GLSA Annual Conference Call for Papers - Governing Our Commons: What Matters To Us Today


Published: 18Jan2017

The graduate students of McGill University’s Faculty of Law are pleased to announce their annual graduate law conference.

The conference will be held in Montreal, Canada, on May 13 and 14, 2017. We invite graduate students in law and related disciplines to submit papers on the theme of the conference,  and particularly on issues of global significance. Speakers will present their research in panels on various aspects of the theme, each moderated by a chair.

This conference offers an academic forum for graduate students, other scholars, members of the legal profession, government and industry to consider, exchange and develop new ideas, concepts and approaches that bridge the gap between law and other disciplines.

Particularly designed for graduate students, this conference aims at creating a dynamic forum for new and emerging scholars to stretch intellectual boundaries, receive feedback on their research and build academic networks. Further, conference participants will have the opportunity to share in McGill University’s rich intellectual culture, with its vibrant graduate community.

Conference Theme:

The theme for this year’s conference is “Governing our commons: what matters to us today”.

In the words of the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP):

The ‘Global Commons’ refers to resource domains or areas that lie outside of the political reach of any one nation State. International law identifies four global commons namely: the High Seas; the Atmosphere; Antarctica; and, Outer Space.

However, when the conference organizers refer to the commons, they use the term in a far broader sense, as meaning anything or anyone in which the public at large has a common interest, including but not restricted to the following:

  • air and space;
  • cyberspace;
  • the environment;
  • democracy;
  • energy;
  • food;
  • health care;
  • human rights;
  • indigenous peoples;
  • intellectual property;
  • the protection of cultural rights;
  • privacy;
  • telecommunications;
  • international crimes; and
  • the protection of the human person and human society.

In other words, the conference organizers mean any resource of interest to humankind—whether natural or human-made.

We are seeking a diverse range of papers touching on the commons in the legal sphere and from other disciplines related to law. We encourage applicants to view the theme as an opportunity to explore diverse ideas. The theme of the conference touches on how to govern the commons—which matter to us, as humankind—so that we do the right thing today, in a sustainable way.

Submission Instructions:

Proposals should include:

  • the title of the paper;
  • a 300-word (maximum) abstract, with 5 keywords (not counted in the 300 words);
  • a 100-word (maximum) mini-biography of the applicant;
  • the applicant’s full institutional affiliation, including the name of his/her program (e.g. LL.M., D.C.L., Ph.D., S.J.D.), his/her level in the program (e.g. 1st year, 2nd year, 3rd year), and (if applicable) the year when (s)he completed his/her graduate program;
  • the applicant’s email address; and
  • the applicant’s telephone number; and

state whether the applicant would like funding for travel to Montreal (such funding being subject to availability and to the agreement of the conference organizers).

Applicants should be current graduate (LL.M., D.C.L., Ph.D., S.J.D. or similar) students or have completed the requirements of a graduate program recently (in 2015 or later).

Exceptional proposals from undergraduate (B.C.L., LL.B., J.D., B.A. or similar) students will be considered.

Proposals written in either English or French will be considered.

Proposals will be evaluated according to their:

  • relevance to the theme;
  • interest that they present in connection with other proposals;
  • substantive quality; and
  • formal quality (in particular language).

Proposals must be submitted via email by 18:00 Montreal-time (UTC -05:00) on February 20, 2017 to vincent [dot] dalpe [at] mail [dot] mcgill [dot] ca.

Successful applicants will be informed by March 10, 2017.

Detailed information will be posted regularly on the conference website:

Questions may be directed to the conference organizers at: vincent [dot] dalpe [at] mail [dot] mcgill [dot] ca.

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