Francis Boyle

Professor of Law


Francis Boyle is a professor of international law at the University of Illinois College of Law. He received an AB (1971) in Political Science from the University of Chicago, then a JD degree magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, and AM and PhD degrees in Political Science from Harvard University. He practiced tax and international tax with Bingham, Dana & Gould.

Professor 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 Milosević 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, he served as Legal Advisor to the Palestinian Delegation to the Middle East Peace Negotiations.

Professor Boyle 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 U.S. 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 U.S. Congress and signed into law by President George H.W. Bush.


AM, PhD Harvard University
JD Harvard Law School
AB University of Chicago

Areas of Expertise

Constitutional Law (U.S. Foreign Affairs)
Human Rights
U.S. Foreign Affairs


Constitutional Law of US Foreign Affairs
International Human Rights Law
International Law
Law Teaching Practicum

Selected Publications


World Politics and International Law (Duke University Press: 1985; 2d prtg. 1987; 3d prtg. 1995). Designated “An Outstanding Academic Book of 1985-86” in the field of Political Science by Choice Magazine, Association of College and Research Libraries, American Library Association.

Defending Civil Resistance Under International Law (Transnational Publishers: 1987). The Center for Energy Research published a special paperback edition in 1988.

The Future of International Law and American Foreign Policy (Transnational Publishers: 1989). The Islamic World Studies Center in Malta published an Arabic language edition in 1993.

The Bosnian People Charge Genocide (Aletheia Press: 1996). The Bosnian State Institute for Research of Crimes against Humanity and International Law, which is affiliated with the University of Sarajevo, published a Bosnian language edition in 2000.

Foundations of World Order: The Legalist Approach to International Relations (1898-1922) (Duke University Press: 1999). Pakyounsa published a Korean translation of this book in 2004.

The Criminality of Nuclear Deterrence (Clarity Press: 2002) (Crescent News, Malaysia: 2007). Verlag Zeit-Fragen in Zurich, Switzerland published a German language edition in 2009.

Palestine, Palestinians, and International Law (Clarity Press: 2003;2d prtg.2005) (Crescent News, Malaysia: 2007). Shorouk International in Egypt published an Arabic translation of this book in 2004.

Destroying World Order: U.S. Imperialism in the Middle East Before and After September 11th (Clarity Press: 2004) (Crescent News, Malaysia: 2007). The Supreme Council of Culture in Egypt published an Arabic translation of this book in 2005.

Biowarfare and Terrorism (Clarity Press:2005) (Crescent News, Malaysia: 2007). Éditions DemiLune in Paris published a French translation of this book in 2007.

Protesting Power: War, Resistance, and Law (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.: 2008).

Breaking All The Rules: Palestine, Iraq, Iran, and the Case for Impeachment (Clarity Press: 2008).

Tackling America’s Toughest Questions (Clarity Press: 2009).

The Tamil Genocide by Sri Lanka (Clarity Press: 2010).

The Palestinian Right of Return Under International Law (Clarity Press: 2011).

United Ireland, Human Rights, and International Law (Clarity Press: 2012).

Destroying Libya and World Order (Clarity Press: 2013).

Restoring the Kingdom of Hawaii: The Kanaka Maoli Route to Independence (Clarity Press: 2014).

Free Puerto Rico! Puerto Rico and the Puerto Ricans under International Law (Editorial Borikén, P.R.: 2016).

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