Eric Posner

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Eric Posner
Professor Eric Posner.jpg
Born (1965-12-05) December 5, 1965 (age 49)
Residence Chicago, Illinois,
United States
Nationality United States
Fields International law
Institutions University of Chicago Law School
Alma mater Yale University
Harvard Law School
Known for The Limits of International Law (2005, ISBN 0-19-516839-9; with Jack Goldsmith).

Eric Andrew Posner (born December 5, 1965)[1] is Kirkland and Ellis Distinguished Service Professor of Law at the University of Chicago Law School and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. An editor of The Journal of Legal Studies, he has also published numerous articles and books on issues in international law. He is well known as the co-author of Terror in the Balance and The Executive Unbound.[2]

He is the son of the federal appellate judge Richard Posner.

Education and clerkship[edit]

Posner attended Yale University (B.A., M.A. in philosophy, summa cum laude) and received his law degree from Harvard Law School (J.D., magna cum laude) in 1991. He clerked for Judge Stephen F. Williams of the D.C. Circuit.[3]


A professor at the University of Chicago Law School, Posner is an editor of The Journal of Legal Studies. He has published numerous articles on subjects including international law, cost-benefit analysis, and constitutional law.

He has taught courses in international law, foreign relations law, and game theory and the law.[4] His current research focuses on international law, foreign relations law, and international tribunals.

He has written about the trial of the deposed Iraqi president Saddam Hussein.[5]

In June 2013, Posner and Jameel Jaffer, fellow at the Open Society Foundations, participated in the New York Times's Room for Debate series. Posner responded to concerns about expanded National Security Agency programs that vacuum information about the private lives of American citizens. Since c. 2005, the N.S.A. has served major telecommunications companies with metadata[notes 1][2] For example Verizon Business Network Services, one of America's largest telecoms providers, was required to provide "records of millions of US customers" to the NSA.[notes 2][6] He claimed that Americans obtain the services they want by disclosing private information to strangers such as "the market services of doctors, insurance companies, Internet service providers, employers, therapists and the rest, or the nonmarket services of the government like welfare and security." He argued that, since 2001 there has not been an incident in which the United States government used information "obtained for security purposes with "war-on-terror-related surveillance" technologies to "target a political opponent, dissenter or critic.".[2]

Select writings[edit]



  • "Is the International Court of Justice Biased?," J. Legal Stud. (forthcoming) (with Miguel de Figueiredo).
  • "An Economic Analysis of State and Individual Responsibility Under International Law", Amer. L. & Econ. Rev. (forthcoming; with Alan Sykes)
  • "International Law: A Welfarist Approach", 73 U. Chi. L. Rev. 487 (2006)
  • "International Law and the Rise of China", 7 Chi. J. Int’l L. 1 (2006; with John Yoo)
  • "International Law and the Disaggregated State", 32 Fla. St. U. L. Rev. 797 (2005)
  • "Terrorism and the Laws of War", 5 Chi. J. Int’l L. 423 (2005)
  • "Optimal War and Jus ad Bellum", 93 Georgetown L.J. 993 (2005) (with Alan Sykes)
  • "Judicial Independence in International Tribunals", 93 Calif. L. Rev. 1 (2005; with John Yoo)
  • "Transnational Legal Process and the Supreme Court’s 2003–2004 Term: Some Skeptical Observations", 12 Tulsa Journal of Comparative and International Law 23 (2004)
  • "A Theory of the Laws of War", 70 U. Chi. L. Rev. 297 (2003)
  • "Do States Have a Moral Obligation to Comply with International Law?", 55 Stan. L. Rev. 1901 (2003)
  • "Moral and Legal Rhetoric in International Relations: A Rational Choice Perspective", 31 J. Legal Stud. S115 (2002; with Jack Goldsmith)
  • "Understanding the Resemblance Between Modern and Traditional Customary International Law", 40 Va. J. Int’l Law 639 (2000; with Jack L. Goldsmith)

Newspaper columns[edit]


  1. ^ Metadata is transactional information not communications and therefore, does not require individual warrants. Such transactional records include "session identifying information(originating and terminating number), call duration, telephone calling card numbers, trunk identifiers, International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI) number, and comprehensive communication routing information and the nearest cell tower a phone was connected to." Those who oppose the surveillance claim that the collection and storing of "unlimited metadata is a highly invasive form of surveillance of citizens' communications activities (Greenwald 2013)."
  2. ^ The FBI was granted the order by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) for a three-month period from April through July 2013.


  1. ^ date & year of birth, full name according to LCNAF CIP data
  2. ^ a b c Eric Posner; Jameel Jaffer (9 June 2013). "Secrecy and Freedom". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 June 2013. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ "The Perils of Global Legalism". Retrieved June 4, 2010. 
  5. ^ "The University of Chicago Law School Faculty Blog: Saddam's Trial". Retrieved June 4, 2010. 
  6. ^ Greenwald, Glenn (6 June 2013). "NSA collecting phone records of millions of Verizon customers daily". UK: The Guardian. Retrieved 10 June 2013. 

External links[edit]