Craig Scott was one of the founders of the Sri Lanka Campaign and a very significant part of all we did. On the 19th of March this year he was elected as a Member of Canada’s Parliament for Toronto Danforth – in a by election caused by the tragic death of NDP leader Jack Layton. Always a stickler for propriety, he felt that it would be inappropriate for him to continue as an adviser now that he is an MP and so he left the council with immediate effect.
However Craig was a major part of our campaign, and it seemed wrong to allow him to slip away without in some way marking his departure. And so, belatedly, we have written this tribute to thank him for his contribution.
Craig was one of the founders of the campaign. He was only indirectly known to the other founders but he joined up as soon as he heard about our objectives. As a prominent academic in the field of human tights, with experience in Honduras, South Africa and Afghanistan, he slotted in perfectly as an adviser – but he soon distinguished himself with his energy and commitment: from the very beginning he took responsibility for the accuracy and legal consequences of our content, and for setting the message and tone of the campaign through his diligent editing of our blog, and indeed all of our output.
He also wrote extensively on Sri Lanka: to this day our homepage carries the paper he wrote with his colleague James Yap for the Social Science Research Network, on the break down of the rule of law. He also wrote a paper for them on Sri Lanka and Honduras, pieces for Open Democracy, pieces for Global Brief, and many others – a good many of them available on our blog. At a time when the situation in Sri Lanka was changing by the day, his reasoned, thorough, and durable analysis firmly rooted the campaign and gave us, and our analysis, a more long-lasting quality.
In addition he provided us with valuable strategic guidance, positioning the campaign firmly within the struggle for global human rights, and making the campaign about much more than just Sri Lanka. As our only Canadan adviser, one of his lasting legacies will be the fact that the Sri Lanka Campaign is more strongly established in Canada than almost anywhere else.
Everybody I spoke to when preparing this article commented on how incredibly helpful he was. Despite a phenomenally busy schedule he always had time for the Sri Lanka Campaign and would be our first port of call in any crisis. He was also incredibly collegiate, often helping other like-minded organisations with legal advice and research.
Craig will be much missed by the campaign, but our loss is very much Canada’s gain.