Retirement of our colleagues Paul Dempsey and Margaret Somerville


Published: 21Apr2016

After many years of extraordinary service and scholarly commitment to McGill University, our colleagues Paul S. Dempsey and Margaret A. Somerville will be retiring respectively on June 1, 2016, and August 31, 2016. 

Paul S. Dempsey  

Paul Dempsey, DCL 1986, joined the Faculty of Law in 2002 as Director of the Institute of Air & Space Law (IASL). At the same time, he was named Tomlinson Chair of Law & Global Governance, and Editor-in-Chief of the Annals of Air & Space Law. Throughout his tenure at McGill, Paul Dempsey has maintained an intensive publication and teaching program, while giving many conferences around the world.

“Paul Dempsey has carried the IASL to new heights, increasing its visibility world-wide,” said Dean Daniel Jutras. “He has fostered a vibrant and loyal alumni community, many of which hold some of the highest positions in international organizations, governmental air transport ministries, airlines, and law firms around the world.”

Under Dempsey’s leadership, the IASL has refined its graduate legal education program. The IASL has also worked more closely with international organizations, including the United Nations, on a broad range of public policy, research and educational initiatives addressing the regulatory regime of aviation, and an optimal governance regime for outer space.

Margaret Somerville

After 40 years of service at McGill, Margaret Somerville will be returning to Australia, where she will join the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Notre Dame Australia, in Sydney, to help establish a major bioethics component in their new MD program. 

“It should come as no surprise that retirement, for Margo, would mean taking up a new and demanding challenge. Her life at McGill has been a long succession of inspired endeavours. She is a scholar of unparalleled integrity, courage and energy – a model for us all,” said Dean Daniel Jutras

A respected public intellectual and a globally influential voice at the intersection of ethics, health care and the law, Margo Somerville launched the McGill Centre for Medicine, Ethics and Law and gave the 2006 Massey Lectures. A member of the Order of Australia and a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, Somerville has received eight honorary doctorates, and was the first woman appointed to a professorial chair in the Faculty of Law at McGill University.

We wish our two colleagues all the best in their newest endeavours!