Canada-United States Law Institute

About the Institute

U.S. National Director - Stephen Petras
Canadian National Director - Chios Carmody

Join us April 18-19 at Case Western Reserve University School of Law for our 48th Annual Conference - The Economics of Human Rights: Canadian and US Perspectives on Supply Chains, Sanctions and Securing Reconciliation 

Past Event: Economic Sanctions Enforcement and Compliance in Canada and the United States | The Wilson Canada-US Legal Issues Symposium 2023

Logo of Canada-United States Law Institute, with american and candadian flag intertwined, in blue and red on white background

The Canada-United States Law Institute (CUSLI) is a bi-national, non-for-profit, multidisciplinary entity that sponsors conferences, forums, research opportunities, student internships and academic competitions. CUSLI is jointly administered by Case Western Reserve University School of Law and University of Western Ontario.

CUSLI serves as a forum where the respective governments, business communities, legal professionals, academics, non-governmental organizations and the media explore and address the issues confronting the Canada - United States relationship.

CUSLI aims to:

  • establish institutional and professional linkages between Canada and the United States;
  • provide its members with current resources and continuing education regarding the bilateral relationship; and
  • afford comparative law and research opportunities to the students and faculties at member institutions, as well as the private and public bars in each country.


CUSLI was jointly founded in 1976 by Case Western Reserve University School of Law and the Faculty of Law at the University of Western Ontario. CWRU Law Professor Sidney Picker Jr. (1935-2020) was instrumental in CUSLI's formation and was the Institute's first U.S. national director and advisory board chair. Both institutions have continuously supported CUSLI and its mission for the past 45 years. At its inception, CUSLI was the first academic organization in either country designed to explore legal and policy issues affecting the Canada-U.S. relationship and examine the countries' legal structures and processes to provide comparative law opportunities for students, academics, and practitioners at the supporting institutions and beyond.

To promote this mission, CUSLI has facilitated student and faculty exchange programs, publishes the Canada-United States Law Journal, sponsors student competitions, promotes bi-lateral academic inquiry, and organizes conferences dealing with bi-national legal and policy issues.

Of particular note, CUSLI has hosted numerous prestigious academics, public servants, and private practitioners at its various conferences and events. For example, the institute's 1979 conference hosted Canadian Supreme Court Justice Brian Dickson and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart - the first time justices of the respective courts had ever participated in such a program. Other distinguished guests have included United States and Canadian ambassadors, trade representatives, congressional representatives and ministers of Parliament.

Executive Committee

Dean Michael Scharf, President
Dean of the Law School and Joseph C. Hostetler—BakerHostetler Professor of Law, Case Western Reserve University School of Law

Dean Erika Chamberlain, President
Dean of Law, University of Western Ontario Faculty of Law

The Honorable James Peterson, Co-Chair
Counsel, Fasken LLP, formerly Canadian Minister of International Trade, Secretary of State (International Financial Institutions), Canadian Member of Parliament 

The Honorable James Blanchard, Co-Chair
Partner, DLA Piper US LLP, formerly Governor of Michigan, United States Ambassador to Canada, United States Representative

Professor Diane Francis
Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University, Editor-at-Large, National Post

Martha Hall Findlay 
Formerly President and CEO of the Canada West Foundation, Member of Canadian Parliament 

James Graham
Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Officer, and Secretary, Cleveland-Cliffs Inc.

Lawrence Herman
Principal, Herman and Associates, Counsel, Cassidy Levy Kent, Senior Fellow, C.D. Howe Institute 

Selma M Lussenburg
Corporate director: MAG Silver Corp (TSX/NYSE); Ontario Power Generation; Muskoka Airport. Chair Ontario Justice Sector Internal Audit Committee; Cdn. private sector member CUSMA 31.22. Former VP Safety, Security & Governance, General Counsel and Corp. Secretary, Toronto Pearson Airport. 

Peter Gordon MacKay PC QC
Partner, Baker & McKenzie LLP, formerly Canadian Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Minister of National Defence, and Minister of Parliament

Richard Newcomb
Partner, DLA Piper US LLP, formerly Director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control, United States Treasury Department

Raul Rosado
Vice President and Chief Legal Counsel North America & Europe, The Formica Group

Dr. Christopher Sands, PhD
Director, Canada Institute, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and Senior Research Professor at Johns Hopkins University, Paul H. Nitze School for Advanced International Studies (SAIS)