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Posts by Ashley Deeks

Ashley Deeks joined the University of Virginia Law School in 2012 as an associate professor of law after two years as an academic fellow at Columbia Law School. She served for ten years in the Legal Adviser's Office at the State Department, most recently as the Assistant Legal Adviser for Political-Military Affairs. In 2007-08 she held an International Affairs Fellowship from the Council on Foreign Relations. After graduating from the University of Chicago Law School, she clerked for Judge Edward Becker on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

U.S. Airstrikes Against ISIS in Syria? Possible International Legal Theories

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Saturday, August 23, 2014 at 3:04 PM

In the wake of Thursday’s statements by Joint Chiefs Chairman Martin Dempsey and Friday’s comments by Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes, it sounds like the U.S. Government is at least considering whether to conduct air strikes against ISIS in Syria. A decision to do so clearly is not a done deal. As the Times . . .
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Does Maliki Have a Valid Constitutional Argument (and Should We Care)?

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Thursday, August 14, 2014 at 5:08 PM

Nouri al Maliki seems to have backed down from his efforts to defend with force or threats his role as Prime Minister of Iraq. But he continues to press a second approach: a court challenge to the constitutionality of the decision by the Iraqi President to charge another member of Maliki’s party as the Prime Minister-designate. . . .
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New Edited Book on IHL in Judicial and Quasi-Judicial Tribunals

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Thursday, July 31, 2014 at 10:22 AM

Asser Press has just published a book entitled, Applying International Humanitarian Law in Judicial and Quasi-Judicial Bodies (Derek Jinks, Jackson Nyamuya Maogoto & Solon Solomon, eds.). [Disclosure: I wrote a chapter for the book.] Here’s the abstract: International humanitarian law has been perceived till now as encompassing only judicial cases concerning refugee protection or war crimes . . .
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A Call for Article 51 Letters

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Wednesday, June 25, 2014 at 6:30 PM

In past week, Kenya has conducted air strikes in Somalia against al Shabaab. Israel has undertaken airstrikes in Syria against Syrian military targets in response to a cross-border attack that killed an Israeli teenager.  And the Syrian air force reportedly has carried out air strikes in western Iraq against ISIS.  Each of these actions seems to have been . . .
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Rescuing the Kidnapped Turks in Iraq

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Sunday, June 15, 2014 at 2:00 PM

The question on everyone’s lips is whether the United States will use force – most likely air strikes — in Iraq to help suppress the threat posed by ISIS.  Jack, Wells, and Bobby discussed here, here, and here the domestic legal basis for that use of force. The international legal basis almost certainly would be . . .
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Germany’s Prosecutor Rolls Up His Sleeves On NSA Surveillance

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Friday, June 6, 2014 at 10:34 AM

A few weeks ago, Ben posted some comments about a Der Spiegel article that suggested the tensions between the United States and Germany were likely to die down. Not so fast, it appears. Germany’s top prosecutor has announced that he is opening an investigation into the alleged tapping of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cell phone. A statement . . .
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More Willing, More Able – But No Time Soon

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Sunday, June 1, 2014 at 1:00 PM

One new policy proposal contained in the President’s West Point speech from Wednesday was a Counterterrorism Partnerships Fund, which would facilitate counterterrorism training for U.S. partner countries where terrorist groups seek footholds. But as Eric Schmitt at the Times notes, the U.S. government for years has been pursuing the strategy of helping to train up foreign . . .
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Targeting Non-Al Qaeda Members in Yemen (?): The Role of Consent

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Thursday, May 15, 2014 at 4:30 PM

The other day both Bobby here and Ryan Goodman at Just Security here picked up on news reports that DOD may be willing to provide additional military cooperation (including logistics and direct fire capabilities) to the Yemeni government. Ryan then takes the opportunity to ask: what type of force is the U.S. government undertaking in Yemen already? . . .
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Are the Benghazi Attackers Lawfully Targetable?

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Thursday, May 1, 2014 at 1:36 PM

Over at Foreign Policy, Dan Lamothe reports that Rep. Duncan Hunter will introduce legislation on May 7 that would authorize the Executive Branch to target the individuals who attacked the U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi.  Hunter apparently would amend the 2001 AUMF to include the Benghazi attackers as lawful targets.  The idea of cracking open . . .
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More On Mass Surveillance

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014 at 3:30 PM

Ben makes the point that the international legal regime that purportedly regulates metadata collection is, at best, highly nascent.  Two additional data points strengthen his argument. First, back in July 2013, in the wake of the revelations about NSA surveillance of Chancellor Merkel’s cell phone, Germany publicly expressed interest in amending the International Covenant on Civil and . . .
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Can the ICJ Avoid Saying Something on the Merits About Spying in Timor-Leste vs. Australia?

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Wednesday, March 12, 2014 at 5:00 PM

Last week Ben linked to the ICJ’s decision on provisional measures in the case that Timor-Leste (TL) has brought against Australia.  The Brisbane Times and other news outlets cast the decision as one requiring Australia to “cease spying on East Timor.”  That’s an overly broad characterization of what the Court actually required, and of course provisional . . .
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Russia in Ukraine: A Reader Responds

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Wednesday, March 5, 2014 at 1:30 PM

Stefan Soesanto writes in with the following thoughts on my earlier post on Russia’s introduction of troops into Ukraine as an international law violation: Amidst the ongoing political crisis in the Ukraine, numerous Western leaders have accused Moscow of violating international law by deploying unmarked Russian military forces across the autonomous Republic of Crimea. But . . .
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Russian Forces in Ukraine: A Sketch of the International Law Issues

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Sunday, March 2, 2014 at 12:48 PM

Russian forces have seized control of Crimea and reportedly are digging trenches in the land bridge that connects Crimea with the rest of Ukraine. Is this a flagrant violation of international law regulating the use of force, or does Russia have some credible justification for what it’s done? Bottom Line Up Front (as DOD would . . .
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Is (or Was) Ukraine in a Non-International Armed Conflict?

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Friday, February 21, 2014 at 12:10 PM

In the wake of Thursday’s violence, many press reports began to state that the violence in Ukraine was heading toward—or constituted—a civil war.  See here, here, and here. The press was using this term in the colloquial sense, not the legal sense.  But it’s worth asking the legal question: Is (or was) Ukraine already in . . .
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No “No Spy” Agreements?

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Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 4:48 PM

President Obama on Tuesday affirmatively stated that the United States does not have any “no spy” agreements with other countries.  Many journalists, scholars, and foreign officials have been laboring under the impression that the United States does have at least some of these agreements.  What’s the source of the disconnect? Readers will recall that discussions of . . .
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East Timor’s Case in the ICJ: Will the Court Decide Whether Spying Violates International Law?

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Wednesday, January 22, 2014 at 10:00 AM

In December, East Timor initiated a case against Australia in the International Court of Justice.  The facts are out of a Tom Clancy novel.  In short, East Timor alleges that Australia bugged an East Timorese cabinet office during bilateral negotiations about an important maritime treaty (the 2002 Timor Sea Treaty) between the two countries, in . . .
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Covert Action and International Law Compliance

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Wednesday, December 18, 2013 at 3:35 PM

Last night Jack highlighted certain parts of Caroline Krass’s answers to the Additional Prehearing Questions that the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence posed to her.  One of her answers will be of particular interest to international lawyers. One SSCI question asked, “Under what circumstances must covert action involving the use of force comply with treaties . . .
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More on UN Detention Procedures for Military Operations

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Monday, November 25, 2013 at 1:28 PM

About a month ago, I asked what had happened to the UN’s effort to develop a set of standard operating procedures to govern detentions that arise during the course of UN operations.  It appears that such a document exists in draft but is not public and has never been finalized. Against that background, I noted . . .
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Extraterritorial Right to Privacy: A Response by Luca Urech

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Friday, November 15, 2013 at 6:54 PM

Luca Urech (Fletcher School, MA candidate in Law and Diplomacy) has written in with the following reaction to my post on the extraterritorial right to privacy, discussing how we might apply the concept of “effective control” to cyber-contexts: Confronting the revelations of the massive NSA surveillance program, Kenneth Roth has recently called for a global . . .
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Does the ICCPR Establish an Extraterritorial Right to Privacy?

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Thursday, November 14, 2013 at 12:00 PM

Ben and David Cole have been having an exchange (see here and here) about a “universal right to privacy,” including a discussion about what such a right might look like.  Stepping back, it is useful to understand how international law currently creates or regulates a “right to privacy” and how that right might (or might . . .
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