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National and International Security

  • Illustration

    Faculty Viewpoints: Benkler on civil liberties and security in a post-9/11 networked world

    January 1, 2014

    This summer, when Chelsea Manning (then known as Private Bradley Manning) was on trial for passing hundreds of thousands of documents obtained from military computers to WikiLeaks, Harvard Law Professor Yochai Benkler ’94 testified for the defense. Benkler’s work—including his 2011 case study of the legal wrangling related to WikiLeaks—has put him in the middle of the debate over the balance between civil liberties and security in a post-9/11 networked world.

  • Thought for Food: Contemplating new regulations in a global economy 1

    Thought for Food: Contemplating new regulations in a global economy

    January 1, 2014

    With more and more people deeply concerned about what they’re eating and what it means for our health, the economy, the environment, social justice, and even national security, Harvard Law School has created a new focus on food law.

  • Senator Richard Blumenthal

    Sen. Richard Blumenthal at HLS: bring more accountability to the FISA Court (video)

    August 9, 2013

    On Thursday, Aug. 8, U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) delivered an address at Harvard Law School on proposed legislation to reform the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, just hours after news outlets reported additional revelations concerning the scope of information gathered by the National Security Agency.

  • Rachel Brand, during Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.’s confirmation hearings

    Committed to government service but not to big government

    July 1, 2013

    Rachel Brand ’98 is leading the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s campaign to roll back government regulations while also serving as a charter member of a government Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board.

  • Gabriella Blum

    A clear and future danger? Blum explores ‘Invisible Threats’ in national security and law

    July 1, 2013

    In her essay “Invisible Threats,” Harvard Law Professor Gabriella Blum LL.M. ’01 S.J.D. ’03 builds on themes from a joint book project with Benjamin Wittes of the Brookings Institution.

  • Fried in The New York Times: Stolen property, not free speech

    May 22, 2013

    In the May 21 edition of The New York Times’ ‘Room for Debate,’ Harvard Law School Professor Charles Fried considers the question of whether the Obama administration’s actions against journalists in leak inquiries has protected national security or violated the First Amendment.

  • Military after Boston Marathon Bombings

    Blum, Feldman weigh in on aftermath of Boston Marathon bombings

    April 17, 2013

    In the wake of Monday’s Boston Marathon bombings, experts across Harvard University analyzed the puzzle and potential of the attack’s aftermath.

  • HSPH Professor David Hemenway

    Harvard experts examine Gun violence and policy, post Newtown (video)

    February 27, 2013

    On Feb. 15, a panel of legal and public-health scholars, moderated by Dean Martha Minow and including Clinical Professor Ron Sullivan and Alan A. Stone, professor of Law and Psychiatry, gathered at Harvard Law School for a public forum on gun violence, gun policy and the prospects for meaningful reform in a post-Newtown landscape.

  • Panel discussion on "Gun violence after the Newtown tragedy"

    February 14, 2013

    On Friday Feb. 15, Harvard Law School hosted "Gun violence after the Newtown tragedy: What can legal, public health and other efforts do?" The panel discussion, moderated by HLS Dean Martha Minow, featured David Hemenway, professor of health policy and management and director of the Harvard Injury Control Research Center; Clinical Professor Ron Sullivan, director of the Harvard Criminal Justice Institute; and Alan A. Stone, Touroff-Glueck Professor of Law and Psychiatry.

  • HLS Professor Laurence Tribe

    Tribe, panel urge culture change to target gun violence (video)

    January 10, 2013

    At a Jan. 8 event, Harvard Law School Professor Laurence Tribe participated in a panel discussion titled “Gun Violence: A Public Health Crisis.” The event, which was co-sponsored by the Reuters news agency and the Harvard School of Public Health, was part of The Forum at HSPH, a discussion series that aims to provide decision-makers with a global platform to address policy choices and scientific controversies.

  • All’s Fair in Lawfare

    December 21, 2012

    A little over a year ago, HLS Professor Jack Goldsmith, Benjamin Wittes and Robert Chesney ’97 decided almost on a whim to put their collective experience…

  • Prosecutor on the Potomac

    October 1, 2012

    June 8, 2012, was a particularly busy day for Ronald Machen Jr. ’94, U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder named Machen to oversee investigations into the leaking of national security secrets to the press. In D.C. Superior Court, 71 defendants made their first appearances on charges that ranged from assault with the intent to murder, to sexual abuse and numerous drug crimes. Machen also held a press conference to announce guilty pleas made by former D.C. City Council Chair Kwame Brown, for bank fraud and campaign finance violations.

  • Book Jacket

    A Theory of Connectivity

    October 1, 2012

    The highly connected nature of today’s world has all sorts of benefits—but all sorts of potential costs as well, from loss of control of private data to a world financial system so intertwined that when one part of it falls, it’s hard to keep other parts from toppling along with it. In “Interop: The Promise and Perils of Highly Interconnected Systems,” John Palfrey ’01 and Urs Gasser LL.M. ’03 draw on their work at the HLS Berkman Center for Internet & Society to start developing a “normative theory identifying what we want out of all this connectivity.”

  • U.S. Rep. Barney Frank ’77

    Exit Interview with Barney Frank

    October 1, 2012

    What he’ll miss most, what he’ll do next, and the song he can’t get out of his head

  • The Matrix

    July 1, 2012

    A diagram tracing the network of some of the HLS graduates at the top levels of the U.S. national security infrastructure in the administrations of Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama ’91.

  • ‘A Harmonious System of Mutual Frustration’

    July 1, 2012

    As Barack Obama ’91 was making criticism of Bush administration policies on terrorism a centerpiece of his campaign for the presidency in 2008, Jack Goldsmith offered a prediction: The next president, even if it were Obama, would not undo those policies. One of the key and underappreciated reasons, he wrote in a spring 2008 magazine article, was that “many controversial Bush administration policies have already been revised to satisfy congressional and judicial critics.”

  • Russ Feingold ’79: ‘A Progressive Vision of National Security’ (video)

    April 30, 2012

    On April 19, Harvard Law School's American Constitution Society sponsored “A Progressive Vision of National Security,” a lecture delivered by Former Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold ’79. The only member of the Senate to vote against the PATRIOT Act in 2001 and one of 23 to vote against the Iraq war in 2002, Feingold recently authored "While America Sleeps," a book that details his criticisms of American foreign policy since 9/11 and proposes a plan to correct the nation's course.

  • Gabriella Blum

    In chair lecture, Blum cuts through the “fog of victory” (video)

    April 19, 2012

    Gabriella Blum LL.M. ’01 S.J.D. ’03 delivered the lecture “The Fog of Victory” on April 10 to mark her appointment as the Rita E. Hauser Professor of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law at Harvard Law School.

  • CIA general counsel Stephen W. Preston ’83

    CIA general counsel Stephen W. Preston ’83 says CIA is committed to the rule of law

    April 17, 2012

    Despite its “essential” cloak of secrecy, the Central Intelligence Agency is committed to the rule of law, CIA general counsel Stephen W. Preston ’83 said in a speech at Harvard Law School on Tuesday, April 12, hosted by the HLS American Constitution Society.

  • Steven Goldberg

    Goldberg on the NSA’s warrantless wireless wiretap

    April 10, 2012

    Steven Goldberg ’72 is part of the legal team challenging the National Security Agency’s warrantless wireless wiretap of an Islamic charity in southern Oregon. He visited Harvard Law School on March 31 to discuss the case in the context of how law students and lawyers working apart from large organizations can get involved in similar cases.

  • Goldsmith Power and Constraint Bookcover

    Goldsmith, Minow, Fried and Nye discuss the accountability presidency after 9/11

    March 28, 2012

    The presidency is more powerful, larger, and has more tools at its disposal than ever before, said Harvard Law School Professor Jack Goldsmith. But, he quickly added, that’s only half the story. The other half of the story—the forces that constrain presidential power—was the main topic during a March19 panel discussion of his new book “Power and Constraint: The Accountability Presidency after 9/11,” hosted by the Harvard Book Store at the Brattle Theatre in Harvard Square.

  • Jack Goldsmith on American Institutions and the Trump Presidency

    Goldsmith on ‘On Point:’ The case for targeted killing (audio)

    March 13, 2012

    Harvard Law School Professor Jack Goldsmith appeared on the Mar. 12 edition of NPR’s On Point with Tom Ashbrook alongside ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero. The two addressed the controversy over Attorney General Eric Holder’s recent remarks at Northwestern University Law School in which he defended the legality of the Obama administration’s use of targeted killings of Americans suspected of terrorism-related activity.

  • Ralph Nader at HLS: The constitutional crimes of Bush and Obama (video)

    February 10, 2012

    Ralph Nader ’58 and Bruce Fein ’72 visited Harvard Law School for a talk sponsored by the HLS Forum and the Harvard Law Record. At the event, “America's Lawless Empire: The Constitutional Crimes of Bush and Obama,” both men discussed what they called lawless, violent practices by the White House and its agencies that have become institutionalized by both political parties.

  • Double Strength: A new collaboration between HLS and Brookings takes on security issues

    December 15, 2011

    A new collaboration seeks to pair the academic expertise of HLS professors on issues of national and international security with the policy expertise and access of the Brookings Institution in D.C.

  • “Stones of Hope: How African Activists Reclaim Human Rights to Challenge Global Poverty” (Stanford University Press, November 2010) edited by Professor Lucie White ’81 and Jeremy Perelman S.J.D. ’11.

    Recent Faculty Books – Winter 2011

    December 6, 2011

    “Prospects for the Professions in China” (Routledge, 2010) edited by William P. Alford ’77, William Kirby and Kenneth Winston. Through its meditations on Chinese professional…

  • Joseph Kearns Goodwin ’13 with Brigadier General Mike Ryan

    Veterans share their experiences in the military and at HLS

    November 14, 2011

    Among this year’s entering class at Harvard Law School are 10 U.S. Marines and Army soldiers, all of whom served in the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan – or both. Of the 10 members of this year’s class, one is an LLM candidate; the others are in the J.D. program. Five are part of HLS’s Yellow Ribbon Program, through which the U.S. Veteran’s Administration matches the amount a law school offers to pay for a veteran’s tuition and expenses. Four of these veterans share their experiences in the military and at HLS.

  • Military panel with HLS Alumni

    OPIA sponsors “Careers in the Military” panel with HLS alums (video)

    November 14, 2011

    Law students interested in a law firm career can attend firm-sponsored meet-and-greets to speak with associates. Students interested in public interest careers can meet one-on-one with visiting alumni advisors. But HLS students interested in military careers have fewer chances to mingle with those who have pursued that path. To provide that opportunity, OPIA welcomed to HLS five alumni who have served in the armed forces, to provide guidance and answer student questions.

  • Zarate with Professor Kontorovich

    At HLS 9/11 conference, White House adviser unveils counterterrorism policy (video)

    September 28, 2011

    Harvard Law School commemorated the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks with a two-day conference of top-level advisers and experts to elucidate the changing legal landscape in the battle against terrorism. "Law, Security and Liberty post-9/11," was held Sept. 16 and 17, and marked the launch of the new Harvard Law School-Brookings Project on Law and Security, a joint venture of HLS and the Brookings Institution.

  • John Brennan

    At HLS, White House Adviser John Brennan details administration’s policy on combatting terrorism (video)

    September 22, 2011

    President Obama’s top counterterrorism adviser, John O. Brennan, told conferees in a keynote address at HLS on Sept. 16 that the U.S. must not let down its guard in fighting terrorist organizations on a broad front. Brennan’s remarks, “Strengthening our Security by Adhering to our Values and Laws,” were delivered as part of a two-day conference on terrorism and national security, "Law, Security, and Liberty after 9/11: Looking to the Future," hosted by the newly-inaugurated Harvard Law School-Brookings Project on Law and Security.

  • Michael Chertoff '78

    Former head of Homeland Security discusses the law before and after 9/11 (video)

    September 15, 2011

    Michael Chertoff had a common reaction to the news of a plane hitting one of the World Trade Center towers in New York City on Sept. 11, 2001. “Like many people at the time, I thought it was a pilot error,” the former U.S. secretary of Homeland Security told a lunchtime crowd at Harvard Law School on Tuesday.

  • Remembering 9/11: 10 Years of Response at HLS

    September 12, 2011

    The terrorist attacks of 9/11 took the United States into unfamiliar legal territory, in which domestic policy and national security can often collide with civil liberties and international laws governing war and armed conflict. In the decade since, the Law School has frequently used the convening power of Harvard to consider questions of law, security and liberty in a post-9/11 world.

  • 9/11 Vigil

    Reflecting on Loss and Challenges Ten Years after 9/11

    September 9, 2011

    The Harvard Law School community commemorated the 10th anniversary of September 11th with a vigil on Sunday, September 11 at 8:30pm on Jarvis Field. Hosted by Harvard Law School Dean Martha Minow, it was a moment for students, faculty and staff to come together and reflect on the events of that day and the years that followed.

  • Mary Ann Glendon receives Evangelium Vitae Medal

    Glendon to advise Romney in his bid for the White House

    August 5, 2011

    Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney ’75 recently announced that his Justice Advisory Committee will be co-chaired by HLS Professor Mary Ann Glendon along with Robert Bork and Richard Wiley. Leading a committee of 63 other lawyers, including HLS Professor Allen Ferrell ’95, they will advise Romney’s campaign on constitutional and judicial matters, homeland security, law enforcement, and regulatory issues.

  • Feldman in Bloomberg View: Limit Egyptian military power

    July 28, 2011

    In a July 24 op-ed for Bloomberg View titled “Don’t Let the Egyptian Army Follow Caesar’s Script,” HLS Professor Noah Feldman argues that extending the power of the Egyptian military would be a great danger to the country’s burgeoning democracy.

  • Professor Charles Fried and Professor Gregory Fried

    Fried awarded the 2011 Bruce K. Gould Book Award

    July 21, 2011

    Harvard Law School Professor Charles Fried and his son, Suffolk University Professor Gregory Fried, have been awarded the 2011 Bruce K. Gould Book Award for “Because it is Wrong: Torture, Privacy, and Presidential Power in the age of Terror” (W.W. Norton &Company 2010).

  • Mack on the History News Network: Progressives are disenchanted with Obama—Abolitionists were disenchanted with Lincoln

    July 12, 2011

    In his July 10 op-ed for George Mason University’s History News Network, Harvard Law School Professor Kenneth W. Mack ’91 assesses the presidency of Barack Obama ’91, comparing it to that of Abraham Lincoln in terms of each president’s respective policy decisions.

  • Nuremberg Trials Project

    Harvard Law School library announces expansion of Nuremberg Trials Project

    July 12, 2011

    The Harvard Law School Library has announced the expansion of the Nuremberg Trials Project, a digital collection of documents relating to the trials of military and political leaders of Nazi Germany by the International Military Tribunal and also the trials of other accused war criminals by the United States Nuremberg Military Tribunals.

  • Checks and Imbalances

    July 1, 2011

    Vermeule and Posner set out to explain why the traditional separations of power confining the executive have weakened over time—and why that’s not necessarily worrisome.

  • Jack Goldsmith on American Institutions and the Trump Presidency

    Goldsmith on “On Point” Libya and the power of the president (audio)

    June 29, 2011

    Harvard Law School Professor Jack Goldsmith was a guest on National Public Radio’s On Point on June 28, discussing presidential war powers and Congressional authority in relation to the United States’ current military action in Libya.

  • Heyman Fellows profiled in Washington Post

    May 23, 2011

     Irene Chan ’02 and Michael Bahar ’02 were recently profiled in The Washington Post as part of a series on federal workers who are making a difference. 

  • Brig. Gen. Mark Martins ’90

    Rule of law in Afghanistan is critical to an enduring transition of governance, says HLS Medal of Freedom recipient Brig. Gen. Mark Martins ’90 (video)

    May 22, 2011

    Army Brigadier General Mark Martins ’90 accepted the Medal of Freedom, the highest honor conferred by Harvard Law School, and gave the inaugural Dean’s Distinguished Lecture on April 18 at HLS.

  • Fernando Delgado

    Report documents role of state violence and corruption in organized crime in São Paulo

    May 11, 2011

    In 2006, a series of coordinated uprisings in 74 detention centers and attacks on police stations and public buildings left 43 state officials and hundreds of civilians dead and brought São Paulo—South America’s largest city and financial capital—to a standstill. Harvard Law School’s International Human Rights Clinic and the leading Brazilian human rights group Justiça Global have now released a comprehensive study of the attacks.

  • Lecturer on Law and former national security adviser Juan Zarate ’97 on Osama Bin Laden’s Death: Are we safe?

    May 3, 2011

    HLS Lecturer on Law Juan Zarate ’97 was interviewed in the Washington Post today on national security threats after Osama bin Laden's death. From 2005 to 2009, Zarate served as the deputy assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for Combating Terrorism and was responsible for developing and implementing the U.S. Government’s counterterrorism strategy and policies related to transnational security threats.

  • Gene Sharp

    At HLS, Gene Sharp offers insights on nonviolent struggles

    April 1, 2011

    Speaking to students at a lecture sponsored by the Harvard Law School Advocates for Human Rights on March 9, Nobel Peace Prize nominee Dr. Gene Sharp discussed various elements of an effective nonviolent struggle and addressed the recent demonstrations in the Middle East in light of his research.

  • Daniel Ellsberg

    At Harvard Law School, Ellsberg draws parallels between Pentagon Papers and WikiLeaks (video)

    March 30, 2011

    Daniel Ellsberg, the former military analyst responsible for leaking the Pentagon Papers in 1971, addressed a Harvard Law School audience last week in a discussion of WikiLeaks, the organization that publishes classified documents submitted by whistleblowers worldwide. Once called “the most dangerous man in America,” Ellsberg, who will turn 80 on April 7, engaged in a dialog with Scott Horton, a lecturer at Columbia Law School, about why states keep secrets and the consequences of this secrecy.

  • Gabriella Blum

    Blum gains tenure as professor of law at Harvard

    March 25, 2011

    Following a vote of the Harvard Law School faculty, Gabriella Blum LL.M. '01 S.J.D. '03, a specialist in the laws of war and conflict resolution, has been promoted from assistant professor to professor of law—a tenured faculty position.

  • Professor Yochai Benkler '94

    Benkler argues against prosecution of WikiLeaks, detailing government and news media "overreaction"

    March 14, 2011

    Harvard Law Professor Yochai Benkler ’94 has released an article detailing U.S. government and news media censorship of WikiLeaks after the organization released the Afghan War Diary, the Iraq War Logs, and U.S. State department diplomatic cables in 2010. Among his key conclusions: The government overstated and overreacted to the WikiLeaks documents, and the mainstream news media followed suit by engaging in self-censorship. Benkler argues further that there is no sound Constitutional basis for a criminal prosecution of WikiLeaks or its leader, Julian Assange.

  • Trita Parsi

    President of the National Iranian American Council puts the conflict between Israel and Iran in historical perspective (video)

    February 22, 2011

    War between Israel and Iran is not inevitable, argued Trita Parsi, the president of the National Iranian American Council, in an event sponsored by the Institute for Global Law and Policy at Harvard Law School last week. 

  • Pildes, Blum, and Heymann

    National security experts discuss detention and prosecutions post 9/11 (video)

    February 17, 2011

    The United States’ response to the 9/11 attacks has altered the legal landscape. That premise was outlined by William K. Lietzau, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Detainee Policy, in his keynote address at a conference titled  “Understanding Detention and Predicting Prosecutions: Legal Challenges and Legislative Options Ten Years After 9/11.” The conference, sponsored by the National Security and Law Association, took place on February 4 at Harvard Law School and featured panel discussions focusing on prosecutions and detentions in the aftermath of 9/11.

  • Making A Case Against Warrantless Surveillance

    January 1, 2011

    Standing on principles shaped at HLS, Steven Goldberg ’72 wins a landmark ruling in a case involving one of the most controversial initiatives surrounding the War on Terror. For Goldberg the case exemplifies overreach at the highest level of government.