Essential to ending war is a NATO pledge not to admit Ukraine

From Mar. 17-19, an online benefit conference entitled “What Good is Philosophy? The Role of the Academy in a Time of Crisis” raised funds to establish a center in Kiev that would support academic and civic institutions in Ukraine. Among the speakers were novelist Margaret Atwood, Ukrainian history scholar Timothy Snyder, and public intellectuals from […]

Mark Fallon discusses science of interviewing on LI News Radio

CERL Advisory Council member Mark Fallon joined LI News Radio to discuss his three-decade career in government service, including his role as Deputy Commander of the military task force established to bring terrorists to justice before Military Commissions in Guantánamo Bay, and the science of effective interviewing. According to Fallon: “There has been research—over 120 […]

Mark Fallon testified before Minnesota Judicial Committee on science-based interviewing

CERL Advisory Council member Mark Fallon testified last week before the Minnesota Judicial Committee on a Minnesota bill that aims to prohibit admission of confessions obtained when deception is used. Fallon emphasized the science of effective interviewing, stating: We now know that deceptive police practices contribute to false confessions. We also know science-based methods produce […]

Russia’s disruption of U.S. drone was within the laws of armed conflict

A U.S. Air Force drone crashed over the Black Sea on Tuesday after being intercepted by two Russian SU-27 fighters. CERL Advisory Council member Mary Ellen O’Connell cautions against direct confrontation with Russia over the crash, explaining that Russia’s actions were within the laws of armed conflict, even if conducted in what top White House […]

Why were young women poisoned in Iran?

Iran has arrested over 100 suspects in connection with the alleged poison attacks against hundreds of schoolgirls across the country. CERL Affiliated Faculty Firoozeh Kashani-Sabet explains how women’s liberties remain “fragile and precarious” under the  patriarchal rule of the Islamic Republic. According to Prof. Kashani-Sabet,  “At a time when women’s liberties have receded throughout the world, including in neighboring […]

The Year of Section 702’s Reauthorization: A Reply on “Back Door” Searches

Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which allows the U.S. government to collect data on non-U.S. persons located abroad with assistance from electronic communication service providers, is set to expire on December 31, 2023. In an article for Just Security, CERL Advisory Council member George Croner details the debate around this surveillance program, […]

Rehabilitation for Torture at Guantanamo is a Moral and Legal Imperative

As the Biden administration takes action to hold Russia accountable for war crimes in Ukraine, it is essential for the United States to meet its own obligations under international law—particularly, its obligation under the Convention against Torture to provide rehabilitation services to the men now detained at Guantánamo who are suffering the consequences of torture. […]

Presidential privileges are not absolute

In a newly filed court brief, the Department of Justice said former President Donald Trump is not immune from lawsuits connected with the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol. CERL Executive Board member Stuart Gerson told Law360: “There are a lot of places where the permissible scope of an official’s activity are limited. […]

Anita Allen recipient of 2023 Privacy Papers for Policymakers Award

CERL Affiliated Faculty Anita L. Allen, Henry R. Silverman Professor of Law and Professor of Philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania, received a 2023 Privacy Papers for Policymakers (PPPM) Award for her article in the Yale Law Journal Forum entitled “Dismantling the ‘Black Opticon’: Privacy, Race, Equity, and Online Data-Protection Reform,” which assesses the vulnerabilities to […]

Claire Finkelstein participates in SSRC workshop on cultural heritage preservation

A year into Russia’s invasion, Ukraine is fighting to protect its cultural heritage. CERL’s Prof. Claire Finkelstein participated in a Social Science Research Council (SSRC) workshop on Feb. 22, convened in partnership with the J. Paul Getty Trust, around the critically important themes of cultural heritage, violent conflict, and atrocity crimes. The group discussed the […]

CERL experts discuss criminal justice at CAIL and Project Aletheia conference

The Center for American and International Law (CAIL), Project Aletheia at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and American University Washington College of Law Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law held a conference Sept. 27 entitled “Bridging the Gap Between Science and Practice of Interrogation.” Leading academic, law enforcement, and legal experts convened at […]

A new role for NATO in conflict zones

CERL Affiliated Faculty Lynn Meskell recently returned from Brussels, where she presented on heritage conflict at UNESCO World Heritage sites and post-conflict reconstruction to NATO. One year after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, she urges NATO to operate with more local information and understanding as part of their longer-term humanitarian efforts. According to Prof. Meskell: Russian […]

Was Shapiro’s Super Bowl trip in violation of his own gift ban?

Democratic Gov. of Pennsylvania Josh Shapiro and his top staff received an all-expenses-paid trip to Arizona for the Super Bowl from Team Pennsylvania, a nonprofit that has garnered over $17.2 million in state contracts since 2007. The Shapiro administration claims the governor did not violate a gift ban he signed into effect in January. CERL’s […]

Ian Fishback’s American Nightmare

United States Army Major Ian Fishback, a valued member of the CERL community and decorated soldier who reported systematic detainee abuse in Iraq, died tragically at an adult care facility in Bangor, Michigan after failing to receive adequate treatment from the Veterans Affairs health care system. This New York Times Magazine article, which includes reflections […]

Between the Lines features conversation with Mark Fallon

CERL Advisory Council member Mark Fallon joined Between the Lines to discuss his three-decade career in national security, his work leading the DOD al-Qaeda task force, and his book Unjustifiable Means. According to Fallon: “You had this family of interrogational abuses up to and including torture that had been implemented by the CIA at black sites […]

Opinion: Real Church Committee Advises Jim Jordan’s “New Church Committee” to Change Course

Rep. Jim Jordan, who chairs the newly established subcommittee on the “Weaponization of the Federal Government,” is conducting investigations that House Republicans claim are modeled after the 1975-76 Select Committee on Intelligence Activities. In a co-authored opinion, Dennis Aftergut, Norman Ornstein, and CERL Executive Board member Stuart Gerson discuss the letter issued on Feb. 15 […]

How congressional reforms will shape the military justice system

Over a year has passed since lawmakers reached a landmark agreement in Dec. 2021 to overhaul the military justice system and reform handling of sexual assault cases. CERL Advisory Council member Geoffrey Corn, a military legal expert, discussed with the The Texas Tribune–ProPublica investigative unit what these congressional changes entail and how they will shape […]

Claire Finkelstein advised on ethics plan for Philly mayoral hopeful Allan Domb

Philadelphia mayoral candidate Allan Domb released on Feb. 10 a plan to prevent conflicts of interest arising from his portfolio of real estate holdings in Center City. The plan includes selling his business and properties to an entity that would be owned by his son and other investors, if elected, and having an independent ethics […]

Chinese spy balloon was opportunity to gain intelligence

CERL Board Emeritus James Clapper joined Anderson Cooper on CNN to discuss the downing of a “high-altitude object” on Feb. 10. According to Director Clapper: “It would be very useful, as this situation evolves, if the administration could devise a protocol that could be explained to the Congress and the public as to what the […]

NYTimes correspondent David Philipps shares story behind Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher

Decorated U.S. Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher was arrested and accused of war crimes in 2018 for fatally stabbing a defenseless prisoner and taking lethal shots at civilians from his sniper’s post while deployed in Mosul, Iraq. New York Times correspondent David Philipps joined CERL’s Prof. Claire Finkelstein on Feb. 2 at a CERL-sponsored talk to […]

At CERL talk, Ira Shapiro discusses troubled legacy of Mitch McConnell

A hyper-partisan, gridlocked Senate failed to provide a bulwark against a president intent on dismantling democracy, according to the latest book by author and ambassador Ira Shapiro. In a panel discussion hosted by the Center for Ethics and the Rule of Law on Jan.26, Shapiro expanded on this and other themes, including the role Mitch […]

Opinion: Two cheers for democracy in America

Recent legislative and judicial actions may signal a return to rule of law values, according to CERL Executive Board member Stuart Gerson. Read why congressional passage of the Electoral Count Reform Act of 2022 (ECRA)— bipartisan election reform aimed at preventing another Jan. 6—and the Supreme Court’s likely rejection of a doctrine known as the […]

CERL’s 2023 summer internship application is now open—apply today!

CERL’s Summer Internship Program The application window for CERL’s 2023 Summer Internship Program is now open! Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until March 3, 2023, and thereafter only as space permits. ABOUT THE PROGRAMCERL’s nine-week summer internship program prepares law, graduate, and undergraduate students interested in the national security field by providing an […]

Opinion: Trump’s tax returns show he was a bigger risk than we realized

On December 30, 2022, a House committee released six years of former President Trump’s tax returns. In his latest for MSNBC, CERL Advisory Council member Richard Painter discusses just how problematic the details about his foreign entanglements are for U.S. national security. According to Prof. Painter: “[I]t is frightening to think of a president of […]

Richard Painter weighs in on Republican promise to investigate Hunter Biden

After the midterm elections, Republicans doubled down on using their majority to investigate Biden and his family’s business dealings. CERL Advisory Council member Richard Painter told The Guardian the president should have recused himself from matters relating to Ukraine, yet Republicans are unlikely to find any instance of quid pro quo. According to Prof. Painter: […]

Richard Painter discusses role of ethics within Congress, SCOTUS, and Executive branch

CERL Advisory Council member Richard Painter joins the host of Lawyer 2 Lawyer podcast, Craig Williams, to discuss government ethics in light of allegations against Rep. George Santos and recent pressure to investigate the role some members of Congress might have played in Jan. 6. According to Prof. Painter: “If the voters care more about […]

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Richard Painter discusses role of ethics within Congress, SCOTUS, and Executive branch