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David A. Koplow

Professor of Law

B.A., Harvard; Queen's College, Oxford, England; J.D., Yale

Areas of Expertise:

National Security, Military, War and Peace

Professor Koplow specializes in the areas of public international law and national security law.  He joined the Georgetown Law faculty in 1981.  His principal courses...

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Professor Koplow specializes in the areas of public international law and national security law.  He joined the Georgetown Law faculty in 1981.  His principal courses have been International Law I (the introductory survey of public international law topics), a seminar in the area of arms control, non-proliferation and terrorism, and the pro-seminar for LLM students in national security law.  In addition, he has directed a clinic, the Center for Applied Legal Studies, in which students provide pro bono representation to refugees who seek asylum in the United States because of persecution in their homelands.  His government service has included stints as Special Counsel for Arms Control to the General Counsel of the Department of Defense (2009-2011); as Deputy General Counsel for International Affairs at the Department of Defense (1997-1999); and as Attorney-Advisor and Special Assistant to the Director of the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (1978-1981).  He is a graduate of Harvard College and Yale Law School and a Rhodes Scholar.  Most of his scholarly writing concentrates on the intersection between international law and U.S. constitutional law, especially in the areas of arms control and national security and treaty negotiation and implementation.

Recent Scholarship

Forthcoming Works and Works in Progress

  • David A. Koplow, Sherlock Holmes Meets Rube Goldberg: Fixing the Entry-into-Force Provisions of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, (working paper).    [SSRN]

Contributions to Law Reviews and Other Scholarly Journals

  • David A. Koplow, Eve of Destruction: Implementing Arms Control Treaty Obligations to Dismantle Weaponry, 8 Harv. Nat'l Sec. J. 158-238 (2017).    [W] [WWW]
  • David A. Koplow, You're Gonna Need a Bigger Boat: Alternatives to the UN Security Council for Enforcing Nuclear Disarmament and Human Rights, 29 Harv. Hum. Rts. J. 135-201 (2016).    [HEIN] [W]
  • David A. Koplow, Nuclear Arms Control by a Pen and a Phone: Effectuating the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Without Ratification, 46 Geo. J. Int'l L. 475-518 (2015).    [HEIN] [W]
  • David A. Koplow, Red-Teaming NLW: A Top Ten List of Criticisms About Non-Lethal Weapons, 47 Case W. Res. J. Int'l L. 229-238 (2015).    [HEIN] [W]
View all scholarship

All Scholarship 2000 - Present

Forthcoming Works and Works in Progress

  • David A. Koplow, Sherlock Holmes Meets Rube Goldberg: Fixing the Entry-into-Force Provisions of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, (working paper).    [SSRN]

Books

  • David A. Koplow, Death by Moderation: The U.S. Military's Quest for Useable Weapons (New York: Cambridge University Press 2010).    [BOOK]
  • David A. Koplow, Non-Lethal Weapons: The Law and Policy of Revolutionary Technologies for the Military and Law Enforcement (New York: Cambridge University Press 2006).    [BOOK]
  • David A. Koplow, Smallpox: The Fight to Eradicate a Global Scourge (Berkeley, Cal.: University of California Press 2003).    [BOOK]

Contributions to Law Reviews and Other Scholarly Journals

  • David A. Koplow, Eve of Destruction: Implementing Arms Control Treaty Obligations to Dismantle Weaponry, 8 Harv. Nat'l Sec. J. 158-238 (2017).    [W] [WWW]
  • David A. Koplow, You're Gonna Need a Bigger Boat: Alternatives to the UN Security Council for Enforcing Nuclear Disarmament and Human Rights, 29 Harv. Hum. Rts. J. 135-201 (2016).    [HEIN] [W]
  • David A. Koplow, Nuclear Arms Control by a Pen and a Phone: Effectuating the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Without Ratification, 46 Geo. J. Int'l L. 475-518 (2015).    [HEIN] [W]
  • David A. Koplow, Red-Teaming NLW: A Top Ten List of Criticisms About Non-Lethal Weapons, 47 Case W. Res. J. Int'l L. 229-238 (2015).    [HEIN] [W]
  • David A. Koplow, A Nuclear Kellogg-Briand Pact: Proposing a Treaty for the Renunciation of Nuclear War as an Instrument of National Policy, 42 Syracuse J. Int'l. L. & Com. 123-191 (2014).    [HEIN] [W]
  • David A. Koplow, An Inference About Interference: A Surprising Application of Existing International Law to Inhibit Anti-Satellite Weapons, 35 U. Pa. J. Int'l L. 737-827 (2014).    [HEIN] [W]
  • David A. Koplow, What Would Zero Look Like? A Treaty for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons, 45 Geo. J. Int'l L. 683-781 (2014).    [HEIN] [W]
  • David A. Koplow, Indisputable Violations: What Happens When the United States Unambiguously Breaches a Treaty?, 37 Fletcher F. World Aff. 53-74 (2013).    [HEIN] [WWW]
  • David A. Koplow, Train Wreck: The U.S. Violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention, 6 J. Nat'l Sec. L. & Pol'y 319-408 (2013).    [HEIN] [W] [SSRN] [Gtown Law] [WWW]
  • David A. Koplow, ASAT-isfaction: Customary International Law and the Regulation of Anti-Satellite Weapons, 30 Mich. J. Int'l L. 1187-1272 (2009).    [HEIN] [W] [SSRN] [Gtown Law]
  • David A. Koplow, Tangled up in Khaki and Blue: Lethal and Non-Lethal Weapons in Recent Confrontations, 36 Geo. J. Int'l L. 703-808 (2005).    [HEIN] [W] [SSRN] [Gtown Law]
  • David A. Koplow, Deliberate Extinction: Whether to Destroy the Last Smallpox Virus, 37 Suffolk U. L. Rev. 1-50 (2004).    [HEIN] [W] [Gtown Law]
  • David A. Koplow, That Wonderful Year: Smallpox, Genetic Engineering, and Bio-Terrorism, 62 Md. L. Rev. 417-514 (2003).    [HEIN] [W] [SSRN] [Gtown Law]
  • David A. Koplow, 94 Am. J. Int'l L. 221-224 (2000) (reviewing The New Chemical Weapons Convention: Implementation and Prospects (Michael Bothe, Natalino Ronzitti & Allan Rosas eds., 1998)).    [HEIN] [W] [Gtown Law]

Book Chapters and Collected Works

  • David A. Koplow, The Jurisprudence of Non-Proliferation: Taking International Law Seriously, in Arms Control Law 3-29 (Daniel H. Joyner ed., Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate 2012).    [BOOK]
  • David A. Koplow, International Legal Standards and the Weaponization of Outer Space, in Security in Space: The Next Generation -- Conference Report, 31 March-1 April 2008 (Geneva, Switz.: United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) 2008).   
  • David A. Koplow, Green Chemistry: Dismantling Chemical Weapons While Protecting the Environment, in Arms Control and the Environment 143-157 (Lakshman D. Guruswamy & Suzette R. Grillot eds., Ardsley, N.Y.: Transnational Publishers 2001).    [BOOK]
Recent scholarship

In the News

"Situation Report: Exclusive: Hillary's think tankers; Pentagon's ISIS war plan on the table; spy planes for Iceland; Russia stands up new tank units; Iran goes shopping; and lots more," coverage in Foreign Policy,  February 11, 2016, featuring Professor David Koplow.

"Tear gas illegal in warfare but not for police," coverage in the Tampa Bay Times, August 29, 2014, featuring Professor David Koplow.

"Tear gas was banned for warfare in 1993 but police still use it, viral meme says," coverage in PolitiFact, August 26, 2014, quoting Professor David Koplow.

"A Literary Scholar's Voice In The Wilderness," coverage in The Chronicle of Higher Education, February 17, 2014, quotes Professor David A. Koplow.

Book TV at Georgetown University Law Center: David Koplow, "Death By Moderation: The U.S. Military's Quest for Useable Weapons," January 12, 2014, an interview with Professor David Koplow on C-SPAN 2.

All News

"Situation Report: Exclusive: Hillary's think tankers; Pentagon's ISIS war plan on the table; spy planes for Iceland; Russia stands up new tank units; Iran goes shopping; and lots more," coverage in Foreign Policy,  February 11, 2016, featuring Professor David Koplow.

"Tear gas illegal in warfare but not for police," coverage in the Tampa Bay Times, August 29, 2014, featuring Professor David Koplow.

"Tear gas was banned for warfare in 1993 but police still use it, viral meme says," coverage in PolitiFact, August 26, 2014, quoting Professor David Koplow.

"A Literary Scholar's Voice In The Wilderness," coverage in The Chronicle of Higher Education, February 17, 2014, quotes Professor David A. Koplow.

Book TV at Georgetown University Law Center: David Koplow, "Death By Moderation: The U.S. Military's Quest for Useable Weapons," January 12, 2014, an interview with Professor David Koplow on C-SPAN 2.

Recent News

On The Web

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