David Luban is a University Professor and Professor of Law and Philosophy. Since 2013, he has also served as Class of 1984 Distinguished Chair in Ethics at the U.S. Naval Academy’s Stockdale Center for Ethical Leadership. His research interests center on moral and legal responsibility in organizational settings, including law firms, government, and the military. In addition to legal ethics, he writes on international criminal law, national security, and just war theory. His current project is a book on the moral and legal philosophy of Hannah Arendt.
Luban is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has been a Guggenheim Fellow and a Fellow of the Woodrow Wilson Center, and has received prizes for distinguished scholarship from the American Bar Foundation and the New York State Bar Association. In 2011 he was a Fellow of the Institute for Advanced Studies at Hebrew University.
Luban’s books include Lawyers and Justice: An Ethical Study (Princeton University Press, 1988), Legal Modernism (University of Michigan Press, 1994), and Legal Ethics and Human Dignity (Cambridge University Press, 2007). His most recent book, Torture, Power, and Law (Cambridge University Press, 2014), won the American Publishers Association PROSE Award for professional and scholarly excellence in philosophy. Other books include edited anthologies and casebooks on international criminal law and legal ethics. Along with many scholarly articles, Luban has written for The Boston Review, The New York Review of Books, and Slate; he blogs on Balkinization and Just Security.
Luban joined the Georgetown faculty from the University of Maryland. He has held visiting chairs at the Fordham, Harvard, Stanford, and Yale Law Schools; and has been a visiting professor at the Interdisciplinary Center (Israel), Dartmouth College, and the University of Melbourne. A frequent speaker in the United States, Luban has also lectured in eighteen other countries.
Luban is on the editorial boards of Ethics & International Affairs, Legal Ethics, and the Just Security blog. He has served on the D.C. Bar’s ethics committee, and chaired the AALS Sections on Professional Responsibility and on Law and Interpretation, as well as the American Philosophical Association’s Committee on Law and Philosophy. He has testified before both houses of Congress.
At the Law Center Luban regularly teaches the Legal Justice course in Section 3, as well as international criminal law, legal ethics, and seminars on various topics in legal philosophy and human rights. He has taught several times in the CALS clinic. In 2012-13, he was academic co-director of the Center for Transnational Legal Studies (London).
Contributions to Law Reviews and Other Scholarly Journals
U.S. Supreme Court Briefs
Book Chapters & Collected Works
"One of Trump’s Attorneys Also Represents the Accused War Criminal He Might Pardon," coverage by Slate, May 23, 2019, quoting Professor David Luban.
Washington and Lee University announced that Professor David Luban will deliver Mudd Series Lecture on "The Ethics of Identity," February 28, 2019.
Professors Hope Babcock, Gregg Bloche, John Copacino, Deborah Epstein, Daniel Ernst, James Feinerman, Anne Fleming, Sheila Foster, Maria Glover, Vida Johnson, Gregory Klass, David Luban, Allegra McLeod, Naomi Mezey, Sherally Munshi, Alicia Plerhoples, Jarrod Reich, Tanina Rostain, Rima Sirota, Abbe Smith, and Kristen Tiscione are among 1700 signatories on a letter, published by The New York Times, delivered to the United States Senate, October 4, 2018, presenting concerns of Judge Brett Kavanaugh's qualifications to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court.
"Secret Handshake," coverage by Slate, April 6, 2018, quoting Professor David Luban.