People at ILR

Adelle Blackett
people / faculty

Adelle Blackett

Professor Visiting
Global Labor and Work (GLW)


Adelle Blackett, F.R.S.C., Ad. E., is a Visiting Professor at Cornell ILR School cross appointed at Cornell Law School for Fall 2023. She 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 named 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 has received the Bora Laskin National Human Rights Fellowship & the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Fellowship.

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.

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, who developed a course on Slavery and the Law, taught a course on law and development with the African Development Bank, 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 Graduate Law Student Association’s Excellence in Teaching and Mentoring 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 Fall 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 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.


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