IASL Aerospace Webinar Series


  • Panel 1: The Race back to the Moon: Legal and Geopolitical Implication

  • Panel 2: The Use of Satellites in Armed Conflict: Legal and Geopolitical Implications

  • Panel 3: The Application and Enforcement of Airline Passenger Rights: Are we having fun yet?

  • Panel 4: Human Trafficking in Aviation

Panel 4: Human Trafficking in Aviation

23 February 2023

1300-1530hrs EST

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) estimates that there are 50 million people worldwide in modern slavery in 2021 and IOM case data shows that 80% of international human trafficking journeys cross through official border points including airports. With this in mind, this round-table discussion will address the underlying causes of human trafficking in general and consider what aviation stakeholders are doing to address the challenge of human trafficking.


  • Prof. Francois Crépeau
    UN Special Rappoteur on Human Rights of Migrants (2011-2017)

  • Prof. Michel Veuthey
    Ambassador of the Sovereign Order of Malta

  • Linda Ristagno
    Assistant Director, External Affairs (IATA)

  • Martin Maurino
    Technical Officer, Global Aviation Safety (ICAO)

  • Youla Alhaddadin
    Senior Advisor on Trafficking in Persons (OHCHR)

Moderated by:

  • Prof. Martine De Serres
    Adjunct Professor (McGill University)

Francois Crépeau

François Crépeau is Full Professor and the Hans & Tamar Oppenheimer Chair in Public International Law, at the Faculty of Law of McGill University. He is a member of the Scientific Committee of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (Vienna, 2018-2023), and the Chair of the Thematic Working Group: Migrant Rights and Integrations in Host Communities, KNOMAD - Global Knowledge Partnership on Migration and Development, World Bank Group (Washington, DC). He was the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants (2011-2017) and the Director of the McGill Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism (2015-2020).

Michel Veuthey

Swiss citizen, born in Geneva. Studied law in Geneva and Munich (Germany). Doctorate in law in Geneva (“Guérilla et droit humanitaire”) under the supervision of Prof. Jean S. Pictet. Worked for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) from 1967 to 2000, first as a legal officer during the preparatory work and sessions of the Diplomatic Conference on the Reaffirmation and Development of International Humanitarian Law (CDDH), then as Head of the International Organizations Division, General Delegate for Europe and North America, Regional Delegate for Southern Africa, Assistant to the President of the ICRC, Dr. Cornelio Sommaruga.

Academic Director, International Diploma in Humanitarian Assistance, Fordham University (2000-2003). Member of the Board of MSF-Switzerland (2000-2004). Member of the Board of the Martin Ennals Foundation for Human Rights Defenders (2003-2015). President of the “Cercle des Amitiés Internationales” (2005-2017). Vice-President of the International Institute of Humanitarian Law (2007-2019).

Currently, Geneva Representative and Director of the Summer Course of the International Institute of Humanitarian Law, Associate Professor of Public International Law at Webster University (Geneva), Ambassador of the Order of Malta to monitor and combat trafficking in persons, Deputy Permanent Observer of the Order of Malta to the United Nations in Geneva, President of the Foundation Board of the “Collège Universitaire Henry- Dunant” and Member of the Board of Geneva Call.

As Ambassador of the Order of Malta to monitor and combat trafficking in persons and President of the “Collège universitaire Henry-Dunant”), Michel Veuthey organised 25 Webinars on human trafficking since October 2020.

Linda Ristagno

Linda Ristagno is Assistant Director of External Affairs at the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Linda is responsible for developing global advocacy positions and fostering multilateral dialogue across a range of topics, including accessibility for passengers with disabilities and the ageing population. In her role, she also acts as the liaison with the tourism industry by engaging with international actors to promote the relevance of aviation as force for good in the global tourism development.   

Linda has a bachelor’s degree in Foreign Language from the University of Pisa, (Italy), and an Executive master’s degree in Advocacy, International Negotiation and Policymaking from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies of Geneva. In her final paper, she reviewed anti-trafficking policies and regulations and drafted recommendations on how the aviation sector could leverage its position to support governments and law enforcement stem the flow of the growing phenomenon of human trafficking. 

Martin Maurino

Martin Maurino began his career in aviation as cabin crew member at Air Canada.

In 2006, he was appointed Manager, Safety Analysis at the International Air Transport Association (IATA), As responsible of Cabin Safety at IATA, he managed the Cabin Safety Working Group, comprised of Cabin Safety and Training Managers from over 60 major airlines worldwide.He went on to join Transport Canada Civil Aviation, as Civil Aviation Program Manager, working on the implementation of safety management systems.In 2010, Martin joined the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). He is ICAO’s Technical Officer, Global Aviation Safety. Martin responsible for all of ICAO’s Global Safety Strategy as well as Cabin Safety. He is also responsible for ICAO’s efforts to combat human trafficking in aircraft operations.

He holds a Masters degree in Industrial Engineering, specialising in Human Factors and Ergonomics, from the University of Montreal

Youla Alhaddadin

1983- 1991 Graduated from the University of Jordan law school, and practiced as a private Lawyer. Further studies included a Troisième Cycle Degree in Political science, and a Diplôma in International Human Rights Law.

1991- 1994 appointed as the Deputy Director- the Arab Institute for Human rights, a Tunisia- based regional NGO.

1994- 2000 Director of the Palestinian Peace building program (People to People) a Norwegian program to fund peace building initiatives.

2000- 2004 Worked as a Senior Legal Advisor with USAID, Adam Smith International, the World Bank and DFID, on legal, judicial, and public administration reform projects. Drafted enormous number of laws and by- laws, such as Elections law, Judiciary law, and Violence against Women laws. Served as the Deputy Chief of Party to USAID projects in the MENA region, on Rule of Law and Judicial reform, as well as the administration of Justice.

2004 Joined the United Nations Human Rights High Commissioner’s office as the Deputy Representative in Palestine.

2007 Appointed by the High Commissioner as the Senior Advisor on Sexual Violence in Conflict at headquarters, tasked to develop legal frameworks for prosecuting cases of sexual violence in conflict settings.

2010 appointed by the High Commissioner to Lead OHCHR’s work on the Security Council’s agenda on Women, Peace and Security.

Currently serves as the OHCHR High Commissioner’s Senior Advisor on Human Trafficking

Panel 3: The Application and Enforcement of Airlines Passenger Rights: Are we having fun yet?

20 January 2023

1000-1200hrs EST


The explosive pre-pandemic growth in passenger air traffic over the past two decades has been a good news story worldwide on many levels, including economic growth, job creation, expanded travel and tourism, trade and commerce development, enhanced connectivity, as well as for global social progress in general.  However, with these undisputed benefits came the inevitable drawbacks in the form of an ever-increasing number of flight disruptions, cancellations, delays, lost baggage, etc.  The era of the introduction and rapid proliferation of national, sector-specific airline consumer rights frameworks was subsequently born.  While they indeed established new layers of legal protections, they are also far from being a panacea and have often managed to anger and disappoint principal stakeholders such as airlines and their customers, usually at the same time!  Why?  This webinar will discuss some of these application and enforcement issues with a focus on Canada and its recently enacted airline passenger rights framework, as well as on EU Regulation 261-2004.


  • James Wiltshire:
    Assistant Director External Affairs, International Air Transport Association (IATA)

  • Jared Mikoch-Gerke
    Director, Government and Regulatory Affairs, Westjet Airlines

  • Sylvie de Bellefeuille
    Lawyer, Budget and Legal Advisor, Option Consommateurs

  • Tom Oommen
    Director General, Analysis and Outreach, Canadian Transportation Agency

Moderated by:

  • George Petsikas
    Sessional Lecturer, Faculty of Law, McGill University

James Wiltshire

James Wiltshire is Assistant Director External Affairs, a position he took up in January 2019. In this role he is IATA’s global policy lead for consumer issues, responsible for developing and coordinating industry positions on passenger rights topics. As another part of his responsibilities, James was at the forefront of developing IATA’s policy response to the Coronavirus pandemic, including its engagements with UN agencies such as ICAO and WHO. James is a professional economist by background and joined IATA’s Economics Department in 2013. He also has government and regulatory experience having worked for over 10 years within the UK Government Economic Service and the Civil Aviation regulator. James has a Bachelor’s degree in Economics with Hispanic Studies from the University of Nottingham, UK and a Master’s Degree in International Relations from the Graduate Institute in Geneva, Switzerland.

Jared Mikoch-Gerke

Jared Mikoch-Gerke is the Director, Government Relations & Regulatory Affairs for WestJet Airlines and its wholly owned subsidiaries - WestJet Encore and Swoop Inc. Jared is responsible for managing provincial and federal government relations and external affairs activities and leads WestJet’s regulatory affairs team with responsibility for facilitation, accessibility, passenger rights, and aviation policy.Jared has been with WestJet for more than 17 years’ and has held leadership roles in the areas of airport operations, security, and regulatory affairs. Jared studied Commercial Aviation and Airline Management at the University of North Dakota and Marketing Management at Mount Royal College in Calgary and currently serves on the Executive Committee of the National Airlines Council of Canada (NACC).

Sylvie de Bellefeuille

Sylvie De Bellefeuille has been a lawyer since 1998 and holds a Bachelor of Laws degree (LL.B) as well as a certificate in criminology from Université de Montréal. Since the beginning of her career, Me De Bellefeuille has worked mainly with non for profit advocacy groups. She joined Option consommateurs in 2010. Among her tasks, she offers budget consultations, presents workshops and answers consumer’s questions about their rights. She also manages most of the class actions undertook by Option consommateurs and participates in the association’s numerous representations.

Tom Oommen

Tom Oommen has been with the Canadian Transportation Agency since 2019, most recently as the Director General of Analysis and Outreach.  In that role, he is responsible for regulatory development and communications.  He has previously served over the last 30 years with various federal government departments, mainly in the areas of trade and transportation.  He holds bachelor's degrees in Science (McGill) and in Engineering (Montréal), and an MPA (Queen's).


Panel 2: The Use of Satellites in Armed Conflict: Legal and Geopolitical Implications

1 December 2022

1600-1800hrs EST


From anti-satellite weapons tests to enhanced space-based defense capabilities, the proliferation of outer space military activities continues unabated. This proliferation threatens international peace and security and jeopardises our ability to sustainably explore and use outer space. It also necessitates a rigorous and academic ‘deep dive’ into the rules governing military space activities. What is allowed? What is prohibited? And what are the inevitable ‘grey zones’?

This webinar will first discuss the prospects for expanding and clarifying the existing international law that controls outer space militarisation and weaponisation. The discussion will then shift to look at the geopolitical impact that outer space militarisation and weaponisation is having here on Earth.


Moderated by:

  • Prof. Peter Nesgos
    Adjunct Professor, McGill University

Steven Freeland

Steven Freeland is Emeritus Professor of International Law at Western Sydney University, where he was previously the Dean of the School of Law, and Professorial Fellow at Bond University. He also holds Visiting or Adjunct positions at various other Universities/Institutes in Copenhagen, Vienna, Toulouse, Hong Kong, Montreal, Kuala Lumpur, Vancouver, Mumbai and London. Prior to becoming an academic, he had a 20-year career as an international commercial lawyer and an investment banker. He is a government-appointed Member of the Australian Space Agency Advisory Board and has been an advisor to the Australian, New Zealand, Norwegian and several other Governments on issues relating to national space legislative frameworks and policy. He represents the Australian Government at Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNCOPUOS) meetings and, in June 2021, was appointed by UNCOPUOS as Vice-Chair of a 5-year ‘Working Group on Legal Aspects of Space Resource Activities’. He has also been a Visiting Professional within the Appeals Chamber at the International Criminal Court, and a Special Advisor to the Danish Foreign Ministry in matters related to the International Criminal Court. He is a co-Principal of specialised space law firm Azimuth Advisory and is also a Director of the International Institute of Space Law, a Member of the Space Law Committee of the International Law Association and a past Member of the Space Law and War Crimes Committees of the International Bar Association. In 2022, he was presented with a ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ by the International Institute of Space Law, the highest accolade awarded by that institution. In addition to co-Editing the Annotated Leading Cases of International Criminal Tribunals book series, he also sits on the Editorial Board / Advisory Board of several internationally recognised academic journals.

Gilles Doucet

Gilles Doucet is an independent space security consultant, President of Spectrum Space Security Inc. and technical consultant for ABH Aerospace LLC.

Mr. Doucet’s consultancy focuses on the convergence of satellite technology, military space applications, space governance and international space security cooperation. Services encompass space security research, policy advice, education and training.

Mr Doucet is the Technical Lead for the “Manual of International Law Applicable to Military Use of Outer Space” (MILAMOS) international space law project, a member of the Legal Advisory Council of For All Moonkind and a member of the International Institute of Space Law. Doucet is also visiting faculty to the Cybersecurity LLM program at St Thomas University School of Law, in Miami, Florida, instructing in Satellite and Space Security.

Prior to founding Spectrum Security Inc. Mr Doucet spent 35 years as a research scientist with the Canadian Department of National Defence conducting studies and assessments on space technology, military applications, and advising on space policy, international cooperation and defence diplomacy.

Mr Doucet’s education includes Bachelors and Masters degrees in Engineering from Ottawa University and a Graduate Certificate in Air and Space Law from McGill’s Institute of Air and Space Law.

Jessica West

Dr. Jessica West is a Senior Researcher at the Canadian peace research institute Project Ploughshares and Managing Editor of the international Space Security Index project. Her research and policy work is focused on technology, security, and governance. Jessica interacts regularly with key United Nations bodies tasked with space security and space safety issues. She holds a PhD in global governance and international security from the Balsillie School of International Affairs.

Michael Byers

Michael Byers holds the Canada Research Chair in Global Politics and International Law. His work focuses on Outer Space, Arctic sovereignty, climate change, the law of the sea, the laws of war, and Canadian foreign and defence policy. Dr. Byers has been a Fellow of Jesus College, Oxford University, a Professor of Law at Duke University, and a Visiting Professor at the universities of Cape Town, Tel Aviv, Nord (Norway) and Novosibirsk (Russia). His most recent book is International Law and the Arctic (Cambridge University Press), which won the 2013 Donner Prize. Dr. Byers is a regular contributor to the Globe and Mail newspaper.

Jeremy Grunert

Jeremy Grunert is an officer in the U.S. Air Force Judge Advocate General (JAG) Corps and is currently serving as an Assistant Professor of Law at the United States Air Force Academy, where he teaches the Academy’s “Space Law” and “Law for Air Force Officers” courses. Maj Grunert has previously been stationed as a trial attorney at RAF Lakenheath, United Kingdom, and Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, and has deployed to Qatar and Afghanistan. He is the author of The United States Space Force and the Future of American Space Policy: Legal and Policy Implications, published by Brill Nijhoff Publishers in September 2022, and has also published a number of articles on the subject of space law. Maj Grunert’s other academic interests include Middle Eastern politics and history, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and air law, and military history.

Panel 1: The Race back to the Moon: Legal and Geopolitical Implication
4 November 2022


The desire – and seeming reach – of humanity’s return to the Moon has reanimated an excitement and enthusiasm across generations and seeming-geopolitical divides. The United States and its partners are working towards their Artemis missions in an attempt to return to the Moon, with Russia and China seeking collaborative opportunities to land their first humans. Reaching the Moon will undoubtedly garner long-term economic, political and diplomatic benefits to the successful State(s), but must be done so on a basis that adheres to established and recognized principles of international space law. This discussion will explore the opportunities and challenges associated with humanity’s return to the Moon, highlighting international perspectives on the existing and anticipated adaptations of international space law to ensure the continued peaceful exploration and use of outer space.






Prof. Aram Kerkonian
Adjunct Professor, University of Ottawa

The opinions of the attending speakers are solely their personal academic view. They neither represent their country of nationality nor their institution.

Jinyuan Su

Dr. Jinyuan Su is a Professor of International Law at Wuhan University Institute of International Law, China. He was an Erin J.C. Arsenault Fellow (2014-2015) at the McGill Institute of Air and Space Law. His research interests lie in international space law, international air law, and the law of the sea. His research has been published in international refereed journals such as European Journal of International Law, International & Comparative Law Quarterly, Leiden Journal of International Law, and Chinese Journal of International Law. He is a member of the Chinese delegation to the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Use of Outer Space (COPUOS), and a core expert in the project of Manual of International Law Applicable to Military Uses of Outer Space (MILAMOS).

Olga Volynskaya

Dr. Olga Volynskaya is an international space lawyer with 15 years of academic and practical experience in space law, policy and diplomacy. She was Chief International Law Advisor of the Russian space agency ROSCOSMOS, then practiced space law and diplomacy at the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. At present Dr. Volynskaya is Assistant Professor of the Space Research Department at the Lomonosov Moscow State University.

Eytan Tepper

Dr. Eytan Tepper is a Visiting Assistant Professor at Indiana University Bloomington and the inaugural director of its Space Governance Lab. He is also research coordinator of the research project on space debris Laval University, as well as an adjunct research professor at the Western University Faculty of Law and faculty member at the Western University Institute for Earth and Space Exploration. He also teaches space law and governance, previously at Laval University and currently at Indiana university. Dr. Tepper earned his doctorate from the McGill University Institute of Air and Space Law and subsequently pursued a postdoctoral fellowship at the New York University (NYU) School of Law. He initiated and he leads several research projects for which he obtained external funding from grant agencies in Canada and the US: the “Corporate Sovereigns: The Governance of Space Exploration Corporations” project; “Polycentric Multilateralism: Reimagining the Roles of International Institutions in Space Governance and Beyond; and the “Space – Cyber Governance” project in partnership with CIGI; Dr. Tepper’s approach is transdisciplinary, employing cutting-edge literature from international law, international relations, and political economy. He has published in journals like the NYU Journal of International Law and Politics, the Journal of Space Law, Space Policy, a forthcoming book with Springer and a book contract with Cambridge University Press.

Prior to his return to academe, he was a practicing lawyer with a career spanning the public and private sectors, representing government ministries and Fortune 500 companies.

Tomasso Sgobba

Tommaso Sgobba is Executive Director and Board Secretary of the International Association for the Advancement of Space Safety (IAASS). Until 2013 Tommaso Sgobba was head of the Independent Safety Office of the European Space Agency (ESA), responsible for certification of human-rated systems, spacecraft re-entries, space debris mitigation compliance, use of nuclear power sources, and planetary protection. He joined the European Space Agency in 1989, after 13 years in the aeronautical industry.
Tommaso Sgobba holds an M.S. in Aeronautical Engineering from the Polytechnic of Turin (Italy), where he was also professor of space system safety (1999-2001). He has published several books, articles and papers on space safety, and co-edited the text book “Safety Design for Space Systems”, published in 2009 that was also published later in Chinese. He co-edited the book “The Need for an Integrated Regulatory Regime for Aviation and Space”, published in 2011. He was the Editor-in-Chief of the book “Safety Design for Space Operations” published in 2013, and of the book “Space Safety and Human Performance” published in 2017. He is Senior Editor of the Journal of Space Safety Engineering.
Tommaso Sgobba received the NASA recognition for outstanding contribution to the International Space Station in 2004, and the prestigious NASA Space Flight Awareness (SFA) Award in 2007. He received the 2019 Henry L. Taylor Founder’s Award of the Aerospace Human Factors Association (USA).

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