McGill University Faculty of Law

McGill University Faculty of Law

In 1944, the world community laid the groundwork for the establishment of the UN International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in Montreal. ICAO’ principal mission was to achieve international cooperation to ensure that the legal and regulatory regime governing aviation would be uniform across nations. One can imagine what a Tower of Babel international aviation would have become had ICAO’s 191 current Member States adopted differing legal rules and standards. Without a harmonious legal and regulatory regime, the development of international aviation and space would have been seriously impeded.

By its very nature, aviation shrinks the planet, integrating disparate cultures and economies, and facilitating peaceful, prosperous and cooperative global order. Globalisation has created interdependence among nations and peoples of the world, and air transportation has facilitated that interdependence.

Recognising the critical role that legal education would play in facilitating integration of legal standards globally, in 1951, McGill University established the Institute of Air and Space Law (IASL) to provide graduate legal education for students from around the world. In the ensuing seventy years, IASL has educated over 1200 students from 120 countries. Today, our graduates hold some of the highest positions in international organizations, governmental air transport ministries, airlines, and law firms around the world.

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