Photo of Sean Richmond

Sean Richmond

Associate Professor

Degrees:D.Phil. (Oxford); J.D. (Ottawa); M.A. (University of British Columbia); Hon. B.A.(Queen’s)
Phone:613-520-2600 x 2082
Office:D497 Loeb Building

On sabbatical: July 1, 2024 – June 30, 2025


Sean Richmond is a Canadian lawyer and academic who researches, teaches and advises in the areas of international law and international relations. He joined the Department of Law and Legal Studies at Carleton University in July 2018, where he teaches Public International Law; the Criminal Justice System; and Law, State and Citizen. Prior to this position, Sean was the Special Advisor to Canada’s Legal Adviser at the Department of Foreign Affairs, and a Legal Officer in the United Nations, Human Rights and Humanitarian Law Section. He also taught at Carleton’s Norman Paterson School of International Affairs.

Sean was an Assistant Professor (Tenure-Track) in the Law Faculty at the University of Western Australia from 2014 to 2016, and a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto in 2013. He completed his DPhil at Oxford University under a Commonwealth Scholarship and a Fellowship from Canada’s Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.

Sean also holds a JD from the University of Ottawa, an MA from the University of British Columbia, and a BA (Hon.) from Queen’s University. In addition to academic achievement, he has worked in the Policy Section of Legal Aid Ontario, and articled with a leading Canadian labour law firm. Sean was admitted to the Law Society of Ontario as a Barrister and Solicitor in 2009.

Research Interests

Drawing on a range of sociological and legal theory, Sean’s research examines the relationship between international law and international politics, with a focus on the use of military force, international criminal law, and Canadian foreign policy.  Sean is building his national and international reputation in these areas, and seeks to increase the understanding of these subjects to advance both scholarly debate and public dialogue.  He has published his research in leading peer-reviewed journals and academic presses, including most recently a monograph with the University of Toronto Press.

Sean is currently working on four collaborative international research projects. The first study examines the untold story of law in Canada’s puzzling response to the Vietnam War.  The second initiative compares Australia and Canada’s policy and conduct regarding the Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts.  The third project analyzes whether the recent negotiations on the crime of aggression indicate that authority for international peace is shifting from states and the UN Security Council to the International Criminal Court.  And the fourth study examines the politics of international criminal law more broadly.

Sean welcomes supervision inquiries from potential graduate students that relate to the above projects, or his research interests more generally.

In addition to advancing scholarly knowledge, Sean has also employed his research in op-ed articles he has published in Canada and Australia; and in live national television interviews and public presentations he has been invited to give. By disseminating his work widely in these ways, Sean seeks to help inform public debate of important policy issues, and improve external scrutiny of internal state decision-making.

Sean is available for media interviews and policy commentary related to his areas of expertise, and encourages interested journalists to contact him directly.

He can be followed on Twitter @seankrichmond

Select Publications

1. Refereed Scholarly Publications

a) Monographs

Unbound in War?  International Law in Canada and Britain’s Participation in the Korean War and Afghanistan Conflict (University of Toronto Press, August 2021), 274 pages.
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b) Articles in Refereed Journals

“Unbound in War?  International Law and Britain’s Participation in the Korean War”, Asian Journal of International Law, 10/2 (Cambridge University Press, 2020) at 233-260.
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“Introduction: The Politics of International Criminal Law”, International Criminal Law Review, co-authored with Holly Cullen and Philipp Kastner, 18/6 (Brill, 2018) at 907-927.
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“Transferring Responsibility?  The Influence and Interpretation of International Law in Australia’s Approach to Afghan Detainees”, part of a Special Issue on “Torture After 9/11 in Asia-Pacific ” funded by the Australian Research Council, in the Asia-Pacific Journal on Human Rights and the Law, 17/2 (Brill, 2016) at 240-256.
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“Why is Humanitarian Intervention So Divisive? Revisiting the Debate over the 1999 Kosovo Intervention”, Journal on the Use of Force and International Law, 3/2 (Routledge, 2016) at 234-59.
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c) Special Issues of Refereed Journals

“The Politics of International Criminal Law”, International Criminal Law Review, co-organized and co-edited six special topic articles with Holly Cullen and Philipp Kastner, 18/6 (Brill, 2018) at 907-1080.
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d) Edited Books

The Politics of International Criminal Law, co-edited with Holly Cullen and Philipp Kastner (Brill, 2021) 12 chapters, 395 pages.
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For a review of The Politics of International Criminal Law, see David P. Stewart’s article in the American Journal of International Law, 116/2 (Cambridge University Press, 2022) at 469-473.
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e) Chapters in Edited Books

Introduction in The Politics of International Criminal Law, co-authored with Holly Cullen and Philipp Kastner (Brill, 2021) at 1-24.
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2. Other Scholarly Publications

a) Chapters in Edited Books

“The Crime of Aggression: Shifting Authority for International Peace?”, in International Criminal Law in Context, edited by Philipp Kastner (Routledge, 2017) 346 pages, at 149-169.
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b) Book Reviews in Refereed Journals

International Law and Armed Conflict: Exploring the Faultlines, Schmitt and Pejic, eds. (Brill, 2007), in the Canadian Yearbook of International Law, 46 (Cambridge University Press, 2009) at 768-774.
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c) Parliamentary Reports

Repatriation of Omar Khadr to be Tried under Canadian Law (Brief submitted to Senate Standing Committee on Human Rights, January 2008, and Parliamentary Sub-Committee on International Human Rights, March 2008) (with eight students, under direction of Craig Forcese), 153 pages.
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3. Scholarly Work in Progress

“Make Law Not War: International Law and Canada’s Response to the Vietnam War”, to be submitted by request to the Canadian Yearbook of International Law (Cambridge University Press).

“The Extraterritorial Application of Human Rights: R. v. Hape and Omar Khadr’s Right to Full Disclosure”, reviewed at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law Review and asked to resubmit.

4. Professional Publications

a) Op-ed Articles

“What every Canadian should remember about the ‘freedom convoy’ crisis”, 21 March 2022, The Conversation.
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“Law and history support the use of the federal Emergencies Act”, 4 March 2022, Ottawa Citizen (with Barry Wright).
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“Are we overreacting to the threat of terrorism?”, 5 March 2015, Australian Institute of International Affairs.
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“Are we overreacting to the threat of terrorism?”, 26 Feb. 2015, Canadian International Council.
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“National security debate misses big picture of ‘balanced’ response”, 25 Feb. 2015, The Conversation.
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