Winners of the Baxter Family Competition on Federalism 2023 — Federalism: What Makes it Work (or not!)

Baxter Family Competition on Federalism logo
Published: 14 April 2023

McGill University’s Faculty of Law and the Peter MacKell Chair in Federalism are delighted to announce the winners of the 2022-2023 Baxter Family Competition on Federalism. Organized by Professor Johanne Poirier, this essay competition was open to students and recent graduates in law and political science.

We received numerous submissions of exceptional quality from scholars and junior practitioners from 13 countries, including Argentina, Australia, Austria, Canada, Germany, Haiti, India, Ireland, Italy, Kenya, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Amongst those, the international jury attributed the following prizes:


  • First Prize: Shahal Khoso (Pakistani PhD candidate in Political Science, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain) – $5,000
    Postcolonial Federalism: Tracing Colonial State-Formation in the Global South
    For its original and ground-breaking argument challenging Western-centric approaches to federalism, through a skillful comparative and historical angle.


  • Second Prize: Arnaud Hoste and Ashley Saad (LLM candidates, McGill University, Montreal, Canada) – $3,000
    Canadian Federalism and Environmental Protection: What Makes it Work (or Not!)”
    For its important insights into a complex and relevant area of Canadian federalism, supported by a rich diversity of sources.


  • Third Prize: Nadine Dahou and Anne-Frédérique Naud (MA candidates in Applied Political Studies, Université de Sherbrooke, Canada) – $1,000
    The Evolution of Intergovernmental Relations in Immigration: Cooperative Federalism in Canada and Australia
    For its skillful comparative approach to a crucial issue facing federal states, supported by a profound analysis of secondary sources.


  • Special Mention from the Jury: Andreas Samartzis (Greek PhD candidate in Law, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom)
    Judicial Supremacy in the European Federal Union
    For its novel perspective and instructive overview of theoretical approaches to the legitimacy of judicial power in this complex polity.


  • Special Mention from the Jury: Olivier Jacques (Assistant Professor in Public Health, Université de Montréal, Canada)
    Régler le déséquilibre fiscal ? Les contraintes politiques et institutionnelles à deux solutions idéales
    For its strong theoretical and practical contribution to the global debate on a crucial issue of redistribution and balance in the Canadian federal system.



We are deeply grateful to the distinguished members of our international jury, who thoroughly considered the submissions for the 2023 Competition:


  • The Honourable Marie Deschamps, former Justice at the Supreme Court of Canada
  • The Honourable Clément Gascon, former Justice at the Supreme Court of Canada
  • Prof. Maria Jesus Garcia Morales, Professor of Constitutional Law at the Autonomous University of Barcelona
  • Prof. Rekha Saxena, Professor at the Department of Political Science at the University of Delhi
  • Prof. Sabine Kropp, Professor of German Politics at the Otto Suhr Institute of Political Science at the Free University of Berlin
  • Prof. Yonatan T. Fessha, Professor of Law and Research Chair in constitutional design in divided societies at the University of the Western Cape
  • Prof. Guy Laforest, Emeritus Professor of Political Science at Laval University; member of the Centre de recherche interdisciplinaire sur la diversité et la démocratie (CRIDAQ); and independent scholar
  • Josiah Wamwere-Njoroge, winner of the 2021 edition of the Baxter Family Competition on Federalism, post-graduate student at the Kenya School of Law.


Winners will present their paper at the Baxter Family Symposium on Federalism, which will be held at McGill University’s Faculty Club on Friday, May 5th, 2023, from 12:00 to 2:30 PM. More information will soon be shared on the Peter MacKell Chair in Federalism’s website and social media.

To attend the Symposium, please RSVP at [at] A light lunch will be served.

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