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Center for Ethics and the Rule of Law


CERL is a non-partisan interdisciplinary institute dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the rule of law in twenty-first century warfare and national security. The only Center of its kind housed within a law school, CERL draws from the study of law, philosophy, and ethics to answer the difficult questions that arise in times of war and contemporary transnational conflicts. It represents the vision of its founder and director, Professor Claire Finkelstein, in uniting scholars and policymakers from various fields in a multi-disciplinary conversation on some of the most challenging issues of our time. More


October 29th, 2015

December 4th, 2015

CERL in the News


  • Iran’s Nuclear Chess: After the Deal

    Please join us next Thursday for a vital panel discussion. The panel, moderated by Professor Finkelstein will include General (ret) James “Hoss” Cartwright, former Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Dr. Haleh Esfandiari, Founding Director of the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Middle East Program; Prof. David S. Jonas, former General Counsel of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and; Dr. Robert Litwak, former Director for Nonproliferation at the National Security Council. CLE credits are also available. For more information, see here

  • CERL’s New Volume
    A new volume, entitled “Cyber War” edited by CERL’s Director Prof. Finkelstein, and members of CERL’s Executive Board, Prof. Jens Ohlin and Kevin Govern has been published by Oxford University Press. This volume explores the controversial legal and ethical problems raised by cyber war, critically assessing the received wisdom about its legal implications. Cyber War is CERL’s second publication, joining Targeted Killing: Law and Morality in an Asymmetrical World