top of page

John E. Read Medal Recipient

Armand de Mestral



Armand de Mestral is an Emeritus Professor at McGill University and holds the Jean Monnet Chair in Law. He has been a Senior Fellow with the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) since 2014. Professor de Mestral was the Co-Director of the Institute of European Studies of McGill and the University of Montreal (2002- 2008) and before that served as the Interim Director of the Institute of Air and Space Law at McGill University (1998 – 2002). He has written and published extensively. Notable works include: Second Thoughts: Investor-State Arbitration between Developed Democracies (co-author, 2017), Improving International Investment Agreements (coauthor, 2012), International Law (co-author, 7th edition, 2006) and Law and Practice of International Trade (2nd edition, 1999).

Professor de Mestral has served as a panelist and arbitrator in disputes under the WTO, the Canada – US Free Trade Agreement and NAFTA. He was a member of the Canadian Delegation to the third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea (1973-1980) that led to the adoption of the landmark treaty, the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. He has also acted as a consultant to the North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation and the Law Commission of Canada, and served as the President of the Canadian Red Cross Society (1999-2001).


Professor de Mestral was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada on December 28, 2007.

Remembering Emeritus Professor Armand de Mestral (1941-2023)

The Canadian Council on International Law recently lost an exceptional member, and a great friend of the Council, Professor Armand de Mestral.

Armand was a pillar of the Canadian international law community. His international law interests and expertise reached from the oceans floor to outer space. He taught, published, and practiced, in both English and French, in such diverse areas as law of the sea, trade law, arbitration, European Union law, comparative law, air and space law, reception and foreign relations law, and Canadian constitutional law. He practiced in the Department of Justice here in Ottawa and taught over forty years’ worth of law students at McGill.


His connections to this Council were many. He served as its president from 1987 to 1990. He was an associate editor of the Canadian Yearbook of International Law from 1990 to 2011. He was awarded the John E. Read Medal, the Council’s highest honour, in 2017.


He was, until very recently, a member of our Board of Directors. And he attended these annual meetings without fail, so it seemed to me at least, and was always welcoming and encouraging of its junior members.

Emeritus Professor Armand de Mestral, C.M. passed away on June 16, 2023.

Read more about Armand’s life and professional achievements here:

Armand de Mestral receiving the 2017 John E. Read Medal, accompanied by CCIL Past-Presidents Marie-Claude Boisvert and Céline Lévesque.

bottom of page