Associates

Christopher Jenks

Director of the Criminal Justice Clinic and Assistant Professor of Law, SMU

(214) 768-4915

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Summary

Chris Jenks joined the SMU Law faculty in Fall 2012 and teaches criminal law, evidence, and the law of armed conflict. His research considers how the nature and type of armed conflict (peacekeeping, coalition, non-international, international) impact accountability norms and practice.  He is currently researching the efficacy of the law of armed conflict as applied to lethal autonomous weapons.
 
Professor Jenks is a fellow at the Asia Pacific Centre for Military Law’s Program on Emerging Military Technology at Melbourne Law School in Australia and at SMU’s John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies, and serves as the deputy course director the Peace Support Operations course at the International Institute for Humanitarian Law in Sanremo, Italy.  Prior to joining the SMU law faculty, Professor Jenks served in the US Army, first as an Infantry Officer and later as a Judge Advocate, and was detailed to the Office of the Legal Adviser at the Department of State and as a Special Assistant US Attorney on both the civil and criminal side at the Department of Justice.
 
He is the co-author of a law of armed conflict textbook and has published book chapters with both Oxford and Cambridge University presses. His articles have appeared in the law reviews and journals of Harvard, Berkeley, Georgetown, Stanford, & Washington & Lee and the International Review of the Red Cross. His blog posts have been featured on Lawfare, Just Security, and Opinio Juris. He has presented to House and Senate Staffers on Capitol Hill, at the American Society of International Law, the Council on Foreign Relations, and at universities and institutes around the world.
 
In 2016, he presented at the United Nations Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons Expert Meeting on Lethal Autonomous Weapons (LAWS) in Geneva, Switzerland. In 2015, he was awarded a Fulbright Senior Scholars Grant to research LAWS as part of a multidisciplinary research group based out of Melboune, Australia. He has spoken on LAWS at the Australian Defence Legal Division Headquarters, the Australian and New Zealand Society of International Law, the German Institute for International and Security Affairs, and at the University of Oxford. In 2014, he served on a working group on the environment and armed conflict at the United Nations in New York organized by the Special Rapporteur for the International Law Commission. And in 2013, he served as a consultant to the Office of the Secretary of Defense on security sector reform in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
 
Prior to joining the SMU faculty, Professor Jenks served for more than 20 years in the U.S. military, first as an infantry officer serving in Germany, Kuwait and as a NATO peacekeeper in Bosnia, and then as a judge advocate serving near the demilitarized zone in the Republic of Korea and later in Iraq, where he provided law of armed conflict advice on targeting and detention issues during combat operations. The Department of Justice’s Counterterrorism Section nominated him for the John Marshall Award for interagency cooperation following his work as the lead prosecutor in the Army’s first counterterrorism trial involving a soldier who attempted to aid an al-Qaeda terrorist. While working in the human rights and refugees section of the Office of the Legal Adviser at the Department of State, he served as a member of the U.S. delegation to the Third Committee of the United Nations General Assembly. In his last assignment, Professor Jenks served as the chief of the international law branch for the U.S. Army in the Pentagon, where he supervised the program by which foreign countries asserted criminal jurisdiction over U.S. service members and represented the DOD at Status of Forces Agreement negotiations; he was also the legal adviser to the U.S. military observers group, which provides personnel to U.N. missions around the world.


Education and Honors

  • Ph.D Candidate, Melbourne University Law School
  • LL.M., with distinction, Georgetown University Law Center, 2009
  • LL.M., U.S. Army Judge Advocate General's School, 2006
  • J.D., University of Arizona College of Law, 2001
  • B.S., United States Military Academy, West Point, 1992

Publications

Presentations

  • “Key Instruments: Cease Fire Agreements and Peace Agreements”, “PSO: When Does IHL Apply?”, Conduct of Peacekeepers & Addressing Their IHL Violations” as part of Conduct of Peace Support Operations Course, International Institute of Humanitarian Law, Deputy Course Director and Presenter, Sanremo, Italy, May 2017

  • “Military Justice in the Modern Age: Characteristics & Challenges” presentation as part of Geneva Academy’s Military Briefing Series, Geneva Academy, Geneva, Switzerland May 2017

  • “Securing Peace by Addressing Conflict-related Sexual Violence,” panelist as part of Council on Foreign Relations forum on Women’s Participation in Conflict Prevention and Resolution, Washington, D.C., Dec. 2016

  • “Conduct of Hostilities: Principles and Weapons” and “Targeting Persons”, presentations as part of Geneva Academy’s Introductory International Humanitarian Law Course for Humanitarian Practitioners, Geneva, Switzerland, Nov. 2016

  • “Operational legal issues associated with persistent conflict” presentation to Texas National Guard Judge Advocates as part of the Judge Advocate Training Program, Texas A&M Law School, Fort Worth, Texas, Nov. 2016

  • “Lethal Autonomous Weapons” and “The Colombian Peace Accord Simulation”, presentations to Emory Law School’s International Humanitarian Law Clinic and Professor Laurie Blank’s Transitional Justice Class, Emory Law School, Atlanta, Georgia, Sept. 2016

  • “Military Prosecutions of the Force and the Enemy for International Humanitarian Law Violations” Presentation as part of Asia Pacific Centre for Military Law Military Justice Workshop, National University of Singapore, Singapore, Sept. 2016

  • “Legal and policy implications of law enforcement weaponized robots” presentation to Center for American and International Law Research Fellows, Tower Club, Dallas, Texas, Aug. 2016

  • “UN Peacekeeping and the law; Protection of Civilians; and SOFAs in UN Peacekeeping” presentations as part of Legal Aspects of Peacekeeping Operations seminar with Malagasy Armed Forces, Antananarivo, Madagascar, Aug. 2016

  • The Obligation to Investigate Violations of IHL, Lead discussant as part of The Transatlantic Workshop on International Law and Armed Conflict, Oxford University, Oxford, United Kingdom, Jul. 2016

  • “Update on International Agreements: Lethal Autonomous Weapons panelist as part of US Pacific Command Military Operations and Law Conference, Vancouver, Canada, May 2016

  • “Human Placebos & the Path to Offensive Autonomous Weapons” panelist as part of Governance of Emerging Technologies: Law, Policy and Ethics, Arizona State University College of Law, Tempe, Arizona, May 2016    

  • “Detention under International Humanitarian Law”, “Lethal Autonomous Weapons” and “Rules of Engagement” presentations delivered as part of Visegard Four Legal Conference, Prague, Czech Republic, Apr. 2016

  • “The Confusion & Distraction of Full Autonomy”, as part of a panel “Towards a Working Definition of Lethal Autonomous Weapons (LAWS)” as part of the United Nations 2016 Experts Meeting on LAWS, Geneva, Switzerland, Apr. 2016

  • “Missed Opportunities and Broader Effects” panelist as part of Loyola University Chicago School of Law National Security & Civil Rights Program on The New Law of War Manual: Accurate? Authoritative? Influential?, Loyola University Chicago School of Law, Chicago, Illinois, Feb. 2016

  • "The Call to Ban Lethal Autonomous Weapons and The Increased Dissociation of Society From the Military" presentation to Computer Law Section, Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, Dallas, Texas, Feb. 2016

  • "The Call to Ban Lethal Autonomous Weapons and What and How We Think of Increased Machine Autonomy" presentation to Computer Law Section, Dallas Bar Association, Dallas, Texas, Feb. 2016

  • "The Middle East and the Islamic State" presentation as part of International Law Association's "International Law in a Divided World" BYU Law School, Provo, Utah, Jan. 2016

  • Moral Panic & Conceptual Paradoxes: The Debate Over Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems” presentations delivered at University of London, London, United Kingdom and Pembroke College, Oxford University, Oxford, United Kingdom, Nov. 2015

  • “Emergent Technology: Overview of Legal Issues under International Human Rights Law and in Domestic Law Enforcement Efforts”, “Future of Drones, UAS, and Cyber”, “Autonomous Weapon Systems” and “Nanotechnology, Biotechnology, Human Enhancement and Directed Energy” presentations to Colombian military and government officials as part of Operational Law and Emergent Technologies Seminar, Bogota, Colombia, Sept. 2015  

  • “Addressing Violations of International Humanitarian Law – the Role of International Criminal Law” presentation as part of Professionals in Humanitarian Assistance and Protection online learning series on humanitarian law and policy, webinar hosted from Geneva, Switzerland, Sept. 2015

  • “Rules of Engagement and Operationalizing Risk Management” presentation to Rules of Engagement Workshop, Asia Pacific Centre for Military Law, Sydney, Australia, Aug. 2015

  • “The human as placebo and the path to offensive autonomous weapons” panelist as part of Australia and New Zealand Society of International Law Annual Meeting, Wellington, New Zealand, Jul. 2015

  • "Rubicons, Moral Panic & Human Placebos: the Path to Increasingly Autonomous Weapon System” presentation to members of Programme on the Regulation of Emerging Military Technologies, Melbourne Law School, Melbourne, Australia, Jul. 2015

  • “Crossing the Rubicon: The Path to Increasingly Autonomous Weapons” presentation to Australian National University, Canberra Australia, Jun. 2015

  •  “Key Instruments: Cease Fire Agreements and Peace Agreements” and “MINUSTAH 2014: Peacekeepers or Predators? Conduct of Peacekeepers & Addressing Their IHL Violations” as part of Conduct of Peace Support Operations Course, International Institute of Humanitarian Law, Deputy Course Director and Presenter; Sanremo, Italy, Jun. 2015

  • “Proportionality: Crossing the Line on Civilian Casualties” and “Rules of Engagement in Non-Traditional Conflicts: Force Multiplies or Agents of Defeat?” panelist as part of Towards a New Law of War Conference, Jerusalem, Israel, May 2015

  • “Throwing Cyber Stones From Technological Glass Houses An Argument for State Hack Back Responses to Malicious Cyber Intrusions” panelist as part of US Pacific Command Military Operations and Law Conference, Auckland, New Zealand, May 2015

  • International Criminal Law and its Influence, If Any, on the U.S. Military Commissions at Guantanamo Bay and other Domestic Tribunals?” as part of Indiana University School of Law International and Comparative Law Review Symposium Is 2015 the Beginning of the End for the ICC and Guantanamo Bay, or a Turning Point for the Law and Practice of International Criminal Law? Indiana University School of Law, Indianapolis, Indiana, Feb. 2015

  • Crossing the Rubicon: The Path to Increasingly Autonomous Weapons” presentation to Australian defence legal and foreign affairs officials as part of Melbourne at Defence speaking series, Australian Defence Legal Headquarters, Canberra Australia, Feb. 2015

  • "Labs of Federalism: State Laws Governing Law Enforcement Drone Use" as part Washington and Lee Law Review Symposium Cybersurveillance in the Post-Snowden Age, Washington and Lee Law School, Lexington, Virginia, Jan. 2015

  • “International Humanitarian Law”, “Who is Protected and How?” and “Implementation and Enforcement of IHL” as part of Professionals in Humanitarian Assistance and Protection special training for United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, New York City, NY, Nov. 2014

  •  “Protection of the Environment: An Operational Perspective,” United Nations Seminar on Protection of the Environment During Armed Conflict, United Nations Headquarters, New York City, NY, Oct. 2014

  • “Asymetric or the New Normal? Autonomous Weapon Systems & The Next Arms Race,” Texas A&M Law Review Symposium Technology and Law: Rethinking National Security, Ft. Worth, TX, Oct. 2014

  • “Rules of Engagement” and “Use of Force in Peace Operations” and “The Responsibility to Protect”,” as part of Conduct of Peace Support Operations Course, International Institute of Humanitarian Law, Deputy Course Director and Presenter; Sanremo, Italy, Jun. 2014

  • “Preventive War” Discussant of Georgetown Professor David Luban’s article as part of “Terrorism and Just War Theory” workshop, John Carroll University, Cleveland, OH, Apr. 2014

  • “Transparency and Targeting” (Panelist along with Sarah Knuckey Center for Human Rights and Global Justice NYU Law, and Nate Kearns, Defense Institute of International Legal Studies) US Pacific Command Military Operations and Law Conference, Manila, Philippines Apr. 2014

  • “Military and Legal Aspects of NSA Surveillance,” panelist on a discussion of the role of the NSA, Collin College, Plano, TX, Apr. 2014

  • “Drone Strikes: Security, Human Rights, and Morality,” The Corazon Group Speaker Series, Park Cities Club, Dallas, TX, Apr. 2014

  • “Battlefield Status and Protected Persons,” and “International Criminal Law” presentations to the International Humanitarian Law Workshop (sponsored by International Committee of Red Cross and Berkeley Law), Berkeley Law; Berkeley, CA, Jan. 2014

  • “Security Cooperation with Foreign Governments” (panelist along Canadian Army Lt Col Rob Holman, moderated by USAF General (ret) Charlie Dunlap) as part of “US-Canada International Humanitarian Law Workshop” sponsored by the International Committee of the Red Cross and Duke Law School, Duke Law School, Durham, NC, Oct. 2013     

  •  “Implementing and Enforcing the Law of Armed Conflict: The U.S. Approach” as part of International Conference on Human Rights held at Centro Universitário de Brasilia (UniCEUB) Action, Brasilia, Brazil, Aug. 2013

  • “Implementing and Enforcing the Law of Armed Conflict: The U.S. Approach” as part of as part of International Conference on Human Rights held at Centro Universitário do Estado do Pará (CESUPA), Belem, Brazil, Aug. 2013

  • “Use of Force: Law Enforcement and Military Operations” presentation as part of “Symmetries: International Humanitarian Law and International Human Rights Law, Transatlantic Workshop on International Law and Armed Conflict, Oxford Institute for Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict, Oxford, United Kingdom, Jul. 2013

  • “Landscape of Legal Regulation”, “Use of Force in Counterterrorism Operations” and “Latest Developments in Counterterrorism” as part of Professionals in Humanitarian Assistance and Protection Thematic Workshop on Counterterrorism Polices and Implications for Humanitarian Action, New York City, NY, Jul. 2013

  • “Response to Targeted Killings by Unmanned Systems in light of LOAC” presentation as part of “Issues and Proposals for Employing Targeted Strikes and Autonomous Weapon Systems” during Pacific Command Military Operations Seminar, Bangkok, Thailand, May 2013                                   

  •  “Expanding the Reach: Prospects for Expanding the War Crimes Statute and Prospects of a Crimes Against Humanities Statute” presentation to the Office of Global Criminal Justice, U.S. Department of State, Washington, D.C. Jan. 2013  

  • “Battlefield Status and Protected Persons,” presentation to the International Humanitarian Law Workshop (sponsored by International Committee of Red Cross and Berkeley Law), Berkeley Law, Berkeley, CA, Jan. 2013

  • “Self-Interest or Self-Inflicted: Why the United States Should Report the Disposition of Its Service Members Violations of the Laws of War” presentation as part of a conference on The Self Interest of Armed Forces in Accountability for their Members for Core International Crimes sponsored by Stanford University and the Forum for International Criminal and Humanitarian Law, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA, Nov. 2012

  •  “Common Article 3 and Additional Protocol II” and “Status of Actors: Organized Armed Groups and Direct Participation in Hostilities,” presentations as part of Workshop on Non-International Armed Conflict, International Institute of Humanitarian Law, Sanremo, Italy, May 2012                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Books

  • Co-authored THE LAW OF ARMED CONFLICT: AN OPERATIONAL PERSPECTIVE (Aspen Publishing 2012)

Book Chapters

  • The Distraction of Full Autonomy & The Need To Refocus The CCW LAWS Discussion On Critical Functions, in Lethal Autonomous Weapons: Technology, Definitions, Ethics, Law & Security (Robin Geiss ed.)  (2016)  
  • A Rose by Any Other Name: How the United States Charges Its Service Members for Violating the Laws of War in Military Justice in the Modern Age (Cambridge University Press 2016)

  • Reimagining the Wheel: Detention – and Release – of Non-State Actors Under the Geneva Conventions in Detention of Non-State Actors Engaged in Hostilities: The Future Law (Oxford University Press 2016)

  • Detention under the Law of Armed Conflict in Routledge Handbook of the Law of Armed Conflict (Routledge 2016)

  • United Nations Peace Operations: Creating Space for Peace in Law & Military Operations: Law, Policy, and Practice (Oxford University Press 2015)

  • Self-Interest or Self-Inflicted? How the United States Charges Its Service Members for Violating the Laws of War in Military Self-Interest in Accountability for Core International Crimes (Torkel Opsahl Academic EPublisher 2015)

  • Agency of Risk: The Competing Balance Between Protecting Military Forces and the Civilian Population During Counterinsurgency Operations in Afghanistan, in Aspects of Leadership: Law, Spirituality and Ethics (Marine Corps University Press 2012) revised and reprinted in Counterinsurgency Law: New Directions in Asymmetric Warfare (Oxford University Press 2013)

Other