Dr. Donal Hanley becomes IASL Interim Director

Published: 2 December 2022

We are delighted to announce that Institute of Air and Space Law (IASL) Adjunct Professor Dr. Donal Hanley has been appointed Associate Professor by the McGill Faculty of Law and assume the position of Interim Director. Dr. Hanley is taking over the helm from Professor Ram Jakhu, who for over two years has directed and managed the Institute through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and the extended medical leave of the previous IASL Director Professor Brian Havel.

“It is with a sense of great gratitude to Professor Jakhu for his work as Acting Director before me that I look forward to taking the helm, however briefly, at the most pre-eminent institute of air and space law,” incoming IASL Interim Director Dr. Hanley said.

After a distinguished career in aircraft finance and leasing, Dr. Hanley joined the Institute as an Adjunct Professor in 2019. In spite of his busy professional life, Dr. Hanley has been a prolific academic and familiar face at conferences and events organised by the Institute over the years. Recently, Dr. Hanley was appointed by the European Commission to its panel of arbitrators for bilateral trade disputes. Together with Faculty of Law Professor Andrea Bjorklund, Dr. Hanley will be member of the inaugural advisory board of The Hague Court of Arbitration for Aviation.

“By appointing Dr. Donal Hanley as the Interim Director of our Institute, McGill University continues its traditional commitment to excellence in education and research in air and space law,” said outgoing Acting Director Professor Jakhu. “Having served the Institute for over four decades in various capacities, including as the Director/Acting Director, I could have not wished for a more qualified person to succeed me than Donal.”

The Institute will be in good hands under the stewardship of Dr. Hanley. At a time when the international air law system is under a strain greater than he can recall, Dr. Hanley said his first goal is to meet our new and existing students and to discuss with my colleagues plans to help to further the work of the institute in service of space law and air law.

We express our gratitude to Professor Jakhu for stepping up to the task as Acting Director during a period of uncertainty and adjustment to the unexpected challenges of online instruction and working remotely. Even with the burdensome responsibilities of managing the Institute, Professor Jakhu continued to spearhead the project to draft the McGill Manual on International Law Applicable to Military Uses of Outer Space, Volume I of which was just published. In addition, in 2021 Professor Jakhu secured a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council grant to fund the McGill Encyclopedia of International Space Law, the world’s first online compendium on specialised topics of space law.

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