Adelle Blackett

Full Professor
Canada Research Chair in Transnational Labour Law

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, F.R.S.C., Ad. E., is Professor of Law and the Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) in Transnational Labour Law at the Faculty of Law, McGill University. She 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.  An elected fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, she has been awarded the Bora Laskin National Human Rights Fellowship & the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Fellowship and was a visiting professor at Cornell ILR School cross appointed at Cornell Law School, the Inaugural Chancellor Janice Fukakusa Racial Justice Scholar in Residence at Toronto Metropolitan University, a visiting professor at the Global College of Law at UC Louvain, a Centenary Visiting Fellow at SOAS London, the Innis Christie Visiting Professor at Dalhousie University, a Parsons Visitor at the University of Sydney, and a Distinguished Visiting Faculty Member at the University of Toronto.  

Professor Blackett is widely published in the field of transnational labour law, with a focus on decolonial approaches. Her 2019 book manuscript entitled Everyday Transgressions: Domestic Workers’ Transnational Challenge to International Labor Law (Cornell University Press) garnered the Canadian Council on International Law’s (CCIL) 2020 Scholarly Book Award.   Her current SSHRC-funded research (Insight Grant) focuses on Slavery and the Law, and supports her general rapporteurship on contemporary forms of slavery for the International Academy of Comparative Law, in which she is an elected Associate Member.  She is the founding director of the Labour Law and Development Research Laboratory.

Much of Professor Blackett’s research is at the interface of trade and labour standards. Most recently she contributed a white paper for an initiative on Remaking Trade for Sustainable Development led by Dan Esty, Jan Yves Remy and Joel Trachtman. She is on the roster of experts for the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) Chapter 23 (Trade and Labour) and the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement Annex 31-B Lists of Rapid Response mechanism, and is a member of the International Labour Organization (ILO)’s Trade and Labour Advisory Committee. 

An innovative pedagogue, she developed a course on Slavery and the Law alongside a program of invited guest lectures in other courses, taught a course on law and development with the African Development Bank, and led courses with guest speakers on transnational labour law commemorating the ILO’s centenary in 2019 and featuring airline labour law in 2023.  She has received the 2020 McGill Principal’s Prize for Excellence in Teaching (Full Professor category), the 2019 Canadian Association of Law Teachers’ Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Award, and the 2023 McGill Graduate Law Student Association’s Excellence in Supervision and Mentorship Award.

Professor Blackett has significant human rights and labour rights leadership experience internationally and in Canada.  Internationally, this includes serving as the lead ILO expert in a treaty-making process on decent work for domestic workers, and preparing a draft Haitian labour code.  In Canada, she was unanimously appointed by the National Assembly of Québec to the Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse.  She also chaired the federal Human Rights Experts Panel.  She was appointed by the federal Minister of Labour to chair Canada’s new Employment Equity Act Review Task Force, whose report should be published in december 2023.  

Professor Blackett has played an active role in fostering equity in academia within and beyond McGill.  She chaired the Faculty of Law’s professorial recruitment committee for 5 consecutive years.  She founded the Dr. Kenneth Melville McGill Black Faculty and Staff Caucus, and was its first convener.  She is the principal drafter of the Scarborough Charter on Anti-Black Racism and Black Inclusion in Canadian Higher Education and a member of its Inter-institutional Steering Committee.

Professor Blackett’s contributions have been recognized by the Barreau du Québec’s Christine Tourigny Award of Merit and the status of Advocate Emeritus, the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, and the Canadian Association of Black Lawyers’ Pathfinder Award. She has been awarded honorary doctorates in law from Queen’s University, Université Catholique de Louvain, and Simon Fraser University.  In June 2023, she was awarded the global Labour Law Research Network’s Bob Hepple Award for Lifetime Achievement in Labour Law.


  • 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.



Edited volumes (books/journals)

Journal articles

  • Adelle Blackett, “Racial Capitalism and the Contemporary International Law on Slavery: Re-Membering Hacienda Brasil Verde” (2022) 25 Journal of International Economic Law 334 – 347.
  • Adelle Blackett with Alice Duquesnoy, “Slavery is Not a Metaphor: U.S. Prison Labor and Racial Subordination Through the Lens of the ILO’s Abolition of Forced Labor Convention” (2021) 67 UCLA Law Review 1504 – 1535.
  • Adelle Blackett, “On the Presence of the Past in the Future of Transnational Labour Law” (2021) 43:2 Dalhousie Law Journal 947 – 962 (Read Lecture).
  • Adelle Blackett, “Introduction: Transnational Futures of International Labour Law,” (2020) 159:4 International Labour Review 455-462.
    _____, « Les perspectives transnationales du droit international du travail, » (2020) 159:4 Revue internationale du Travail 505-514.
    _____, “Futuros transnacionales del derecho internacional del trabajo. Introducción,” (2020) 139:4 Revista Internacional del Trabajo 497-506.
  • *Adelle Blackett, “On Social Regionalism in Transnational Labour Law,” (2020) 159:4 International Labour Review591-613.
    _____, « Place du régionalisme social dans le droit transnational du travail, » (2020) 159:4 Revue internationale du Travail 659-684.
    _____, “Regionalismo social y derecho transnacional del trabajo,” (2020) 139:4 Revista Internacional del Trabajo 651-676.
  • 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. "Standard Setting on Decent Work for Domestic Workers at the ILO." Global Dialogue, Vol. 8, Issue 2. July 2018.
  • 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 Revue de Droit de McGill 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.
  • Lien: 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.
  • 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.
    Lien: Read 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.
    Lien: 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, “The UN Cannot Rest on Past Laurels: The Time for Courageous Leadership on Anti-Black Racism is Now” in Matiangai Sirleaf, ed., Race and National Security (Oxford University Press, 2023) 229 - 247.
  • Adelle Blackett, “Learning from the Past for the Future of International Labour Law” in Brian Langille & Anne Trebilcock, Social Justice and the World of Work: Possible Global Futures (Hart Publishing, 2023) 35 - 42.
  • Adelle Blackett, “Architects, Landscapers and Gardeners in the Transnational Futures of International Labour Law,” in Peer Zumbansen, ed., Oxford Handbook of Transnational Labor Law (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2021) 591 – 614.
  • Adelle Blackett, “Domestic Work: Transnational Regulation,” in Mariana Valverde, Eve Darian Smith, Kamari Clarke and Prabha Kotiswaran, eds., Routledge Handbook of Law and Society (Routledge, 2021) 119 – 123.
  • Adelle Blackett, « Elles témoignent de la dignité du travail et de l’absence de banalité de leur function, » in Isabelle Ferreras, Julie Battilana & Dominique Méda, eds., Le manifeste travail : démocratiser, démarchandiser, dépolluer (Paris : Le Seuil, 2020) 97 – 106.
    _____, “Essas pessaoas resgatam a dignidade do trabalho e extravasam a ausência de banalidade de suas funções,” in Ferreras et al, organizadoras, O manifestó do trabalho: democratizar, desmercantilizar, remediar (Rio de Janeiro: Editora Lumen Juris, 2021) 71 – 78. [full Portuguese-language translation of the original French-language text]
  • Adelle Blackett, “Emancipation in the Idea of Transnational Labour Law,” in Dionne Pohler, ed., Reimagining the Governance of Work and Employment, LERA Research Volume (New York: ILR Press, 2020) 183-192.
  • Adelle Blackett, “Domestic Workers and Informality: Challenging Invisibility, Regulating Inclusion,” in Martha Chen & Françoise Carré, eds., The Informal Economy Revisited: Examining the Past, Envisioning the Future (Routledge Explorations in Development Studies, 2020) 110 – 115.
  • Adelle Blackett, “Beyond a Boundary: On Transnational Labour Law, Discontent and Emancipatory Social Justice” [.pdf] in Georges Politakis et al. eds., ILO 100: Law for Social Justice (Geneva: International Labour Organization, 2019), 463-483.
  • 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 at 150,” 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

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