Francis Boyle

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Francis Boyle
Born (1950-03-25) March 25, 1950 (age 73)
EducationUniversity of Chicago, 1971
Harvard Law School, 1976
Harvard University, 1983
Occupation(s)Human rights lawyer and professor of law

Francis Anthony Boyle (born March 25, 1950)[1] is an American human rights lawyer and professor of international law at the University of Illinois College of Law.[2] He has served as counsel for Bosnia and Herzegovina and has supported the rights of Palestinians and indigenous peoples.

Early life, education and practice[edit]

Boyle was born Irish and doesn't consider himself to be a "White North American".[3] He received a Bachelor of Arts in political science from the University of Chicago in 1971.[4] He earned a Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School in 1976 and Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy in political science from Harvard University in 1983.[4] Boyle practiced tax and international tax law with Bingham, Dana & Gould.[2]

Background and legal work[edit]

Boyle serves as counsel to Bosnia and Herzegovina and to the Provisional Government of the Palestinian Authority. He also represents two associations of citizens within Bosnia and was involved in developing the indictment against Slobodan Milošević for genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Over his career, he has represented national and international bodies including the Blackfoot Nation (Canada), the Nation of Hawaii, and the Lakota Nation, as well as numerous individual death penalty and human rights cases. He has advised numerous international bodies in the areas of human rights, war crimes and genocide, nuclear policy, and bio-warfare. From 1991-92, Boyle served as Legal Advisor to the Palestinian Delegation to the Middle East Peace Negotiations.[5]

He served on the board of directors of Amnesty International, as a consultant to the American Friends Service Committee, and on the Advisory Board for the Council for Responsible Genetics. He drafted the US domestic implementing legislation for the Biological Weapons Convention, known as the Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989, that was approved unanimously by both Houses of the US Congress and signed into law by President George H.W. Bush.[6] He served as an adviser to the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) between 1987-89 and 1991-93.[7]

Activism and views[edit]

Amnesty International[edit]

As member of the board of Amnesty International USA at the end of the 1980s and early 1990s, he claimed that Amnesty International USA acted in ways closely related to United States foreign policy interests. He stated that Amnesty, along with other human rights organisations in the US, failed to sufficiently criticise the Sabra and Shatila Massacre in Lebanon.[8] Boyle stated his suspicion that Amnesty International, which is headquartered in London, was also subject to this bias. He attributes alleged links between Amnesty International and Western foreign policy interests to the relatively large financial contribution of Amnesty International USA to AI's international budget, which he estimated at 20%.[8] Boyle added that Amnesty International was instrumental in publicizing the "Iraqi soldiers dumping children from incubators in Kuwait" hoax.[9] He claimed aspects of organizational continuity and survival came ahead of human rights aims in Amnesty International. He stated "Amnesty International is primarily motivated not by human rights but by publicity. Second comes money. Third comes getting more members. Fourth, internal turf battles. And then finally, human rights, genuine human rights concerns."[8]

Bosnian genocide case[edit]

During the war for independence of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Boyle became the first international-law legal adviser to the first Bosnia-Herzegovinian president, Alija Izetbegovic. Boyle prepared and filed with the International Court of Justice Case 91, also known as the Bosnian genocide case claiming that genocide took place in Bosnia and Herzegovina and that Serbia was responsible for and complicit in that genocide. The final verdict of the case in 2007 stated that while Serbia had not committed genocide, genocide indeed had taken place in Bosnia and Herzegovina and that Serbia was responsible for "failing to prevent and punish the genocide which it knew was taking place."[10]

COVID-19 conspiracy theories[edit]

Boyle has claimed that SARS-CoV-2 is a genetically engineered bioweapon that escaped from a high-level lab in Wuhan, China. Boyle has no academic degree in virology or biology,[11] and genomic analysis by virologists has ruled out such conspiracy theories.[12][13]

Domestic US politics[edit]

Federal government of the United States[edit]

In October 1992, Boyle participated in the International Tribunal of Indigenous Peoples and Oppressed Nationalities in the United States of America that convened in San Francisco. Boyle, acting as a "special prosecutor", petitioned the tribunal to issue the following:

In the conclusion of a 37-point legal brief, Boyle wrote that the Federal Government of the United States:

is hostis humani generis: The enemy of all humankind! For the good of all humanity, this Tribunal must condemn and repudiate the Federal Government of the United States of America and its grotesque vision of a New World Order that is constructed upon warfare, bloodshed, violence, criminality, genocide, racism, colonialism, apartheid, massive violations of fundamental human rights, and the denial of the international legal right of self-determination to the Indigenous Peoples and Peoples of Color living in North America and elsewhere around the world.[14]

Hawaiian sovereignty movement[edit]

In 1993, Boyle gave a speech in which he called for Hawaiian independence from the United States.[15]

In December 2004, Boyle stated that the United States is illegally occupying the state of Hawaii and he has encouraged Native Hawaiians to press for independence and, if necessary, unilaterally proclaim their own state. In a three-hour speech entitled "The Restoration of Hawaii's Independence," Boyle claimed that the United States has conceded it unlawfully occupied the Kingdom of Hawaii and that fact alone "gives the Kanaka Maoli (Native Hawaiians) the entitlement to restore their independent status as a sovereign nation state."[16]

Boyle argued that, like the Palestinians, Hawaiians should "exercise their right of self-determination", instead of asking the permission for it. Boyle stated that "the plight of the Hawaiian people is generally well known in the world and there's a great deal of sympathy." He concluded his speech by stating that "Hawaii should send the strongest message to Washington it can. Letters carry no weight. The number of people in the street do. Gandhi threw the mighty British out of India with peaceful, nonviolent force. People power, submit to it."[16]

Boyle, who has been advising Hawaiian independence groups since 1992, has argued that "The legal cause for the restoration of the kingdom is air-tight". In addition to devising a draft constitution for one group, the Nation of Hawaii, Boyle filed suit in the United States Supreme Court in 1998 to demand the restoration of Hawaiian independence and reparations "for all the harm inflicted on the Kingdom of Hawaii". The court later determined that the kingdom "was a non-recognised sovereign that does not have access to the US courts". Boyle added that Hawaiian independence groups will "have to wait until the Kingdom of Hawaii has achieved substantial diplomatic recognition and then I could file something in the international court of justice." Boyle further stated that "Native Hawaiians operate in accordance with the Aloha spirit, which is similar to Mahatma Gandhi's Satyagraha force, and I take the position that if Gandhi can throw the mighty British Empire out of India with Satyagraha, Native Hawaiians can throw the mighty American empire out of Hawaii with Aloha." In a 2008 interview, Boyle restated his confidence that Hawaii will eventually achieve independence from the United States.[17]

Administrations since 1992[edit]

Boyle endorsed the impeachment of Bill Clinton, though not for the reasons stated in the Articles passed by the House of Representatives. Instead, Professor Boyle called on Clinton to be impeached for the "right reasons" -- specifically: launching military attacks against Sudan, Afghanistan, and Iraq in violation of the War Powers Resolution and the U.S. Constitution.[18]

Boyle appealed in January 2010 to the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to take action against George W. Bush and Dick Cheney among other members of the Bush administration. The United States does not recognize the jurisdiction of the ICC.[19] In November 2011, Boyle was involved as a prosecutor in the four-day Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal in Malaysia, an organisation established by former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad, an opponent of the Iraq War, to decide if President George W. Bush had violated international law.[20] At the conclusion of the event, the two men were found guilty of committing war crimes.[21]

In April 2018, Boyle gave a statement regarding Trump's missile strike in Syria, asserting that it was a violation of multiple charters and legal statutes, a crime against peace, and an illegal and impeachable offense.[22] In a column, Boyle referred to Trump as "another representative for U.S. imperialism and neoliberal capitalism."[23]

US foreign policy since 9/11[edit]

Boyle has been critical of the U.S. interventionist foreign policy,[24] especially humanitarian intervention.[25]

Boyle was a critic of the foreign policy of former American President George W. Bush. In 2007 Boyle claimed that the G. W. Bush administration had been conducting criminal activities alongside associates in allied countries and that the administration would welcome conflict with Muslim and Arab states. He also claimed that American treatment of Muslims and Arabs since 9/11 was similar to that of the Japanese and Japanese Americans after Pearl Harbor.[26]

Israel and Palestine[edit]

Boyle is a long-standing critic of Israel, Zionism, and American foreign policy towards Israel. In 1986, Boyle filed a lawsuit against Israeli General Amos Yaron for purported involvement in the Sabra and Shatila massacre[27] on behalf of several relatives of victims, but lost when the United States State Department said that Yaron could not be tried due to the diplomatic immunity he enjoyed as a military attaché to the United States.[28] Boyle countered that under the Nuremberg Principles, there are no privileges or immunities for suspected war criminals,[29] but the court decided that since President Ronald Reagan had given Yaron a "formal certification" that "this was a political question and the court could not do anything to the contrary".[citation needed] Boyle has since followed all lawsuits against Israelis internationally, and blames "Zionist control and domination of the American judiciary" for the failure of these lawsuits in the United States. Boyle proposed that the United Nations General Assembly set up the "International Criminal Tribunal for Israel" (ICTI) as a "subsidiary organ" under Article 22 of the United Nations Charter. His suggestion was endorsed in the UN by Malaysia and Iran, and supported by several dozen Arab and Muslim countries.

Boyle advocated the creation of a Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement in a speech on November 30, 2000 at Illinois State University in which Boyle called for "the establishment of a worldwide campaign of disinvestment/divestment against Israel" and has since campaigned for BDS.[30] He referred to Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip as "genocide", and the Gaza War as a "massacre", claiming that Israel's actions raise the element in the Genocide Convention "of murder, torture, and things of that nature", and urged the Obama administration to force Israel to lift its blockade.

In January 2009, he wrote that "Israel's genocidal policy against the Palestinians has been unremitting, extending from before the very foundation of the State of Israel in 1948 ... Zionism's "final solution" to Israel's much touted "demographic threat" allegedly posed by the very existence of the Palestinians has always been genocide."[31] Following the Gaza War, he advised Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to file a declaration under Article 12, Paragraph 3 of the Rome Statute, requesting the prosecution of Israeli officials.

Prediction of the collapse of Israel[edit]

In an article published by Veterans Today in 2010 titled "The Impending Collapse of Israel", Boyle stated that "God had no right to steal Palestine from the Palestinians and give Palestine to the Jews to begin with. A fortiori the United Nations had no right to steal Palestine from the Palestinians and give Palestine to the Zionists in 1947." In the same article, Boyle predicted that the state of Israel "will continue its rapid descent into pariah state status" and that "When Israel collapses, most Zionists will have already left or will soon leave for other states around the world. The Palestinians will then be able to claim all of the historic Mandate for Palestine as their State, including the entire City of Jerusalem as their Capital."[32]

According to Boyle, "the Jewish Bantustan (will) collapse of its own racist and genocidal weight over the next two decades if not much sooner. In the meantime, the Palestinians must stall and delay the so-called peace negotiations until then. Time is on their side."[32][33]

Israel as a "Jewish Bantustan"[edit]

In an article published by the Atlantic Free Press, in October 2010, Boyle suggested that Israel change its name to "Jewistan - The State of the Jews", claiming:

In fact, Israel has never been anything but a Bantustan for Jews set up in the Middle East by the White racist and genocidal Western colonial imperial powers in order to serve as their racist attack dog and genocidal enforcer against the Arab and Muslim world. From the very moment of Western imperialism's genocidal conception of Israel in 1947-1948, Israel has historically always functioned as Jewistan – the world's Bantustan for the Jews. So Israel might as well finally change its name today to Jewistan, own up to its racist birthright, and make it official for the rest of the world to acknowledge.[34]

He concluded the article by stating: "In the meantime, the Palestinians should sign nothing with Jewistan/Israel and let this Bantustan for Jews collapse of its own racist and genocidal weight. Good riddance!"[34]


In May 2008, Boyle offered to "represent Iran in an international tribunal for trying Israel on charges of genocide of Palestinians", and reportedly demanded that his proposal be submitted to Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.[31]

Boyle has urged Iran to sue the United States in the International Court of Justice to discourage a military strike on Iran's nuclear facilities and prevent the imposition of new sanctions by the U.N. Security Council. He offered to represent Iran and recommended that Iran begin drafting lawsuits for presentation to the International Court of Justice.[35]

Ireland and the Great Famine[edit]

Boyle supports the concept of a United Ireland, advocating for a "peaceful decolonization" of Northern Ireland.[36] Against mainstream scholarship, Boyle has claimed that the Great Famine in Ireland constituted a "genocide" under the Genocide Convention.[37][38] Irish historian Liam Kennedy criticized Boyle's claim, writing that:

The evidence for genocidal intent, however, is merely a string of quotations from a small number historians of Ireland, principally Christine Kinealy and the late Cecil Woodham-Smith. Most of the voluminous literature on the Famine is simply ignored. Neither is there any apparent attempt to engage with primary source materials or undertake original archival research. The style of writing is self-referential, and the quotations are not used in a systematic way to an argument for deliberate intent.[38]


  • The Criminality of Nuclear Deterrence (Clarity Press, 2013)[39][ISBN missing]
  • Destroying Libya and World Order: The Three-Decade U.S. Campaign to Terminate the Qaddafi Revolution (Clarity Press, 2013); ISBN 978-0985335373
  • World Politics and International Law (Duke University Press, 2012).[40]
  • The Palestinian Right of Return Under International Law (Clarity Press, 2011); ISBN 978-0932863935
  • United Ireland, Human Rights and International Law (Clarity Press, 2011); ISBN 978-0983353928
  • Palestine, Palestinians and International Law (Clarity Press, 2009); ISBN 978-0932863379
  • Tackling America's Toughest Questions: Alternative Media Interviews (Clarity, 2009); ISBN 978-0932863621
  • The Tamil Genocide by Sri Lanka: The Global Failure to Protect Tamil Rights Under International Law (Clarity Press, 2009); ISBN 978-0932863706
  • Breaking All The Rules: Palestine, Iraq, Iran and the Case for Impeachment (Clarity Press, 2008); ISBN 978-0932863591
  • Protesting Power: War, Resistance and Law (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2007); ISBN 978-0742538924
  • Biowarfare and Terrorism (Clarity Press, 2006); ISBN 978-0932863461
  • Destroying World Order: US Imperialism in the Middle East Before and After September 11 (CreateSpace Independent Publishing, 2004); ISBN 978-1452884875
  • Foundations of World Order: The Legalist Approach to International Relations, 1898–1922 (Duke University Press Books, 1999); ISBN 978-0822323648


  1. ^ Prof Francis Boyle; Birth Date: 25 Mar 1950; Champaign, IL. U.S. Public Records Index, 1950–1993, Volume 1.
  2. ^ a b "Francis Boyle - University of Illinois College of Law". University of Illinois College of Law. Retrieved December 10, 2018.
  3. ^ Boyle, Francis (April 20, 2012). "The Right of African Americans to Self-Determination". Rochester, NY. doi:10.2139/ssrn.2330837. SSRN 2330837. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  4. ^ a b "Francis Boyle biography". IMDb. Retrieved March 8, 2020.
  5. ^ Francis Boyle Illinois College of Law
  6. ^ Boyle, Francis A. (2005). Biowarfare and Terrorism. Atlanta: Clarity Press; ISBN 978-0-932863-46-1
  7. ^ Auerbach, Jerold (June 18, 2013). "Pacifists at War". The Algemeiner. Retrieved May 12, 2020.
  8. ^ a b c Bernstein, Dennis (2002). "Interview: Amnesty on Jenin - Dennis Bernstein and Dr. Francis Boyle Discuss the Politics of Human Rights". Covert Action Quarterly. Archived from the original on April 16, 2008. Retrieved August 5, 2009.
  9. ^ Dennis Bernstein, Interview with Francis Boyle, CovertAction Information Bulletin, 2002
  10. ^ "Serbia found guilty of failure to prevent and punish genocide". Sense Tribunal. February 26, 2007. Archived from the original on July 30, 2009.
  11. ^ "The superspreaders behind top COVID-19 conspiracy theories". AP NEWS. February 15, 2021. Retrieved February 15, 2021.
  12. ^ Hakim, Mohamad S. (February 14, 2021). "SARS-CoV-2, Covid-19, and the debunking of conspiracy theories". Reviews in Medical Virology. 31 (6): e2222. doi:10.1002/rmv.2222. ISSN 1099-1654. PMC 7995093. PMID 33586302. Currently, there are some fictitious and pseudoscientific claims as well as conspiracy theories associated with the Covid‐19 pandemic. Some people have alleged that SARS‐CoV‐2 is of laboratory origin and the result of deliberate genetic manipulation. According to these conspiracy theories, a novel virus is a human‐made biological weapon, not the result of natural evolution and selection.
  13. ^ "WHO-convened global study of origins of SARS-CoV-2: China Part".
  14. ^ Social & Legal Commentary - USA Archived 2010-12-12 at the Wayback Machine at Archived 2010-12-12 at the Wayback Machine; accessed April 13, 2015.
  15. ^ Speech by Francis Boyle Restoration of the Independent Nation of Hawai'i Under International Law, Mable Smyth Hall, Honolulu, Hawaii, December 28, 1993.
  16. ^ a b Carolyn Lucas. "Law expert Francis Boyle urges natives to take back Hawaii",, December 30, 2004.
  17. ^ Catherine Elsworth. "Queen of Hawaii demands independence from 'US occupiers'", The Telegraph, June 30, 2008.
  18. ^ "Clinton kills more Iraqi civilians in bid to escape impeachment vote". Crescent International. Retrieved March 6, 2020.
  19. ^ Joshpe, Brett (January 25, 2020). "Forum for assaulting Israel and US". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved May 12, 2020.
  20. ^ "Activists in Malaysia plan 'war crime trial' of George W. Bush and Tony Blair". The Daily Telegraph. London. November 15, 2011. Retrieved May 12, 2020.
  21. ^ "George W. Bush, Tony Blair Found Guilty of War Crimes ... in Malaysia". National Post. AFP. November 22, 2011. Retrieved May 12, 2020.
  22. ^ "Syria Strike Should Concern College Students". Diverse. April 15, 2018. Retrieved March 6, 2020.
  23. ^ "America's 'Unlimited Imperialists'". Consortiumnews. April 11, 2018. Retrieved March 6, 2020.
  24. ^ "Destroying World Order" (PDF). Retrieved March 6, 2020.
  25. ^ Boyle, Francis (March 13, 2001). "Humanitarian Intervention and International Law". Rochester, NY. SSRN 2330828. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  26. ^ Professor Francis A. Boyle, Law and Resistance: The Republic in Crisis and the People’s Response, University of Illinois College of Law, Lincoln Auditorium of Northwestern University School of Law, November 20, 2007.
  27. ^ Francis Boyle, World Politics, Human Rights, and International Law, Rowman & Littlefield 2021 ISBN 978-1-793-63340-8 p.239
  28. ^ Francis Boyle,The Yaron Case, The Palestinian Yearbook of International Law 1989 vol.5, pp.254-287 p.255:'On August 1, 1986, the Israeli government announced that it was nominating General Yaron as its Military Attache to the United States and Canada. On October 24, 1986, the Reagan administration officially accepted Yaron's Letter of Accreditation. Canada, on the other hand, declined to accept his credentials. . .During the course of the Yaron litigation, the United States Department of State took the official position that Yaron possessed diplomatic immunity under the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and the U.S. Diplomatic Relations Act of 1978. Yet, that same U.S. State Department had just been involved in efforts to put former U.N. Secretary General Kurt Waldheim on the so-called "watch list" in order to bar his entry into the United States on the alleged grounds that he might have been an accomplice in the commission of war crimes during the Second World War. The U.S. Department of Justice so barred the Austrian President Waldheim as of April 27, 1987. By contrast, Yaron was directly responsible for the murder of several hundred innocent Palestinian and Lebanese civilians, including women, children and old people. Unlike Waldheim, however, not only was Yaron permitted to enter the United States, but the U.S. government also accorded him full diplomatic privileges and immunities under the Vienna Convention.'
  29. ^ Linda A. Malone, 'The Appointment of General Yaron: Continuing Impunity for the Sabra and Shatilla Massacres,' Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law Volume 32 | Issue 2 2000 pp.287-305, pp.287,302 n.131-132
  30. ^ Post, Lauren; Samarov, Max (October 24, 2018). "The Anti-Israel Professor Who's A Darling Of The Alt Right — And The Far Left". Forward.
  31. ^ a b Francis A. Boyle, "US Promotes Israeli Genocide",, January 10, 2009; retrieved October 25, 2012.
  32. ^ a b Jerold S. Auerbach. Jewish State, Pariah Nation: Israel and the Dilemmas of Legitimacy, Quid Pro Books, 2014; ISBN 9781610272155, p. 116.
  33. ^ Ludwig Watzal. Right of Return – Book Review Archived 2012-04-24 at the Wayback Machine, The Palestine Chronicle (reprinted in Industry News), November 11, 2011.
  34. ^ a b Boyle, Francis (October 20, 2010). "Jewistan: Finally Recognizing Israel as the Jewish State". Atlantic Free Press. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016.
  35. ^ "American Lawyer Says He'll Represent Iranian Regime if it Sues U.S.", Special Report by Brit Hume, Fox News, July 29, 2008.
  36. ^ Boyle, Francis A. (1995), Sik, Ko Swan; Pinto, M.C.W.; Syatauw, J.J.G. (eds.), "The Decolonization of Northern Ireland", Asian Yearbook of International Law, Volume 4 (1994), Brill, pp. 25–46, ISBN 978-90-411-0872-2, JSTOR 10.1163/j.ctv2gjwtwj.5, retrieved December 26, 2022
  37. ^ "Francis A. Boyle: The Irish Famine was Genocide | History News Network". Retrieved December 26, 2022.
  38. ^ a b Kennedy, Liam (2015). Unhappy the Land: The Most Oppressed People Ever, the Irish?. Irish Academic Press. pp. 108–109. ISBN 978-1-78537-047-2.
  39. ^ Boyle, Francis Anthony, 1950- (2002). The criminality of nuclear deterrence. Atlanta, GA: Clarity Press. ISBN 0-932863-33-7. OCLC 50007944.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  40. ^ Boyle, Francis Anthony, 1950- (1985). World politics and international law. Durham [N.C.]: Duke University Press. ISBN 0-8223-0609-3. OCLC 11784378.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)

External links[edit]