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Mortenson, Julian Davis

Assistant Professor of Law

3266 South Hall

Julian Davis Mortenson teaches constitutional and transnational law. His research focuses on the allocation of public authority in both international and domestic law, frequently from a historical perspective. His scholarship has appeared or is forthcoming in the American Journal of International Law, the Chicago Law Review, the Harvard International Law Journal, and the Michigan Law Review, among other publications, and he has written for Opinio Juris, the Kluwer Arbitration Blog, and Slate. He currently serves as co-editor of the "Contemporary Practice of the United States" section of the American Journal of International Law.

Prof. Mortenson is active in both international arbitration and domestic constitutional litigation. He has served as arbitrator, counsel, or expert witness in commercial and investor-state disputes under the ICC, ICSID, UNCITRAL, and VIAC rules, and has litigated complex transnational matters in the U.S. courts, including actions involving the enforcement of foreign law and foreign judgments. He was one of the principal drafters of the merits briefs in the landmark case Boumediene v. Bush, which secured the right of Guantanamo detainees to petition for a writ of habeas corpus. He also represented a group of discharged military service members challenging the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law prior to its congressional repeal.

Before joining the faculty, Prof. Mortenson worked in the international arbitration and public policy groups at the law firm WilmerHale, in the President's Office of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, and as a law clerk for both Justice David H. Souter and Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III. Prior to law school, he was a management consultant with a client portfolio spanning the finance, manufacturing, oil and gas, and information technology industries. Prof. Mortenson was salutatorian of his class at Stanford Law School and received an AB in history, summa cum laude, from Harvard College.

Recent Publications

More Publications...

​"Law Matters, Even to the Executive." Mich. L. Rev. (Forthcoming).

"The Travaux of Travaux: Is the Vienna Convention Hostile to Drafting History?" Am. J. Int'l L. 107, no. 4 (2013): 780-822.
Full Text: SSRN | Lexis | Westlaw | JSTOR (UMich users) | JSTOR

"Reciprocity and the Regulatory Function of International Investment Law." Harv. Int'l. L. J. Online 54 (2013): 124-36.
Full Text: WWW

"Quiborax SA et al v Plurinational State of Bolivia: The Uneasy Role of Precedent in Defining Investment." ICSID Rev. 28, no. 2 (2013): 254-61.
Full Text: SSRN | Oxford Journals (UMich users) | Oxford Journals

"Executive Power and the Discipline of History." U. Chi. L. Rev. 78, no. 1 (2011): 377-443.
Full Text: HEIN (UMich users) | HEIN | Westlaw

"The Meaning of 'Investment': ICSID's Travaux and the Domain of International Investment Law." Harv. Int'l L. J. 51, no. 1 (2010): 257-318.
Full Text: HEIN (UMich users) | HEIN | Westlaw

"Intellectual Property as Transnational Investment: Some Preliminary Observations." Transnat'l Disp. Mgmt. 6, no. 2 (2009).


Presented "Kiobel and the Future of Domestic Human Rights Litigation," Michigan International Law Review Forum, April 2013.

Discussed "The Destabilizing Legal Architecture of Counterterrorism," Michigan Law Review Forum, March 2013.

Presented "LGBT Rights and the Marriage Equality Cases," Outlaws Forum, Michigan Law School, March 2013.

Presented "A History of Treaty Interpretation," Faculty Workshop, SMU Law School, January 2013.

Discussed "Dismantling the One Voice Doctrine," International Law in Domestic Courts Workshop, American Society of International Law, December 2012.

Presented "A History of Treaty Interpretation," International Law Lecture Series, Wayne State University, November 2012.

Presented "Free Exercise and the Obligation to Respect LGBT Rights," Michigan Law School, October 2012.

Presented "Lincoln, Madison, and Hamilton: The Complicated Relationship Between Power and Liberty," "Proclaiming Emancipation" Conference, University of Michigan, October 2012.

Presented "A History of Treaty Interpretation," ASIL-EJIL Workshop on Transatlantic Debates in Legal Theory, University of Cambridge, September 2012.

Presented "The Dilemma of Emergency Powers," National Security Law Conference, Columbia Law School, July 2012.

Discussed "A Concept of Justice in Investment Treaty Arbitration," International Law Roundtable, New York Law School, April 2012.

Moderated "Reassessing the United Nations' Millenium Development Goals," University of Michigan Ross School of Business, March 2012.

Discussed "Thomas Jefferson and Executive Power," LeFrak Forum, Michigan State University, March 2011.

Discussed "Detention and the Law of War," National Security Law Workshop, Texas Law School, March 2010.

Presented "The Meaning of 'Investment': ICSID's Travaux and the Domain of International Investment Law," Conference on International Investment Law and Treaty Arbitration, Sydney Law School, February 2010.

Discussed "Human Rights, Emergencies, and the Rule of Law," Junior International Law Scholars Association Conference, Hastings Law School, February 2010.

Presented "The Travaux of Travaux: The Puzzle of Drafting History Under the Vienna Convention," Junior International Law Scholars Association Conference, Hastings Law School, February 2010.

Presented "Subverting the Grand Bargain: Deference and Autonomy in International Investment Law," Investment Treaty Law Conference, University of Sydney, Australia, Februrary 2010.

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