Adelle Blackett receives honorary Doctor of Laws

Published: 12 October 2022

The Faculty of Law is pleased to announce that Professor Adelle Blackett, FRSC, Ad E, has received an honorary doctorate of laws (LLD) from Queen’s University. She gave the commencement address at one of the University’s Fall Convocation ceremonies on 11 October.  

“A prolific, world-class scholar in labour law and its interface with trade, [Adelle Blackett] is a key thinker behind the emerging field of transnational labour law, foregrounding decolonial approaches,” Queen’s University highlighted upon sharing the news of the award.  

Adelle Blackett is a full professor and holds the Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) in Transnational Labour Law and Development. She is the founding director of the Labour Law and Development Research Laboratory (LLDRL) at McGill, and was a founding steering committee member of the international Labour Law Research Network (LLRN). She holds a BA in History from Queen’s University, civil law and common law degrees from McGill University, and an LLM and a doctorate in law from Columbia University. She was appointed to the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement Chapter 23 (Trade and Labour) roster of experts in 2018, the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement’s List of Rapid Response Labour Panelists in 2020, and to the federal Minister of Labour to chair Canada’s new Employment Equity Act Review Task Force in 2021. A former official of the International Labour Office (ILO) in Geneva, she was the chief legal architect behind ILO's first comprehensive international standards offering protections and rights to more than 60 million domestic workers (Convention No. 189 and Recommendation No. 201), and preparing a draft Haitian labour code.  

“Inspired by her mother, who came to Canada from the Caribbean as a domestic worker, Professor Blackett has said that her idea has always been ‘to give real meaning to the dignity and value and art that the mostly women, mostly racialized women, who do this work, attach to it, while at the same time not glossing over the tremendous toll that this work takes on these women,’” said Professor Mark Walters, dean of law at Queen’s University. “She has applied [her innovative ideas] in very practical and concrete contexts with a quiet and dignified resolve, and in so doing has improved the lives of the vulnerable and the forgotten in powerful and lasting ways.”  

“Professor Blackett’s career exemplifies the transformative impact that path-breaking scholarship and a staunch commitment to public service can foster in addressing some of our world’s most pressing challenges,” said Dean Robert Leckey. “I was delighted to see another alma mater of Professor Blackett’s recognize her scholarship and efforts to foster greater inclusion in the legal academy and profession.” 

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