Center for International & Comparative Law
Core International Law Faculty
Virginia Law’s international law faculty includes some of the nation’s leading experts in their respective fields. They regularly teach international law courses, organize and participate in international law events and conferences, and supervise independent research in their areas of expertise:
Kevin Cope’s research applies social science methods to the study of international institutions, migration, and political attitudes toward international law. One of Cope’s major research initiatives involves multilateral treaty-making, in which he applies a theoretical model to negotiating data collected from the archived records of the last few decades’ most significant conventions, with the goal of improving future treaty-making processes. Before coming to the Law School, Cope clerked for three federal judges and practiced government enforcement litigation law in Washington, D.C., with Skadden, Arps, where he handled matters involving treaties, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, immigration law and the World Bank.
Ashley Deeks teaches and writes on international law and national security issues. Before coming to UVA in 2012, she served as the assistant legal adviser for political-military affairs in the U.S. Department of State’s Office of the Legal Adviser, as well as the Embassy legal adviser at the U.S. embassy in Baghdad in 2005, during Iraq’s constitutional negotiations. She 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. Since joining the Law School, she has been frequently quoted in the national media on topics such as legal justifications for war, diplomatic immunity, the Edward Snowden affair, and the use of cyber and drone warfare.
Kristen Eichensehr writes and teaches about cybersecurity, foreign relations, international law and national security law. She has written on, among other issues, the attribution of state-sponsored cyberattacks, the important roles that private parties play in cybersecurity, the constitutional allocation of powers between the president and Congress in foreign relations, and the role of foreign sovereign amici in the Supreme Court. She received the 2018 Mike Lewis Prize for National Security Law Scholarship for her article, “Courts, Congress, and the Conduct of Foreign Relations,” published in the University of Chicago Law Review. In 2021 she became director of UVA Law’s National Security Law Center.
Mitu Gulati’s work focuses on sovereign debt restructuring and contracts, and explores how to help countries in financial distress. Gulati co-hosts the podcast “Clauses and Controversies,” is a contributor to the blog Creditslips.org and serves as regional editor for the journal Capital Markets Law Journal.
A. E. Dick Howard
A. E. Dick Howard teaches courses in comparative constitutionalism. He was the chief architect of the Constitution of Virginia. He has compared notes with drafters of constitutions in various foreign countries, including Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Romania, Bulgaria, Albania, Brazil, the Philippines, Hong Kong, South Africa and Malawi. Howard has written extensively on Anglo-American constitutional history, especially the legacy of Magna Carta, and on constitutional developments in post-communist Central and Eastern Europe.
David S. Law
David Law is an internationally recognized expert in the comparative study of public law and courts, and a pioneer in the application of empirical social science methods to the study of legal texts. His scholarship combines qualitative fieldwork on foreign judicial and constitutional systems, quantitative analysis of constitutions and treaties, and regional expertise on Asia. Before joining the Virginia faculty, Law held the Sir Y.K. Pao Chair in Public Law at the University of Hong Kong. Law earned his B.A. in public policy and his M.A. and Ph.D. in political science from Stanford University, his J.D. from Harvard Law School, and his B.C.L. in European and Comparative Law from the University of Oxford. Born and raised in western Canada, he is a native Mandarin speaker.
Tom Nachbar works extensively in the national security arena, focusing on law of armed conflict and the role of legal institutions in counterinsurgency and stability operations. He is a judge advocate in the U.S. Army Reserve, where he has, among other assignments, edited an Army handbook on the development of legal systems, trained Palestinian security forces in the West Bank and deployed to Iraq. He is a senior fellow at the Center for National Security Law.
Camilo Sanchez has worked as a consultant and legal expert on different human rights issues for academic, intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations. He is also director of the International Human Rights Clinic. In his 15-year legal career, Sanchez has worked on cases regarding enforced disappearances in Central America, attacks against human rights defenders in Mexico, and policies for reparations programs in post-conflict countries such as Guatemala, Peru and Colombia.
John Setear’s scholarship focuses on the relationship between theories of international relations propounded by political scientists and the particular treaties and doctrines of international law created by lawyers. His teaching includes a series of seminars that examines the practical functioning of international law and U.S. constitutional law during a variety of historical periods, such as the Cold War.
Paul Stephan has taught international and comparative law at the Law School over four decades. He served as counselor on international law to the Legal Adviser of the State Department in 2006-07, and from 2012 to 2018 was a co-ordinating reporter of the American Law Institute’s Restatement (Fourth) of the Foreign Relations Law of the United States. During 1993-1998 he advised the Department of Treasury on providing technical assistance to the tax policy officials and tax administrators of the former socialist countries, and participated in the drafting of the Tax Codes of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, the Russian Federation and Turkmenistan. He has been involved in numerous lawsuits and international arbitrations as an expert witness. He has written on international law, law and development, and international institutions as well as on tax policy and U.S. constitutional law.
Pierre-Hugues Verdier teaches and writes on international financial regulation and on broader public international law topics including foreign state immunity, customary international law, and the reception of international law in national legal systems. His research has appeared in both law reviews and peer-reviewed academic journals, and in recent years he has been a visiting professor at Harvard Law School and the University of Chicago. Prior to joining the faculty, he practiced corporate and securities law with Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton in New York. He is a graduate of McGill University’s joint common law and civil law program, received master’s and doctoral degrees from Harvard Law School, and clerked for Justice Charles Gonthier of the Supreme Court of Canada. He is one of six Canadians to be awarded the Diploma of the Hague Academy of International Law.
Mila Versteeg specializes in comparative constitutional law, international human rights law and empirical legal studies. Most of her research deals with the origins, evolution and effectiveness of provisions protecting fundamental rights. Her academic publications have appeared in numerous leading law reviews and social science journals; some have been reported on by national news organizations and translated in several foreign languages. In 2017, she was named an Andrew Carnegie Fellow, which provided her with a $200,000 award to expand her research into the world's constitutions to better understand how constitutional rights are enforced in different countries. Versteeg is a graduate of Tilburg University, Harvard Law School and Oxford University.
Other Resident Faculty With International Law Interests
In addition, other faculty members teach courses and supervise papers related to international law, often with a focus on a specific subfield or area:
- Aditya Bamzai
- Michal Barzuza
- Darryl K. Brown
- Michael D. Gilbert
- Andrew Hayashi
- Ruth Mason
- Dotan Oliar
- George Rutherglen
- Steven D. Walt