Paul Stephan

Paul B. Stephan

John C. Jeffries, Jr., Distinguished Professor of Law
David H. Ibbeken ’71 Research Professor of Law
Senior Fellow, Miller Center
(434) 924-7098

Paul B. Stephan is an expert on international business, international dispute resolution and comparative law, with an emphasis on Soviet and post-Soviet legal systems. In addition to writing prolifically in these fields, Stephan has advised governments and international organizations, taken part in cases in the Supreme Court of the United States, the federal courts, and various foreign judicial and arbitral proceedings, and lectured to professionals and scholarly groups around the world on issues raised by the globalization of the world economy. During 2006-07, he served as counselor on international law in the U.S. Department of State, and in 2020-21 as special counsel to the general counsel in the Department of Defense. He was a coordinating reporter for the American Law Institute’s Restatement (Fourth) of the Foreign Relations Law of the United States.

Stephan received his B.A. and M.A. from Yale University in 1973 and 1974, respectively, and his J.D. from the University of Virginia in 1977. Before returning to Virginia, he clerked for Judge Levin Campbell of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit and for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Lewis F. Powell Jr. He has taught as a visiting professor at the Moscow State Institute for International Relations, the University of Vienna, Münster University, Lausanne University, Melbourne University, University of Pantheon-Assas (Paris II), Sciences Po, Paris I, the Interdisciplinary Centre Herzliya, Sydney University, the Peking University School of Transnational Law in Shenzhen, China, the University of Tartu’s Pärna College, and Liverpool University. He also has visited at Columbia Law School and Duke Law School, and served as a scholar in residence in the London office of Wilmer Hale.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Stephan took part in a variety of projects involving law reform in former socialist states. He worked in Russia, Georgia, Ukraine, Albania and Slovakia on behalf of the U.S. Treasury and in Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan on behalf of the International Monetary Fund. He also organized training programs for tax administrators and judges from all of the formerly socialist countries under the auspices of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. His casebooks on international business, international trade and investment, and Doing Business in Emerging Markets are used at law schools both in the United States and abroad. He is the co-author, with Robert Scott, of The Limits of Leviathan: Contract Theory and the Enforcement of International Law (Cambridge University Press, 2006), and the author of The World Crisis and International Law: The Knowledge Economy and the Battle for the Future (2023). His current research focuses on the legal issues related to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and legal responses to the rise of big data.

Scholarship Profile: Where Tax and International Law Converge (Virginia Journal 2000)

All Courses

Colloquium in International Relations Theory (seminar)

Comparative Law (seminar)

Emerging Markets: Principles and Practice (seminar)

Federal Income Tax

International Business Transactions

International Law and the Scholarly Process (seminar)

Seminar in Ethical Values

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