Associate Professor of Law
Senior Fellow, Center for National Security Law
J.D., University of Chicago Law School, 1998
B.A., Williams College, 1993
Ashley Deeks joined the Law School in 2012 as an associate professor of law after two years as an academic fellow at Columbia Law School. Her primary research and teaching interests are in the areas of international law, national security, intelligence and the laws of war. She has written a number of articles on the use of force, the intersection of national security and international law, and the laws of war. She is a member of the State Department's Advisory Committee on International Law and serves as a senior contributor to the Lawfare blog. Deeks also serves on the editorial board for the Journal of National Security Law and Policy, and is a senior fellow at the Lieber Institute for Law and Land Warfare.
Before joining Columbia in 2010, she served as the assistant legal adviser for political-military affairs in the U.S. Department of State’s Office of the Legal Adviser, where she worked on issues related to the law of armed conflict, the use of force, conventional weapons and the legal framework for the conflict with al-Qaida. She also provided advice on intelligence issues. In previous positions at the State Department, Deeks advised on international law enforcement, extradition and diplomatic property questions. In 2005, she served as the embassy legal adviser at the U.S. embassy in Baghdad, during Iraq’s constitutional negotiations. Deeks was a 2007-08 Council on Foreign Relations international affairs fellow and a visiting fellow in residence at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Deeks received her J.D. with honors from the University of Chicago Law School, where she was elected to the Order of the Coif and served as comment editor on the Law Review. After graduation, she clerked for Judge Edward R. Becker of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
“Intelligence Communities, Peer Constraints, and the Law,” 7 Harv. Nat’l Security J. 1 (2016).
“Intelligence Communities and International Law: A Comparative Approach,” in Comparative International Law (A. Roberts et al. eds, Oxford Univ. Press, forthcoming 2016).
"Checks and Balances from Abroad," 83 U. Chi. L. Rev. 65 (2016).
"An International Law Framework for Surveillance," 55 Va. J. Int'l L. 291 (2015).
Taming the Doctrine of Preemption," The Oxford Handbook on the Use of Force, Marc Weller ed., OUP (2015).
“Domestic Humanitarian Law: Developing the Law of War in Domestic Courts,” in Derek Jinks et al., eds., Applying International Humanitarian Law in Judicial and Quasi-Judicial Bodies: International and Domestic Aspects 133 (Asser Press/Springer, 2014).
"Consent to the Use of Force and International Law Supremacy," 54 Harv. J. Int'l L. 1 (2013).
"The Geography of Cyber Conflict: Through a Glass Darkly," 89 Int'l L. Stud. 1 (2013).
SSRN | HeinOnline (PDF)
"The Observer Effect: National Security Litigation, Executive Policy Changes, and Judicial Deference," 82 Fordham L. Rev. 827 (2013).
SSRN | HeinOnline (PDF)
“Unwilling or Unable: Toward a Normative Framework for Extra-Territorial Self-Defense," 52 Va. J. Int’l L. 483 (2012).
SSRN | HeinOnline (PDF)
"Iraq’s Constitution: A Drafting History"(with Matthew Burton), 40 Cornell Int’l L. J. 1 (2007).
- "Who's Next To Borrow from America's Drone Strike 'Playbook'?" (Frontline, 08/11/2016)
- "Would Airstrikes Against Assad be Lawful and Effective?: Reactions to the State 'Dissent Cable'" (Lawfare, 06/20/2016)
- "Intelligence Services, Peer Constraints, and the Law" (Lawfare, 05/10/2016)
- "Politics by Other Means" (The New Rambler, 04/27/2016)
- "'Imminence' in the Legal Adviser’s Speech" (Lawfare, 04/06/2016)
- "Is the U.S. Now at War With the Shabab? Not Exactly" (The New York Times, 03/14/2016)
- "FAA Drone Regulations: What’s Left for States?" (Lawfare, 01/06/2016)
- "Do U.S. and UK Spy Agencies Approach International Law the Same Way?" (Lawfare, 12/09/2015)
- "Threading the Needle in Security Council Resolution 2249" (Lawfare, 11/23/2015)
- "Will France Turn to International Institutions in Response to the Attacks?" (Lawfare, 11/14/2015)
- "Fact Check: Is It Illegal for Australia to Bomb Islamic State in Syria?" (ABC News Fact Check, 09/17/2015)
- "UK Air Strike in Syria (with France and Australia Not Far Behind)" (Lawfare, 09/09/2015)
- "Defending Broadened U.S. Strikes Against al Shabaab?" (Lawfare, 07/29/2015)
- "Surveillance Diplomacy" (Lawfare, 07/17/2015)
- "Victims of US Special Operations Raids Gone Wrong Are Lucky to Get a Sheep" (Foreign Policy, 06/08/2015)
- "Tallinn 2.0 and a Chinese View on the Tallinn Process" (Lawfare, 05/31/2015)
- "The Increasing State Practice and Opinio Juris on Spying" (Lawfare, 05/06/2015)
- "Is the Saudi War on Yemen Legal?" (IRIN, 04/03/2015)
- "International Legal Justification for the Yemen Intervention: Blink and Miss It" (Lawfare, 03/30/2015)
- "The U.S. Intelligence Community and Non-Neutral Principles" (Lawfare, 02/26/2015)
- "Is Jordan Attacking ISIS on a New Legal Theory?" (Lawfare, 02/07/2015)
- "The Sony Hack: Will the United States Take Countermeasures Against North Korea?" (Lawfare, 12/19/2014)
- The UK’s Article 51 Letter on Use of Force in Syria" (Lawfare, 12/12/2014)
- "A “Buffer Zone” Inside Syria, and Its Complications" (Lawfare, 12/05/2014)
- "The Forest and the Trees: Syrian Reactions to Foreign Actions Against ISIS" (Lawfare Blog, 11/03/2014)
- "Legal Questions Raised About U.S. Military Operation In Syria" (NPR, 10/06/2014)
- "Airstrikes In Syria And Iraq Pose Thorny Legal Questions" (International Business Times, 09/24/2014)
- "Strikes in Syria: The International Law Framework" (Lawfare, 09/24/2014)
- "Narrowing Down the U.S. International Legal Theory for ISIS Strikes in Syria" (Lawfare, 09/12/2014)
- "Legal Questions Loom As Obama Weighs Military Action In Syria" (NPR, 08/30/2014)
- "Obama Hints at Legal Rationale for Airstrikes in Syria" (Foreign Policy, 08/28/2014)
- "U.S. Airstrikes Against ISIS in Syria? Possible International Legal Theories" (Lawfare, 08/23/2014)
- "A Call for Article 51 Letters" (Lawfare, 06/25/2014)
- "Germany’s Prosecutor Rolls Up His Sleeves On NSA Surveillance" (Lawfare, 06/06/2014)
- "More Willing, More Able – But No Time Soon" (Lawfare, 06/01/2014)
- "Are the Benghazi Attackers Lawfully Targetable?" (Lawfare, 05/02/2014)
- "Is Russia Committing an Act of War?" (NBC News, 03/06/2014)
- "Is Russia Breaking International Law in the Ukraine? Or Not?" (LawFuel, 03/03/2014)
- "Here's What International Law Says About Russia's Intervention in Ukraine" (New Republic, 03/02/2014)
- "Yemeni ‘global terrorist’ says he has counterterrorism advice for Washington" (The Washington Post, 02/16/2014)