About the Institute of Air and Space Law

Intro image for IASL.

Welcome – Bienvenue

McGill University’s Institute of Air and Space Law (IASL) is the world’s premier academic setting for teaching and research in the dual disciplines of international air law and space law. Having celebrated its 65th year of continuous existence in 2016, the Institute is now on course to consolidate and enhance its record of achievement in the five years leading to its 70th anniversary in 2021, the same year that McGill University itself will turn 200.

It is my honour and privilege to oversee the future of the IASL as its 13th Director, and I invite you to join us here in Montreal as a master’s, doctoral, certificate, or exchange student at the Institute.  In addition, we regularly welcome post-doctoral and visiting fellows who wish to pursue advanced research under the supervision of Institute faculty. You will find that the IASL is also an integral part of one of the world’s most vibrant and internationally-focused law faculties, where professors specialise in virtually every facet of international law and policy including the burgeoning field of international arbitration. The Institute’s own research agenda focuses on the transsystemic legal, public policy, and governance issues affecting the two dynamic sectors that we study– recent highlights are publication of a major treatise on the sustainable development of air transport in an era of carbon emissions reduction, a new textbook on modern principles of public international air law, and a massive multi-year project to clarify the international law rules on the military uses of outer space.

As you browse our website, you will gain an appreciation of the diversity of what the Institute has to offer:

  • A highly-accomplished international faculty that includes experienced academics, lawyers, diplomats, and industry professionals.
  • A rich and expanding curriculum encompassing traditional air and space law subjects as well as cutting-edge innovations such as a new specialized course in aircraft finance law and a new complementary course in international trade law.
  • A government-chartered Centre for Research in Air and Space Law (CRASL) that publishes the leading literature in both disciplines including the Annals of Air and Space Law (founded in 1976), treatises, monographs, and occasional papers.
  • A busy programme of conferences and workshops in North America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia covering key topics in airline liability and insurance law, air transport regulation and business, and space law.
  • Partnerships with air and space law institutions and professionals including aviation’s own U.N. specialized agency, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO),  as well as the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Airports Council International (ACI), and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), all located – along with many others – in the world capital of the aviation and space sectors, the Institute’s home city of Montreal, Canada.
  • Co-curricular activities that range from moot court competitions, externships, and social receptions to our newly-instituted discussion group, the Air and Space Law Colloquium, which offers our students the opportunity to meet and interact with prominent professionals involved in the aviation and space industries.
  • A fiercely loyal network of over 1,000 graduates serving in high positions in the legal profession, in industry, and in academic and government institutions in over 120 countries, and who are connected through our alumni network, the IASL-Association, which now has a presence on five continents.
  • A proud seven-decade history that has been recognized by ICAO’s Edward Warner Award, the greatest single honor the international aviation community can bestow.

If you aspire to be a specialist in air and space law, holding graduate credentials that will be recognised and respected throughout the world, please consider McGill and the IASL as the place to pursue your professional aspirations.  I encourage you to contact me if you have any questions about our programme and our mission. I am brian.havel [at] mcgill.ca (subject: Interest%20in%20the%20Institute%20of%20Air%20and%20Space%20Law) (available by email). You should also feel free to contact our resourceful maria.damico [at] mcgill.ca (Administrator, Maria D’Amico), who will be happy to help you also.


For more information about the Institute, its history, accomplishments and how to apply, please find the brochure 65 Years of Excellence in Air and Space Law here.


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