Dustin A. Lewis is a Senior Researcher at the Harvard Law School Program on International Law and Armed Conflict (HLS PILAC).
With a focus on public international law sources and methodologies, Mr. Lewis leads HLS PILAC research projects on the theoretical underpinnings and application of international norms related to contemporary challenges concerning armed conflict. He explores legal—as well as policy, technical, and ethical—dimensions of such topics as war-algorithm accountability; wartime medical care for terrorists; extraterritorial use of lethal force; indefinite war; and dilemmas at the intersection of counterterrorism frameworks and principled humanitarian action. Mr. Lewis oversees the Program’s publications, research assistants, and online platforms. And he regularly briefs government officials, United Nations actors, members of the media, and NGOs.
Prior to helping found HLS PILAC, Mr. Lewis was a Senior Researcher at the Counterterrorism and Humanitarian Engagement (CHE) Project at the Harvard Law School–Brookings Project on Law and Security. A former Visiting Professional in chambers at the International Criminal Court, Mr. Lewis has also recently been an Affiliate of and served as a Project Manager and Technical Lead at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University and the Harvard Law School Library. He is a graduate of Harvard College (A.B. cum laude) and Utrecht University School of Law (LL.M. summa cum laude).
[Biography last updated: April 2017]
Legal Research Fields
- International humanitarian law/law of armed conflict
- International criminal law
- Jus ad bellum
- International human rights law
- State responsibility
- Counterterrorism legal frameworks
To contact Mr. Lewis, please see this website’s “Contact” page: [link].
HLS PILAC Reports
“Armed Non-State Actors and International Human Rights Law: An Analysis of the Practice of the U.N. Security Council and the U.N. General Assembly,” June 2017 (co-author with Jessica S. Burniske and Naz K. Modirzadeh).
“Indefinite War: Unsettled International Law on the End of Armed Conflict,” Legal Briefing, Harvard Law School Program on International Law and Armed Conflict, February 2017 (co-author with Gabriella Blum and Naz K. Modirzadeh). See also a related Lawfare post [link].
“War-Algorithm Accountability,” Research Briefing, Harvard Law School Program on International Law and Armed Conflict, August 2016 (co-author with Gabriella Blum and Naz K. Modirzadeh). See also a related Lawfare post [link]; PHAP Expert Briefing [link]; and the PHAP-event Question-and-Answer [link].
“Suppressing Foreign Terrorist Fighters and Supporting Principled Humanitarian Action: A Provisional Framework for Analyzing State Practice,” Briefing Report, Harvard Law School Program on International Law and Armed Conflict, October 2015 (co-author with Jessica Burniske and Naz K. Modirzadeh).
“Medical Care in Armed Conflict: International Humanitarian Law and State Responses to Terrorism,” Legal Briefing, Harvard Law School Program on International Law and Armed Conflict, September 2015 (co-author with Naz K. Modirzadeh and Gabriella Blum). See also a related Lawfare post [link], Bill of Health Blog post [link], and a Lawfare Podcast episode [link].
Select Blog Posts
“The Pentagon’s New Algorithmic-Warfare Team,” Lawfare, June 26, 2017 (co-author)
“Indefinite War,” Lawfare, February 27, 2017 (co-author)
“Accountability for Algorithmic Autonomy in War,” Lawfare, September 12, 2016 (co-author)
“Amid Investigations of Hospital Bombings, Don’t Lose Sight of Key Principles,” Lawfare, October 30, 2015 (co-author)
“PILAC Report on Wartime Medical Care for Terrorists,” Bill of Health Blog, October 5, 2015
“Medical Care in Armed Conflict: IHL and State Responses to Terrorism,” Lawfare, September 8, 2015 (co-author)
HLS PILAC Online Resources
“Database of States’ Statements (August 2011–November 2016) concerning Use of Force in Relation to Syria,” project director, May 2017
“International Counterterrorism Efforts: An Initial Mapping,” editor and project director, February 2015
Working Group Briefing Memoranda
Katie King with Naz K. Modirzadeh and Dustin A. Lewis, “Understanding Humanitarian Exemptions: U.N. Security Council Practice and Principled Humanitarian Action,” Working Group Briefing Memorandum, Counterterrorism and Humanitarian Engagement Project, April 2016.
“Somalia in Crisis: Famine, Counterterrorism, and Humanitarian Aid,” Harvard Law School Case Studies Program, February 2015 (co-author):
Humanitarian Practice Network Papers
“Counter-terrorism laws and regulations: what aid agencies need to know,” Humanitarian Practice Network Paper, Overseas Development Institute, No. 79, November 2014 (co-author)
Select Research and Policy Papers
“An Analysis of Contemporary Counterterrorism-related Clauses in Humanitarian Grant and Partnership Agreement Contracts,” Research and Policy Paper, Counterterrorism and Humanitarian Engagement Project, May 2014 (unattributed)
“An Analysis of Contemporary Anti-Diversion Policies and Practices of Humanitarian Organizations,” Research and Policy Paper, Counterterrorism and Humanitarian Engagement Project, May 2014 (unattributed)
Dustin A. Lewis, Humanitarian Exemptions from Counter-terrorism Measures: A Brief Introduction, in 47 Proceedings of the Bruges Colloquium 141 (2017)
“Jurisdictional Arrangements and International Criminal Procedure,” in International Criminal Procedure: Principles and Rules (eds. Göran Sluiter, Håkan Friman, Suzannah Linton, Sergey Vasiliev, and Salvatore Zappalà, Oxford, 2013), pp. 116–128, published as part of the International Criminal Procedure Expert Framework (co-author, with Sarah M. H. Nouwen)
“Humanitarian engagement under counter-terrorism: a conflict of norms and the emerging policy landscape,” International Review of the Red Cross, Vol. 93, No. 883, pp. 623–47 (Sept. 2011) (co-author)
“Unrecognized Victims: Sexual Violence against Men in Conflict Settings under International Law,” Wisconsin International Law Journal, Vol. 27, No. 1, pp. 1–49 (2009)