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Mortenson, Julian Davis

Professor of Law

3266 South Hall

An engaged scholar and award-winning teacher, Julian Davis Mortenson specializes in constitutional and transnational law. His research focuses on the allocation of public authority in both international and domestic governance, frequently from a historical perspective. 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 was lead counsel on a team that recently secured a permanent injunction requiring Michigan to recognize the marriages of more than 300 same-sex couples. He has also served as arbitrator, counsel, and 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. Other representative matters include his work as one of the principal drafters of the merits briefs in the landmark case Boumediene v. Bush, which secured the right of Guantanamo detainees to challenge their incarceration, and his representation 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 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 the Hon. 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...

"Snowflakes in a Blizzard: Structural Treaty Issues in International Investment Law." In Modern Treaty Law. Cambridge University Press, Forthcoming, 2015.​

​"Executive Power and National Security." In The Cambridge Companion to the United States Constitution, edited by J. Compton and K. Orren. Cambridge University Press, Forthcoming, 2015.​​

"Apotex v. United States: Narrowing NAFTA's Definition of 'Investment'." J. World Inv. & Trade 16, no. 1 (2015): 163-72.
Full Text: WWW

"A Theory of Republican Prerogative." S. Cal. L. Rev. 88, no. 1 (2015): 45-96.
Full Text: SSRN

"Law Matters, Even to the Executive." Review of Power and Constraint: The Accountable Presidency After 9/11, by J. Goldsmith, and The Executive Unbound After the Madisonian Republic, by E. A. Posner and A. Verneule. Mich. L. Rev. 112, no. 6 (2014): 1015-42.
Full Text: WWW ​​

Co-editor. "Contemporary Practice of the United States Relating to International Law." K. Daugirdas, co-editor. Am. J. Int'l L. 108, no. 4 (2014): 783-842.​

Co-editor. "Contemporary Practice of the United States Relating to International Law." K. Daugirdas, co-editor. Am. J. Int'l L. 108, no. 3 (2014): 517-61.
Full Text: MLaw Repository

Co-editor. "Contemporary Practice of the United States Relating to International Law." K. Daugirdas, co-editor. Am. J. Int'l L. 108, no. 2 (2014): 321-47.
Full Text: MLaw Repository

Co-editor. "Contemporary Practice of the United States Relating to International Law." K. Daugirdas, co-editor. Am. J. Int'l L. 108, no. 1 (2014): 94-115.
Full Text: MLaw Repository

"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 | HEIN (UMich users) | HEIN | 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


Presented "Article II Vests Executive Power, Not the Royal Prerogative," Yale-Duke Foreign Relations Law Roundtable, Yale Law School, October 2014.

Presented "United States v. Bond: The Molehill that Remained a Molehill," Fawley Workshop, University of Michigan Law School, Ann Arbor, June 2014.

Presented "Judicial Intervention in the Electoral Process," International Judicial Forum, Malta, May 2013. ​

Presented "Emergency Power Theory in Historical Perspective," McGill Law School, May 2013. ​

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.

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