Four McGill Law professors awarded COVID-19 research grants

Published: 28 April 2020

The Faculty of Law is pleased to announce that four members have received research grants related to COVID-19 from McGill University. Professor Fabien Gélinas, Ad. E., and Professor Adelle Blackett, Ad. E., have each been awarded a COVID-19 Rapid Response Grant, while Professors Lara Khoury, Ad. E., and Alana Klein have been awarded a McGill MI-4 Grant.

Professor Gélinas’ research will examine the likely effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the field of investment law. Previous crises – mostly financial in nature – have led to cases being brought against States for alleged breaches of international investment agreements. Professor Gélinas’ project will examine issues such as how the COVID-19 crisis will impact the defense of necessity under customary international law, and whether tribunals will treat claims made as a result of the pandemic differently from ones made due to a financial crisis.

Professor Blackett’s project will consider the ways in which we can rethink workers’ social protections. Noting that the pandemic particularly affects the safety and security of society’s invisible workers, Professor Blackett will review labour and social law frameworks across Quebec, Canada, and other jurisdictions that have adopted creative law and policy reform in light of the International Labour Organization’s recommendations for social protection floors.

Professors Khoury and Klein, along with their collaborator Professor Marie-Eve Couture Ménard, DCL’14, of the Université de Sherbrooke, will analyze the discretionary powers of Canadian federal, provincial, and municipal governments during the COVID-19 pandemic, and assess the available accountability mechanisms in relation to emergency public health decision-making. These colleagues graciously shared insights on their project in the April 2020 edition of Focus online.

“We are delighted that McGill is supporting this urgent and timely research,” said Dean Robert Leckey. “By applying their expertise in our extraordinary circumstances, our professors advance McGill Law’s record of inspiring legal leadership for global challenges.”

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