Shortbursts: LENS Scholars, Wake Forest presentation, readings seminar, cybersecurity, gun control, and war crimes

Shortbursts are an occasional feature of Lawfire® designed to provide quick updates on a variety of matters…

LENS Scholar Program

At the 28th Annual National Security Law conference the Center on Law, Ethics and National Security (LENS) welcomed its latest class of LENS Scholars.  Selected from more than 21 institutions across the country, over 50 Scholars joined the audience at the conference.  Not only did they get to interact with other students with national security interests, they were also able to meet distinguished conference speakers and panelists.

Here’s part of a note a Scholar sent:

I wanted to send a note of thanks for a wonderful time at the conference. As a result of attending the conference, my view of the field of national security law has broadened (and I would like to think deepened, too). Prior to the conference, I must admit my idea of “national security and/or national security law” was limited to the FISA Court and politicians roaming the halls of the Capitol! But after this Conference, I see how many opportunities exist in this field – from government service to military service and even private practice. I look forward to seeing what opportunities await within this field upon my graduation from law school and passage of the Bar.

Here’s our 2023 LENS Scholar class!

Q & A session at Wake Forest University

I had the opportunity to speak at Wake Forest University last week at a wonderful event sponsored by the Alexander Hamilton Society, but also supported by two pre-law societies. The welcome to their beautiful campus in Winston-Salem was a very warm one.

The presentation was ‘Q & A’ style with Wake Forest Law Professor John Knox posing queries on issues of international law–as well as on a wide range of topics regarding law school, the military, and the practice of law more generally. 

Professor Knox also added some insights of his own that were informed not only by his scholarship, but also by his service in the State Department and later with the UN.  Between us we were able to share a lot of ideas and experiences with the audience-which was a polite and an eager one.

Afterwards my wife (Joy) and I had the opportunity to have a terrific dinner in downtown Winston-Salem with Jack Stoody and the leadership team.  It could not have been a more enjoyable evening, and we are going to look for synergistic opportunities in the future.

Readings Seminar

One of the most enjoyable teaching experiences I have is the Readings in the Practice of National Security Law seminar that takes place in my home (my wife acts as the hostess and she organizes a feast for us!). 

The seminar meets six times, and its syllabus includes two-three books.  In 2022-2023, three books and a movie Eye in the Sky related to autonomous weapons and remotely piloted vehicles [drones].

The most important part of the seminar is the discussions, which seem to be energized by a home setting.  They are a great opportunity to reflect upon not just ethical rules, per se, but the salon-style event also provides an opportunity for students to ponder ethics-in-action as we talk about various scenarios–both real and hypothetical–where difficult issues of law, policy, and ethics arise. 

This is all lots of fun and, believe me, I was sorry when our final session took place recently!


Prof. Shane Stansbury and other faculty leaders of the Duke Cybersecurity Leadership Program recently traveled to Costa Rica to present a three-day program on managing and responding to cybersecurity risks, including threats such as ransomware that threaten national security.

The program, from March 14-16, was presented in coordination with the United States Telecommunication Training Institute and Universidad Latina de Costa Rica, and drew government and private-sector leaders from throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.

Shane and his team will be hosting their flagship program Cybersecurity Leadership Program (which is still accepting applications) from May 22-24 on the Duke University campus.

The program will include a variety of specialized tracks for participants, including a new national security track.

Gun Control

With yet another horrifying mass shooting, you may be wanting to hear about how we might mitigate the risk.  If so, I would offer this previous post:  Some old (and some new) ideas for addressing the tragedy of mass shootings and, if you are not familiar with the AR-15, you may also want to take a look at Missing the target?  What you may not know about the complicated issue of gun controlYou may be surprised at what you learn.

War Crimes Tribunals

 Lawfire® readers may recall the March 19th post entitled  “Should the Pentagon block Sharing U.S.-derived evidence with the ICC?”  That essay suggests, inter alia, possible difficulties with using the International Criminal Court (ICC) as a war crimes prosecution venue. 

Here’s a quick update: on March 27th, the U.S. did offer some support for the ICC, but Ambassador Beth Van Schaack also backed another kind of tribunal.  She said:

I am pleased to announce that the United States supports the development of an internationalized tribunal dedicated to prosecuting the crime of aggression against Ukraine. Although a number of models have been under consideration, and these have been analyzed closely, we believe an internationalized court that is rooted in Ukraine’s judicial system, but that also includes international elements, will provide the clearest path to establishing a new Tribunal and maximizing our chances of achieving meaningful accountability.

We envision such a court having significant international elements—in the form of substantive law, personnel, information sources, and structure. It might also be located elsewhere in Europe, at least at first, to reinforce Ukraine’s desired European orientation, lend gravitas to the initiative, and enable international involvement, including through Eurojust.

Remember what we like to say on Lawfire®: gather the facts, examine the law, evaluate the arguments – and then decide for yourself!


You may also like...