Elena Chachko

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Elena Chachko is a doctoral candidate and Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School, and a Global Order Post-doctoral fellow at Perry World House, University of Pennsylvania. She was previously an international Security Program fellow at the Belfer Center, Harvard Kennedy School. Prior to her doctoral studies, Elena clerked for Chief Justice Asher D. Grunis on the Supreme Court of Israel. She has also worked at the United Nations Office of Counterterrorism and the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where she focused on arms control and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

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Executive Power

Administrative National Security

In the past two decades, the United States has applied a growing number of foreign and security measures directly targeting individuals—natural or legal persons. Administrative agencies have taken the lead in designing and implementing these measures. Empowered by delegations from Congress and the president, agencies largely control related fact-finding, target selection, routine management and administrative review of individualized measures.

Sanctions

The U.S. Names the Iranian Revolutionary Guard a Terrorist Organization and Sanctions the International Criminal Court

On April 8, the Trump administration designated the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a foreign terrorist organization (FTO) under Section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act. A few days earlier, the administration had made good on its threat to impose sanctions on officials of the International Criminal Court (ICC) involved in the examination of U.S. actions in Afghanistan and Israeli actions in other contexts. As part of this effort, it revoked the U.S. visa of Fatou Bensouda, the ICC’s chief prosecutor.

Israel

Israel’s Attorney General Moves Forward with Netanyahu’s Indictment: What Happens Next?

After years of investigations, Israeli Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit has announced his decision to consider indicting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with multiple counts of graft. As expected, Netanyahu reacted with fire and fury, calling the investigations a witch hunt. He vowed to continue leading Israel for many years to come—implying that he would not step down if indicted.

Interrogation

Tabish v. Attorney General and the Legal Framework Governing Physical Coercion in ISA Interrogations

Recent legal developments have again brought the interrogation practices of the Israeli Security Agency (ISA) to the fore. As new details emerged about the first-ever criminal investigation against ISA interrogators over gross misconduct during an interrogation, the ISA’s interrogation practices survived another legal challenge at the Israeli Supreme Court.

Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty

U.S. Withdrawal From the INF Treaty: The Facts and the Law

President Trump announced on Oct. 20 that the United States would pull out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, a 1987 bilateral agreement prohibiting the United States and Russia from possessing, producing or test-flying ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with a range of 500 to 5,500 kilometers and their launchers.

International Law

What to Make of the ICJ's Provisional Measures in Iran v. U.S. (Nuclear Sanctions Case)

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) issued a unanimous order on Oct. 3 indicating limited provisional measures against the United States. Iran brought the case after President Trump pulled the U.S. out of the Iran nuclear deal (known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA) in May and revoked sanctions relief provided in the framework of the agreement. In today’s order, the court rejected the U.S.