Joanna Langille ’11 has been awarded a 2014 Trudeau Foundation Scholarship, the most prestigious scholarship of its kind in Canada. She is one of 14 top doctoral students in the social sciences and humanities to be recognized for their demonstrated passion for public engagement. In addition to receiving grants of up to $60,000 for each of the three years of the scholarship, awardees also have the chance to interact with leaders in their fields through face-to-face meetings, public policy networks, and at public forums hosted by the Trudeau Foundation. This marks the third Trudeau Foundation Scholarship awarded to NYU Law graduates in as many years; previous recipients include Lisa Kerr LLM ’09, JSD ’15 and Emily Kidd White LLM ’09, JSD ’15.
Langille, a former Furman Scholar now pursuing her doctorate at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Law, will return to NYU Law beginning in the fall of 2014 as a Furman Academic Fellow. “Jo is an incredibly astute and hardworking person with broad intellectual interests,” says Barry Friedman, Jacob D. Fuchsberg Professor of Law and faculty director of the Furman Program. “It is difficult to think of anyone more deserving of the Trudeau Foundation Scholarship, and I’m thrilled to welcome her back to NYU next year as a Furman Fellow.”
The intersection of private international law and legal and political philosophy is the focus of Langille’s doctoral research. She is particularly interested in “choice of law” doctrine, which allows courts facing private law disputes that overlap multiple jurisdictions to legitimately apply a foreign law domestically. “Typically, political theorists base the justification for legal authority in the participation in the democratic process, so therefore Canadian courts can apply Canadian law to Canadian citizens. But in the private international law context, that’s not what actually happens most of the time. Courts will actually apply foreign law domestically, and the question is how that can possibly be legitimate,” says Langille. “It’s such a fundamental part of our legal system, that happens all the time, and yet it’s really under-studied from a theoretical point of view.”
Prior to attending law school, Langille, who earned an MPhil in international relations as a Commonwealth Scholar at the University of Oxford, held positions at both the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development. She has continued her scholarship in the field of international trade law, publishing articles on WTO trade laws and disputes over the seal trade with Robert Howse, Lloyd C. Nelson Professor of International Law. “One of Joanna's great strengths,” says Howse, “is an awareness of the questions of legal and political philosophy that lie behind the normative challenges and dilemmas of contemporary international economic law.”
“I’m extremely grateful to the Trudeau Foundation for this opportunity, and I’m really looking forward to being part of the Trudeau community,” says Langille. “I’m also really thankful to NYU for its support in my academic and intellectual development. I came to NYU Law on a full scholarship as a Furman scholar, and as a scholar at the Institute for International Law and Justice. That support, as well as the support of my mentors at the Law School, has been invaluable to my development, both as a scholar and as a person.”
Posted June 19, 2014