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Joanna Langille



Malcolm James Rogge


2013    S.J.D. candidate

            Harvard Law School


2013    LL.M. (waived on entry to S.J.D.)

            Harvard Law School


2010    Barrister at Law

            The Law Society of Upper Canada


1998    Master in Environmental Studies (J.D./M.E.S. program)

            York University


1998    Juris Doctor (J.D./M.E.S. program)

             Osgoode Hall Law School, York University


1998    Graduate Diploma in Latin American and Caribbean Studies Centre               for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean (CERLAC), York                 University


1994    Bachelor of Arts – First Class

            Double Honours - Philosophy and English

            University of Manitoba




The working title of my S.J.D. dissertation is: Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) As Ethical Responsibility: Plural Expectations of Justice and Company Community Conflict in the Extractive Sector. In this project, I ask why some affected Communities reject extractive sector corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives when they would otherwise stand to gain a benefit from those programs.

I consider whether a mismatch between ethical expectations and legal norms for corporate and community stakeholders (including their ideas of justice1) may work against company-led conflict-resolution and CSR strategies. Through this inquiry, I will revisit the foundational question: What do we really mean by corporate responsibility? Looking forward, I will entertain ways of re-imagining corporate responsibility qua responsible decision-making within the legally circumscribed boundaries established in corporate law and global business practice.


In pursuing this line of research, I hope to make a valuable contribution to the ongoing interpretation and application of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and to other global business and human rights initiatives.


Pascal McDougall


S.J.D. Candidate – Harvard Law School, 2016-

Master of Laws (LL.M.) – Harvard Law School, 2015 (requirements completed, degree waived for entry into the S.J.D. program)

Master of Laws (LL.M.) –University of Toronto, 2013

Professional Training Course – Barreau du Québec, 2012

Licence en droit (LL.L.)– University of Ottawa Faculty of Law, Civil Law Section, 2011

Professional Experience

Law clerk, Supreme Court of Canada, Justice Clément Gascon, 2015-2016

In-house trainee lawyer, Confederation of National Labour Unions (Montreal), 2014

Coordinator, University of Ottawa Research Chair in Legal Pluralism and Comparative Law, 2012-2013     


Law clerk, Supreme Court of Canada, Justice Clément Gascon, 2015-2016

In-house trainee lawyer, Confederation of National Labour Unions (Montreal), 2014

Coordinator, University of Ottawa Research Chair in Legal Pluralism and Comparative Law, 2012-2013     


During my Humphrey Fellowship tenure, I completed a Master of Laws (LL.M.) at Harvard Law School. There, I researched debates on international labour standards in the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the World Trade Organization (WTO). My research focused on the way in which the human rights paradigm conflicts, converges and otherwise intersects with neoliberalism(meaning approaches based on economic efficiency) in the context of international debates on labour law. My LL.M. paper undertook to empirically demonstrate that, contrary to claims made by scholars from opposite ends of the political spectrum, human rights do not systematically converge with neoliberalism but in fact diverge fromit as often as the reverse. Thus, I argued that we should see human rights not as fundamentally antithetical to welfarist or solidarist approaches nor as consistently aligned with neoliberalism but as an extremely malleable lingua franca that can be consonant with many different political positions. In carrying out this research under a Humphrey Fellowship, I contributed to the study of neoliberalism and of debates on international labour standards, as well as to a vibrant revisionist strand in the historiography of human rights. Harvard Law School was the perfect milieu for me to conduct this research, as I benefitted from the support and intellectual engagement of specialists of labour, human rights and international economic law, including Samuel Moyn, Duncan Kennedy, Benjamin Sachs and Christine Desan. My Harvard LL.M. paper has been accepted for publication in the Northwestern Journal of Human Rights (Vol. 15, Issue 1, forthcoming).

My experience during my Humphrey tenure was so good that I decided to apply to Harvard Law School’s S.J.D. program to carry my research further and move closer to my goal of becoming a law professor. I was admitted to S.J.D. candidacy and, after a hiatus to clerk for Mr. Justice Clément Gascon at the Supreme Court of Canada in 2015-2016, I resumed my graduate studies at Harvard in August 2016. My dissertation, supervised by Professor Samuel Moyn, wil map the implicit legal theories embraced by policy-makers from various disciplines as they formulate agendas for labour/employment law reforms in the context of several international organizations (including the ILO, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund).It will heighten our understanding of the role of legal thought in international labour and economic policy-making.

Joanna Langille


SJD (expected), University of Toronto, 2017

JD, New York University School of Law, 2011

MPhil (International Relations), University of Oxford - Balliol College, 2008

BA (Philosophy and Political Science), University of Toronto - University College, 2006




My doctoral dissertation examines the public policy exception to choice of law rules in private international law. Under this exception, courts can refuse to apply foreign law when it would violate the fundamental principles of morality and justice of the forum. This exception is normally understood by scholars to introduce grave uncertainty into choice of law rules, undermining the rule of law in private international law. However, I argue that when we examine the use of the exception in practice, it actually operates in accordance with rule of law principles: Foreign law is refused application, under the common law public policy exception, when it fails to conform with the fundamental principles of the rule of law in the common law tradition. This analysis has important implications for our understanding of the public policy exception in particular and for private international law in general.

Pascal McDougall
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