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Adelle Blackett

Full Professor
William Dawson Scholar

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

514-398-5096 [Office]
adelle [dot] blackett [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Email)


Website: Labour Law and Development Research Laboratory
Media: Setting decent standards for domestic workers (McGill Reporter)
Interview: Life’s Work – Professor Adelle Blackett’s Labour Law Research (Focus online, Nov 2012)


Professor Adelle Blackett is a William Dawson Scholar at the Faculty of Law, McGill University. She holds a doctorate in law from Columbia University, and teaches and researches in the areas of labour and employment law, trade law, and law and development.

A former official of the International Labour Office in Geneva, she currently directs the Labour Law and Development Research Laboratory at McGill and is a founding steering committee member of the international Labour Law Research Network. She is also a research coordinator for the Quebec based Inter-university Research Centre on Globalization and Work. In 2009, Professor Blackett was appointed by the National Assembly of Quebec to the Quebec Human Rights and Youth Rights Commission (CDPDJ).

She is also currently an independent expert to the International Labour Office in a tripartite (government, workers and employers) labour law reform initiative in Haïti. Dr. Blackett has held short visiting appointments to the Australian National University and the African Development Bank, with whom she organized a videoconference based course on International Development Law. She is the recipient of the 2010-11 Bora Laskin National Fellowship in Human Rights Research.

Professor Blackett’s engagement with domestic workers' rights began in 1990, when she was a law student at McGill: she established a working group of students from the McGill Association of Women and the Law, who assisted the Montreal Household Workers’ Association (AAFQ) to negotiate a model employment contract for the Ministère de l’immigration et des communautés culturelles du Québec. She also joined the board of the AAFQ. She authored the International Labour Office's first contemporary study on the regulation of domestic work published in 1998, and from 2008 served the International Labour Organization (ILO) as its expert on international standard setting, writing the report on law and practice and the questionnaire on the basis of which the negotiated instruments were drafted.

Professor Blackett also participated as an expert member of the secretariat in the 99th (2010) and 100th (2011) ILO conference committee meetings which led to the adoption of the Decent Work for Domestic Workers Convention (No. 189) and Recommendation (No. 201) in June 2011. She has also been invited to participate as an expert for UN-Women and a number of special procedures mandate holders of the United Nations Human Rights Council.

In 2012, she was awarded a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. In 2014, the Barreau du Québec presented her with the Christine Tourigny Award of Merit in recognition of her social commitment and her contributions to the advancement of women.


J.S.D. Columbia University, 2004

LL.M. Columbia University, 1998

B.C.L. & LL.B. McGill University, 1994

Université Robert Schuman (Strasbourg III) Academic Exchange (CRÉPUQ), 1992-93

B.A. Queen's University, 1989


Full Professor, Faculty of Law, McGill University, Montreal, 2015-

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.


Edited volumes (books/journals)

Blackett, A. & A. Trebilcock, eds., Research Handbook on Transnational Labour Law (Elgar, forthcoming 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

Blackett, A. “Social Regionalism in Better Work Haiti” (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 uridicas.unam.mx

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

Blackett A, 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, 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: Download article from SSRN Electronic Paper Collection (Stanford)

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

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. 


Adelle Blackett, “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

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 (ilo.org)

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 (www.ilo.org)

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]