Adelle Blackett

Full Professor
Canada Research Chair in Transnational Labour Law and Development

Chancellor Day Hall
Room 31
Montreal, Quebec
Canada H3A 1W9

514-398-5096 [Office]
adelle.blackett [at] (Email)

 Professor Adelle Blackett

Website: Labour Law and Development Research Laboratory

Recent media appearance: "In Defence of Domestic Workers." CBC Ideas with Nahlah Ayed, 1 February 2021.


Adelle Blackett, Ad. E., F.R.S.C., is a Professor of Law and the Canada Research Chair in Transnational Labour Law and Development at the Faculty of Law, McGill University, where she teaches and researches in the areas of labour & employment law, trade regulation, law & development, critical race theory, and slavery & the law. Professor Blackett holds a B.A. in History from Queen’s University, civil law and common law degrees from McGill, and an LL.M. and a doctorate in law from Columbia University.

Widely published in English, French and Spanish in the emerging field of transnational labour law, in 2015, she co-edited a Research Handbook on Transnational Labour Law. Her book manuscript entitled Everyday Transgressions: Domestic Workers’ Transnational Challenge to International Labour Law (Cornell University Press) was published in spring 2019, garnering the Canadian Law and Society Association's 2020 W. Wesley Pue honourable mention, and the Canadian Council on International Law’s (CCIL) 2020 Scholarly Book Award.


Professor Blackett is the recipient of prestigious research fellowships, notably the Social Science and Humanities Research Council’s Bora Laskin National Fellowship in Human Rights Research in 2010. In 2016, she was appointed to the Canada Research Chair in Transnational Labour Law and Development. Also in 2016, she received a  Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Fellowship for her project on transnational futures of international labour law, for which she organized an eponymous course in winter 2019.

In April 2020, she received a McGill COVID-19 Rapid Response grant for her research project titled COVID-19's Essential Workers: Rethinking Social Protection Beyond the Employment Relationship.


Professor Blackett founded and directs the Labour Law and Development Research Laboratory (LLDRL) at McGill, was a founding steering committee member of the international Labour Law Research Network (LLRN), and is member of the Quebec based Inter-University Research Centre on Globalization and Work (CRIMT). She was a William Dawson Scholar at McGill from 2007 to 2016, and has been a visiting scholar at the African Development Bank, the Australian National University and SOAS (University of London).

A former official of the International Labour Office (ILO) in Geneva, Professor Blackett has been an ILO expert on international standard setting on decent work for domestic workers (2008-2011) leading to the adoption of ILO Convention No. 189 and Recommendation No. 201; and in a labour law reform process in Haiti (2011-2014). In 2009, she was unanimously appointed by the National Assembly of Quebec to the province’s Human rights and youth rights Commission, where she served as a commissioner for seven (7) years.

Memberships and awards

A member of the Law Society of Upper Canada and the Barreau du Québec, she was awarded the latter’s Christine Tourigny Award of Merit and the status of advocate emeritus in 2014, in recognition of her social commitment and her contributions to the advancement of women. She received a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012.  In 2015, the Canadian Association of Black Lawyers awarded her its Pathfinder Award for her significant contributions to the legal community and the community at large.

In November 2018, Adelle Blackett was appointed to the Human Rights Expert Panel of the Government of Canada’s renewed Court Challenges Program. She was appointed to the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) Chapter 23 (Trade and Labour) Roster of experts in December 2018. Professor Blackett was elected an associate member of the International Academy of Comparative Law (IACL) in July 2019. She will be a general rapporteur on “Contemporary forms of slavery, including causes and consequences / Les formes contemporaines d’esclavage, y compris leurs causes et leurs consequences” for the Asuncion 2022 IACL meeting. In July 2020, she was appointed to the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement Annex 31-B Lists of Rapid Response Labor Panelists. In 2020, she was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (Academy of the Social Sciences).


  • JSD Columbia University, 2004
  • LLM Columbia University, 1998
  • BCL & LLB McGill University, 1994
  • Université Robert Schuman (Strasbourg III) Academic Exchange (CRÉPUQ), 1992-93
  • BA Queen's University, 1989


  • Fellow, Royal Society of Canada (Academy of the Social Sciences) (elected 2020)
  • Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) in Transnational Labour Law and Development, 2016- 
  • Full Professor, Faculty of Law, McGill University, Montreal, 2015-
  • William Dawson Scholar, 2007–2016
  • Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, McGill University, Montreal, 2005-2015
  • Assistant Professor, Faculty of Law, McGill University, Montreal, 2000-2005
  • Labour Law & Labour Relations Specialist, International Labour Organization, Geneva, 1994-95; 1998-2000
  • Associate in Law (Teaching Fellow), Columbia University, New York, 1996-98
  • Consultant on Corporate Social Responsability Issues, Lawyers Committee for Human Rights, New York, 1997
  • Articling Student, Cavalluzzo Hayes Shilton McIntyre & Cornish, Toronto, 1995-96
  • Human Rights Intern, Instituto latinoamericano de servicios juridicos alternativos (ILSA), Bogota, Summer 1994.
  • Student Clerk to the Hon. Jean-Louis Baudouin, Quebec Court of Appeal, Montreal, 1993-94

Areas of Interest

Labour Law, Law and Development, Transnational Labour Law, Regulation of Domestic Work, Trade Regulation, Law of International Organizations, Legal History, and Critical Race Theory.



Blackett, A., Everyday Transgressions. Domestic Workers' Transnational Challenge to International Labor Law. (Cornell University Press, April 2019).

Edited volumes (books/journals)

International Labour Review, Volume 159, No. 4, Transnational Futures of International Labour Law, Special issue guest edited by Adelle Blackett. September 2020

Lara Khoury, Adelle Blackett & Lukas Vanhonnaeker, eds., Genetic Testing and the Governance of Risk in the Contemporary Economy: Comparative Reflections in the Insurance and Employment Law Contexts (Springer - Ius Comparatum-Global Studies in Comparative Law series, 2020: )

AJIL Unbound, Volume 113, December 2019, Transnational Futures of International Labor Law, Symposium guest edited by Adelle Blackett & Laurence R. Helfer. Available in Open Access.

Blackett, A., guest editor, "Decolonizing Labour Law: Contributions to an Emergent Transnational Labour Law. / Vers un droit du travail décolonisé : Contributions au droit transnational du travail en émergence." Special edition of the Canadian Journal of Law and Society / Édition spéciale de La Revue Canadienne Droit et Société, 33, no. 2 (2018)

Blackett, A. & A. Trebilcock, guest eds., "Regulatory Innovation on Decent Work for Domestic Workers in the Light of International Labour Organization Convention No. 189." International Journal of Comparative Labour Law and Industrial Relations 34, no. 2 (2018)

Blackett, A. & A. Trebilcock, eds., Research Handbook on Transnational Labour Law (Elgar, September 2015)

Blackett A., Guest Editor, Special Issue on Labor Law and Development: Perspectives on Labor regulation in Africa and the African diaspora, (2011) 32:1 Comparative Labor Law & Policy Journal, 303-491 

Blackett A., Guest Editor, Special Issue on Regulating Decent Work for Domestic Workers (2011) 23:1 Canadian Journal of Women and the Law/Revue femmes et droit 1-358. 

Blackett A & Lévesque C, Eds. Social Regionalism in the Global Economy (Routledge 2011)

Journal articles

Adelle Blackett, “Theorizing Emancipatory Transnational Futures of International Labor Law” [.pdf] (2019) 113 AJIL Unbound 390-395

Adelle Blackett & Laurence R. Helfer, “Introduction to the Symposium on Transnational Futures of International Labor Law” [.pdf] (2019) 113 AJIL Unbound 385-389

Adelle Blackett & Assata Koné-Silué, “Regulatory Innovation in the Governance of Decent Work for Domestic Workers in Côte d’Ivoire: Labour Administration and the Judiciary under a Generalist Labour Code,” (2019) 158:1 International Labour Review 37 – 61. // « Des approches innovantes pour assurer l’accès des travailleurs domestiques au travail décent en Côte d’Ivoire : ce que l’administration du travail et le système judiciaire ont pu faire dans le cadre du régime général du Code du travail » (full translation of the original English version) (2019) 158 :1 Revue internationale du travail 39 – 65. // “Trabajo decente para los trabajadores domésticos en Côte d'Ivoire. Inspección y actuaciones judiciales innovadoras en el marco del código general del trabajo” (full translation of the original English version) (2019) 138:1 Revista internacional del trabajo 39-66.

Blackett, A. & Tiemeni, T.G.,  "Regulatory Innovation in the Governance of Decent Work for Domestic Workers in South Africa: Access to Justice and the Commission on Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration". International Journal of Comparative Labour Law and Industrial Relations 34, no. 2 (2018): 203–230.

Blackett, A. “’Follow the Drinking Gourd’: Our Road to teaching Critical Race Theory and Slavery and the Law, Contemplatively, at McGill” (2017) 62:4 McGill Law Journal 1251

Medici, G. and A. Blackett, “Ratification as International Solidarity – Reflections on Switzerland and Decent Work for Domestic Workers” (2016) 31 Connecticut Journal of International Law 187-215

Blackett, A. “Decolonizing Labour Law: A Few Comments” in (2016) 92 Bulletin of Comparative Labour Relations 89-99.

Blackett, A. “Social Regionalism in Better Work Haiti” [.pdf] (2015) 31:2 International Journal of Comparative Labour Law and Industrial Relations 163-185.

Blackett A., “The Decent Work for Domestic Workers Convention and Recommendation, 2011” (2012) 106:4 American Journal of International Law 778.
Links: See Journal entry

Blackett A. "Beyond Standard Setting: A Study of ILO Technical Cooperation on Regional Labor Law Reform in West and Central Africa" (2011) 32 Comparative Labor Law & Policy Journal 443-492. 

Blackett A., "Introduction: Regulating Decent Work for Domestic Workers" (2011) 23 Canadian Journal of Women and the Law 1 - 46. 

Blackett A., "Introduction: Réguler le travail décent des travailleuses domestiques" (2011) 23 Revue femmes et droit 47 - 96 [full translation of the original English version]. 

Blackett A. “Mutual Promise: International Labour Law and B.C. Health Services” (2009) 48 Supreme Court Law Review 365 – 407 

Blackett A, “Hacia el Regionalismo Social: el caso del CARICOM” (2007) 5 Revista latinoamericana de derecho social 15–46.
Links: Read paper online at

Blackett A, “Situated reflections on international labour law, capabilities, and decent work: The case of Centre Maraîcher Eugène Guinois,” Liber Amicorum in honour of Katia Boustany, (2007) hors série Revue québécoise de droit international 223-244. 

Blackett, A., and Sheppard, C. “Collective Bargaining and Equality: Making Connections.” Int’l Labour Rev. 2003; 142:419-457. 

Blackett, A., and Sheppard, C. "Conjugar la négociación colectiva y el fomento de la igualdad." (full translation of original English version) Revista internacional del trabajo 2003; 122:461-505. 

Blackett, A., and Sheppard, C. "Négociation collective et égalité au travail." (full translation of original English version) Revue internationale du travail. 2003; 143:453-496. 

Blackett, A. “Mapping the Equilibrium Line: Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work and the Interpretive Universe of the World Trade Organization.” Sask. L. Rev. 2002; 65:369-392. 

Blackett, A. “Toward Social Regionalism in the Americas.” Comp. Labor L. & Pol. J. 2002; 23:901-965.
Links: Read article on SSRN

Blackett, A. “Global Governance, Legal Pluralism & the Decentered State: A Labor Law Critique of Codes of Corporate Conduct.” Indiana J. Glob. Legal Stud. 2001; 8:401-447. 

Blackett, A. “Mentoring the Other: Cultural Pluralist Approaches to Access to Justice.” Int’l J. Legal Prof. 2001; 8:275-290.
Links: Read abstract

Blackett, A. "Whither Social Clause? Human Rights, Trade Theory and Treaty Interpretation.” Colum. Hm. Rts. L. Rev. 1999; 31:1-80. 

Blackett, A. “Globalization and Its Ambiguities: Implications for Law School Curricular Reform.” Colum. J. Transn’l L. 1998; 37:57-79. 


The Labour Law Casebook Group, Labour and Employment Law: Cases, Materials and Commentary, Eighth Edition (Aurora, Ont.: Irwin Press, 2011) (commercial casebook, 978pp.).

The Labour Law Casebook Group. Labour and Employment Law: Cases, Materials and Commentary, 7th Edition. (commercial casebook) Aurora, Ont.: Irwin Press. 2004; 1008pp. 

Articles/chapters in books and monographs

Adelle Blackett, “Se réapproprier le dialogue social” in Philippe Auvergnon et Chrysal Kenoukon, eds., Enjeux et réalités du dialogue social dans les pays de l’espace OHADA: La part du droit 35 – 49 (Paris, L’Harmattan, 2018).

Adelle Blackett, “This is Hallowed Ground: International Labour Law and Canada at150” in Oonagh Fitzgerald, Valerie Hughes and Mark Jewett, eds., Reflections on Canada’s Past, Present and Future in International Law (Guelph: CIGI, 2018) (also available on CIGI online).

Blackett, A. "Standard Setting on Decent Work for Domestic Workers at the ILO." Global Dialogue, Vol. 8, Issue 2. July 2018.

Blackett, A. “A New Thing: Shall Ye Not Know It?”  On Living Metaphors in Transnational Labour Law, in Simon Archer, Daniel Drache and Peer Zumbansen, eds., The Daunting Enterprise of the Law:  Essays in Honour of Harry W. Arthurs 286-297 (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2017).

Blackett, A. “L’autonomie collective, élément clé du travail décent des travailleuses et travailleurs domestiques” Dominic Roux, ed., L’autonomie collective en droit du travail: perspectives nationales et internationales: Mélanges en l’honneur du professeur émérite Pierre Verge 477-509 (Sainte-Foy: Presses de l’Université Laval, 2014). 

“’The Space Between Us’: Migrant Domestic Workers as a Nexus between International Labour Standards and Trade Policy” in Daniel Drache & Les Jacobs, eds., Linking Global Trade and Human Rights: New Policy Space in Hard Economic Times 259 – 273 (Cambridge : Cambridge U. Press, 2014). 

Blackett A., “Development, the movement of persons and labour law: Reasonable labour market access and its decent work complement” in Tonia Novitz & David Mangan, eds., The Role of Labour Standards in Development: Sustainable Theory in Practice 143 – 168 (Oxford: Oxford U. Press for the British Academy, 2012). 

Blackett A., "Emancipation in the Idea of Labour Law" in Guy Davidov & Brian Langille, eds., The Idea of Labour Law 420 - 436 (Oxford University Press, 2011). 

Blackett A. "The Paradox of OHADA's Transnational, Hard Law, Labour Harmonization Initiative" in Adelle Blackett & Christian Lévesque, eds., Social Regionalism in the Global Economy 243-272 (Routledge, 2011). 

Blackett A. « Commerce international et travail : définir le rôle réglementaire de l’État dans la nouvelle économie » in Pierre Verge, réd. Droit international du travail : perspectives canadiennes 223-255 (Cowansville : Éditions Yvon Blais, 2010).

Blackett A. Trade, Labour Law and Development: A Contextualization in Teklè, T., Labour Law and Worker Protection in Developing Countries (Hart, 2010) 121. 

Blackett A. & M. Choko, “Les effets de l’accréditation” (Fascicule 13) in Rapports individuels et collectifs du travail, Jurisclasseur Québec, Lexis Nexis, 2009) 13/1 – 13/65. 

Blackett A. “Human Rights at Work, Legal Indeterminacy, and the Black Community in Canada: Critical Reflections on Centre Maraîcher Eugène Guinois” in David Divine, ed., Multiple Lenses: Voices from the Diaspora Located in Canada 365-372 (Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2007). 

Blackett A. “Promoting Domestic Workers’ Human Dignity through Specific Regulation.” In: Fauve-Chamoux A, ed. Domestic Work as a Factor of European Identity: Understanding the Globalization of Domestic Work, 16th–21st Centuries. Bern: Peter Lang SA, Éditions scientifiques européennes. 2005; pp. 211-237. 

Blackett A. “Codes of Corporate Conduct and the Labour Regulatory State in Developing Countries.” In: Kirton JJ & Trebilcock MJ, eds. Hard Choices, Soft Law: Voluntary Standards in Global Trade, Environment and Social Governance. Aldershot: Ashgate. 2004; 121-133. 

Blackett A. “Defining the Contemporary Role of the State: WTO Treaty Interpretation, Unilateralism and Linkages.” In: Carmody C, Iwasawa Y & Rhodes S, eds. Trilateral Perspectives on International Legal Issues: Conflict and Coherence. Washington, DC: ASIL. 2003; 289-308. 

Blackett A. “Global Governance and Human Rights Advocacy: Self-Regulatory Initiatives as Emerging forms of Labour Regulation.” In: Campbell L et al, eds. International Inter/sections. Vancouver: UBC. 1998; 289-300. 


Blackett, A. “Slavery is not a Metaphor: Book Review of Annie Bunting & Joel Quirk, Contemporary Slavery: Popular Rhetoric and Political Practice (University of British Columbia Press, 2018),” (2018) 66:4 American Journal of Comparative Law 927-935.

Blackett, A. “Global Justice in Transnational Labour Law: A Review of Yossi Dahan, Hannah Lerner & Faina Milman-Sivan, eds., Global Justice and International Labour Rights (Cambridge University Press, 2016 (2018)” 33:2 Canadian Journal of Law and Society/ Revue Canadienne droit et société 281-289

Blackett, A. Book Review, Darcy du Toit, ed., Exploited, Undervalued – and Essential:  Domestic Workers and the Realisation of their Rights (Pretoria University Law Press, 2013) (2015) 49:3 Law and Society Review 801-804.

Blackett, A. “Beyond the ‘Rules of the Game’,” contribution to a Book Review Symposium: The Future of the International Labour Organization in the Global Economy, by Francis Maupain (Hart Publishing, 2013), 154:1 International Labour Review 73 – 78. (English; français; español).

Blackett A., Book Review of Leah Vosko, Managing the Margins: Gender, Citizenship, and International Regulation of Precarious Employment (Oxford University Press, 2010) (2011) 150:3-4 International Labour Review 457-461. 

Blackett A., Book Review of Jean-Claude Javillier & Bernard Gernigon, eds., Les normes internationales du travail : un patrimoine pour l’avenir: Mélanges en l’honneur de Nicolas Valticos (Geneva: ILO, 2004) 709pp., (2007) 101:2 American Journal of International Law 529-534.

Blackett A., Book Note on Marie-Ange Moreau's "Normes sociales, droit du travail et mondialisation : Confrontations et mutations" (Dalloz, 2006) (2007) 52:1 McGill Law Journal 203-206. 

Blackett A. Book Review of Bob Hepple's Labour Laws and Global Trade (Oxford: Hart Publishing, 2005), 302pp., (2006) 44 Osgoode Hall Law Journal 573-582. 

Blackett A. Review of Recension, (Jean Maurice Djossou: "L’Afrique, le GATT et l’OMC. Entre territoires douaniers et régions commerciales." Sainte-Foy et Paris, Presses de l’Université Laval et L’Harmattan, 2000, 266 pp.) McGill L. J. 2001; 46:1176-1177. 

Conference proceedings

Adelle Blackett, “Women, Migration and the Care Economy: What Regulating Domestic Work Teaches Us about the Relationship between Trade and Labour Law,” in Pitman B. Potter & Heather Gibb (with Erika Cedillo) eds., Gender Equality Rights and Trade Regimes:  Coordinating Compliance, Papers based on the Proceedings of the Conference: Coordinating Compliance between Gender Equality Rights and Trade held at the University of Ottawa on Dec. 2 2010, (Ottawa: North-South Institute & Asia Pacific Dispute Resolution, University of British Columbia, 2012) 29-43.
Read online [.PDF].

Blackett A., Diller J., Helfer L., Langille B. & Leary V. "The Future of International Labor Law," (2008) American Society of International Law, Proceedings of the 101st Annual Meeting 389 - 402.

Research reports

Adelle Blackett & Assata Koné-Silué, Regulatory Innovation in the Governance of Decent Work for Domestic Workers in Côte d’Ivoire :  Labour Administration and the Judiciary under a Generalist Labour Code, 30 pages, Labour Law and Development Research Laboratory Working Paper No. 6, March 2016. Available at

International Labour Conference, Report IV(1), Decent Work for Domestic Workers (Law and Practice Report), Geneva, 2010.

Blackett A. & Tsikata D., “Vulnerable Workers”, in Frédéric Mégret & Florian Hoffman, “Dignity: A Special Focus on Vulnerable Groups" in Swiss Initiative to Commemorate the 60th Anniversary of the UDHR Protecting Dignity: An Agenda for Human Right, June 2009.

Blackett A. “Trade Liberalization, Labour Law and Development: A Contextualization,” International Institute for Labour Studies (Geneva, IILS Discussion Paper No. 179, 2007) 30pp .
Links: Read article online (

Blackett A, Sheppard C. “The Links Between Collective Bargaining and Equality.” ILO Declaration Working Paper No. 10. Geneva: ILO. 2002; 64 pp.
Links: Read paper online (

Blackett A. “Making domestic work visible: The case for specific regulation.” Labour Law and Labour Relations Programme Working Paper No. 2. Geneva: ILO. 1998; 29pp.
Links: Download paper [.pdf] 

In the media

"Human Rights Workshop: Adelle Blackett Reflects on Protecting Essential Workers." Yale Law School News, 13 November 2020.

"ILO celebrates 100 years of fighting for fair labour practices." The Toronto Star, 2 September 2019.

"Exploring Dr. King's Legacy a 50 years after his assassination". Montreal Community Contact, April 2018.

"Montrealers remember Martin Luther King Jr. 50 years after assassination". Montreal Gazette, April 2018.

Making Trade More Equitable: How A Progressive Trade Agenda Could Share The Benefits of Trade Labour, Women and Indigenous People (video). International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD) talk with Adelle Blackett, Valerie Hughes, Alvaro Santos, Risa Schwartz.

Bravo! 2017 with Adelle Blackett (video). McGill University, March 2017.

Domestic work, the significance of a Convention and the future of the movement. Wiego Podcast, August 2016.

Migration & Transnational Labour (video). 10th Anniversary Dialogues on Human Rights and Legal Pluralism, with Adelle Blackett and François Crépeau (Fall 2015)

Defends tes convictions - Stand for Something (video). Black History Month, February 2015.

Life’s Work – Professor Adelle Blackett’s Labour Law Research. Focus online, November 2012.

Setting decent standards for domestic workers. McGill Reporter, May 2010.

Back to top