Latest in Readings


Readings: An International Legal Framework for Surveillance, a New Article by Ashley Deeks

Lawfare's own Ashley Deeks (University of Virginia School of Law) has released a new article, "An International Legal Framework for Surveillance," available on SSRN and forthcoming in the Virginia Journal of International Law (Vol. 55, 2015).  The article unsurprisingly has been receiving considerable attention since its release on SSRN, and I wanted to be sure that Lawfare's community (beyond the academics who stay abreast of SSRN) had an opportunity to hear about it as well.


Readings: Geoffrey Corn on Autonomous Weapons

I'm pleased to note that Lawfare's good friend Geoff Corn has entered into the public discussion of autonomous weapon systems (AWS) with a new paper posted to SSRN, "Autonomous Weapon Systems: Legal Consequences of 'Taking the Man Out of the Loop'."  The paper is a relatively rough working draft, but it raises a number of considerations that merit close attention in the debates over AWS.


Readings: Laurie Blank on Proportionality in Jus in Bello in Israel-Hamas Conflict, a Primer

Laurie Blank (Emory University Law School professor, director of its law of armed conflict clinic and, of course, well known to many Lawfare readers as a prominent scholar of LOAC) has an opinion column up at primer on the meaning of proportionality in the conduct of hostilities in the law of armed conflict, what it is and what it isn't.

Non-International Armed Conflict

Readings: Civilian Intelligence Agencies and the Use of Armed Drones by Ian Henderson

Footnote 44 of the recently released and much-discussed OLC Awlaki memorandum is heavily redacted, but what's left reads, in part:

Nor would the fact that CIA personnel would be involved in the operation itself cause the operation to violate the laws of war.

Alien Tort Statute: Litigation

Readings: Through Our Glass Darkly: From 'Universal' to 'Extraterritorial'?

Apologies for Shameless Self-Promotion, but I wanted to mention an essay of mine that came out a couple of months ago as part of an excellent symposium on the work of Harvard Law School's comparative law scholar, my old and dear friend Mary Ann Glendon. (Duquesne Law Review, Vol. 52, Winter 2014, pp. 115-149, "Through Our Glass Darkly: Does Comparative Law Counsel the Use of Foreign Law in U.S.


Readings: “Jus Extra Bellum: Reconstructing the Ordinary, Realistic Conditions of Peace,” by Michael Jefferson Adams

We’ve talked a lot on this blog about what legal regime should prevail against remaining terrorist threats if and when the armed conflict with the Taliban and/or al Qaeda ends.  Commander Michael Adams, the Deputy Legal Counsel to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs (and a former student), has an excellent article addressing this issue in Harvard Law’s National Security Journal.  The article describes President Obama’s aim to get the United States off of a perpetual wa

International Law: LOAC

Readings: Can Non-State Actors Mount an Armed Attack? by Kimberly N. Trapp

Among the issues separating the American understanding of international law regarding transnational non-state actor armed groups from that of the "international community" (or at least an influential and significant part of UN officialdom, international law academics, international tribunals, international human rights NGOs, and governments particularly in Europe) is whether it is even possible for a non-state actor to mount an "armed attack" against a state, within the meaning of the UN Charter.


Readings: The Diffusion of Drone Warfare: Industrial, Infrastructural and Organizational Constraints by Andrea Gilli and Mauro Gilli

Political science graduate students Andrea Gilli (European Union Institute, Florence) and Mauro Gilli (Northwestern University, Evanston) have posted a new and provocative paper to SSRN--"The Diffusion of Drone Warfare: Industrial, Infrastructural and Organizational Constraints."

I read this paper when first posted to SSRN some weeks back, but I waited to discuss it in a Readings post until I had talked through its themes with a few friends expert in this area.


Readings: "Ending Perpetual War?" by David A. Simon

David A. Simon, special counsel to the General Counsel, Department of Defense, has posted a new article to SSRN, "Ending Perpetual War? Constitutional War Termination Powers and the Conflict Against Al Qaeda" (41 Pepperdine Law Review 685 (2014)).  It's an excellent article, and I heartily recommend it to those wanting a careful, nuanced walk through the domestic constitutional issues of the end of the conflict against Al Qaeda and associated forces.

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