Craig Forcese


Craig Forcese
Associate Professor

Room: Room 120
Office: (613) 562-5800 ext. 2524
Work E-mail:

Craig Forcese



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Prospective Graduate Students 

I currently supervise LLM and doctoral students working in the area of Canadian and comparative national security law. I occasionally supervise graduate work in areas of public and international law that dovetail with my current research interest; that is, issues relating to democratic accountability and also the international legal issues raised by national security questions.  Because I receive a large number of quite generic expressions of interest and prefer to devote time to serious candidates, graduate students are advised to first apply to the program prior to contacting me about prospective supervision. 


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B.A. Joint Honours, anthropology/geography (McGill), M.A. International Affairs (Carleton), LL.B. (Ottawa), LL.M. (Yale), of the bars of Ontario, New York and the District of Columbia, Associate Professor.

Much of Craig’s present research and writing relates to international law, national security, human rights and democratic accountability.

National Security Law

Craig is the author of National Security Law: Canadian Practice in International Perspective (Irwin Law, 2008), a treatise on national security law.

Craig's research and policy focus in other writings has included a particular emphasis on anti-terrorism and human rights and on government national security secrecy law.   He is co-edtior with Nicole LaViolette of The Human Rights of Anti-terrorism (Irwin Law, 2008), a collection of papers discussing the Ottawa Principles on Anti-terrorism and Human Rights.  Craig has also written (and served as an expert witness at the Arar commission) on diplomatic protection of Canadian nationals overseas in the anti-terrorism context and authored articles on use of military force in anti-terrorism, and oversight and review of intelligence agencies. 

Public International Law

Craig is co-author and co-editor, with John Currie and Valerie Oostervald, ofInternational Law: Doctrine, Practice and Theory (Irwin Law, 2d Ed 2014), a hybrid introductory textbook/casebook in public international law.   (For regular updates of this reference, see Public International Law Interactive.)

He has published law review articles on, among other things, state immunity, extraterritorial law and the regulation of transnational corporations, international trade law, diplomatic protection of aliens and international law and national security matters, including intelligence collection.

From 2010-2012, Craig was the president of the Canadian Council on International Law, Canada's chief non-profit organization devoted to the study and promotion of international law.  He currently holds the office of immediate past president.

Democratic Accountability

Craig is the co-author, with part-time Professor Aaron Freeman, of the The Laws of Government: The Legal Foundations of Canadian Democracy (Irwin Law, First edition, 2005; Second edition 2010), a treatise on the legal superstructure of Canadian democratic governance.  He is also co-managing editor of Public Law (Emond Montgomery, 2d Ed 2011), a casebook on public law and legislation in Canada.

In September 2008, Craig was retained as the director of research for the policy phase of the Oliphant Commission (Commission of Inquiry into Certain Allegations Respecting Business and Financial Dealings with Karheinz Schreiber and the Right Honourable Brian Mulroney). 

Business and Human Rights

While Craig is no longer active in the area, past academic and public policy work with groups such as Rights & Democracy and Amnesty International has focused on issues of business and international human rights, especially in conflict zones.

In 2001, while completing graduate work at Yale, Craig served as research director for the Canadian Democracy and Corporate Accountability Commission, co-chaired by the Honourable Ed Broadbent and Mr. Avie Bennett.  In 2006, he served as an Advisory Committee member for the Government of Canada's Roundtables on Corporate Social Responsibility in the Extractive Sector. 

-- Last updated 03-14

Fields of Interest

  • Public International Law
  • National Security Law
  • Administrative Law
  • Public Law and Legislation
  • Democratic Accountability
  • Business and Human Rights
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