Joanna Langille

Joanna Langille

Academic Degrees:

Hons BA (Toronto); MPhil (Oxford); JD (NYU); SJD (Toronto)

Phone: 519-661-2111, ext. 87870 
Office: LB 27

Joanna Langille is an Assistant Professor at the University of Western Ontario Faculty of Law and the Co-Director of Western’s Legal Philosophy Research Group. Joanna’s research and teaching focuses on private international law, international trade law, private law, and legal theory. Her scholarship has been published in leading journals and collections, including the University of Toronto Law Journal, the American Journal of International Law, the NYU Law Review, the Yale Journal of International Law, and Oxford University Press’ Philosophical Foundations series.

Joanna is the 2023 winner of Western University’s Marilyn Robinson Award for Excellence in Teaching. Her scholarship has been recognized with awards and grants from the Canadian Foundation for Legal Research; the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC); the Canadian Council on International Law; the US Customs and International Trade Bar Association; the Europaeum; NYU Law; the University of Oxford; the University of Toronto; and Western University. Joanna has co-organized the two leading conferences in private law theory: The North American Workshop on Private Law Theory (NAWPLT) and the Obligations Conference (Obligations X: Private Law and the State). She is the Vice-Chair of the International Economic Law Interest Group of the American Society of International Law (ASIL).

Joanna completed her doctorate at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law as a Trudeau Scholar and a SSHRC Bombardier Scholar. She received her JD from NYU Law (magna cum laude), where she studied as a Furman Scholar and an Institute for International Law and Justice Scholar. As a Commonwealth Scholar at Balliol College, Oxford, she obtained an MPhil in International Relations. Her honours undergraduate degree in Philosophy and Political Science (High Distinction) is from the University of Toronto, where she was a Canadian Millennium Scholar, a Canadian Merit Award winner, and a winner of the University of Toronto Alumni Association Award of Excellence.

Prior to her appointment at Western, Joanna was a Furman Fellow and an Institute for International Law and Justice Fellow at NYU Law. She has been a Visiting Researcher at Yale Law School, the University of Groningen’s Philosophy Department, and the University of Toronto’s Munk School for Global Affairs. She has consulted for parties and authored amicus briefs in various trade disputes, and has worked with the World Trade Organization and the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development. Joanna clerked at the Ontario Court of Appeal, and is called to the bar in New York and Ontario.

Research Highlights


“Continuity and Change in the World Trade Organization: Pluralism Past, Present, and Future” (2023) 117: 1 Am J Int’l L 1 (with Robert Howse).

“Frontiers of Legality: Understanding the Public Policy Exception in Choice of Law” UTLJ (forthcoming 2023).

“The Trade/Labour Relationship in Light of the WTO Appellate Body’s Embrace of Pluralism” (2020) 159:4 Int’l Labour Rev 569.

“Spheres of Commerce: The WTO Legal System and Regional Trading Blocs,” Symposium on International Trade Law (2018) 46 Ga J Int’l & Comp L 649 (with Robert Howse).

 “Pluralism in Practice: Moral Legislation and the Law of the WTO After Seals Products” (2015) 48 GW Int’l L Rev 81 (with Robert Howse and Katie Sykes).

“Permitting Pluralism: The Seal Products Dispute and Why the WTO Should Permit Trade Restrictions Justified by Non-Instrumental Moral Values” (2012) 37 Yale J Int’l L 367 (with Robert Howse).

“Neither Constitution nor Contract: Understanding the WTO by Examining the Legal Limits on Contracting out through Regional Trade Agreements” (2011) 86 NYU L Rev 1482.

Book Chapters

“Persons, Not Citizens,” in Mark Walters and Geneviève Cartier, eds, The Promise of Legality: Critical Reflections upon the Work of TRS Allan (Hart, forthcoming 2024).

“Public Policy and Illegality,” in Jason Neyers, ed, The Law of Contract in Canada (Carswell, forthcoming 2024).

“Public Policy and the Rule of Law,” in Roxana Banu, Michael Green, and Ralf Michaels, eds, Philosophical Foundations of Private International Law (Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2024).

“Whales and Seals and Bears, Oh My! The Evolution of Global Animal Law and Canada’s Ambiguous Stance,” in Peter Sankoff, Vaughan Black, and Katie Sykes, eds, Canadian Perspectives on Animals and the Law (Toronto, ON: Irwin Law, 2015) (with Robert Howse and Katie Sykes).