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Director of the Criminal Justice Clinic and Assistant Professor of Law

Email: cjenks@smu.edu

Phone: 214-768-4915

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

Assistant Professor Chris Jenks has been awarded a Fulbright Scholars Grant to spend six months in Australia researching how emerging technologies impact accountability in armed conflict.
Beginning in January 2015, Jenks will work in Melbourne at the Asia Pacific Centre for Military Law (APCML), a collaborative initiative  between the Australian Department of Defense and Melbourne Law School.

Professor Jenks joined the SMU Law faculty in 2012.  He teaches and writes on the law of armed conflict and criminal justice.
Professor Jenks is an internationally respected expert on the law of armed conflict.  He is the co-author of a law of armed conflict textbook, co-editor of a forthcoming war crimes casebook, and served as a peer reviewer of the Talinn Manual on the international law applicable to cyber warfare.
He has published articles on drones, child soldiers, extraordinary rendition, law of war based detention, targeting and government contractors. He has also spoken on those same topics at universities and institutes in Australia, Italy, South Africa and the U.S., and with the militaries of the Republic of Yemen and several different European and African countries.  He recently served as a consultant to the Office of the Secretary of Defense on U.S. military security sector reform in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Prior to joining the SMU faculty, Professor Jenks served for over 20 years in the military. After graduating from West Point, Professor Jenks was commissioned as an Infantry officer in the U.S. Army. He served as a rifle platoon leader, executive officer and in battalion and brigade staff positions in the U.S., Europe, and in deployments to Kuwait and Bosnia.
Following graduation from law school, Professor Jenks transitioned to the U.S. Army JAG Corps and was assigned as the primary international and operational law advisor near the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea. During this assignment, he defended Status of Forces Agreement rights of American soldiers during South Korean interrogations and trials in high profile and politically sensitive criminal cases.
Following his return to the U.S. in 2003, Professor Jenks served as the lead prosecutor in the Army’s first counterterrorism case, a fully contested, classified court-martial of a soldier attempting to aid al qaeda. He coordinated the investigative efforts of 30 law enforcement agents from four separate federal agencies on three continents and the Department of Justice’s Counterterrorism section nominated him for the John Marshall award for interagency cooperation.
In 2004, he deployed to Mosul, Iraq and served as chief legal advisor to a Stryker Brigade Combat Team comprised of over 4000 soldiers. There he provided targeting advice for the employment of artillery, close air support and direct fire weapons during enemy engagements in a city of two million people. He also advised investigations and served as prosecutor for crimes against the civilian population, detainee abuse, and fratricide. He also wrote and briefed rules of engagement crucial to the success of the first free elections in Iraq in more than three decades.
Before moving to Dallas, Professor Jenks was most recently stationed in Washington D.C., holding numerous positions, including senior litigation attorney and deputy division chief of the U.S. Army’s litigation division, attorney adviser at the Department of State and his most recent position as chief of the International Law Branch of the Office of The Judge Advocate General in the Pentagon.
While at the Department of State, Professor Jenks served at the U.S. mission to the United Nations in New York City and represented the U.S. during en US during negotiations on cultural and humanitarian resolutions pending before the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly
As the Army’s international law branch chief, he oversaw the foreign exercise of criminal jurisdiction over US service members, represented the Department of Defense at status of forces agreement negotiations and served as the legal advisor to the U.S. Military Observers Group, which provides military officers to United Nations Missions around the world.
Through two decades of military service, Professor Jenks received the Valorous Unit Award, the Bronze Star Medal, and both the Expert Infantryman and Parachutist Badges.

Primary Articles

Strange Bedfellows: How Expanding the Public Safety Exception to Miranda Benefits Counterterrorism Suspects, 61 Fordham Urban Law Journal 1 (2014)

Belligerent Targeting and the Invalidity of a Least Harmful Means Rule, 89 Int’l L. Stud. 536 (2013) (with Geoffrey S. Corn, Laurie R. Blank and Eric Talbot Jensen) listed in the U.S. Navy War College Information Paper Series, http://www.usnwc.edu/Research---Gaming/International-Law/Recent-Publications/Information-Paper-Series.aspx 

Introductory Note: Prosecutor v. Perišić, 52 International Legal Materials 1065 (2013)

International Decisions: Prosecutor v. Perišić, 107 American Journal of International Law 622 (2013)

Law as Shield, Law as Sword: The ICC’s Lubanga Decision, Child Soldiers and the Perverse Mutualism of Participation in Hostilities, 3 University of Miami National Security National Security and Armed Conflict Review 106 (2013)

United States Practice in International Humanitarian Law - National Report, Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law (2012)

Introductory Note: Şahin v. Turkey, 51 International Legal Materials 268 (2012)

Two Sides of the Combatant COIN: Untangling Direct Participation in Hostilities From Belligerent Status in Non-International Armed Conflicts, 33 University of Pennsylvania Journal of International Law 313 (Winter 2011) (with Geoff Corn)

Indefinite Detention "Under the Laws of War," 22 Stanford Law and Policy Review 41 (2011) (with Eric Jensen)

Siren Song: The Implications of the Goldstone Report on International Humanitarian Law, 7 Berkeley Journal of International Law Publicist (2011) (with Geoff Corn)

All Human Rights Are Equal, But Some Are More Equal Than Others: The Extraordinary Rendition Of A Terror Suspect In Italy, The NATO SOFA, And Human Rights, 1 Harvard National Security Journal 171 (2010) (with Eric Jensen)

A Sense of Duty: The Illusory Criminal Jurisdiction of the U.S./Iraq Status of Forces Agreement, 11 San Diego Journal of International Law 411 (2010)

Square Peg In A Round Hole: Government Contractor Battlefield Tort Liability and the Political Question Doctrine, 28 Berkeley Journal of International Law 178 (2010)

Introductory Note: The United States Supreme Court: Graham v. Florida and the Federal Court of Australia: Habib v. Commonwealth, 49 International Legal Materials 1029 (2010)

Introductory Note: European Court of Human Rights Grand Chamber: Varnava and Others v. Turkey, 49 International Legal Materials 358 (2010)

Law from Above: Unmanned Aerial Systems, Use of Force, and the Law of Armed Conflict, 85 North Dakota Law Review 649 (2009)

Notice Otherwise Given: Will In Absentia Trials at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon Violate Human Rights?, 33 Fordham Journal of International Law 57 (2009)

Human Rights and Military Decisions: Counterinsurgency and Trends in the Law of International Armed Conflict, 30 University of Pennsylvania Journal of International Law 1367 (2009) (with Dan E. Stigall and Christopher L. Blakesley)



Book Chapters

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, forthcoming 2014)

Agency of Risk: The Competing Balance Between Protecting Military Forces and the Civilian Population During Counterinsurgency Operations in Afghanistan, in LAW, SPIRITUALITY AND ETHICS (Marine Corps University Press 2012) revised and reprinted in COUNTERINSURGENCY LAW:  NEW DIRECTIONS IN ASYMMETRIC WARFARE (Oxford University Press 2013)


Governmental, Nongovernmental, and Other Government Organizations 
 “The War on Terror and IHL” presentation with Andrew Carswell of the ICRC and Professor Amos Guiora of Utah Law School to Teaching International Humanitarian Law Workshop (sponsored by the International Committee of the Red Cross and BYU Law School); BYU Law School (Provo, UT (February 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 (January 2014))
“The Laws of War for the 21st Century,” panel chair as part of Appellate Judges Education Institute, discussion attended by the U.S. Solicitor General (San Diego, CA (November 2013))
“Cyber Warfare,” (panel chair) as part of Inter-University Seminar on Armed Forces and Society International Biennial Conference (Chicago, IL (October 2013))
“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 (October 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, UK (July 2013))
“Professional Responsibility and National Security Law Advice,” continuing legal education presentation to members of the Washington State Bar (Seattle, WA (May 2013))
“Enforcement and Judicial Responses to Violations of the Law of Armed Conflict,” presentation to the Chief Executive Officer, board, and staff, American Red Cross (Dallas, TX (February 2013))
“Stand Your Ground….When Necessary: A Call For A Return to the Necessity of Self-Defense,” testimony to the American Bar Association National Taskforce on Stand Your Ground Laws (Dallas, TX (February 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. (January 2013))
“Signaling Effects of War Crimes Prosecutions” facilitated discussion of the international law department of the U.S. Navy War College (Newport, RI (January 2013))
“Battlefield Status and Protected Persons,” presentation to the Interactive International Humanitarian Law Workshop (sponsored by International Committee of Red Cross and Pepperdine University School of Law), Pepperdine School of Law (Pepperdine, CA (January 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 (January 2013))
“Indefinite Detention of Terrorism Suspects” panelist on “Detained Suspected Terrorists: Try in Military Courts or Civilian Courts” as part Federalist Society’s Security vs Freedom: Contemporary Controversies Conference, University of Florida (Gainesville, FL (March 2014))
“Fair Trials and the Modern Jury” moderated discussion by Professors Daryl Brown, Nancy King, Youngjae Lee and Nancy Marder as part of the SMU Criminal Justice Colloquium, SMU Dedman School of Law (Dallas, TX (January 2014))
“United States v Robert Bales: Perspectives on Military Justice and Cultural Context” moderated discussion by Lieutenant Colonel Jay Morse, lead prosecutor, and Morwari Zafar, Afghan culture expert at the Defense Intelligence Agency, SMU Dedman School of Law (Dallas, TX (November 2013))
“The Paradox of Government Investigations” remarks and questions to Warren Commission Assistant Counsel and Staff Members as part of  “The Work of the Warren Commission, Half a Century On: Its Methods, Successes & Questions” SMU (Dallas, TX (October 2013))
“Constraining Targeting in Non-international Armed Conflicts: Safe Conduct for Combatants Conducting Informal Dispute Resolution” presentation and moderated discussion of Professor Peter Margulies’ article at The 6th Annual National Security Law Faculty Workshop, South Texas College of Law (Houston, TX (May 2013))
“Drone Strikes: Security, Human Rights, and Morality” moderator of panel involving Professors Naureen Shah from Columbia Law School, Mike Lewis from Ohio Northern, and Jeff Kahn from SMU Dedman School of Law, SMU Dedman School of Law (Dallas, TX (April 2013))
“Are You on the List? The Legal Implications of Targeted Killing” panelist at Reaching Critical Mass: International and U.S. Law in the Wake of Modern Exigencies conference, Vermont Law School (Royalton, VT (March 2013))
Foreign Audiences
“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 (August 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 (August 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 (July 2013))
“Qualification of Situations,” “Applicable Law to International and Non-International Armed Conflicts,” “Regulating the Conduct of Hostilities – Targeting Objects,” and “International Criminal Law” as part of Professionals in Humanitarian Assistance and Protection Core Professional Training on Humanitarian Law and Policy (New York City, NY (July 2013))
“Conduct of Peacekeepers & Addressing Human Rights Violations,” “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 (June, 2013))
“Drones and Targeted Killings” (Panelist along with Ben Wittes, Brookings Institute, Sarah Knuckey, Center for Human Rights and Global Justice NYU Law, and Dick Jackson, Special Advisor to the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General for Law of War Matters, US Pacific Command International Operations and Law Conference (Bangkok, Thailand (June 2013))


Invited post to Just Security, Eyes Wide Shut: Scahill and Greenwald’s Flawed Critique of U.S. SIGINT Based Targeting, (February 18, 2014), http://justsecurity.org/2014/02/18/eyes-wide-shut-scahill-greenwalds-flawed-critique-u-s-sigint-based-targeting/

Invited Submission for Professional in Humanitarian Assistance and Protection’s Current Challenges in International Humanitarian Law, The Janus Moon Rising-Why 2014 Heralds United States’ Detention Policy on a Collision Course…..With Itself, (February 10, 2014), http://phap.org/thematic-notes/2014/february/humanitarian-law-policy-2014-janus-moon-rising-why-2014-heralds-united

Invited submission to Just SecurityAmnesty International’s Drone Strike Report: Once more into the lex lata/ferenda breach? ( responding to Amnesty International’s report on U.S. drone strikes)  (October 22, 2013), http://justsecurity.org/2013/10/22/guest-post-amnesty-internationals-drone-strike-report-lex-lataferenda-breach/

Posting to Opinio JurisThe Truth About Criminal Jurisdiction Over U.S. Troops in Afghanistan: Questions for Secretary of State Kerry, the Loya Jirga… and National Public Radio (guest commentator discussing U.S. Secretary of State comments on criminal jurisdiction over U.S. service members) (October 21, 2013), http://opiniojuris.org/2013/10/21/guest-post-truth-criminal-jurisdiction-u-s-troops-afghanistan-questions-secretary-state-kerry-loya-jirga-national-public-radio/

Op/ed contribution to Al Jazeera America, The Truth About Criminal Jurisdiction Over U.S. Troops in Afghanistan (October 19, 2013), http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2013/10/19/us-afghanistan-troopssecurityagreement.html

Contribution to SMU Experts: What to do About SyriaIf You Don’t Know Where You are Going, Any Road will Get You There – Assessing U.S. Military Options in Syria (September 5, 2013), http://www.smu.edu/News/2013/experts-syria-05sept2013/chris-jenks-syria-opinion-05sept2013

Contributor to American Society of International Law Cables online reporting of the ASIL annual meeting, The Regulation of Private Military and Security Contractors; Twenty Years of International Criminal Law From the ICTY to the ICC and Beyond; and Book Comment: International Criminal Justice: Legitimacy and Coherency (April, 2013)

Postings to LawfareCapture Instead of Kill: A Dangerous Conflation of Law and Policy (guest commentator responding to NYU Law Professor Ryan Goodman’s contention that the law of armed conflict imposes a duty to capture instead of kill) (with Professors Laurie Blank, Geoff Corn and Eric Jensen) (February 25 and March 1, 2013) http://www.lawfareblog.com/2013/02/corn-blank-jenks-and-jensen-respond-to-goodman-on-capture-instead-of-kill/ 

Posting to Opinio Juris, http://opiniojuris.org/, Auguring Afghanistan: Foreign Criminal Jurisdiction of US Service Members (guest commentator discussing the prospects of a US/Afghanistan Status of Forces Agreement) reposted on both Lawfare, http://www.lawfareblog.com/2012/11/jenks-on-criminal-jurisdiction-as-a-dealkiller-for-a-us-afghan-sofa/ and the Air Force General Counsel Blog, http://afgeneralcounsel.dodlive.mil/2012/11/26/afghanistan-and-criminal-jurisdiction-post-2014/  (November 25, 2012)

Posting to LawfareItaly, the Abu Omar Rendition Prosecution, and Violation of the NATO SOFA (guest commentator discussing Italian Court of Cassation decision affirming criminal conviction of USAF officer involved in extraordinary rendition of Abu Omar) (September 22, 2012), http://www.lawfareblog.com,

Posting to Opinio Juris, President Bashir in Chad: Enough Failure to Go Around (guest commentator discussing Sudanese President Bashir’s visit to a State Party to the Rome Statute while under an ICC arrest warrant) (July 25, 2010), http://opiniojuris.org/

Posting to Opinio Juris, The STL, In Absentia Trials & Notice “Otherwise Given,” (guest commentator discussing the Special Tribunal For Lebanon’s in absentia trial provisions) (May 28, 2010), http://opiniojuris.org/

The Law And Policy Implications of ‘Baited Ambushes’ Utilizing Enemy Dead And Wounded, Army Lawyer (June 2010)

Posting to Jurist, Not Child's Play: Revisiting the Law of Child Soldiers, (guest columnist) (April 13, 2010), http://jurist.law.pitt.edu

Posting to Opinio Juris, US Government Contractors, Battlefield Tort Liability, and the Political Question Doctrine, (guest commentator discussing the Supreme Court inviting the Solicitor General to submit a brief in Carmichael v. KBR) (March 14, 2010), http://opiniojuris.org/2010/03/14/us-government-contractors-battlefield-tort-liability-and-the-political/

Posting to Opinio Juris, Bidding for Justice, (guest commentator on the implications of Canadian war crimes prosecutions) (November 14, 2009), http://opiniojuris.org/2009/11/14/guest-post-bidding-for-justice/