John Cerone

Visiting Professor of Law

Senior Fellow, Institute for Human Security


Professor Cerone is a visiting professor of law at Boston University School of Law. He also holds faculty appointments at the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy (Tufts University), American University Washington College of Law, and the University of London. His other faculty appointments have included the Paul Martin Senior Professorship in International Affairs & Law at the University of Windsor Faculty of Law, and Visiting Chair in Public International Law at Lund University Faculty of Law. He has also taught as a visiting professor of law at the University of Pittsburgh and at the University of San Diego. In 2009, he was promoted to full professor and awarded tenure at the New England School of Law, where he also served as director of New England’s Center for International Law & Policy. He teaches Public International Law, International Human Rights Law, International Criminal Law, International Humanitarian Law/ the Law of Armed Conflict, and International Organizations.

As a practicing international lawyer, Professor Cerone has worked for a number of different intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations, including the United Nations, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the International Secretariat of Amnesty International, and the International Crisis Group, and has served as a legal adviser to various international criminal courts and tribunals. He also has extensive field experience in conflict and post-conflict environments, such as Afghanistan, Kosovo, Sierra Leone, and East Timor. He has received the President’s Award of the Boston Bar Association for his legal work on Guantanamo Bay issues, which has included representing major international human rights organizations in detainee litigation before US courts and international human rights institutions.

He has been awarded fellowships at the Nobel Institute (Oslo), at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law (Heidelberg), and at the Raoul Wallenberg Institute (Lund) where he served as the Distinguished Chair in Human Rights & Humanitarian Law. He has been a visiting scholar at the International Criminal Court, and a Fulbright scholar at both the Danish Institute for Human Rights and the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies. He is presently a senior policy fellow at Fletcher’s Institute for Human Security.

Professor Cerone is the US Member of the International Law Association’s (ILA) International Human Rights Law Committee. He has served as co-chair of the Human Rights Interest Group of the American Society of International Law (ASIL), and as chair of the International Human Rights Section of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS). He is accredited by the United Nations to represent the ASIL before various UN bodies. He is an elected member of the International Institute of Humanitarian Law and has served on a number of expert groups for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), including on the Law of Occupation and on Security Cooperation. He also served as special adviser to the first US delegation to the UN Human Rights Council.

He has lectured on human rights law, the law of armed conflict, and international criminal law at the International Institute of Humanitarian Law (Sanremo), NATO Headquarters, the Institut International des Droits de l’Homme, the Inter-American Defense College, the Canadian Forces Staff College, the Swedish Defense University, the Academy on Human Rights & Humanitarian Law (AU WCL), and in the ICRC Annual Course, and has been keynote speaker at the US Naval War College and at the 2016 UNDP Transitional Justice Conference in Kathmandu. He has taught in over 40 countries across all regions of the globe and is the author of dozens of articles and book chapters on international law, as well as the casebook Public International Law: Cases, Problems, and Texts (with Dinah Shelton and Stephen McCaffrey).

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