University of Ottawa’s Carissima Mathen awarded Mundell Medal for excellence in legal writing

Carissima Mathen, professor. Photo: University of Ottawa
By Attorney General | Ontario

The Ontario government has awarded the 2022 David Walter Mundell Medal for excellence in legal writing to Carissima Mathen.

Carissima Mathen is one of Canada’s leading experts in constitutional law and a law professor at the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law Common Law Section. Her written work demonstrates a commitment to making complex legal issues understandable for broader audiences in interesting and insightful ways.

Professor Mathen’s book Courts Without Cases: The Law and Politics of Advisory Opinions is recognized as a significant contribution to Canadian legal literature and received second place in the prestigious Walter Owen Book Prize competition in 2021. Her publications often focus on the judiciary and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and have been cited by many courts, including the Supreme Court of Canada. In 2022, Professor Mathen became the general editor for the widely-consulted casebook Canadian Constitutional Law, 6th Edition.

Professor Mathen appears regularly as a media commentator on legal issues, speaking on programs such as The National, The Agenda and BBC World News. She has published op-eds in The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star and Ottawa Citizen.


“Professor Mathen’s writing is clear, direct, respectful, and thought-provoking. Through her impressive body of work, she engages with contemporary and emerging legal issues to provide accessible and topical insights. In so doing, her writing enriches public debate on a number of important topics in constitutional law: reference opinions by the courts, regulation of speech, religious freedom, equality and the institutional roles of the courts.”

– The Honourable Justice Eileen Gillese
Chair of the Selection Committee

“The 2022 Mundell Medal honours Carissima Mathen for her outstanding contribution to legal writing in the field of Canadian constitutional law. Throughout her distinguished career as a scholar, writer and speaker, Professor Mathen has demonstrated an ability to express complex legal ideas in clear and engaging ways. I congratulate Professor Mathen on this recognition of her work to make the law accessible to the legal community and beyond.”

– Doug Downey
Attorney General

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