Francis Boyle

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Francis A. Boyle is a professor at the University of Illinois law school, specializing in international law, the relationship between the U.S. Constitution and U.S. foreign policy, international humanitarian law, and biological warfare and the relationship between international law and politics. [1]

He has been a consistent opponent of the Afghanistan War (2001-), Iraq War, and their effect on U.S. civil rights. Referring, in part, to the denial of Geneva Convention rights by the President to terrorist suspects,[2] Two months after the 9-11 Attack, he gave a radio interview, saying

if you add up everything that Ashcroft, Bush, Gonzales and their coterie of Federalist Society lawyers have done here, is a coup d'etat against the United States Constitution. There is no question about it. [3]

An extract from his book, The Criminality of Nuclear Deterrence - Could The US War On Terrorism Go Nuclear? begins not with legal analysis, but with the statement

George W. Bush was never elected President by the People of the United States of America. Instead, he was anointed for that Office by five Justices of the United States Supreme Court who themselves had been appointed by Republican Presidents. Bush Jr.'s installation was an act of judicial usurpation of the American Constitution that was unprecedented in the history of the American Republic[4]

He is counsel to Bosnia and Herzegovina and to the Palestinian Authority. He also represents two associations of citizens within Bosnia and has been instrumental in developing the indictment against Slobodan Milosevic for committing genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Prior to joining the faculty at the College of Law, he was a teaching fellow at Harvard University and an associate at its Center for International Affairs. He also practiced tax and international tax with Bingham, Dana & Gould in Boston.

He also has served on the Board of Directors of Amnesty International, as well as a consultant to the American Friends Services Committee, and on the Advisory Board for the Council for Responsible Genetics.

Other teaching includes:

  • U.S. State Department, Scholar-Diplomat Program, Bureau of Politico-Military Affairs (1981).
  • Lecturer, Nuclear Weapons and International Law, 21st Senior Conference on Nuclear Deterrence, U.S. Military Academy at West Point (1983).
  • Lecture Tour of Libya (1985).
  • Lecture Tour of the Soviet Union on Nuclear Weapons and International Law for the Lawyers' Committee on Nuclear Policy and the Association of Soviet Lawyers (1986).


As General Agent for the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina with Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Powers before the International Court of Justice by appointment of President Alija Izetbegovic (March 19, 1993 to January 12, 1994)won orders for "Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide" (Bosnia and Herzegovina v. Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro)), Order of Provisional Measures of 8 April 1993, 1993 I.C.J. Rep. at 3; and "Order of Provisional Measures of 13 September 1993", 1993 I.C.J. Rep. at 325. Instituted legal proceedings before the International Court of Justice against the United Kingdom for violating the 1948 Genocide Convention and the 1965 Racial


On 17 May 2000, President Aslan Maskhadov appointed him the Attorney of Record for the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria with Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Powers in order to conduct their legal affairs. On 1 August 2000 hesued the Russian Federation at the International Court of Justice for violating the 1948 Genocide Convention. On 14 February 2004 the Chechen Foreign Minister Ilyas Akhmadov appointed him their Ambassador to Norway with instructions to open peace negotiations with the Russian Federation.

North America

Represented the Blackfoot Nation (Canada), the Nation of Hawaii, and the Lakota Nation, as well as numerous individual death penalty and human rights cases.

  • Special Prosecutor, International Tribunal of Indigenous Peoples and Oppressed Nations in the U.S.A., San Francisco (1992).

Israel-Palestine Conflict

He was Legal Adviser to the Palestine Liberation Organization (from 1987) and the Provisional Government of the State of Palestine (from 1988) on the creation of the State of Palestine, its accession to the Geneva Conventions and Protocols, invocation of the Uniting for Peace Resolution, admission to the United Nations Organization, accepting the I.C.C.’s jurisdiction, etc.

From 1991-92, Professor Boyle served as Legal Advisor to the Palestinian Delegation to the Middle East Peace Negotiations.

He was Attorney for Plaintiffs, Ali Aidi v. Yaron, 672 F. Supp. 516 (D.D.C. 1987) (Sabra-Shatilla Massacre).

Biological warfare

According to his book, Biowarfare and Terrorism, he drafted U.S. domestic implementing legislation for the Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989 Biological Weapons and Toxins Convention. He does not appear to have testified on the subject to Congress.

In 2001 he was selected to be the Dr. Irma M. Parhad Lecturer by the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Calgary in Canada. In 2007 he became the Bertrand Russell Peace Lecturer at McMaster University in Canada.


  • A.B., Political Science, University of Chicago, 1975, graduated in 3 years; Political Science. Phi Beta Kappa; winner as a Junior of the Sigma Xi Certificate of Merit and Prize for Excellence in Undergraduate Scientific Research in Biology for 1971 for "The Differential Effects of Three Simulated Systems of Inbreeding on the Frequency of the tw Allele in Wild Populations of Mus Musculus on nomination of Richard C. Lewontin"
  • A.M., J.D., Ph.D. Harvard University


  1. Francis A. Boyle, Professor, University of Illinois Law School
  2. George W. Bush (July 20, 2007), Interpretation of the Geneva Conventions Common Article 3 as Applied to a Program of Detention and Interrogation Operated by the Central Intelligence Agency, Executive Order 13440
  3. Dennis Bernstein (14 November 2001), A Coup Against the American Constitution: An interview with Professor Francis A. Boyle, "Flashpoints", KPFA Radio
  4. Francis A. Boyle (1 February 2002), SPECIAL INTRODUCTION: George Bush, Jr., September 11th and the Rule of Law, The Criminality of Nuclear Deterrence - Could The US War On Terrorism Go Nuclear?, Clarity Press