Transnational Futures of International Labour Law La justice sociale dans le monde du travail

This 12-week lecture series, beginning on January 10 and ending on April 11, 2019, convened leading stakeholders in Canada and abroad, from within the ILO and beyond, to lead high-level discussions and to formulate recommendations on the role of transnational labour law in a globally interconnected world. Every week, they joined Professor Adelle Blackett's classroom to present their research findings and share their expertise on emerging areas and pressing topics in international labour law. This seminar offered a unique opportunity to commemorate the ILO's work over the last 100 years and critically reflect on the transnational futures of international labour law.

The full program is available below.

Support for this initiative

This initiative was funded by the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation and is the core component of Professor Adelle Blackett's Trudeau Fellowship project entitled "Canadian Contributions to Social Justice in the World of Work: Transnational Futures of International Labour Law." Professor Blackett's project aims to celebrate the role that the International Labour Organization (ILO) has played in its first century, especially in its fostering of social justice in the world of work and its exploration of the challenges of the changing paradigm of work. Further information regarding Professor Blackett's project is available on the Trudeau Foundation's website.


"With its forward-looking format and list of leading visiting lecturers, the course has garnered international attention from the labour law community; even the current ILO Director General, Guy Ryder, recorded a personalized speech for the course’s inaugural session, explaining the relationship firmly rooted in history between the organization and McGill, and their shared commitment to furthering social justice." - McGill Reporter article on Professor Blackett's innovative course 


Course Outline



January 10 | 14:30 – 16:15 (EST)

Inaugural Class: Transnational Futures of International Labour Law - La Justice sociale dans le monde du travail


  • Mr. Guy Ryder, Director General of the International Labour Office
  • Me Pascale Fournier, Ad. E., President and CEO of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation (PETF)
  • Professor Robert Leckey, Dean of Law, McGill University


  • Professor Adelle Blackett, McGill University, PETF Fellow
  • Professor Guy Fiti Sinclair, University of Wellington
  • Professor Larry Helfer, Duke University


January 17 | 14:30 – 16:15 (EST)

Les défis transnationaux de la régulation internationale du travail migrant et de la violence au travail


  • Professor François Crépeau, McGill University, Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Fellow
  • Professor Katherine Lippel, University of Ottawa


  • Ryszard Cholewinski, Senior Migration Policy Specialist, International Labour Office, Regional Office for Arab States, Beirut
  • Shauna Olney, Chief, Gender Equality and Diversity & HIV/AIDS, International Labour Office, Geneva


January 24 | 14:30 – 16:15 (EST)

The ILO Supervisory Bodies at a Crossroads: A Discussion


  • Professor Emeritus Evance Kalula, University of Cape Town, Chair, ILO Freedom of Association Committee
  • Professor Julia López, Pompeu-Fabra University


  • Dr. Maude Choko, LLDRL
  • Liam McHugh Russell, D.C.L. Candidate, European University Institute in Florence, LLDRL

January 31 | 14:30 – 16:15 (EST)

The Persisting Relevance of Early Examples of the Transnational in International Labour Law


  • Professor Bernard Duhaime, UQAM, PETF Fellow
  • Professor Emerita Moira McConnell, Dalhousie University


  • Dr. Georges Politakis, Legal Adviser and Director, Office of Legal Services (JUR), International Labour Office, Geneva


February 7 | 14:30 – 16:15 (EST)

La responsabilité sociale corporative, post-Rana Plaza


  • Ms. Anne Trebilcock, former ILO Legal Advisor
  • Professor Poonam Puri, Osgoode Hall Law School, Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Fellow


  • Professor Isabelle Martin, University of Montreal


February 14 | 14:30 – 16:15 (EST)

The Relationship between Forced Labour and Decent Work in Transnational Labour Law: Case studies of International Labour Law on Prison Labour and Domestic Work


  • Professor Faina Milman Sivan, University of Haifa
  • Professor Adelle Blackett, McGill University, Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Fellow


  • Anna Torriente, Senior Legal Officer, International Labour Standards Department, International Labour Office, Geneva (by videoconference)

February 28 | 14:30 – 16:15 (EST)

Le droit international du travail devant les tribunaux nationaux et régionaux


  • The Hon. Louis LeBel, retired justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, Pierre Elliot Trudeau Foundation Fellow
  • Professor Sophie Robin-Olivier, Faculty of Law, Sorbonne University


  • Professeur Gilles Trudeau, Faculty of Law, University of Montreal
  • Karen Curtis, Deputy Director, NORMES, International Labour Office, Geneva



March 14 | 14:30 – 16:15 (EST)

The Transnational in Labour Market Informality


  • Dr. Sabaa Khan, University of Eastern Finland
  • Professor Rachid Filali Meknassi, University Mohammed V, Member of the Committee of Experts on the Application of ILO Conventions and Recommendations


  • Colin Fenwick, Head of the Labour Law and Reform Unit (LABOURLAW), International Labour Office, Geneva 


March 21 | 14:30 – 16:15 (EST)

On the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

Whither International Labour Law on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination? 


  • Ms Gay McDougall, Vice-chairperson, United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, former UN Independent Expert on Minority Rights



Thursday, March 28 | 14:30 – 16:15 (EST)

China and International Labour Law


  • Dr. Mimi Zou, University of Oxford
  • Professor Yifeng Chen, University of Peking


  • Professor Sean Cooney, University of Melbourne (via videoconference)
  • Si Chen, D.C.L. Candidate, McGill University and Teaching Fellow, Labour Law and Development Research Laboratory (LLDRL)



April 4 | 14:30 – 16:15 (EST)

International Labour Law in Multilateral and Regional Trade


  • Professor Álvaro Santos, Georgetown University
  • Professor Joanna Langille, University of Western Ontario, Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Scholar


  • Corinne Vargha, Director, International Labour Standards Department, International Labour Office, Geneva







April 11 | 14:30 – 16:15 (EST)

Voice, Resistance and International Solidarity in Transnational Labour Law’s Futures


  • The Honourable Patricia A. Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour
  • Professor Gregor Murray, Director, Interuniversity Research Network on Globalization and Work (CRIMT)


  • Professor Tonia Novitz, University of Bristol
  • Professor Emeritus Harry Arthurs, Osgoode Hall Law School
  • Professor Obiora Okafor, Osgoode Hall Law School & UN Independent Expert on Human Rights and International Solidarity


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