Skip to Main Content Return to the New England Law | Boston home page
 John P. Cerone

John P. Cerone

Professor of Law

(617) 422-7273

B.S.E. The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art
J.D. Notre Dame Law School
LL.M. New York University School of Law

Professor Cerone is on leave during 2013-2014.  He teaches Public International Law, Human Rights Law, the Law of Armed Conflict, and International Criminal Law, and previously served as director of the law school's Center for International Law and Policy. He has been a fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law and a visiting scholar at the International Criminal Court. He has also been a Fulbright scholar at both the Danish Institute for Human Rights and the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies.

Before joining the New England faculty in 2004, Professor Cerone was executive director of the War Crimes Research Office at American University Washington College of Law, where he served as a legal adviser to various international criminal courts and tribunals.

As a practicing international lawyer, Professor Cerone has worked for a number of different intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations, including the United Nations, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the International Secretariat of Amnesty International, and the International Crisis Group. He also has extensive field experience in conflict and post-conflict environments, such as Afghanistan, Kosovo, Sierra Leone, and East Timor. 

Professor Cerone is the U.S. Member of the International Law Association’s (ILA) International Human Rights Law Committee. He has served as Co-Chair of the Human Rights Interest Group of the American Society of International Law (ASIL), and as Chair of the International Human Rights Section of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS). He is accredited by the United Nations to represent the ASIL before various U.N. bodies and is an elected member of the International Institute of Humanitarian Law. In 2009 he served as special adviser to the first U.S. delegation to the UN Human Rights Council.  He has received the President’s Award of the Boston Bar Association for his legal work on Guantanamo Bay issues, which has included representing major international human rights organizations in detainee litigation before U.S. courts and international human rights institutions.

He has taught courses and given guest lectures in more than 40 countries across all regions of the globe. He is the author of several articles and book chapters on international law, as well as the casebook Public International Law: Cases, Problems, and Texts (with Dinah Shelton and Stephen McCaffrey).



 Selected Publications

Search for Synergy Among Legal Regimes in the Case of Libya, in Int'l Law Studies (Navy Blue Book) (2012)

Expanding the R2P Tool-kit: New Political Possibilities and Attendant Legal Uncertainties, 18 ILSA J. Int'l & Comp. L. (2012)

The Politics of International Justice - US Policy and the Legitimacy of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, 40 Denv. J. Intl'l L. & Pol'y (2012)

International Law and International Enforcement Action in Libya, 42 Israel Y.B. Hum. Rts. (2012)

Facilitating Compliance with International Legal Obligations, in The Online Library of Law & Liberty (2012) (commissioned contribution to online essay series on International Law and Sovereignty)

Admission of Palestine to UNESCO and Related Documents, 51 Int. Legal Materials (2012)

Legal Implications of the UN General Assembly Vote to Accord Palestine the Status of Observer State, 16 ASIL Insight (2012)

The International Court of Justice and the Question of Kosovo's Independence, in ILSA J. Int'l & Comp. L. (2011)

Caveat Doctor: International Law and the Criminalization of Teaching It, 34 Suffolk J. Transnat'l L. 487 (2011)

The Kosovo Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice, 3 Belgrade L. R. 209 (2010)

Extraterritorial Jurisdiction in the Context of Rendition, in Proceedings of the Institut International de Droits de l'Homme (2010)

The Applicability of International Criminal Law to Private Security Contractors and Other Non-State Actors, in Handbook of International Criminal Law (2010) Bartram Brown (ed.)

Extraterritorial Jurisdiction in the Context of Rendition, in Proceedings of the Institut International de Droits de L'Homme (2010)

U.S. Attitudes Toward International Criminal Courts & Tribunals, in The Sword and the Scales: The United States and International Courts & Tribunals (2010)

Public International Law: Cases, Problems, and Texts (2010) with Dinah Shelton and Steve McCaffrey

Much Ado About Non-State Actors: The Vanishing Relevance of State Affiliation in International Criminal Law, 10 San Diego Int'l L.J. 335 (2009)

Introductory Note to the General Assembly’s Request for an Advisory Opinion on Kosovo, 48 ILM 1 (2009)

Introductory Note to African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights: Endorois Welfare Council v. Kenya, 49 ILM 3 (2009)

Human Trafficking, in Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law (2008)

John Cerone on International Humanitarian Law and Non-State Armed Groups, in Five Questions Series, Program on Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Research at Harvard University and the Graduate Institute of International Studies (Geneva) (2008)
Adobe Acrobat Portable Document Format

Strengthening Human Rights Mechanisms Around the World, 101 Am. Soc'y Int'l L. Proc. 1 (2008)

Introductory Note to European Court of Human Rights: Lindon v. France, 47 ILM 3 (2008)

Making Sense of the U.S. President’s Intervention in Medellin, 31 Suffolk Transnat'l L. Rev. 279 (2008)

Reexamining International Responsibility: Inter-state Complicity in the Context of Human Rights Violations, 14 ILSA J. Int'l & Comp. L. 525 (2008)

Disentangling the International Legal Regime(s) Applicable to Guantanamo Detainees, 2 Northeast Asian L. Rev. 1 (2008)

Inappropriate Renderings: The Danger of Reductionist Resolutions, 33 Brook. J. Int'l L. 357 (2008)

The ATCA at the Intersection of International Law & U.S. Law: Disentangling the State, the Individual, and Complicity Responsibility, 42 New Eng. L. Rev. 743 (2008)

The Legality & Legal Effect of Kosovo’s Purported Secession and Ensuing Acts of Recognition, 3 Belgrade U. L. Rev 60 (2008)

The Jurisprudential Contributions of the ICTR to the Legal Definition of Crimes against Humanity—The Evolution of the Nexus Requirement,, 14 New Eng. J. Int'l & Comp. L. 191 (2008)

Peace Operations and the Complementarity of Human Rights Law and International Humanitarian Law, in International Institute of Humanitarian Law & International Committee of the Red Cross (2008) Proceedings of the XXXIst San Remo Round Table "International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights in Peace Operations"

Dynamic Equilibrium: The Evolution of U.S. Policy Regarding International Criminal Courts, 18 Eur. J. Int'l L. 277 (2007)
Social Science Research Network

Jurisdiction and Power: The Intersection of Human Rights Law & the Law of Non-International Armed Conflict in a Transnational Context , 40 Israel Law Rev. 72 ( 2007)
Social Science Research Network

Misplaced Reliance on the ‘Law of War’, 14 New Eng. J. Int'l & Comp. L. 57 (2007)

The Nature of International Criminal Law and Implications for Investigations, in Forensic Archaeology and Human Rights Investigations (Roxana Ferllini, ed.2007)

The Status of the Individual in International Law (1906 – 2006): A Critical Appraisal, 100 Am. Soc'y Int'l L. Proc. 257 (2006)

Human Dignity in the Line of Fire: The Application of International Human Rights Law During Armed Conflict, Occupation, and Peace Operations , 39 Vand. J. Transnat'l L. 1447 ( 2006)

A Human Right of Self-Defense? , 2 Geo. Mason J. Law, Economics, & Policy 316 ( 2006)

'Dangerous Dicta': The Disposition of U.S. Courts Toward Recourse to International Standards in Gay Rights Adjudication , 32 Wm. Mitchell L. Rev. 543 ( 2006)

Reasonable measures in unreasonable circumstances: a legal responsibility framework for human rights violations in post-conflict territories under UN administration, in The UN, Human Rights, and Post-Conflict Situations (Nigel White & Dirk Klaasen, eds., 2005)

The Human Rights Legal Framework Applicable to Trafficking in Persons and Its Incorporation into UNMIK Regulation 2001/4,, 7 Int'l Peacekeeping: The Yearbook of International Peace Operations 43 (2002) summary re-printed in Human Rights Brief, Fall 2003.

Professor Cerone can comment on the following subjects: