Craig Forcese
Craig Forcese
Full Professor

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

57 Louis Pasteur St., Room 120
Office Fax: 613-562-5124



Students who wish to make appointments should consult the course Brightspace. It will contain information on how to schedule a video meeting.

Prospective Graduate Students 

I currently supervise LLM and doctoral students working in the area of Canadian and comparative national security law and public international law on the use of force.

I remain happy to consider high-quality, original research proposals for graduate work in public and international law that dovetail with my current research interest; specifically,

  • international and comparative legal issues raised by national security questions (especially in the area of intelligence law, and the review -- or oversight -- of national security activities), and,
  • law governing the use of force in international relations. 

Because I receive a large number of quite generic expressions of interest and will only devote time to serious candidates, graduate students are advised to first apply to the program prior to contacting me about prospective supervision. 

Admissions to the program are competitive. Candidates are advised that in deciding whether to supervise a graduate student, I consider the quality (and accuracy) of the research proposal, as well as the candidate's overall academic record. The candidate must also possess strong language skills in English (or French). There application must also demonstrate evidence of research aptitude, consistent with the demands of a research-intensive graduate degree.


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, Full Professor.


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), and was a National Security Crisis Law Fellow, Center on National Security and the Law at Georgetown Law (Washington DC) (from 2017 to 2020).

Craig is a board member and past president of the Canadian Council on International Law and a past president of the Canadian Association of Law Teachers.

At uOttawa, 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 has co-organized and instructed the Canadian component of Georgetown Law’s National Security Crisis Law course and simulation, during years in which it was offered.

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 inducted as a member of the uOttawa Common Law Honour Society in 2016. 

In 2014, Craig received the APUO University of Ottawa Award for Excellence in Teaching, his university’s highest teaching award, and also a University of Ottawa Excellence in Education Award.

Craig was vice dean (graduate studies in law) in the Faculty of Law 2018-2021 and vice dean (JD program) in the Common Law Section 2011-2014. Before joining the law school faculty, he practiced law with the Washington D.C. office of Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP for two years, specializing in international trade and commercial law. Prior to that, he completed his Law Society of Ontario law articles as a law clerk at the Federal Court of Canada.

He has a B.A. from McGill University, an M.A. from the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, Carleton University, an LL.B. (summa cum laude) from University of Ottawa and an LL.M. from Yale University. 

He is a member in good standing of the bars of Ontario, New York and the District of Columbia.

Craig focuses on national security, international and public law.

National Security Law

Craig is the co-author with Leah West of National Security Law (Irwin Law, 2021 2d Ed), a treatise on national security law. Craig is also the co-author with Kent Roach of False Security: The Radicalization of Canadian Anti-terrorism (Irwin Law, 2015), an assessment of Canada's then-anti-terror law and policy. 

He is co-editor with Stephanie Carvin and Thomas Juneau of Top Secret Canada: Understanding the Canadian Intelligence and National Security Community(Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2020). He is also 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), a collection of papers discussing the Ottawa Principles on Anti-terrorism and Human Rights.  

Craig has also written a number of articles on national security law focusing on matters such as anti-terror criminal law, privacy and national security, secrecy and national security, intelligence gathering and international law, information sharing and intelligence, citizenship revocation, terrorist listing, immigration law and anti-terrorism and military force and anti-terrorism. 

He has appeared before a number of parliamentary committees and participated in litigation related to national security.  He has also sought to convey his scholarship to a broader public in the form of magazine essays and opeds in leading publications.

Between 2006 and 2019, Craig blogged regularly on national security law at His then-national security blog won the "Clawbies" (Canadian Law Blog Award) for the Best Law School/Law Professor Blog (2016). More recently, between 2017-2019, Craig co-hosted "A Podcast Called INTREPID", a podcast series now nearing over 150 episodes, focusing on national security law and policy in Canada. That podcast won a Clawbies for Best Law School/Law Professor Blog (2018). INTREPID has now expanded to include A Blog Called INTREPID. While no longer a formal co-host, Craig remains an occasional contributor to the blog and the podcast.

In 2019, Craig was appointed to a five year term as a member of the National Security and Intelligence Review Agency (NSIRA), a specialist, independent agency of the Canadian government responsible for reviewing the national security and intelligence activities of government of Canada agencies. (NB: Craig's academic work expresses his own views, and should not be regarded as the views of NSIRA. Craig does not conduct any NSIRA activities -- or respond to NSIRA-related inquiries -- on his academic platforms using his academic or personal contact information. Queries on NSIRA or its work should be directed to the agency itself.)

Public International Law

Craig is the author of Destroying the Caroline: The Frontier Raid That Reshaped the Right to War (Irwin Law, 2018), the history of the famous 1837 "Caroline affair" along the Niagara River and its impact on the public international law right to self-defence. That book was awarded the 2019 Certificate of Merit for a preeminent contribution to creative scholarship by the American Society of International Law.

He 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.   The authors are currently preparing a third edition of this work.

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, and use of force.

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. 

Public Law

Craig is the co-author, with Aaron Freeman, of the The Laws of Government: The Legal Foundations of Canadian Democracy(Irwin Law, 1st Ed, 2005; 2d Ed 2011), a treatise on the legal superstructure of Canadian democratic governance.  He is also co-managing editor of Public Law(Emond Montgomery, 4th Ed 2020), 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). 

Sports Law

Craig has a "hobbyist" interest in sports law and issues of law and urban safety and design related to cycling.  He is the co-author with Nicole LaViolette of Every Cyclists Guide to Canadian Law (Irwin Law, 2014).

Last updated: March 2021