Stephen McCaffrey, Trailblazer in International Water Law, Wins 2017 Stockholm Water Prize
Stephen McCaffrey, Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, in Sacramento, California, is the single most respected authority on International Water Law. His work continues to influence scholars, legal practitioners and policy-makers and contribute to the sustainable and peaceful management of shared waters.
On receiving news of the prize, Prof. McCaffrey says: “Learning about the Stockholm Water Prize literally took my breath away. I am deeply honoured and humbled to have been selected for this prestigious award. But one also stands on the shoulders of others, and I am most grateful to those who have paved the way for me.”
In its citation, the Stockholm Water Prize Nominating Committee recognizes Professor McCaffrey’s “path-breaking leadership and legal scholarship in international water law. He has made a unique contribution in three specific areas: his seminal work on Treaty negotiation; his major scholarly works, including his book The Law of International Watercourses and; his leadership providing expert legal advice, wise counsel, training and facilitation of complex negotiations with a wide range of stakeholders.”
Professor McCaffrey has been acting as legal counsel to states in several negotiations concerning international watercourses. The cases include watercourses in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America. Although he has experienced first-hand the potential conflict over freshwater resources, he remains an optimist, pointing to studies that have shown that shared fresh water is generally a catalyst for cooperation rather than conflict.
“I believe nobody who studies, researches or practises in the field of transboundary water management, water law or diplomacy could be unaware of Professor McCaffrey’s contribution to the conceptual and practical elaboration of the many legal concepts and principles that we now take for granted,” says SIWI’s Executive Director Torgny Holmgren.
H.M. King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, Patron of Stockholm Water Prize, will present the prize to Stephen McCaffrey at a Royal Award Ceremony on 30 August, during the 2017 World Water Week in Stockholm.