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Peaceful Frontiers: International Law and the Establishment of Canadian Borders


Dr Jean Allain received a grant from the International Council for Canadian Studies, under its Faculty Research Program, to carry out a project entitled “Peaceful Frontiers: International Law and the establishment of Canadian Borders” by spending the summer of 2010 conducting research on the evolution of the Canada-US border in the light of contemporary arctic maritime delimitations.

Research Issue

As the ability to exploit the natural resources of the Canadian Arctic become a reality in the midst of global warming, the requirement to establish the Canadian maritime boundaries becomes acute. 

The research considers the evolution of the Canada-United States border and the legal issues which arose during the pre- and post-Confederation eras so as to demonstrate the manner in which international law and the nascent regime of peaceful settlement of international disputes was central to that endeavour.  The project is both a look to the past and to the future, as it seeks to demonstrate the manner in which the British North America/Canada and the United States of America cooperated in establishing their common frontiers and the contemporary lessons to be drawn with regard to maritime delimitation in the polar region, be it with Denmark, Russia or the United States of America.

General Schedule 

Dr Allain will be based in the Faculty of Law, University Ottawa, from late June to early-September 2010 wherein he will be researching and drafting an article-length piece with resources made available at the Library and Archives of Canada and other libraries within the Canadian Capital Region.