Graduate Fellow, Edmund J. Safra Center for Ethics, Harvard University
Fellow, Film Study Center, Harvard University
hmatthews at sjd.law.harvard.edu
The Political Authority of International Criminal Law
I am interested in the relationship between political authority and legal legitimacy in international law. Currently, my dissertation pursues the idea that recent developments in international criminal law (ICL) – namely, the creation of the International Criminal Court (ICC) – are symptomatic of a profound shift in the foundations of international normativity toward a truly non-state-centric vision of legal authority. I posit that the potential for jurisdiction over nationals of non-States-Parties – i.e. individuals over whom the ICC possesses no political authority – breaks up the state monopoly on the legitimate use of force without substituting in its place a clear basis of authority. This marks a destabilization of sovereignty that makes way for the emergence of a new organizing principle(s) in international law. Thus, ICL asks a foundational question whether popular sovereignty is possible on the international plane without (state) sovereignty.
Rather than preserving the concept of absolute sovereignty in its traditional iteration as a priori necessary for political legitimacy, my dissertation attempts to theorize the differentiation of emerging sources of legal authority – non-state actors, victims, social movements, etc – as competing against state sovereignty for international legitimacy. In attempting to reconnect political projects with international law, it will offer a (re)construction of the justificatory bases for the international legal order that posits the accessibility of substantive international norms while preserving the value of politics for the legitimacy of legal rule.
- Law and Politics of Modern War with Professor Martha Minow, Harvard Law School, Overall Faculty Supervisor
- Legal and Social Theory with Professor Duncan Kennedy, Harvard Law School
- Legal History with Professor Charles Donahue, Harvard Law School
- Political Theory, with Professor Richard Tuck, Department of Government, Harvard University
- Public international law
- Domestic criminal law
- Legal theory
- Law and the arts
- Harvard Law School, S.J.D. 2008 – 2014
- Harvard Law School, LL.M. Program 2007-2008
- McGill University, LL.B.-B.C.L. 2007
- Mount Allison University, B.A. 2004
- Graduate Fellow, 2012-2013, Edmund J. Safra Center for Ethics, Harvard University
- Fellow, 2012-2013, Film Study Center, Harvard University
- Harvard Law School, 2012-2013, Graduate Program Fellow, Writing Workshop T.A.
- Harvard Law School, 2012, Graduate Program Fellowship, Legal Research, Writing and Analysis T.A.
- John Peters Humphrey Fellowship, 2011-2012, Canadian Council on International Law
- Harvard Law School, 2011-2012, Graduate Program Fellow, Writing Workshop T.A.
- Doctoral Fellow, 2008-2011, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
- Harvard Extension School, 2010-2011, Teaching Fellow
- Research Fellow, 2009-2010, Program on Justice, Welfare & Economics, Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University
- Harvard Law School, 2008-2009, Graduate Program Fellow, LL.M. Advisor
- Harvard College, 2009, Teaching Fellow, Core Program
- Harvard College, 2008, Teaching Fellow, Committee on Degrees in Studies of Women, Gender and Sexuality
- Harvard Extension School, 2008, Teaching Fellow
- Languages: English, French, German (beginner)
Last Updated: March 12, 2015