As Director of the International Humanitarian Law Clinic, Laurie Blank teaches international humanitarian law and works directly with students to provide assistance to international tribunals, non-governmental organizations, and law firms around the world on cutting-edge issues in humanitarian law and human rights. Professor Blank is the co-author of International Law and Armed Conflict: Fundamental Principles and Contemporary Challenges in the Law of War, a casebook on the law of war (with G. Noone, Aspen Publishing 2013). She is also the co-director of a multi-year project on military training programs in the law of war and the co-author of Law of War Training: Resources for Military and Civilian Leaders (USIP 2008, with G. Noone, second edition 2013). In addition, she is the series editor of the ICRC’s teaching supplements on IHL, a member of the American Bar Association’s Advisory Committee to the Standing Committee on Law and National Security, and a member of the Public Interest Law and Policy Group’s High Level Working Group on Piracy. Before coming to Emory, Professor Blank was a program officer in the Rule of Law Program at the United States Institute of Peace. At USIP, she directed the Experts’ Working Group on International Humanitarian Law, in particular a multi-year project focusing on New Actors in the Implementation and Enforcement of International Humanitarian Law.
She is the author of numerous articles and opinion pieces on topics in international humanitarian law, including, most recently, "Extending Positive Identification from People to Places: Terrorism, Armed Conflict and the Identification of Military Objectives" (Utah Law Review); "Losing the Forest for the Trees: Syria, Law and the Pragmatics of Conflict Recognition" (Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law); "Targeted Strikes: The Consequences of Blurring the Armed Conflict and Self-Defense Justifications" (William Mitchell Law Review); "After Top Gun: How Drone Strikes Impact the Law of War" (University of Pennsylvania Journal of International Law); "A Square Peg in a Round Hole: Stretching Law of War Detention Too Far" (Rutgers Law Review); "Defining the Battlefield in Contemporary Conflict and Counterterrorism: Understanding the Parameters of the Zone of Combat" (Georgia Journal of International and Comparative Law); and "The Application of IHL in the Goldstone Report: A Critical Commentary" (Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law).
Education: JD, New York University School of Law (Henry L. Boudin Fellow for Human Rights, 1996–1998); MA, International Relations, The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University; AB, Political Science, Princeton University (cum laude)
Modern War Crimes: Accountability And New Technologies, Carolina Academic Press, forthcoming 2018 (with C. Jenks and R. VanLandingham)
International Law And Armed Conflict: Fundamental Principles And Contemporary Challengesin The Law Of War, Concise Edition, Aspen, 2016 (with G. Noone)
International Law And Armed Conflict: Fundamental Principles And Contemporary Challenges In The Law Of War, Aspen, 2013 (with G. Noone)
Law Of War Training: Resources For Military And Civilian Leaders; U.S. Institute of Peace, 2008; 2ndenlarged and revised edition, 2013 (with G. Noone)
“The Extent of Self-Defense Against Terrorist Groups: For How Long and How Far?,” 47 Israel Yearbook on Human Rights (forthcoming 2017)
“The Limits of Inviolability: The Parameters for Protection of United Nations Facilities During Armed Conflict,” International Law Studies (forthcoming 2016)
“In Response to Professor Oren Gross’ ‘The New Way of War: Is There a Duty to Use Drones?’,” 67 Florida Law Review Forum 38 (2015)
"Identifying the Start of Conflict: Recognition, Operational Realities, and Accountability in the Post-9/11 World," 36 Michigan Journal of Internaitonal Law (forthcoming 2014).
"Direct Participation: Law School Clinics and International Humanitarian Law," 95 International Review of the Red Cross (forthcoming 2014).
"Investigations into Military Operations: What Impact on Transitional Justice?" 47 Israel Law Review (forthcoming 2014).
"Rules of Engagement And Legal Frameworks for Multinational Counter-Piracy Operations," 46 Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law 397 (2013)
"Debates and Dichotomies: Exploring the Presumptions Underlying Contentions About the Geography of Armed Conflict," 16 Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law (2013).
"Rules of Engagement and Legal Frameworks for Multinational Counter-piracy Operations," 46 Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law (2013)
"Belligerent Targeting and the Invalidity of a Least Harmful Means Rule," 89 Naval War College International Law Studies 536-626 (2013) (with G. Corn, C. Jenks and E. Jensen).
Learning to Live with (a Little) Uncertainty: The Operational Aspects and Consequences of the Geography of Conflict Debate, 161 University of Pennsylvania Law Review Online 347-361 (2013)
"Extending Positive Identification from People to Places: Terrorism, Armed Conflict and the Identification of Military Objectives," Utah Law Review (2013).
"Losing the Forest for the Trees: Syria, Law and the Pragmatics of Conflict Recognition," 46 Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law 693-746 (2013) (with G. Corn).
"International Law and Cyber Threats from Non-State Actors," 89 Naval War College International Law Studies 406-437 (2013). Also published in 43 Israel Yearbook on Human Rights (2013).
"Presidential Foreign Policy: An Opportunity for International Law Education," 45 Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law 1-7 (2012).
"Targeted Strikes: The Consequences of Blurring the Armed Conflict and Self-Defense Justifications," 38 William Mitchell Law Review 1655-1700 (2012).
"After 'Top Gun': How Drone Strikes Impact the Law of War," 33 University of Pennsylvania Journal of International Law 675-718 (2012).
"Taking Distinction to the Next Level: Accountability for Fighters’ Failure to Distinguish Themselves from Civilians," 46 Valparaiso University Law Review 765-802 (2012).
"Complex Legal Frameworks and Complex Operational Challenges: Navigating the Applicable Law Across the Continuum of Conflict, 26 Emory International Law Review (2012).
"Understanding When and How Domestic Courts Apply International Humanitarian Law," 44 Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law 1-20 (2011)
"The Consequences of a "War" Paradigm for Counterterrorism: What Impact on Basic Rights and Values?," 46 Georgia Law Review 719-741 (2012)
- Reprinted in STATE FORCE AND STATECRAFT: LANGUAGES OF POWER, LANGUAGES OF JUSTICE (forthcoming 2016)
"A Square Peg in a Round Hole: Stretching Law of War Detention Too Far," 64 Rutgers Law Review 1169-1193 (2011)
"A New Twist on an Old Story: Lawfare and the Mixing of Proportionalities," 43 Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law 707-738 (2011)
"Defining the Battlefield in Counterterrorism and Contemporary Armed Conflicts: Understanding the Parameters of the Zone of Combat," 39 Georgia Journal of International and Comparative Law 1-38 (2010)
“Characterizing United States Operations in Pakistan: Is the U.S. Engaged in an Armed Conflict?,” 34 Fordham International Law Journal 151-189 (2011) (with B. Farley)
“Finding Facts but Missing the Law: The Goldstone Report and Lawfare,” 43 Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law 279-305 (2010)
“In Counterterrorism, The Law of War is a Key Source of Law for the Courts,” 32 ABA National Security Law Report 1, 7-11 (Winter 2010); part of a dialogue with G. Corn, “The Problem With Law Avoidance,” 32 ABA National Security Law Report 1, 4-7 (Winter 2010)
“Teaching an Old Dog New Tricks: Operationalizing the Law of Armed Conflict in New Warfare,” 1 Harvard National Security Journal 45-85 (2010) (with A. Guiora)
“The Application of IHL in the Goldstone Report: A Critical Commentary,” 12 Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law 347-402 (2009)
- Reprinted in THE GOLDSTONE REPORT “RECONSIDERED”: A CRITICAL ANALYSIS (Gerald Steinberg & Anne Herzberg, eds 2011)
“Updating the Commander’s Toolbox: New Tools for Operationalizing the Law of Armed Conflict,” PRISM: A Journal of the Center for Complex Operations Vol 1:3, 59-78 (June 2010) (with A. Guiora)
“The Laws of War in Shakespeare: International vs. Internal Armed Conflict,” 30 New York University Journal of International Law and Politics 251 (Fall 1997/Winter 1998)
“United Nations Sanctions: Creating a More Effective Tool for the Enforcement of International Law,” 48 Austrian Journal of Public and International Law 161-195 (1995)
“New Technologies and the Interplay between Certainty and Reasonableness: What Impact for the Law of Armed Conflict,” in COMPLEX BATTLESPACES: THE LAW OF ARMED CONFLICT AND THE DYNAMICS OF MODERN WARFARE (forthcoming 2017)
“Two Perspectives on Counterterrorism: International Law and the Just War Tradition: A Dialogue,” in STATE FORCE AND STATECRAFT: LANGUAGES OF POWER, LANGUAGES OF JUSTICE (forthcoming 2016) (with J. Kelsay)
“Media Warfare, Propaganda and the Law of War,” in THE ETHICS OF SOFT WAR (forthcoming 2016)
“The Proportionality Principle in War,” in THE USE OF FORCE: MILITARY POWER AND INTERNATIONAL POLITICS, Rowman & Littlefield (8th Edition, 2015)
“What’s in a Word: War, Law and Counterterrorism,” in ROUTLEDGE HANDBOOK OF LAW AND TERRORISM, Routledge (2014)
“Military Operations and Media Coverage: The Interplay of Law and Legitimacy,” in ROUTLEDGE HANDBOOK ON MILITARY ETHICS, Routledge (2015)
“The Use of Force Against Pirates,” in PROSECUTING MARITIME PIRACY: DOMESTIC SOLUTIONS TO INTERNATIONAL CRIME, Cambridge University Press (2014)
“Targeted Killing,” in ASHGATE RESEARCH COMPANION TO MILITARY ETHICS, Ashgate (2014)
“Cyber War/Cyber Attack: The Role of Rhetoric in the Application of Law to Activities in Cyberspace,” in CYBERWAR: LAW & ETHICS FOR VIRTUAL CONFLICTS, Oxford University Press (2014)
“Les Véhicules Aériens Inhabités et le Droit des Conflits Armés,” in LES DRONES AÉRIENS: PASSÉ, PRÉSENT ET AVENIR. APPROCHE GLOBALE, La Documentation française (2013)
“Due Process and Terrorism,” in NATIONAL SECURITY LAW: FIFTY YEARS OF TRANSFORMATION FROM THE PAST TO THE FUTURE, AN ANTHOLOGY, American Bar Association (2012) (with A. Guiora)
“The Laws of War: Regulating the Use of Force,” in THE JOURNALISTS’ GUIDE TO NATIONAL SECURITY LAW, American Bar Association (2012) (with G. Corn)
“Rules of Engagement: Law, Strategy and Leadership,” in ASPECTS OF LEADERSHIP: ETHICS, LAW AND SPIRITUALITY, Marine Corps University Press (2012)
Opinions and Essays
"Surveying Proportionality: Whither the Reasonable Commander?" Just Security (March 25, 2015).
Guantánamo, Detainee Reengagement, and Tackling Hard Questions," The Hill (March 13, 2015).
"The Limits of Inviolability: UN Facilities during Armed Conflict," Jurist (January 22, 2015).
"Torture, the Senate Report, and Keeping Our Eye on the Ball," The Hill (December 22, 2014).
“The Law of War’s Essential Role in Containing Brutality: Syria’s Painful Reminder," Global Policy Journal (July 2013) (with G. Corn).
Book Review, "What is War? An Investigation in the Wake of 9/11 and International Law and the Classification of Conflicts," 107 American Journal of International Law (October 2013).
“Protecting Civilians or Using Them as Pawns: The Israel-Hamas Conflict,” Jurist, December 1, 2012.
"Targeted Killing’s Flexibility Doctrine that enables US to Flout the Law of War," The Guardian, August 10, 2012 (with A. Guiora).
"Syria Must Be Held to the Law of War," CNN.com, April 4, 2012 (with G. Corn).
"Blurring the Legal Lines on Targeted Strikes," Jurist, February 2, 2012.
“Operational Law Experts Roundtable on the Gotovina Judgment: Military Operations, Battlefield Reality and the Judgment’s Impact on Effective Implementation and Enforcement of International Humanitarian Law,” Emory International Humanitarian Law Clinic report, January 26, 2012.
“Gaddafi’s Demise and the Law of War: Lessons from Literature,” Jurist, October 22, 2011.
Presentations, Interviews, and Appearances
Interview on international law in urban combat, IDC Radio.
“Legitimacy and Law of War Compliance,” at “Challenges of Warfare in Densely Populated Areas,” sponsored by the Institute for National Security Studies and the International Committee of the Red Cross, in Tel Aviv, Israel (December 2, 2014).
“Israel-Hamas 2014: War, Law and Legitimacy," Carol Becker Middle East Security Speaker Series, Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism, Syracuse University.
Lecture, "End of War," Kennedy School of International Affairs, Brigham Young University (November 13, 2014).
Roundtable discussion participant on international law in urban war zones at the International Institute for Counterterrorism’s 14th World Summit in Herzliya, Israel and speaker at the summit’s “New Battlefields/Old Laws: The Next Steps in Counterterrorism: Adapting to an Evolving Threat and an Expanding Battlefield,” (September 11, 2014).