Francis Boyle

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Francis Boyle
BornMarch 25, 1950
Chicago, Illinois
United States
EducationUniversity of Chicago, 1971
Harvard Law School, 1976
Harvard University, 1983
Occupationhuman 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 indigenous peoples and Palestinians.

Education and practice[edit]

Boyle received a Bachelor of Arts in political science from the University of Chicago in 1971.[3] 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.[3] 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.[citation needed]

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.[4] He served as an adviser to the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) between 1987-89 and 1991-93.[5]

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.[6] Boyle stated his suspicion that the International Secretariat of Amnesty International, based geographically in London, UK, was also subject to this bias. He attributes alleged links between Amnesty International and US/UK foreign policy interests to the relatively large financial contribution of Amnesty International USA to AI's international budget, which he estimated at 20%.[6] Boyle added that Amnesty International was instrumental in publicizing the "Iraqi soldiers dumping children from incubators in Kuwait" hoax.[7] 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."[6]

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."[8]

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.[9]

Hawaiian sovereignty movement[edit]

In 1993, Boyle gave a speech in which he called for Hawaiian independence from the United States.[10]

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."[11]

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."[11]

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.[12]

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.[13]

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.[14] 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.[15] At the conclusion of the wholly symbolic event, the two men were found guilty of committing war crimes.[16]

In April 2018, Boyle said regarding Trump's missile strike in Syria, "It's a clear-cut violation of the United Nations charter. It's a violation of the War Powers clause of the U.S. Constitution. It's a violation of the War Powers resolution enacted by Congress. This constitutes a Nuremberg crime against peace, and an aggression in violation of the Rome statute of the U.S. criminal court definition. So there's no legality at all that I can tell, just wanton and naked aggression…It's clearly illegal and all these actions by President Trump are certainly impeachable, as well."[17] In a column, Boyle referred to Trump as "another representative for U.S. imperialism and neoliberal capitalism."[18]

US foreign policy since 9/11[edit]

Boyle has been critical of the U.S. interventionist foreign policy,[19] especially humanitarian intervention.[20]

Boyle was a critic of the foreign policy of former American President George W. Bush. In 2007 Boyle objected to the "ongoing criminal activities perpetrated by the Bush Jr. administration and its nefarious foreign accomplices in allied governments such as in Britain, Australia, Japan, South Korea, Georgia, etc." He claimed the G. W. Bush administration "would welcome the outbreak of a Third World War" and "is fully prepared to use tactical nuclear weapons against Muslim and Arab states and peoples." He also claimed that American treatment of Muslims and Arabs since the 9/11 is "almost to the same extent that America inflicted upon the Japanese and Japanese Americans after Pearl Harbor." He concluded his speech by calling on American lawyers to "lead the fight against the Bush Jr. dictatorship."[21]

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 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. Boyle countered that under the Nuremberg Principles, there are no privileges or immunities for suspected war criminals, 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". 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.[22] 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."[23] 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."[24]

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."[24][25]

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.[26]

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!"[26]


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.[23][27]

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.[28][29]


  • The Criminality of Nuclear Deterrence (Clarity Press, 2013)[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).
  • 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. University of Illinois College of Law. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Francis Boyle biography". IMDb. Retrieved 2020-03-08.
  4. ^ Boyle, Francis A. (2005). Biowarfare and Terrorism. Atlanta: Clarity Press; ISBN 978-0-932863-46-1
  5. ^ Auerbach, Jerold (June 18, 2013). "Pacifists at War". The Algemeiner. Retrieved May 12, 2020.
  6. ^ 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 2008-04-16. Retrieved 2009-08-05.
  7. ^ Dennis Bernstein, Interview with Francis Boyle, CovertAction Information Bulletin, 2002
  8. ^ "Serbia found guilty of failure to prevent and punish genocide". Sense Tribunal. February 26, 2007. Archived from the original on 2009-07-30.
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ Speech by Francis Boyle Restoration of the Independent Nation of Hawai'i Under International Law, Mable Smyth Hall, Honolulu, Hawaii, December 28, 1993.
  11. ^ a b Carolyn Lucas. "Law expert Francis Boyle urges natives to take back Hawaii",, December 30, 2004.
  12. ^ Catherine Elsworth. "Queen of Hawaii demands independence from 'US occupiers'", The Telegraph, June 30, 2008.
  13. ^ "Clinton kills more Iraqi civilians in bid to escape impeachment vote". Crescent International. Retrieved 2020-03-06.
  14. ^ Joshpe, Brett (January 25, 2020). "Forum for assaulting Israel and US". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved May 12, 2020.
  15. ^ "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.
  16. ^ "George W. Bush, Tony Blair Found Guilty of War Crimes ... in Malaysia". National Post. AFP. November 22, 2011. Retrieved May 12, 2020.
  17. ^ "Syria Strike Should Concern College Students". Diverse. 2018-04-15. Retrieved 2020-03-06.
  18. ^ "America's 'Unlimited Imperialists'". Consortiumnews. 2018-04-11. Retrieved 2020-03-06.
  19. ^ "Destroying World Order" (PDF). Retrieved 2020-03-06.
  20. ^ Boyle, Francis (2001-03-13). "Humanitarian Intervention and International Law". Rochester, NY. SSRN 2330828. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  21. ^ 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.
  22. ^ Post, Lauren; Samarov, Max (October 24, 2018). "The Anti-Israel Professor Who's A Darling Of The Alt Right — And The Far Left". Forward.
  23. ^ a b Francis A. Boyle, "US Promotes Israeli Genocide",, January 10, 2009; retrieved October 25, 2012.
  24. ^ a b Jerold S. Auerbach. Jewish State, Pariah Nation: Israel and the Dilemmas of Legitimacy, Quid Pro Books, 2014; ISBN 9781610272155, p. 116.
  25. ^ 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.
  26. ^ 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.
  27. ^ "US professor wants to represent Iran", Press TV, May 9, 2008; retrieved October 25, 2012.
  28. ^ Chris Gelken. "US lawyer seeks to sue US over Iran threats" Archived 2016-03-05 at the Wayback Machine, Press TV, July 22, 2008; retrieved October 25, 2012.
  29. ^ "American Lawyer Says He'll Represent Iranian Regime if it Sues U.S.", Special Report by Brit Hume, Fox News, July 29, 2008.

External resources[edit]