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B.A., 1998, University of Kansas
J.D., 2001, University of Chicago
LL.M, 2002, European University Institute

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Scott Sullivan

Harvey A. Peltier Professorship and J. Dawson Gasquet Endowed Professorship
Professor of Law


Scott Sullivan teaches and writes on public international law, U.S. foreign relations and international security. Professor Sullivan’s scholarship emphasizes institutionalist values in legal regime design theory and practice. His forthcoming article, Interpreting Force Authorization, challenges the continuing legal and social validity of military force authorizations over time. Other recent work rethinks the breadth and depth of internal federal authority on issues that intersect with foreign relations interests and the social and political underpinnings of the regulatory paradigm governing national security privatization.

Professor Sullivan is regularly involved in high-impact litigation that draws on his expertise in international security and human rights. Sullivan authored the arguments for petitioners challenging their detention under international law in the Supreme Court case Boumediene v. Bush. His scholarship was cited in the landmark habeas corpus case Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, and he frequently serves as an amicus to the U.S. Supreme Court and U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals in international law and security cases. The European Community’s 7th Framework Programme has funded his work on U.S. and comparative military contracting policy.

Sullivan is the Harvey A. Peltier, Sr. Professor of Law at Louisiana State University Law Center, and has served as Visiting Assistant Professor at University of Texas School of Law where he co-founded the National Security & Human Rights Program and Clinic. Prior to academia, Professor Sullivan practiced law in New York and Chicago at Latham & Watkins LLP and Allen & Overy LLP where he advised businesses on international and U.S. sanctions programs, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act compliance, and other regulatory regimes incorporating international or foreign law. International media including the New York Times and NPR have featured his work representing individuals detained at the U.S. Naval Station at Guantanamo Bay and leading investigations into medical ethics violations under post-9/11 counterterrorism detention policy.

Professor Sullivan holds a J.D. from University of Chicago School of Law and was awarded a J. William Fulbright Fellowship to the European University Institute where he received a LL.M. in Comparative, European and International Law.

Courses Taught

International Law, U.S. Foreign Relations Law, International Human Rights, International Law in U.S. Courts, Issues in Transnational Technology, Administration of Criminal Justice I

Selected Publications

Interpreting Force Authorization, 43 Florida State University Law Review ___ (forthcoming)

The Future of the Foreign Commerce Clause, 83 Fordham Law Review 4 (2015)

Networking Customary Law, 61 Kansas Law Review 659 (2013)

Private Force / Public Goods, 42 Connecticut Law Review 853 (2010)

Rethinking Treaty Interpretation, 86 Texas Law Review 777 (2008)

Rational Interpretation in Irrational Times: The Third Geneva Convention and the “War on Terror,” 44 Harvard International Law Journal 301 (2003) (with Neil MacDonald)