John Peter Cerone Eng’95

John Peter Cerone is a Professor of International Law, specializing in Human Rights, Humanitarian, & International Criminal Law, with faculty appointments at the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy (Tufts University), American University Washington College of Law, and the University of London. Prior faculty appointments have included the Paul Martin Senior Professorship in International Affairs & Law at the University of Windsor Faculty of Law, Visiting Chair in Public International Law at Lund University Faculty of Law, and Director of the Center for International Law & Policy at the New England School of Law, where he was awarded tenure and promoted to full professor in 2009.

As a practicing international lawyer, Professor Cerone has worked for a number of different intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations, including the United Nations, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the International Secretariat of Amnesty International, and the International Crisis Group, and has served as a legal adviser to various international criminal courts and tribunals. He also has extensive field experience in conflict and post-conflict environments, such as Afghanistan, Kosovo, Sierra Leone, and East Timor.

He has worked closely with several UN human rights treaty bodies, and his recent cases have involved the human rights impacts of climate change, and the protection of the human rights of children in situations of armed conflict. He has received the President’s Award of the Boston Bar Association for his legal work on Guantanamo Bay issues, which has included representing major international human rights organizations in detainee litigation before US courts and international human rights institutions.

He has been awarded fellowships at the Nobel Institute (Oslo), at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law (Heidelberg), and at the Raoul Wallenberg Institute (Lund) where he served as the Distinguished Chair in Human Rights & Humanitarian Law. He has been a visiting scholar at the International Criminal Court, and a Fulbright scholar at both the Danish Institute for Human Rights and the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies. He is presently a Senior Policy Fellow at Fletcher’s Institute for Human Security.

Professor Cerone is the U.S. Member of the International Law Association’s (ILA) International Human Rights Law Committee. He has served as Co-Chair of the Human Rights Interest Group of the American Society of International Law (ASIL), and as Chair of the International Human Rights Section of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS). He is accredited by the United Nations to represent the ASIL before various U.N. bodies. He is an elected member of the International Institute of Humanitarian Law and has served on a number of expert groups for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), including on the Law of Occupation and on Security Cooperation. He also served as Special Adviser to the first U.S. delegation to the UN Human Rights Council.

He has lectured on human rights law, the law of armed conflict, and international criminal law at the International Institute of Humanitarian Law (Sanremo), NATO Headquarters, the Institut International des Droits de l’Homme, the Inter-American Defense College, the Canadian Forces Staff College, the Swedish Defense University, the Academy on Human Rights & Humanitarian Law (AU WCL), and in the ICRC Annual Course, and has been keynote speaker at the US Naval War College and at the UNDP Transitional Justice Conference in Kathmandu. He has taught in over 40 countries across all regions of the globe and is the author of dozens of articles and book chapters on international law. He has authored and edited books published by Carolina Academic Press, Oxford University Press, and Edward Elgar Publishing, including two casebooks on Public International Law.

Honors / Awards:

  • Nobel Fellow, Nobel Institute (Oslo), 2017
  • Paul Martin Senior Professorship in International Affairs & Law, University of Windsor, Faculty of Law, 2015-17
  • Distinguished Chair in Human Rights & Humanitarian Law, Raoul Wallenberg Institute, 2014-15
  • Fulbright Scholar, Danish Institute for Human Rights, 2004
  • Senior Fellow, Institute for Human Security, The Fletcher School, Tufts University, 2018
  • Fellowship, Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law & International Law, 2004
  • Fulbright Senior Specialist, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, 2006
  • Special Advisor, US Delegation to the UN Human Rights Council, 2009
  • Visiting Scholar, International Criminal Court (The Hague, The Netherlands), 2006
  • Elected Member, International Institute of Humanitarian Law
  • Boston Bar Association President’s Award for work on Guantanamo Bay issues, 2007
  • Fellow, Salzburg Global Seminar
  • Fellow, Center for International Legal Studies
  • ASIL Representative to the United Nations and to the International Criminal Court (ASP/RevCon), 2010
  • Keynote Speaker, US Naval War College, Annual International & Operational Law Conference, 2014
  • Keynote Speaker, UNDP Transitional Justice Conference, Kathmandu, 2016

John Peter Cerone is the recipient of the 2023 CUAA Peter Cooper Public Service Award. He will be inducted into the Cooper Union Hall of Fame on February 9, 2023.