanant d’un individu autocentré ou à la perspective autoréférentielle et qui, par définition, ne peuvent être les mêmes pour tous, doivent être écartées. Elles sont une distraction par rapport à l’obligation de chacun de faire son devoir. » (Meyer, The Justice of Mercy, 11). Penser comme un juriste, c’est extérioriser les problèmes juridiques qui se présentent.

Pourtant, le droit s’immisce jusque dans nos relations les plus intimes. Le droit régule, bien entendu, les liens qui nous unissent à nos parents, à nos conjoint.e.s ; mais aussi nos rapports professionnels, en imposant dans certains cas la « bonne foi », la confiance et le respect. Que sont les contrats, les transactions commerciales, ou encore les relations internationales, si ce n’est l’expression juridique d’une certaine garantie de confiance ? Cette conférence est un appel à approcher le droit par la porte de l’intime.

C’est une invitation à ce que la doctrine juridique s’engage elle-même dans une réflexion sur l’intimité qu’elle entretient avec le droit.

Écrivez à [at] pour toute question ou commentaire.

Voyez notre Appel à communications

The Dean Maxwell & Isle Cohen Seminar on International Law

A picture of Isle and Maxwell CohenIsle and Maxwell Cohen

On the day that would have been Maxwell Cohen’s 100th birthday, McGill’s Faculty of Law hosted a special celebration in honour of the late Dean of Law whose tenure was pivotal in establishing McGill at the forefront of legal education. It also marked the launch of the Dean Maxwell and Isle Cohen Doctoral Seminar in International Law, created through the generous contributions of JoAnne Sulzenko (Dean Maxwell and Isle Cohen’s daughter), alumni and friends, as well as from support of the Faculty of Law.

The seminar is intended to create a forum for the very best graduate students in international law at McGill and elsewhere, who will come to the Faculty of Law to share ideas and present their research. The Dean Maxwell and Isle Cohen Doctoral Seminar in International Law are be held in collaboration with the annual GLSA Conference as the Faculty has chosen to combine both the Annual Conference and the Seminar in one distinguished event.

Maxwell Cohen was pivotal in establishing McGill at the forefront of legal education in Canada, as Dean of the Faculty from 1964 to 1969, and had a profound influence on international law through his many roles and responsibilities in the legal community at large.

Cohen variously served as a member of the Canadian delegation to the UN, President of the Canadian Branch of the International Law Association, and a member of the Executive Council of the American Society of International Law. From 1974 to 1979 he chaired the Canadian section of the International Joint Commission, while from 1981 to 1985 he was the Canadian judge ad hoc for the International Court of Justice.

Cohen was also a significant influence of the drafting of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, while the anti-hate section of the Canadian Criminal Code is generally attributed to his work as Chairman of the federal Minister of Justice’s Special Committee on Hate Propaganda.

**Pastel by Eva Prager

About McGill's Annual Law Graduate Conference

Established in 2008, McGill’s Annual Graduate Conference in Law has quickly grown beyond its originally North American focus to become truly international in character. A product of the Faculty’s commitment to original, innovative research and the cultivation of future legal scholars, the Conference welcomes graduate students from around the world with these two ends in mind.

Accordingly, the Conference is not only built around rich intellectual exchange, but also on the development of its participants – as communicators, community members, and thinkers. Each spring, with these goals in mind, conference organizers look to build on the success of previous years in a continued effort to establish McGill as the site of Canada’s leading graduate conference in law.

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