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Center for Ethics and the Rule of Law



The Oxford Series in Ethics, National Security, and the Rule of Law  is an interdisciplinary book series designed to address abiding questions at the intersection of national security, moral and political philosophy, and practical ethics. It grew out of the work of the Center for Ethics and the Rule of Law (CERL) at the University of Pennsylvania.


Defending Democracies

Lethal Autonomous Weapons

War and Peace in Outer Space

Interrogation and Torture

Sovereignty and the New
Executive Authority

Weighing Lives in War


Cyber War

Targeted Killings

Book Review


Annual Reports


CERL Annual Report

CERL Annual Report

CERL Annual Report

CERL Annual Report

CERL Annual Report

CERL Annual Report


CERL Biennial Report














Left of Launch:
Communication and Threat Escalation in a Nuclear Age

May 4, 2021

CERL climate change security policy

Lessons from the Arctic:
The Need for Intersectoral Climate Security Policy

December 2020

The FBI’s FISA Process Is Broken, But It Won’t Be Fixed
by Legislative Manipulation of the FISA Statute

April 30, 2020

The “Reforming” Begins: An Analysis of Whether the Safeguarding Americans’ Private Records Act of 2020 Improves FISA

March 11, 2020


Why Outer Space Matters
for National and International Security

January 8, 2020

Congress Should Defund Hostilities in Yemen

April 29, 2019

The Ethics of Interrogation
and the Rule of Law

April 23, 2018

Considerations for a New Authorization
for the Use of Military Force

April 20, 2018

Turkey’s Eastern Pivot: A Challenge for
NATO and a Threat to US National Security

January 19, 2018

The Intersection of Opioid Overuse and
Veteran Mental Health Challenges

January 13, 2017






Conference Reports


Circling the Arctic:
Security and the Rule of Law in a Changing North

Protecting Democracy: Foreign Interference, Voter Confidence and Defensive Strategies in the 2020 Elections and Beyond


 Autocrats’ Tech Assault
and Democracy’s Response

The Weaponization of Outer Space: 
Ethical and Legal Boundaries
October 1-3, 2020 September 17, 2020   November 21-22, 2019 April 6-7, 2018 


Amicus Briefs



Trump v. Vance
filed March 4, 2020

Edgar v. Coats
filed July 23, 2019

Investigative Reports

Report on the Department of Justice and the Rule of Law
Under the Tenure of Attorney General William Barr

October 12, 2020


Other Writings

Request for Investigation of Macomb County Prosecutor Peter J. Lucido

March 29, 2021


Letter of Complaint to the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Ethics

November 18, 2020

Letter of Complaint to the United States Department of Justice

October 26, 2020

Pompeo Hatch ActLetter of Complaint to the Office of Special Counsel and the Inspector General of the State Department

August 26, 2020

Painter complaint Hatch actLetter of Complaint to the Office of the Special Counsel and the U.S. Office of Government Ethics

June 15, 2020