Gregory Fox

Gregory Fox

Director of the Program for International Legal Studies; Professor of Law

Contact

Room 3377
(313) 577-0110
(313) 577-2620 (fax)

Gregory Fox

  • Biography

    Gregory Fox is the director of the Program for International Legal Studies. Professor Fox is a widely cited authority on international law and international organizations and a leader in a variety of academic and professional organizations. He joined Wayne Law in 2002. Prior to joining the Wayne Law faculty, Fox was an assistant professor of law at Chapman Law School in Orange, California.

    In the winter 2013 semester Professor Fox was a visiting professor at the Universidad IberoInteramicana in Mexico City. In the winter 2009 semester he was a visiting fellow at the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law at Cambridge University. In 2015 he was a scholar-in-residence at the London offices of WilmerHale.

    He began his legal career in the litigation department of Hale & Dorr (now WilmerHale) in Boston, where he worked on one of the early cases brought under the Alien Tort Statute, Forti v. Suarez-Mason. He held fellowships at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and Public International Law in Heidelberg, Germany, and at the Schell Center for Human Rights at Yale Law School before beginning his teaching career. From 1992-95 he was the co-director of the Center for International Studies at New York University Law School. He also served as a law clerk to the Hon. Alan H. Nevas of the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut.

    Fox is the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation/Social Science Research Council Fellowship in International Peace and Security. That fellowship allowed him to write "The Right to Political Participation in International Law," 17 Yale J. Int'l L. 539 (1992), which is one of the 10 most cited articles ever published in the Yale Journal. During this period, Fox's scholarship focuses on how the world-wide spread of democracy has affected the international legal system. He is the editor (with Brad Roth) of Democratic Governance and International Law (Cambridge 2000), as well as a 20-year update of that volume (also edited with Professor Roth) to be published by Edlward Elgar in 2020.

    Fox’s next phase of scholarship focused on the external governance of territories. Humanitarian Occupation reviews the U.N.'s experience in administering entire states or portions of states. In a number of critical articles, Fox examines the state of occupation law, arguing against efforts to endow occupying powers with virtually unlimited authority to transform the states they control.

    One recent project is Supreme Law of the Land?: Debating the Contemporary Effects of Treaties within the United States Legal System (with Wayne Law colleagues Paul Dubinsky and Brad Roth) on the role of treaties in American law. The book was published by Cambridge University Press in 2018.

    Fox’s most recent projects have employed quantitative methods to assess the status of rules and institutions in international law. A 2018 article (with Kristen Boon and Isaac Jenkins) asks whether the UN Security Council has consistently supported new rules for parties to civil wars. Another asks if the Council has supported particular types of external intervention in civil wars. His most recent article will explore civil war peace agreements as previously unrecognized means of implementing and enforcing international norms.

    Fox has been a member of the Executive Council of the American Society of International Law and was the founding chairman of the Committee on International Human Rights of the State Bar of Michigan. In 2008 he became an expert consultant to the International Committee of the Red Cross for its project on the future of occupation law.

    In addition to his academic work, Fox has served as counsel in several international cases. He was co-counsel to the state of Eritrea in the Zuqar-Hanish Islands arbitration with the Republic of Yemen; that determined the status of a group of islands in the southern Red Sea. He also represented a group of Eritreans in U.S. federal court who were forcibly deported from Ethiopia in 1998 and had their property confiscated by the Ethiopian government. And he was counsel in several Alien Tort Statute cases in addition to the Forti case.

    Fox holds a bachelor’s in history with highest honors from Bates College, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He earned his law degree from New York University.

  • Degrees and Certifications

    J.D., New York University Law School
    B.A., Bates College 

  • Courses Taught

    Civil Procedure
    Conflict of Laws
    International Civil Litigation
    International Law
    United States Foreign Relations Law
    Current Problems in International Law (seminar)
    International Legal Research (seminar)

  • Selected Publications
  • Social Science Research Network
    View SSRN Profile

    Publications

    • REVISION: The Dual Lives of ‘The Emerging Right to Democratic Governance’
      August 6, 2018
      Thomas M. Franck's The Emerging Right to Democratic Governance has lived a dual existence. On the one hand, it is almost universally cited as having brought international lawyers into the freewheeling debate of the early 1990s among scholars of international relations, comparative politics, and political theory about the so-called “Third Wave” of democratization. On the other hand, the article is not infrequently described as a legal avatar of post-Cold War Western triumphalism, often sharing a sentence or a footnote with Francis Fukuyama's The End of History and the Last Man. From the standpoint of the two authors of this essay — one a long-time defender of Franck's thesis and the other a long-time critic — both of these broad-brush characterizations of the article contain elements of truth, but both are also woefully incomplete.
    • REVISION: The Contributions of United Nations Security Council Resolutions to the Law of Non-International Armed Conflict: New Evidence of Customary International Law
      July 31, 2018
      Since the end of the Cold War, the United Nations Security Council has become the preeminent international actor in the resolution of armed conflicts. This is especially true of non-international armed conflicts (or NIACs), now far more common than inter-state armed conflicts (IACs). The Council has developed a substantial track record of quelling hostilities in NIACs, negotiating peace agreements, supervising transitions from war to peace and designing new political and legal institutions for post-conflict societies. But while the Council’s omnipresence in NIACs is now unremarkable, the legal consequences of its actions have hardly been examined. Few, if any scholars have asked whether obligations the Council has imposed on NIAC parties should contribute to norms of customary international law regulating various aspects of those conflicts. Omitting Council practice makes little sense, given that states have repeatedly turned to the Council as their chosen agent to address NIACs. A ...
    • REVISION: The Dual Lives of ‘The Emerging Right to Democratic Governance’
      June 16, 2018
      Thomas M. Franck's The Emerging Right to Democratic Governance has lived a dual existence. On the one hand, it is almost universally cited as having brought international lawyers into the freewheeling debate of the early 1990s among scholars of international relations, comparative politics, and political theory about the so-called “Third Wave” of democratization. On the other hand, the article is not infrequently described as a legal avatar of post-Cold War Western triumphalism, often sharing a sentence or a footnote with Francis Fukuyama's The End of History and the Last Man. From the standpoint of the two authors of this essay — one a long-time defender of Franck's thesis and the other a long-time critic — both of these broad-brush characterizations of the article contain elements of truth, but both are also woefully incomplete.
    • REVISION: The Dual Lives of ‘The Emerging Right to Democratic Governance’
      June 6, 2018
      Thomas M. Franck's The Emerging Right to Democratic Governance has lived a dual existence. On the one hand, it is almost universally cited as having brought international lawyers into the freewheeling debate of the early 1990s among scholars of international relations, comparative politics, and political theory about the so-called “Third Wave” of democratization. On the other hand, the article is not infrequently described as a legal avatar of post-Cold War Western triumphalism, often sharing a sentence or a footnote with Francis Fukuyama's The End of History and the Last Man. From the standpoint of the two authors of this essay — one a long-time defender of Franck's thesis and the other a long-time critic — both of these broad-brush characterizations of the article contain elements of truth, but both are also woefully incomplete.
    • REVISION: The United Nations Security Council and the Law of Non-International Armed Conflict
      March 25, 2018
      Since the end of the Cold War, the United Nations Security Council has become the preeminent international actor in the resolution of armed conflicts. This is especially true of non-international armed conflicts (or NIACs), now far more common than inter-state armed conflicts (IACs). The Council has developed a substantial track record of quelling hostilities in NIACs, negotiating peace agreements, supervising transitions from war to peace and designing new political and legal institutions for post-conflict societies. But while the Council’s omnipresence in NIACs is now unremarkable, the legal consequences of its actions have hardly been examined. Few, if any scholars have asked whether obligations the Council has imposed on NIAC parties should contribute to norms of customary international law regulating various aspects of those conflicts. Omitting Council practice makes little sense, given that states have repeatedly turned to the Council as their chosen agent to address NIACs. A ...
    • REVISION: The United Nations Security Council and the Law of Non-International Armed Conflict
      October 22, 2017
      Since the end of the Cold War, the United Nations Security Council has become the preeminent international actor in the resolution of armed conflicts. This is especially true of non-international armed conflicts (or NIACs), now far more common than inter-state armed conflicts (IACs). The Council has developed a substantial track record of quelling hostilities in NIACs, negotiating peace agreements, supervising transitions from war to peace and designing new political and legal institutions for post-conflict societies. But while the Council’s omnipresence in NIACs is now unremarkable, the legal consequences of its actions have hardly been examined. Few, if any scholars have asked whether obligations the Council has imposed on NIAC parties should contribute to norms of customary international law regulating various aspects of those conflicts. Omitting Council practice makes little sense, given that states have repeatedly turned to the Council as their chosen agent to address NIACs. A ...
    • REVISION: The United Nations Security Council and the Law of Non-International Armed Conflict
      October 19, 2017
      Since the end of the Cold War, the United Nations Security Council has become the preeminent international actor in the resolution of armed conflicts. This is especially true of non-international armed conflicts (or NIACs), now far more common than inter-state armed conflicts (IACs). The Council has developed a substantial track record of quelling hostilities in NIACs, negotiating peace agreements, supervising transitions from war to peace and designing new political and legal institutions for post-conflict societies. But while the Council’s omnipresence in NIACs is now unremarkable, the legal consequences of its actions have hardly been examined. Few, if any scholars have asked whether obligations the Council has imposed on NIAC parties should contribute to norms of customary international law regulating various aspects of those conflicts. Omitting Council practice makes little sense, given that states have repeatedly turned to the Council as their chosen agent to address NIACs. A ...
    • REVISION: Vietnamese Intervention in Cambodia - 1978
      October 18, 2017
      This is a case study of Vietnam's 1978 intervention in Cambodia that will appear in a volume collecting analyses of all significant uses of force in the post-World War II period. The Vietnamese intervention is often cited as an example of humanitarian intervention. This chapter suggests that view is inconsistent with both Vietnam's asserted justifications for the intervention - which largely focused on self-defense - and the claims made during an extensive series of debates in the United Nations.
    • REVISION: Vietnamese Intervention in Cambodia - 1978
      September 23, 2017
      This is a case study of Vietnam's 1978 intervention in Cambodia that will appear in a volume collecting analyses of all significant uses of force in the post-World War II period. The Vietnamese intervention is often cited as an example of humanitarian intervention. This chapter suggests that view is inconsistent with both Vietnam's asserted justifications for the intervention - which largely focused on self-defense - and the claims made during an extensive series of debates in the United Nations.
  • Books

    Humanitarian Occupation (Cambridge Studies in International and Comparative Law) (Cambridge University Press) 2008

    From Amazon.com: "This book analyzes a new phenomenon in international law: international organizations assuming the powers of a national government in order to reform political institutions. After reviewing the history of internationalized territories, this book asks two questions about these 'humanitarian occupations'. First, why did they occur? The book argues that the missions were part of a larger trend in international law to maintain existing states and their populations. The only way this could occur in these territories, which had all seen violent internal conflict, was for international administrators to take charge. Second, what is the legal justification for the missions? The book examines each of the existing justifications and finds them wanting. A new foundation is needed, one that takes account of the missions' authorisation by the UN Security Council and their pursuit of goals widely supported in the international community."

    Democratic Governance and International Law (Cambridge University Press ) 2000 Editor

    From Amazon.com: "This book considers how the post-Cold War democratic revolution has affected international law. Traditionally, international law said little about the way in which governments were chosen. In the 1990s, however, international law has been deployed to encourage transitions to democracy, and to justify the armed expulsion of military juntas that overthrow elected regimes. In this volume, leading international legal scholars assess this change in international law and ask whether a commitment to democracy is consistent with the structure and rules of the international legal system."

    International Law Decisions in National Courts (Transnational Publications) 1996 with Thomas M. Franck

    In this ground-breaking study, taken on the initiative of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, Thomas M Franck and Gregory H Fox explore the use of international law decisions by national courts. They provide in-depth materials for answers to such critical and practical questions as: To what extent do national judges treat the decision of their international colleagues as binding or persuasive? Do national judges regard the outcomes of international decisions as res judicata? As evidence of law or fact? Their analysis and conclusions constitute a valuable assessment of the role of international law in the legal cultures of today's nations.

    Supreme Law of the Land? Debating the Contemporary Effects of Treaties within the United States Legal System

    Edited by Paul R. Dubinsky, Gregory H. Fox and Brad R. Roth

    How do treaties function in the American legal system? This book provides a comprehensive analysis of the current status of treaties in American law. Its ten chapters examine major areas of change in treaty law in recent decades, including treaty interpretation, federalism, self-execution, treaty implementing legislation, treaty form, and judicial barriers to treaty enforcement. The book also includes two in-depth case studies: one on the effectiveness of treaties in the regulation of armed conflict and one on the role of a resurgent federalism in complicating U.S. efforts to ratify and implement treaties in private international law. Each chapter asks whether the treaty rules of the 1987 Third Restatement of Foreign Relations Law accurately reflect today's judicial, executive and legislative practices. This volume is original and provocative, a useful desk companion for judges and practicing lawyers, and an engaging read for the general reader and graduate students.

  • Accomplishments
    • Greg Fox wrote “Must the Trump Administration Report any Agreements Reached at Helsinki to Congress?” for Opinio Juris. The blog post discusses possible agreements reached between President Trump and Putin at the Helsinki summit and the potential obligation on President Trump's part to transmit those agreements to Congress.
    • Greg Foxco-wrote “The Dual Lives of “The Emerging Right to Democratic Governance” with Brad Broth for the American Journal of International Law. The article was part of a symposium in AJIL Unbound marking the 25th anniversary of Thomas Franck's landmark article "The Emerging Right to Democratic Governance." In this article Fox and Roth analyze the strengths and shortcomings of an article that started an important scholarly movement and address one of the central criticisms of Franck's piece. Read the full article.
    • Greg Fox co-wrote “The Dual Lives of “The Emerging Right to Democratic Governance” with Brad Broth for the American Journal of International Law. The article was part of a symposium in AJIL Unbound marking the 25th anniversary of Thomas Franck’s landmark article “The Emerging Right to Democratic Governance.” In this article Fox and Roth analyze the strengths and shortcomings of an article that started an important scholarly movement and address one of the central criticisms of Franck’s piece. Read the full article.
    • Gregory Fox gave a guest lecture at The University of Manchester School of Law on March 11. He discussed “The Contributions of United Nations Security Council Resolutions to the Law of Non-International Armed Conflict: New Evidence of Customary International Law.”
    • Gregory Fox gave a guest lecture at the University of Glasgow on March 12. He discussed “The Contributions of United Nations Security Council Resolutions to the Law of Non-International Armed Conflict: New Evidence of Customary International Law.”
    • Gregory Fox gave a guest lecture at the London School of Economics and Political Science on March 14. He discussed “The Contributions of United Nations Security Council Resolutions to the Law of Non-International Armed Conflict: New Evidence of Customary International Law.”
    • Gregory Fox was a speaker at the Annual Meeting of the American Society of International Law in Washington, D.C. on March 29. He discussed "Legal Techniques for Resolving Armed Conflicts with Non-State Actors."

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