Photo of Christopher Penny

Christopher Penny

Associate Professor

Degrees:BA (Trent), LLB (Ottawa), MA (Carleton), LLM (Cornell)
Phone:613-520-2600 x 3581
Office:5318 Richcraft Hall

Professor Penny joined the faculty of the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs in 2004.  Prior to joining the full-time faculty, he taught as a sessional lecturer at NPSIA as well as at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law (where he also coordinated the International Law program).

Professor Penny’s teaching and academic writing focuses on the content and role of international legal principles, particularly those governing the use of force, and he has published various journal articles and book chapters in the field, along with a related edited volume.  He teaches a variety of NPSIA graduate classes on international law, including a mandatory introductory course, and specialized legal seminars addressing contemporary challenges, diplomacy, and the regulation of military force.

In addition to his academic work, Professor Penny also has substantial practical experience with the development and application of international law relating to the use of force.  He retired in 2022 from nineteen years of service as a reserve legal officer (Army Lieutenant-Colonel) with the Canadian Armed Forces, where he supported the work of the Directorate of International and Operational Law in the Office of the Judge Advocate General.

In this latter capacity, he participated as a member of the Canadian government delegation to various multilateral treaty negotiations, both within and outside of the United Nations framework.  He also served as an operational military legal advisor in Afghanistan (briefly) and in relation to Libya (where he served as the personal legal advisor to the NATO operational commander).

In 2010, Professor Penny was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division) by the Governor-General of Canada in recognition of his contribution to the negotiation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions.