2021 Conference

Law and the City: 14th Annual McGill Law Graduate Conference, 6-7 May 2021

Law and the City: 14th Annual McGill Law Graduate Conference

6-7 May 2021

The Graduate Law Students Association (GLSA) of McGill University’s Faculty of Law held its 14th annual McGill Graduate Law Conference on the theme of law and the city. The conference took place May 6-7 2021 at McGill University in Montreal, Canada.

Please see our Program for complete details and our initial Call for Submissions.

Question or comment? Email gradlawconference.law [at] mcgill.ca.

22 Nov 2021 UPDATE: The conference proceedings have now been compiled as the McGill GLSA Research Series available at glsars.library.mcgill.ca.

Le droit et la ville

6-7 mai 2021

L’Association des étudiant.e.s des cycles supérieurs de la Faculté de droit de l’Université McGill organisait le 14e édition de sa conférence annuelle en 6 et 7 mai 2020.

Consultez notre programme et l'Appel à communications original.

Écrivez à gradlawconference.law [at] mcgill.ca pour toute question ou commentaire.

Mise à jour 22 novembre 2021: les actes de la conférence ont été publiés sur la McGill GLSA Research Series (glsars.library.mcgill.ca(.

The Organizing Committee is excited to present its roster of over 80 speakers and three keynote speakers, hailing from all continents but Australia and Antarctica, for our 2021 edition!

Registration is open for our two-day multi-track conference (free and open to all).

The long and short programs can be downloaded below in PDF format:

Submissions to the Dean Maxwell and Isle Cohen Seminar on International Law are available on the Jurisdiction blog.


5 May 2021


Welcome Session/Séance de Bienvenue (conference speakers only)

6 May 2021


Plenary A: Law and the City Performance-Lecture, with Prof. Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos


Session I

  1. Law, Heritage and the City I
  2. Law, Covid and the City
  3. People, Police and the City
  4. Law and the City




Plenary B: Leibniz and the State Space, with Dr. Stephen Connelly


Session II

  1. Law, City, Data and Technology
  2. Law, City and History
  3. City in the Constitutional Context
  4. Law, Heritage and the City II


Session III

  1. Dean Maxwell & Isle Cohen Seminar in International Law I
  2. Law, Theory and the City I
  3. City between the Local and the Global
  4. Housing and the City


Cocktail for the conference speakers

7 May 2021


Plenary C: Cities as subjects of international law, with Prof. Giuseppe Nesi


Session IV

  1. Dean Maxwell & Isle Cohen Seminar on International Law II
  2. Law, Labour and the City
  3. Protest and the City
  4. City, Power and the Political




Session V

  1. Dean Maxwell & Isle Cohen Seminar on International Law III
  2. Law, Theory and the City II/ Droit, Théorie et Ville II
  3. Law, City and the Environment


Plenary D: Closing Remarks, with Prof. Andrea Bjorklund


Networking Session for the conference speakers

Keynote speakers

Andreas Philippopoulos-MihalopoulosPlenary A

Prof. Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos (University of Westminster)

Law and the City – Performance-Lecture
6 May 2021, 9:30-11:00

Let us take a walk through the lawscape, that plane of continuum between law and the city. Let’s observe our distances, inhabit our propinquities, touch the spaces generated by our bodies, ride the lines of the law scarred on our skins. Let’s lift ourselves up to the atmospherics of desire, and drench ourselves to the waters of complicity with consumerism, capitalism, surveillance. Let’s vie for the same spaces at the same time, two-meter distance between my ethics and your personal freedom: your mask is the space of my justice.

Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos is an academic/artist/fiction author. He works with performance, photography and text, as well as sculpture and painting. His work has been presented at the 58th Venice Art Biennale 2019, the 16th Venice Architecture Biennale 2016, the Tate Modern, Inhotim Instituto de Arte Contemporânea Brazil, Arebyte Gallery, and Danielle Arnaud Gallery. He is a fiction author, with The Book of Water published in Greek and English. He is also Professor of Law & Theory at the University of Westminster, and Director of The Westminster Law & Theory Lab. His academic books include the monographs Absent Environments (2007), Niklas Luhmann: Law, Justice, Society (2009), and Spatial Justice: Body Lawscape Atmosphere (2014).

Stephen ConnellyPlenary B

Dr. Stephen Connelly (Warwick University)

Leibniz and the State Space
6 May 2021, 13:00-14:00

In the 1660s, Leibniz appears to relegate power from his system in favour, in his juridical writings, of a concept of an internalised ‘state space’. Is it really the case that power lacks any significant role in Leibniz’s theory of law, or does the concept of state space now function in its place? If so, what are the theoretical results of combining state and potentiality within each legal subject?

Dr Stephen Connelly is Associate Professor of Law at the University of Warwick. He is author of Leibniz: A Contribution to the Archaeology of Power (EUP, 2021) and Spinoza, Right and Absolute Freedom (Routledge, 2015). He teaches among other modules, History of the Philosophy of Law.

Giuseppe NesiPlenary C

Prof. Giuseppe Nesi (University of Trento)

Cities as subjects of international law?
7 May 2021, 10:00-11:00

The active participation of cities and local authorities in international negotiations and their follow-up, and their creation of issue-specific coalitions, have suggested a reconsideration of the role of cities in international law and international relations. Could this lead to concluding that cities and local authorities are today subjects of international law?

Giuseppe Nesi is a Full Professor of International Law and Law of International Institutions and former Dean of the School of Law at the University of Trento (2012-18), where he teaches EU Law and International Human Rights Law. He is one of the founders of the School of International Studies at the University of Trento. He served as Legal Adviser to the President of the United Nations General Assembly of the 65th session (2010-2011). From 2002 to 2010, he was the Legal Adviser of the Permanent Mission of Italy to the UN.

He has published several books and articles on various topics such as international criminal justice, international cooperation in counterterrorism, terrorism and human rights. Other subjects include the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the United Nations and cooperation with other international organizations, territorial and maritime delimitations, the Peacebuilding Commission, child labour and the International Labour Organization, jurisdictional immunities. Finally, he has lectured in several universities and cultural institutions in Italy and abroad.Andrea K. Bjorklund

Plenary D

Associate Dean of Graduate Studies Prof. Andrea Bjorklund (McGill University)

Closing remarks
7 May 2021, 14:30-15:00

Andrea K. Bjorklund is a Full Professor, the L. Yves Fortier Chair in International Arbitration and International Commercial Law, and a Norton Rose Fulbright Scholar in International Arbitration and International Commercial Law at McGill University's Faculty of Law.

In addition to serving as an adviser to the American Law Institute’s project on restating the U.S. law of international commercial arbitration, she is a member of the Advisory Board of the Investment Treaty Forum of the British Institute for International and Comparative Law. She sits on the panel of arbitrators of the AAA’s International Centre for Dispute Resolution and on the roster of NAFTA Chapter 19 arbitrators.

Professor Bjorklund is widely published in investment law and dispute resolution and transnational contracts. She is currently working on a new book with Stefan Kröll & Franco Ferrari: Cambridge Compendium of International Commercial and Investment Arbitration (Cambridge University Press).

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