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ASIL Book Award to CCIL former President Professor Craig Forcese

On behalf of the entire CCIL community, and with great pleasure, I am writing to congratulate former CCIL President Professor Craig Forcese (biography below) on the awarding of the prestigious Certificate of Merit for a preeminent contribution to creative scholarship for his book Destroying the Caroline: The Frontier Raid that Reshaped the Right to War (Irwin Law Inc, 2018).

The Award announcement by the American Society of International Law (ASIL) Book Awards Committee reads as follows: Forcese’s book is a comprehensive and engaging account of how a 19th century military action along the United States-Canada border came to inform today’s international legal doctrines on the use of military force against non-state actors, and when anticipatory self- defense claims can be used as a pretext for war. The Caroline was a steamboat used to transport insurgents during the 1837 rebellion in Upper Canada. A Canadian militia attacked and sunk the steamboat in the United States waters. The diplomatic settlement that followed helped solidify the international legal principle of the inherent right to self-defense. By retelling this centuries’ old narrative, Forcese opines on what the Caroline case’s understanding of the right to war and the right to self-defense mean for today’s battles and drone strikes, noting how far we’ve come or strayed from the original meaning of the Caroline settlement.

The Certificate of Merit for a preeminent contribution to creative scholarship will be presented to Professor Forcese at the American Society of International Law's Annual Meeting in Washington D.C. on March 30th, 2019. Congratulations Professor Forcese for this major achievement and this excellent piece of scholarship!

Marie-Claude Boisvert

CCIL President


Craig Forcese is a full professor at the Faculty of Law (Common Law Section), University of Ottawa. He is also an Adjunct Research Professor & Senior Fellow, Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, Carleton University (from 2017 to 2022); a National Security Crisis Law Fellow, Center on National Security and the Law at Georgetown Law (Washington DC) (from 2017 to 2020); and, Senior Associate at the Global Justice Lab, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto (2016 to 2018).

Craig sits on the executive on the Canadian Network for Research on Terrorism, Security and Society (TSAS), and is a board member and past president of both the Canadian Council on International Law and the Canadian Association of Law Teachers.

At the University of Ottawa, Craig teaches public international law, national security law, administrative law and constitutional law. He also co-teaches advanced international law and relations at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs. He co-organizes and instructs the Canadian component of Georgetown Law’s National Security Crisis Law course and simulation.

In 2017, he and Kent Roach received the Canadian Civil Liberties Association Award for Excellence in Public Engagement (“for courage and commitment to human rights, human dignity and freedom”).

In 2016, Craig was named jointly with Professor Kent Roach as among the “Top 25 most Influential in the justice system and legal profession” by Canadian Lawyer Magazine. In response to their work on national security law, Craig and Kent also received the Canadian Law and Society Association Book Prize (for False Security) and the Reg Robson Award (given annually by the BC Civil Liberties Association “to honour a community member who has demonstrated a substantial and long-lasting contribution to the cause of civil liberties in B.C. and Canada”). Craig was also inducted as a member of the uOttawa Common Law Honour Society in 2016.

In addition to Destroying the Caroline: The Frontier Raid that Reshaped the Right to War, Craig is the co-author with Kent Roach of False Security: The Radicalization of Canadian Anti-terrorism (Irwin Law, 2015), an assessment of Canadian anti-terror law and policy. He is the author of National Security Law: Canadian Practice in International Perspective (Irwin Law, 2008), a treatise on national security law, the co-editor with François Crépeau of Terrorism, Law and Democracy: 10 Years after 9/11 (Montreal: Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice, 2012) and with Nicole LaViolette of The Human Rights of Anti-terrorism (Irwin Law, 2008). He is a contributor to a collection of papers discussing the Ottawa Principles on Anti-terrorism and Human Rights, and co-author and co-editor, with John Currie, Joanna Harrington and Valerie Oostervald, of International Law: Doctrine, Practice and Theory (Irwin Law, 2d Ed 2014), a hybrid introductory textbook/casebook in public international law.

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