McGill Alert / Alerte de McGill

Updated: Fri, 07/12/2024 - 12:16

McGill Alert. The downtown campus will remain partially closed through the evening of Monday, July 15. See the Campus Safety site for details.

Alerte de McGill. Le campus du centre-ville restera partiellement fermé jusqu’au lundi 15 juillet, en soirée. Complément d’information : Direction de la protection et de la prévention


Powerpoint presentations of some of the speakers are available on this page.


Programme of the 10th Annual McGill Conference on International Aviation Liability and Insurance


PLAZA CENTRE-VILLE Convention Center
(EVO Building – across from ICAO Headquarters)
777 Boulevard Robert-Bourassa
Montréal, Québec, Canada H3C 3Z7

Tel: (514) 879-0718
Fax: (514) 879-0907

To register for the conference, please go to the registration site (first-time users must register as a new user in order to register and pay for the registration fee).

For a PDF version of the Programme, please download here.


For the full list of participants, please download here.


8:00 – 9:00  REGISTRATION

9:00 – 10:15  Recent Developments in Air Carrier Liability

  • Comparative analysis of recent Warsaw Convention and Montreal Convention jurisprudence
  • Recoverable damages
  • Conflicts between US  and European courts
  • The challenges of achieving global uniformity
  • Federal preemption – does the US Federal Aviation Act preempt the application of state law standards in the entire field of aviation safety?
  • What impact does the regulatory implementation of safety management systems have on liability?

Paul Stephen Dempsey – McGill University, Montreal, Canada


Carlos P. Martins - Bersenas Jacobsen Chouest Thomson Blackburn LLP, Toronto, Canada
John Maggio – Condon & Forsyth, New York, USA
Marc Moller – Kreindler & Kreindler, New York, USA
Sybille Michèle Rexer – Dabelstein & Passehl, Hamburg, Germany

PDF icon air_baltic_v_lithuania_ecj_c-429-14_en.pdf

PDF icon marcela_peskova_v_travel_service_c-315-15_bird_strikes.pdf

PDF icon moller_are_all_airline_crash_victims_treated_equally_and_fairly_under_the_law_.pdf

PDF icon entwurf_eines_gesetzes_zur_einfuhrung_eines_anspruchs_auf_hinterbliebenengeld.pdf

10:15  - 10:45  REFRESHMENT BREAK

10:45 – 12:00  Liability of Governments for Aviation Accidents or Acts of Terrorism

  • Sovereign immunity
  • The US Foreign Sovereign Immunity Act and the Federal Tort Claims Act
  • The new US Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, or JASTA
  • What will be the liability exposure of the United States should other nations enact reciprocal legislation?
  • Can a State force a foreign airline to waive sovereign immunity as a condition of licensing?
  • Libya’s Settlement with Families of Pan Am 103
  • The Challenges of State Liability: A look at KAL 007, Lockerbie, the September 11, 2001, U.S. terror attacks, MH 17 and Cuban Brothers to the Rescue

Robert Donald – DLA Piper, Calgary, Canada


Barry Benson - Director, Aviation and Admiralty Section, US Department of Justice, Washington, DC, USA
Jeffrey Ellis – Clyde & Co., New York, USA
James Healy-Pratt – Stewarts Law LLP, London, UK
Jim Kreindler - Kreindler & Kreindler, New York, USA

12:00 – 13:30  LUNCH

Keynote Address by:

Dr. Fang Liu, Secretary General, ICAO, Montreal, Canada

13:30 – 14:30 Products Liability

  • Does governmental certification preempt tort claims?
  • Recoverable damages
  • The conflict between North American and European courts
  • TCAS, Autopilot and Automation
  • Will we see more use of the Hague Convention on Products Liability?
  • Is there Liability Exposure for Foul Cabin Air and Radiation?
  • What is the liability for the use of counterfeit parts?

Brian Havel – DePaul University, Chicago, USA


Alice Chan- Chan & Grant, LLP, New York, USA
Michael Dreikorn  The IPL Group, LLC, Bookeelia, USA
Brandt Madsen - Smith Amundsen, LLC, Chicago, USA
Timothy Ravich - University of Central Florida, USA
Steven M. Sandler - Woodruff, Johnson, and Evans, Chicago, USA

14:30 – 15:30  Liability of Airports, ANSPs, Lessors and Maintenance Providers

  • Liability of airports for passenger injury
  • Contractual liability of the airport operator
  • Liability of ANSPs (Air Navigation Service Providers)
  • Liability of lessors
  • Liability of maintenance providers

Alan Reitzfeld - Holland & Knight LLP, New York, USA


Sheryl Bregman – Office of the San Francisco City Attorney, San Francisco, California, USA
Donal Patrick Hanley – Aviation Capital Group, Dublin, Ireland
Leigh Ann Kirby - NAV CANADA, Ottawa, Canada
Suzanne McCarthy – Global Aerospace Inc., Parsippany, New Jersey, USA
Darryl Pankratz – Alexander Holburn Beaudin + Lang LLP, Vancouver, Canada

15:30 – 16:00  REFRESHMENT BREAK

16:00 – 17:30  The Challenges of Settlement & Emerging Insurance Issues

  • The challenges of multi-jurisdictional settlements
  • The availability of insurance for acts of terrorism and flights in Conflict Zones A look at MH 370
  • The impact of sanctions and international trade controls on settlements
  • The challenges of dealing with attritional losses
  • The role of insurance in managing the risk of cyber attacks
  • How European insurers prepare for the challenges of Brexit?

George Leloudas, Swansea University, UK


Brian Alexander, Kreindler & Kreindler, New York, USA
Philip Chrystal – Swiss Re, Zurich, Switzerland
Kinga Kolasa-Sokołowska - THB Polska, Warsaw, Poland
Ulla Norrhäll – Munich Re, Munich, Germany
Katherine B Posner - Condon & Forsyth, New York, USA

18:00 – 19:30  GALA RECEPTION


9:30-10:30 What is an “accident” under the Warsaw/Montreal Conventions: Unruly Passengers and Liability for Acts of Unlawful Interference

  • What is the injury-producing event?
  • Should the carrier be liable for the assault by one passenger of another?
  • Should liability be allowed under the Warsaw/Montreal regimes when the “accident” (an unusual or unexpected event) was not caused by an event or occurrence related to the operation of an aircraft?
  • Review of recent court decisions that have circumscribed the liability shield provided by the Tokyo Convention
  • What impact will the Montreal Protocol of 2014, amending the Tokyo Convention, have on liability?
  • What will be the liability exposure of air marshals who subdue an unruly passenger?
  • What are the practical aspects of dealing with unruly passengers?

Timothy Trembley – Paterson MacDougall, Toronto, Canada


Gilles Charette - Air Canada, Montreal, Canada
Senarath Liyanage – Etihad Airways, Abu Dhabi, UAE
Steven Marks, Podhurst Orseck PA, Florida, USA

10:30-11:30 Regulation of Drones and Liability of their Operators

  • Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) versus Autonomous Unmanned Aerial Systems (AUAS)
  • The integration of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) into non-segregated airspace
  • A comparative look at drone regulation in the US, Canada and the EU
  • Liability regimes applicable to UAS, including third party and criminal liability
  • Protection of privacy; are trespass concepts relevant?
  • Procuring insurance for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
  • The threat of cyber security, and terrorism posed by UAS

Mia Wouters –Brussels bar, and University of Ghent, Belgium


Mark Campbell– Dentons, USA
Artur Eberg – Eberg Aviation Consulting, Montreal, Canada
Ayman Idlbi - Norton Rose Fulbright, Montreal, Canada
Serap Zuvin - Serap Zuvin Law Offices, Istanbul, Turkey


11:30-11:50  Refreshment Break

11:50 -13:00 Consumer Rights: Regulation & Litigation

  • How generous is compensation for delay, denied boarding, and flight cancellations?
  • EU Regulation 261 Revised
  • What impact will Brexit have on aviation consumer protection?
  • Which jurisdictions other than the US and EU have joined in the stampede for consumer protection, and what are the conflicting requirements imposed upon airlines?
  • Do these regulations conflict with the exclusivity provisions of the Warsaw and Montreal Conventions?  Was the EU Court of Justice wrong in finding no conflict?
  • What do new regulations require for advertising, sales, and promotions?
  • What is the gravity of liability exposure for airlines under the tarmac delay rules?
  • How do policy makers and security personnel resolve the conflict between intrusive aviation security procedures and personal privacy?
  • Should ICAO harmonize conflicting consumer protection laws?
  • How do airlines with financial difficulties address consumer claims?
  • How do States enforce consumer protection obligations?
  • Is Brexit slowing EU aviation regulatory momentum?
  • Will the Trump Administration roll back aviation regulations?


Paul Fitzgerald – Canadian Transportation Agency, Ottawa, Canada

Martine De Serres – Air Canada, Montreal, Canada
Kenneth Quinn – Baker McKenzie LLP, Washington, DC, USA
Steven Truxal – University of London, London, UK

13:00   Adjournment

*  invited, not yet confirmed

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