Boston University School of Law
robert sloane

Robert D. Sloane

R. Gordon Butler Scholar in International Law
Professor of Law
BA, magna cum laude, Columbia University
JD, Yale Law School
Diploma, Hague Academy of International Law

Full CV

Phone: 617-358-4633

Areas of Interest:

  • The Law of War
  • International Legal Theory
  • Transnational Criminal Law
  • International Human Rights Law
  • Criminal Law
  • International (Public and Investment) Arbitration

Recent Course Topics:

  • International Law
  • National Security and Foreign Relations Law

After receiving his JD in 2000, Professor Robert D. Sloane worked for the International Committee of Lawyers for Tibet (now known as Tibet Justice Center) under the auspices of Yale Law School’s Robert L. Bernstein Fellowship in International Human Rights. He led fact-finding missions to Nepal, India, and Tibet; wrote submissions for the U.N. Commission on Human Rights and human rights treaty bodies; represented asylum seekers; and published several reports and law journal articles on human rights. Professor Sloane then served two clerkships, first for Judge Robert D. Sack of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and then for Judge Gerard E. Lynch of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (at the time of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York). He also practiced international law at Debevoise & Plimpton in New York, where he worked on several international arbitrations and helped to litigate the Avena case before the International Court of Justice, challenging the convictions of Mexican nationals on death row based on violations of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.

He continues to practice international law periodically as a consultant and has worked on arbitrations conducted under the auspices of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes, the International Chamber of Commerce and specialized tribunals, as well as assisting with the preparation of expert opinions for foreign sovereigns and multinational corporations. He also practices international human rights law on a pro bono basis, chiefly in his capacity as President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Tibet Justice Center, a non-governmental organization that seeks to promote self-determination and human rights for the Tibetan people through legal advocacy.

Before joining Boston University School of Law, Professor Sloane served as a visiting lecturer-in-law and Orville H. Schell, Jr. Fellow at Yale Law School, where he also taught international human rights and international arbitration, and then as an associate-in-law at Columbia Law School. Professor Sloane’s research and scholarship focuses on international law and related fields, including international human rights, international criminal law, foreign relations law, asylum law, the laws and customs of war, international legal theory, state responsibility, and international investment arbitration.

His 2009 article “The Cost of Conflation: Preserving the Dualism of Jus ad Bellum and Jus in Bello in the Contemporary Law of War,” published in Volume 34 of the Yale Journal of International Law, received the Francis Lieber Prize, awarded by the American Society of International Law’s Francis Lieber Society for outstanding scholarship in the field of the law of armed conflict by an author under the age of 35. His 2007 article “Prologue to a Voluntarist War Convention,” published in Volume 106 of the Michigan Law Review, received a certificate of merit from the Francis Lieber Society based on the same criteria. He also received the 2013 Francis Deák Prize for "On the Use and Abuse of Necessity in the Law of State Responsibility," published in Volume 106 of the American Journal of International Law, awarded by the American Society of International Law for meritorious scholarship in the Journal by a younger author. Professor Sloane’s current work focuses on propaganda and ideology in international law, presidential war powers, the law of armed conflict, foreign relations law, and international investment arbitration.

In 2007, Professor Sloane received a high-level diploma in public international law from the Hague Academy of International Law, one of only three US citizens to receive the degree in the past two decades.

Professor Sloane has been a visiting professor at the University of Michigan Law School (Spring 2010); Harvard Law School (Spring 2011), where he served as the John Harvey Gregory Lecturer in World Organization; the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy of Tufts University (2012); and Yale Law School (Spring 2014).

In 2012, Professor Sloane became an elected member of the American Law Institute, in which capacity he serves on the Members Consultative Group for the Restatement (Fourth) of Foreign Relations Law. In 2013, Boston University named him the R. Gordon Butler Scholar in International Law.

Book Chapters

still waiting for tomorrowrules practice jurisprudence of international courts and tribunalslooking into the futureoxford companion to international criminal justice


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