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Ratner, Steven R.

Bruno Simma Collegiate Professor of Law

338 Hutchins Hall

Steven R. Ratner, the Bruno Simma Collegiate Professor of Law, came to Michigan Law in 2004 from the University of Texas School of Law. His teaching and research focus on public international law and on a range of challenges facing governments and international institutions since the Cold War, including territorial disputes, counter-terrorism strategies, ethnic conflict, state and corporate duties regarding foreign investment, and accountability for human rights violations. Professor Ratner has written and lectured extensively on the law of war, and also is interested in the intersection of international law and moral philosophy and other theoretical issues. A member of the board of editors of the American Journal of International Law from 1998 to 2008, he began his legal career as an attorney-adviser in the Office of the Legal Adviser at the U.S. State Department. In 1998–1999, he was appointed by the UN secretary-general to a three-person group of experts to consider options for bringing the Khmer Rouge to justice, and he has since advised governments, NGOs, and international organizations on a range of international law issues. In 2008–2009, he served in the legal division of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva. Since 2009, he has served on the State Department's Advisory Committee on International Law and since 2013, he has been an adviser to the American Law Institute for the Restatement (Fourth) of the Foreign Relations Law of the United States. In 2010–2011, he was a member of the UN's three-person Panel of Experts on Accountability in Sri Lanka, which advised Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on human rights violations related to the end of the Sri Lankan civil war. He also has served as an expert on international investment law in various arbitrations. He established and directs the Law School's externship program in Geneva. Professor Ratner holds a JD from Yale, an MA (diplôme) from the Institut Universitaire de Hautes Études Internationales (Geneva), and an AB from Princeton.


Recent Publications

More Publications...

"International Law and Global Justice." Phil. Compass (Forthcoming, 2019).

"International Law." In The Oxford Handbook of Global Justice, edited by T. Brooks. Oxford: Oxford University Press, Forthcoming, 2018.

"Extraterritorial Regulation of Natural Resource Exploitation: Opportunities for Governments." In Natural Resource Exploitation: Business and Human Rights, edited by Xavier Favre-Bulle, 15-23. LexisNexis, 2018.

"War/Crimes and the Limits of the Doctrine of Sources." In The Oxford Handbook on the Sources of International Law, edited by S. Besson and J. d'Aspremont, 912-35. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017.
Full Text: Oxford Law (UMich users) | Oxford Law | SSRN

"International Investment Law Through the Lens of Global Justice." J. Int'l Econ. L. 20, no. 4 (2017): 747-75.
Full Text: Oxford Journals (UMich users) | Oxford Journals | SSRN

Review of Compliant Rebels: Rebel Groups and International Law in World Politics, by H. Jo. Am. J. Int'l L. 111, no. 2 (2017): 550-4.
Full Text: Westlaw | Cambridge Journals (UMich users) | Cambridge Journals

"Compensation for Expropriations in a World of Investment Treaties: Beyond the Lawful/Unlawful Distinction." Am. J. Int'l L. 111, no. 1 (2017): 7-56.
Full Text: Lexis | Westlaw | Cambridge Journals (UMich users) | Cambridge Journals

The Thin Justice of International Law: A Moral Reckoning of the Law of Nations. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015.

"The Role of the International Committee of the Red Cross." R. Giladi, co-author. In The 1949 Geneva Conventions: A Commentary, edited by A. Clapham, P. Gaeta, and M. Sassoli, 525-48. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015.

International Law: Norms, Actors, Process: A Problem-Oriented Approach. 4th ed. J. Dunoff and D. Wippman, co-authors. New York: Aspen, 2015.

"Complicity and Compromise in the Law of Nations." Crim. L. & Phil. 10, no. 3 (2015): 559-73.
Full Text: Westlaw | Springer (UMich users) | Springer | SSRN


Presented "The Duty of Non-Aggravation in International Law" at the Hamad Bin Khalifa University College of Law and Public Policy Colloquium on The Order on Provisional Measures of the International Court of Justice in the Case of Qatar v. UAE of 23 July 2018, Doha, Qatar, October 2018.

Attended the second meeting of the drafting team for The Hague Rules on Business and Human Rights Arbitration, October 2018.

Co-presented "India's Decriminalization of Homosexuality: What Next?" at the University of Michigan Law School, September 2018.

Presented "International Investment Law as a Site for Global (In-)Justice" at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, Boston, September 2018.

Presented "International Investment Law and Domestic Investment Rules: Tracing The Connections" at the Comparative and International Investment Law: Prospects for Reform Workshop, Hamad Bin Khalifa University College of Law and Public Policy, Doha, Qatar, April 2018.

Invited expert, European Commission brainstorming meeting on the design of a multilateral investment court, Washington, D.C., April 2018.

Panelist, International Institute Round Table on the Future of International Justice: Lessons from the Yugoslav Tribunal, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, February 2018.

Appointed to the drafting team that will prepare the proposed Hague International Business and Human Rights Arbitration Rules, December 2017.

Invited to join a new academic forum on investor-state dispute settlement under the auspices of the Geneva Center for International Dispute Settlement, December 2017.

Appointed to an expert panel of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine for its project, "Exploring the Development of Analytic Frameworks: A Pilot Project for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence," December 2017.

Presented a proposal for the use of international arbitration to address claims of corporate violations of human rights at the UN Business and Human Rights Forum, Geneva, Switzerland, November 2017.