CENTER FOR ETHICS AND THE RULE OF LAW​

Why a strong partnership with the Iraqi Counterterrorism Service is critical

In a co-authored analysis for the Middle East Institute, CERL Executive Board member General Joseph Votel discusses the strategic importance of maintaining a strong partnership between the U.S. Special Operations Forces and the Iraqi Counterterrorism Service (CTS). As the security landscape evolves in the Middle East, it will be critical for the United States to […]

Date set for Trump hush money trial

CERL’s Prof. Claire Finkelstein appeared on Al Jazeera to discuss the Trump hush money trial date that is set for the end of March. It is critical to get the process underway as the 2024 presidential election nears, Prof. Finkelstein explains. Claire Finkelstein is the Algernon Biddle Professor of Law and Professor of Philosophy and […]

Israel’s plan for an offensive in Rafah

CERL Executive Board member General Joseph Votel joined Times Radio to discuss Israel’s plan for an offensive in Rafah, the humanitarian efforts necessary to protect civilians, and the importance of complying with the law of armed conflict. General Joseph L. Votel, U.S. Army (Ret.) is the former Commander of the U.S. Central Command. He is […]

Legal and moral dilemmas facing Israel in its campaign against Hamas

Israel faces an urgent choice as it prepares to launch a ground offensive against Hamas in Rafah. Should it proceed with a military campaign that could put a large number of civilians in harm’s way or hold off at the risk of endangering its military objectives and efforts to bring the hostages home? In an […]

National security importance of U.S. troops in Iraq and Syria

CERL Executive Board member General Joseph Votel spoke with Al Arabiya English about U.S. troop presence in Iraq and Syria as part of its commitment to defeating ISIS. General Joseph L. Votel, U.S. Army (Ret.) is the former Commander of the U.S. Central Command. He is a Distinguished Senior Fellow on National Security at the […]

Is Trump eligible to run for office?

CERL Affiliated Faculty Kermit Roosevelt joined WHYY to discuss the question of whether the Colorado Supreme Court can remove former President Donald Trump from the ballot. According to Prof. Roosevelt, a strong argument can be made that Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment, known as the “insurrection clause,” bars Trump from running for office. Kermit […]

Memo outlines steps to counter Houthi attacks

Since mid-November, the Houthis have launched over 30 attacks on shipping vessels in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, threatening commercial activity and freedom of navigation on a key international trade route. In a co-authored memorandum to President Biden, published by the Middle East Institute, CERL Executive Board member General Joseph Votel offers seven […]

Gerson is signatory on amicus brief in Trump v. Anderson

CERL Executive Board member Stuart Gerson signed an amicus brief arguing that Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment bars former President Donald Trump from running for office in the 2024 presidential race. Stuart Gerson is Member of the Firm at Epstein Becker Green, former Acting Attorney General of the United States, and Founding Member of […]

Efforts to prevent escalation as U.S. launches retaliatory strikes in Middle East

CERL Executive Board member General Joseph Votel joined Channel 4 News to discuss the strikes launched by the United States and coalition forces in response to ongoing attacks by Iranian-backed militia. According to General Votel, assessing Iran’s threat network is a critical part of the United States’ calculated approach. General Joseph L. Votel, U.S. Army […]

Military and diplomatic approaches to recent attacks on U.S. forces

CERL Executive Board member General Joseph Votel participated in an on-the-record briefing hosted by the Middle East Institute on a response to the recent attacks on U.S. forces by Iranian proxies. There are several military and diplomatic avenues that can be pursued by the United States and its partners, General Votel explains. General Joseph L. […]

De Silva de Alwis to join UK Parliamentary Committee on Gender Apartheid

CERL Affiliated Faculty Rangita de Silva de Alwis has been named special advisor to a U.K. Parliamentary Committee tasked with investigating the concept of “gender apartheid” in Afghanistan and Iran. Rangita de Silva de Alwis is Senior Adjunct Professor of Global Leadership at the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School and Member-Elect to the UN […]

A U.S. response to the fatal drone strike in Jordan

A drone strike in Jordan killed three U.S. soldiers on Sunday, marking an escalation of attacks on U.S. forces in the Middle East. CERL Executive Board member General Joseph Votel discussed the importance of holding Iran to account and how the United States is likely to respond here (POLITICO), here (Newsweek), here (Washington Examiner), here […]

What the ICJ ruling indicates about Israel’s campaign in Gaza

Friday’s ICJ ruling, requiring that Israel comply with the Genocide Convention and take measures to facilitate the provision of humanitarian aid in Gaza, indicates that Hamas is winning in the information domain, according to a new opinion for Just Security by CERL Faculty Director Claire Finkelstein and CERL Executive Board member General Joseph Votel. Because […]

U.S.-Iraq working group launched to evaluate efforts to defeat ISIS

The Secretary of Defense announced on Jan. 25 the start of a U.S.-Iraq working group charged with examining how to dismantle ISIS. CERL Executive Board member General Joseph Votel spoke with Task & Purpose about this development. General Joseph L. Votel, U.S. Army (Ret.) is the former Commander of the U.S. Central Command. He is […]

How genocide is defined in the 1948 Convention

CERL Advisory Council member Mary Ellen O’Connell spoke with PBS News Hour about South Africa’s International Court of Justice (ICJ) case accusing Israel of committing genocidal acts in Gaza. Prof. O’Connell explains the origins of the convention and what must be established to prove that a government is engaged in genocide. Mary Ellen O’Connell is […]

Origins of the U.S. Electoral College

CERL Affiliated Faculty Kermit Roosevelt spoke with The Independent about the origins of the Electoral College and alternatives to the presidential election process, including the option of Congress selecting the head of state. Kermit Roosevelt is the David Berger Professor for the Administration of Justice at Penn Carey Law School. He is also a member […]

Complexity of efforts to degrade Houthi capabilities

CERL Executive Board member General Joseph Votel is quoted in a New York Times article discussing how U.S. efforts to disrupt Houthi capabilities in the Red Sea are complicated by several factors, including the group’s combat tactics and the risk of regional instability. General Joseph L. Votel, U.S. Army (Ret.) is the former Commander of […]

SCOTUS to rule on Trump’s ballot case

CERL Affiliated Faculty Kermit Roosevelt joined MSNBC’s Ali Velshi to talk about the terms of the 14th Amendment, different philosophies around constitutional interpretation, and the decision facing Supreme Court Justices as they rule on whether Trump can run for office in the 2024 presidential election. Kermit Roosevelt is the David Berger Professor for the Administration […]

Parameters of free speech on college campuses

Should university administrators tolerate calls on campus for “from the river from the sea”? CERL’s Prof. Claire Finkelstein joined Daniel Corcoran on Overcoming the Divide to discuss this and other questions pertaining to the parameters of free speech on U.S. college campuses. Protecting education for all students may require that speech be restricted in some […]

Hamas death toll casts doubt on whether Israel can meet its war objectives

CERL Executive Board member General Joseph Votel spoke with The Wall Street Journal about a U.S. estimate of Hamas casualties showing that Israel is still far from its goal of eliminating the group. While Hamas is still able to fight due to the nature of warfare in Gaza, the losses will put strain on the […]

Psychedelic therapy for service members and veterans

CERL Executive Board member Brig. Gen. Stephen N. Xenakis, M.D., spoke with Lucid News about the promise of psychedelic therapy for treating psychological conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in service members and veterans. In a Q&A, Brig. Gen. Xenakis discussed the work he is leading at the American Psychedelic Practitioners Association (APPA) as […]

Holding Iran to account for Houthi attacks on commercial vessels

The Houthis have attacked more than two dozen commercial ships in the Red Sea since mid-November. In an opinion for Asharq Al-Awsat, CERL Executive Board member General Joseph Votel explains why these attacks compelled the United States to launch air strikes in Yemen, the importance of holding Iran to account, and what can be done […]

The question of constitutional interpretation in Trump ballot rulings

In his latest for TIME, CERL Affiliated Faculty Kermit Roosevelt discusses what the debate over Trump’s eligibility to run for office in 2024 reveals about today’s constitutional discourse. Originalist arguments are not far off from the living Constitution line, argues Prof. Roosevelt. Both philosophies of constitutional interpretation involve policy decisions. Kermit Roosevelt is the David […]

Applying LOAC to the Israel-Hamas war

Remarks from CERL’s Claire Finkelstein at a late-October Perry World House event on the Israel-Hamas conflict are featured in The Pennsylvania Gazette. Israel does not forfeit its right to self-defense because Hamas uses human shields, she argued in a conversation about the principles of proportionality and distinction. Claire Finkelstein is the Algernon Biddle Professor of […]

Importance of weighing military factors in determining international law violations

In an opinion for The Cipher Daily Brief, CERL Advisory Council member Geoffrey Corn explains the framework for assessing whether an attack is indiscriminate under international law. Turning to military experts for the operational context is critical to making judicial assessments that fairly weigh the imperatives of war against humanitarian considerations, he argues. Geoffrey S. […]

Constitutional scholars say impeachment of Homeland Security Secretary would be unjustified

A group of over 20 constitutional scholars, including CERL Executive Board member Stuart Gerson, has published an open letter in response to House Republican efforts to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. The charges raised against him do not meet the constitutional standards for impeachment, according to the legal experts. Stuart Gerson is Member of […]

Reflections from Israel: Antisemitism on university campuses

CERL’s Claire Finkelstein participated in a Penn professor-led mission to Israel aimed at showing support for colleagues in the Israeli academic community. She and other members of the delegation are quoted in a Reuters article discussing the state of antisemitism on U.S. college campuses. Claire Finkelstein is the Algernon Biddle Professor of Law and Professor […]

How Trump immunity appeal hearing could impact Fulton County case

Trump is scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday for a hearing of the D.C. appeals court on his presidential immunity claim. CERL’s Professor Claire Finkelstein is quoted in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution discussing the concept of presidential immunity and whether Trump will be successful in delaying the timeline for the trials and criminal probes he […]

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How Trump immunity appeal hearing could impact Fulton County case