Professor Craig Forcese has been selected by the American Society of International Law (ASIL) as a 2019 recipient of the “Certificate of Merit for a preeminent contribution to creative scholarship” for his 2018 book Destroying the Caroline: The Frontier Raid that Reshaped the Right to War (Irwin Law).
This award is among the most prestigious recognitions for a contribution to the field of international law. ASIL annually bestows three such awards. This year’s selection committee noted that “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. […] 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.”
Reviews of the book offer similar praise. Common Law Professor Allan Rock, for example, says that “Craig Forcese’s book on the Caroline affair is a tour de force. With the insight of a legal scholar, the instinct of a detective, and the thoroughness of a historian, he has traced the origins of a core principle in international law, starting with the attack in 1837 on the ship for which that principle is named.” More reviews can be seen here.
Congratulations to Professor Forcese for this exceptional achievement!