Geoffrey S. Corn

Professor of Law and Presidential Research Professor


Areas of Expertise

  • Criminal Law
  • Military Law
  • National Security Law
  • Public International Law


Office: 736T

Geoffrey S. Corn is The Presidential Research Professor of Law at South Texas College of Law Houston in Houston Texas. Prior to joining the South Texas College of Law Houston faculty in 2005, Professor Corn served in the U.S. Army for 21 years as an officer, and a final year as s civilian legal advisor, retiring in the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Professor Corn’s teaching and scholarship focuses on the law of armed conflict, national security law, criminal law and procedure, and prosecutorial ethics. He has appeared an expert witness at the Military Commission in Guantanamo, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, and in federal court. He is the lead author of The Law of Armed Conflict: An Operational Perspective, and The Laws of War and the War on Terror, and National Security Law and Policy: a Student Treatise.

He is also co-author of Principles of Counter-Terrorism Law. His Army career included service as the Army’s senior law of war expert advisor, tactical intelligence officer in Panama; supervisory defense counsel for the Western United States; Chief of International Law for US Army Europe; Professor of International and National Security Law at the US Army Judge Advocate General’s School; and Chief Prosecutor for the 101st Airborne Division. He earned is B.A. from Hartwick College in Oneonta, NY, his J.D. with highest honors from George Washington University, his LLM as the distinguished graduate from the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s School. He is also a distinguished military graduate of U.S. Army Officer Candidate School, and a graduate of U.S. Army Command and General Staff Course.


Targeting, Distinction, and The Long War: Guarding Against Conflation of Cause and Responsibility , 46 Isr. Y.B. Hum. Rts, _____(forthcoming).

Two For One: The Ethical Pursuit Of Justice In The Military, And Battlefield Success, Through Joint Prosecution Decisions , 45 Sw. L. Rev. 495 (2016).(with Rachel VanLandingham)

Targeting and Civil Risk Mitigation: The Essential Role of Precautionary Measures , 223 Mil. L. Rev. 785 (2015). (with James Schoettler, Jr.)

A Military Justice Solution In Search Of A Problem: A Response To Vladeck , 104 GLJ Online (2015). (with M Christopher Jenks)

Averting The Inherent Dangers Of “Going Dark”: Why Congress Must Require A Locked Front Door To Encrypted Data , 72 Wash. & Lee L. Rev. 1433 (2015).

Exploring U.S. Treaty Practice through a Military Lens , 38 Harv. J.L. & Pub. Pol’y 547 (2015)(with Dru Brenner-Beck). Available at SSRN: or

The Admissibility of Confessions Compelled by Foreign Coercion: A Compelling Question of Values in an Era of Increasing International Criminal Cooperation , 42 Pepp. L. Rev. 467 (2015) (with Kevin Cieply).

War, Law, and The Oft Overlooked Value of Process as a Precautionary Measure , 42 Pepp. L. Rev. 419 (2015)

Regulating Hostilities In Non-International Armed Conflicts: Thoughts On Bridging The Divide Between The Tadić Aspiration And Conflict Realities , 91 Int’l L. Stud. 281 (2015).

Contemplating the Meaning of ‘Responsibility’ in Responsible Command , Int’l Rev. Red Cross, IRRC No. 895/896 (2015).

Ensuring Experience Remains the Life of the Law: Incorporating Military Realities into the Process of War Crimes Accountability , Global Community: Y.B. Int’l L. & Jurisprudence (Oxford University Press, 2014).

Military Justice Sentencing Thoery and Practice, 27 Fed. Sent’g Rep. 121 (2014)

The Military Response to Criminal Violent Extremist Groups: Aligning Use of Force Presumptions with Threat Reality , 47 Isr. L. Rev. 253 (2014) (with Tanweer Kaleemullah).

Drone Warfare: How ‘Precision Engagement’ Enhances the Legal Dialogue , Geo. J. Int’l Aff., Apr. 14, 2014.

Terrorism, Tips, And The Touchstone Of Reasonableness: Seeking A Balance Between Threat Response And Privacy Dilution , 118 Penn St. L. Rev. 129 (2013).

Geography Of Armed Conflict: Why It Is A Mistake To Fish For The Red Herring , 89 Int’l L. Stud. 77 (2013).

Strange Bedfellows: How Expanding The Public Safety Exception To Miranda Benefits Counterterrorism Suspects , 41 Fordham Urb. L.J. 1 (2013). (with Chris Jenks)

Even If It Ain’t Broke, Why Not Fix It? Three Proposed Improvements To The Uniform Code Of Military Justice , 6 J. Nat’l Security L. & Pol’y 447 (2013).(with Victor M. Hansen)

Miranda, Secret Questioning, And The Right To Counsel , 66 Ark. L. Rev. 931 (2013).

Belligerent Targeting And The Invalidity Of A Least Harmful Means Rule , 89 Int’l L. Stud. 536 (2013). (with Laurie R. Blank, Chris Jenks, Eric Talbot Jensen)

Losing the Forest for the Trees: Syria, Law and the Pragmatics of Conflict Recognition , 46 Van. J. Transnat’l L. 693 (2013). (with Laurie R. Blank)

Unprivileged Belligerents, Preventive Detention, And Fundamental Fairness: Rethinking The Review Tribunal Representation Model , 11 Santa Clara J. Int’l L. 99 (2012). (with Peter A. Chickris)

Siren Song: The Implications of the Goldstone Report on International Criminal Law , 7 Publicist, Wint. 2011 [online companion to Berkeley J. Int’l L. available at ] , available at (with Chris Jenks)

Self-Defense Targeting: Conflict Classification or Willful Blindness? (Oct. 22, 2011) (working paper), available at

Arizona v. Gant: The Good, The Bad, And The Meaning Of “Reasonable Belief” , 45 Conn. L. Rev. 177 (2012).

Self-Defense Targeting: Blurring the Line Between the Jus ad Bellum and the Jus in Bello , 88 Int’l L. Studies (Blue Book) Series 57 (2012).

Targeting, Command Judgment, and a Proposed Quantum of Information Component: A Fourth Amendment Lesson in Contextual Reasonableness , 77 Brook. L. Rev. 437 (2012).

The Law Of Operational Targeting: Viewing The LOAC Through An Operational Lens , 47 Tex. Int’l L.J. 337 (2012). (with Lieutenant Colonel Gary P. Corn)

The Missing Miranda Warning: Why What You Don’t Know Really Can Hurt You , 2011 Utah L. Rev. 761.

Two Sides Of The Combatant Coin: Untangling Direct Participation In Hostilities From Belligerent Status In Non-International Armed Conflicts , 33 U. Pa. J. Int’l L. 313 (2011). (with Chris Jenks)

Thinking The Unthinkable: Has The Time Come To Offer Combatant Immunity To Non-State Actors? 22 Stan. L. & Pol’y Rev. 253 (2011).

America’s Longest Held Prisoner Of War: Lessons Learned From The Capture, Prosecution, And Extradition Of General Manuel Noriega , 71 La. L. Rev. 1111 (2011). (with Sharon G. Finegan)

The Problem With Law Avoidance , 32 ABA Nat’l Security L. Rept., Wint. 2010 at 4.

Mixing Apples and Hand Grenades: The Logical Limit of Applying Human Rights Norms to Armed Conflict , 1 J. Int’l Humanitarian Legal Stud. 52 (2010).

Understanding the Limitations on Invoking the Courts-Martial Option for Trying Captured Terrorists , 17 Willamette J. Int’l L. & Disp. Resol. 1 (2009-2011).

Triggering Congressional War Powers Notification: A Proposal to Reconcile Constitutional Practice with Operational Reality , 14 Lewis & Clark L. Rev. 687 (2010).

International Legality, the Use of Military Force, and Burdens of Persuasion: Self-Defense, the Initiation of Hostilities, and the Impact of the Choice Between Two Evils on the Perception of International Legitimacy , 30 Pace L. Rev. 484 (2010). (with Colonel Dennis Gyllensporre, Swedish Army)

The Obama Administration’s First Year And IHL: A Pragmatist Reclaims The High Ground , 12 Y.B. Int’l Humanitarian L. 263 (2009). (with Eric T. Jensen)

Imputed Liability for Supervising Prosecutors: Applying the Military Doctrine of Command Responsibility to Reduce Prosecutorial Misconduct , 14 Berkeley J. Crim. L. 395 (2009). (with Adam Gershowitz)

Making the Case for Conflict Bifurcation in Afghanistan: Transnational Armed Conflict, Al Qaida, and the Limits of the Associated Militia Concept , 85 Int’l Law Stud. 181 (2009). Reprinted in Israeli Yearbook of Human Rights.

Transnational Armed Conflict: A “Principled” Approach to the Regulation of Counter-Terror Combat Operations , 42 Israel L. Rev. 45 (2009). (with Eric T. Jensen)

Back to the Future: De Facto Hostilities, Transnational Terrorism, and the Purpose of the Law of Armed Conflict , 30 U. Pa. J. Int’l L. 1345 (2009).

The National Security Constitution: The Separation of Powers and the War on Terror , 23 St. John’s J. Legal Comment. 973 (2009).

The Commission Prosecutor: Navigating Unchartered Ethical Waters in a Sea of International Uncertainty , 50 S. Tex. L. Rev. 803 (2009).

The Role of the Courts in the War on Terror: The Intersection of Hyperbole, Military Necessity, and Judicial Review , 43 New. Eng. L. Rev. 17 (2008).

Untying the Gordian Knot: a Proposal for Determining Applicability of the Laws of War to the War on Terror , 81 Temple L. Rev. 787 (2008).

Viewing Hamdan Through a Military Lens , 33 Okla. City U. L. Rev. 101 (2008).

10 Questions on National Security Law , 34 William Mitchell L. Rev. 5007 (2008). (with Norman Abrams, et al).

Unarmed But How Dangerous? Civilian Augmentees, The Law Of Armed Conflict, And The Search For A More Effective Test For Permissible Civilian Battle-Field Functions , 2 J. Nat’l Security L & Pol’y 257 (2008).

Bringing Discipline to the Civilianization of the Battlefield: A Proposal for a More Legitimate Approach to Resurrecting Military-Criminal Jurisdiction over Civilian Augmentees , 62 Miami L. Rev. 491 (2008).

Questioning the Jurisdictional Moorings of the Military Commission Act , 43 Texas Int’l L.J. 29 (2007). Reprinted in Military Law and Justice (Asifa Begim, ed.) (India: ICAFI University Press, 2010).

Understanding the Distinct Function of the Combatant Status Review Tribunals: a Response to Blocher , 116 Yale L.J. (Pocket Part) 327 (2007). (with Eric Talbot Jenson & Sean Watts) ( ) Last visited Nov. 27, 2007.

The Political Balance of Power Over the Military: Rethinking the Relationship between the Armed Forces, the President, and Congress, 44 Hous. L. Rev. 553 (2007). (with Eric Talbot Jensen)

Hamdan, Lebanon, and the Regulation of Hostilities: the Need to Recognize a Hybrid Category of Armed Conflict , 40 Vand. J. Transnat’l L. 295 (2007).

Enemy Combatants and Access to Habeas Corpus: Questioning the Validity of the Prisoner of War Analogy, 5 Santa Clara J. Int’l L. 236 (2007).

Hamdan, Fundamental Fairness, and the Significance of Additional Protocol II , Army Law., Aug. 2006, at 1.

Developing Warrior Lawyers: Why it’s Time to Create a Joint Service Law of War Academy , 86 Mil. Rev., May-June 2006, at 97.

Taking the Bitter with the Sweet: the Law of War Based Analysis of the Military Commission , 35 Stetson L. Rev. 811 (2006).

Filling the Void: Providing a Framework for the Legal Regulation of the Military Component of the War on Terror Through Application of Basic Principles of the Law of Armed Conflict , 12 ILSA J. Int’l & Comp. L. 481 (2006).

Lessons from the Law of War: a New Perspective on the “Legal Warriors” Code of Professionalism , 47 S. Tex. L. Rev. 781 (2006).

Bringing International Agreements out of the Shadows: Confronting the Challenges of a Changing Force , Army Law., July 2005, at 41. (with Colonel James A. Schoettler, Jr.)

“Snipers in the Minaret – What Is the Rule?” the Law of War and the Protection of Cultural Property: a Complex Equation , Army Law., July 2005, at 28.

“Improving the Fighting Position”: a Practitioner’s Guide to Operational Law Support to the Interrogation Process , Army Law., July 2005, at 12. (with Colonel Paul Kantwill & Captain Jon D. Holdaway)

“War!” The President, the Congress, and the Constitution , 4 Inst. Int’l L. Peace & Armed Conflict _____ (2002). Reprinted in 4 Humanitares Volkerrecht 224 (2002).

New Options for Prosecuting War Criminals in Internal Armed Conflicts , Parameters, Spring 2002, at 30. (with Major Jan E. Aldykiewicz) reprinted in Spanish as Nuevas Opciones para la Prosecucion de Criminales de Guerra en los Conflictos Armados Internos, Mil. Rev., Mar.-Apr. 2003, at 72.

Clinton, Kosovo, and the Final Destruction of the War Powers Resolution , 42 Wm. & Mary L. Rev. 1149 (2000-2001).

Authority to Court-martial Non-U.S. Military Personnel for Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law Committed During Internal Armed Conflicts , 167 Mil. L. Rev. 74 (2001). (with Major Jan. E. Aldykiewicz)

Case Note, Review of Recent Decisions of the Ad Hoc International War Crimes Tribunals , 166 Mil. L. Rev. 142 (2000).

Campell v. Clinton: the “Implied Consent” Theory of Presidential War Power Is Again Validated , 161 Mil. L. Rev. 202 (1999).

TJAGSA Practice Notes: International & Operational Law Practice Note: Non-Governmental Organization and the Military , Army Law., Nov. 1999, at 17. (with Major Maxwell & Major Smidt)

“To Be or Not to Be, That Is the Question”: Contemporary Military Operations and the Status of Captured Personnel , Army Law., June 1999, at 1. (with Michael L. Smidt) reprinted in 3 J. Nat’l Security 75 (1999).

TJAGSA Practice Notes: Principle 7: Distinction Part II , Army Law., June 1999, at 34, 35.

TJAGSA Practice Notes: Principle 5: Protecting the Force from Unlawful Belligerents , Army Law., Feb. 1998, at 1, 11.

Presidential War Power: Do the Courts Offer Any Answers? 157 Mil. L. Rev. 180 (1998).

TJAGSA Practice Notes: International and Operational Law Note, Principle 4: Preventing Unnecessary Suffering , Army Law., Nov. 1998, at 28, 50.

TJAGSA Practice Notes: International and Operational Law Note, Principle 3: Endeavor to Prevent or Minimize Harm to Civilians , Army Law., Oct. 1998, at 51, 55.

TJAGSA Practice Notes: International & Operational Law Note, Principle 2: Distinction , Army Law., Aug. 1998, at 27, 35.

TJAGSA Practice Notes: International & Operational Law Note, Principle 1: Military Necessity , Army Law., July 1998, at 58, 72.

TJAGSA Practice Notes: International & Operational Law Note, When Does the Law of War Apply: Analysis of Department of Defense Policy on Application of the Law of War , Army Law., June 1998, at 9, 16.


Law in War: A Concise Overview , ROUTLEDGE, (FORTHCOMING).

National Security Law: A Concise Hornbook . (NY: Wolters Kluwer) (FORTHCOMING) (Co-Editor and Lead Author).

War Crimes: Accountability in Armed Conflict . (2d Ed.) North Carolina Academic Press, (FORTHCOMING) (Editor and Lead Author).

U.S. Military Operations : Law, Policy, and Practice. (NY: Oxford University Press, 2015) (Co-Editor and Lead Author).

War on Terror and the Laws of War: A Military Perspective . (2d Ed.) (NY: Oxford University Press, 2014) (Editor and Lead Author).

The Law of Armed Conflict: An Operational Approach . (NY: Wolters Kluwer Law & Business, 2012) (Editor and Lead Author).

Principles of Counter-Terrorism Law. (St. Paul, MN: Thomson Reuters/West, 2011). (with Jimmy Gurule)

The War On Terror and the Laws of War: A Military Perspective. (NY: Oxford University Press, 2009). (with Michael W. Lewis)


Autonomous Weapon Systems: Managing The Inevitability Of “Taking The Man Out Of The Loop .” in Autonomous Weapon Systems: Law, Ethics, and Policy (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2016).

Two Sides Of The Combatant COIN : Untangling Direct Participation In Hostilities From Belligerent Status In Noninternational Armed Conflicts , in Counterinsurgency Law : New Directions In Asymmetric Warfare (New York: Oxford University Press, 2013).

Contractors and the Law , in Contractors and War: The Transformation of U.S Expeditionary Operations (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2012).

Extraterritorial Law Enforcement or Transnational Counterterrorist Military Operations: The Stakes of Two Legal Models , in New Battlefields/Old Laws: Critical Debates on Asymmetric Warfare (New York: Columbia University Press, 2011).

The Principle of Humanity , in Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law (Oxford University Press, 2010, 2012, 2014).

Civilian Control over the Military , in The Ashgate Research Companion to Political Leadership (Aldershot, England and Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2009). (with Eric Jensen)

Contributor, Law of War Workshop Deskbook (Commander Brian J. Brill, ed.) (Charlottesville: Judge Advocate General’s School, electronic version, 2000) (reprinted Buffalo: William S. Hein & Co., Inc. 2004). (Contributing author 1997-2000)

Operational Law Handbook, (Charlotte, N.C.: International and Operational Law Dept., Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School). (Contributing author 1997-2003)

53 Am. Jur. 2d Military and Civil Defense (1996) (Contributing author with Robert B. McKinney & Mark A. Rassas)


Debate (Round 2): A Reply to Rona and Jinks ,, Oct. 1, 2013 at

Debate (Round 1): The Military Component of Counter-Terror Operations ,, Sept. 30, 2013 at

With Hasan Case, Reason Prevailed Over Power , Hous. Chron., Sept. 1, 2012 at B9.

A Learning Opportunity in Trayvon Martin Case , Hous. Chron., Apr. 21, 2012, http://

Congress’ War Powers Veto: Use It or Lose It , World Politics Review, July 5, 2011, at

Lawfare: Preserving the Balance Between the Law and War , World Politics Review, Sept. 29, 2009, at

Torture Memos: Careful What You Wish For , World Politics Review, Apr. 29, 2009, at

Yes, America, You’re Still At War , World Politics Review, Mar. 24, 2009, at

Boumediene v. Bush and the Role of the Courts in the War on Terror , World Politics Review, June 18, 2008, at

Battlefield Accountability for Contractors: At What Cost , World Politics Review, Apr. 4, 2008, at

Law of War: U.S. Government in a Dilemma of its Own Making , World Politics Review, Mar. 26, 2008, at

The Trial of Salim Hamdan: Santa Claus Pays an Early Visit to Guantanamo , World Politics Review, Dec. 21, 2007, at

American Way of War: The ‘White Elephant’ in Blackwater Scandal , Houston Chronicle, Oct. 28, 2007, at E5 (Outlook Section).

Contractors, the Privatization of War, and Accountability , World Politics Review, Oct. 5, 2007, at

Murky ‘Backwater’ And The Direct Participation Dilemma , Jurist, Oct. 2, 2007, at

Military Commissions: War Crimes Courts or Tribunals of Convenience? Jurist, Feb. 21, 2007, at

The Time Has Come for a Modest U.S. Military Draft , World Politics Review, Dec. 1, 2006, at

War, Democracy and the Draft , Jurist, Nov. 7, 2006, at

Legislating Law of War Compliance: a High Price to Pay , Jurist, Sept. 19, 2006, at

The Common Article 3 Debate: What’s at Stake , World Politics Review, Sept. 19, 2006, at

War, Murder and Military Justice System , World Politics Review, Sept. 7, 2006, at

Lebanon War Bolsters Emerging Law-of-War Consensus , World Politics Review, Aug. 22, 2006, at

Targeting the Framework of the Law of Armed Conflict , Jurist, July 26, 2006, at

Hamdan, Common Article 3 and the True Spirit of the Law of War , Jurist, July 3, 2006, at

Haditha and My Lai: Lessons from the Law of War , Jurist, June 2, 2006 at

Pentagon Process Subverted? The Lost Battle of Alberto Mora , Jurist, Feb. 22, 2006 at

For the Sake of Warriors: Accepting the Limits of the Law of War , Jurist, Feb. 9, 2006, at

Hiding Behind ‘Principles’: The U.S. and the Geneva Conventions, Jurist, Jan. 18, 2006, at

The Military Commission: an Inauspicious Beginning for a “Full and Fair” Process , Opinio Juris, Jan. 16, 2006, at

MG Miller Invokes – What’s Next? Opinio Juris, Jan. 12, 2006, at

Humane Treatment and the Protection of U.S. Forces , Opinio Juris, Jan. 10, 2006, at

Courts-Martial v. Military Commissions , Opinio Juris, Jan. 9, 2006, at

The Afghanistan Detainee Transfer Challenges , Opinio Juris, Jan. 9, 2006, at

Mr. President Tear down That Prison , Opinio Juris, Jan. 8, 2006, at

McCain Undermined: the “Obedience to Orders” Defense , Jurist, Jan. 6, 2006, at

What Are the “Principles” of the Law of War? Opinio Juris, Jan. 4, 2006, at

The McCain Amendment Compromise: Has the Message Been Diluted? Opinio Juris, Jan. 3, 2006, at

When the Law of War Becomes Over-lawyered , Jurist, Nov. 22, 2005, at

The Draft, a “Peace Movement,” Wash. Times, Aug. 31, 2005, at A21.

What Did They Die For? Army Times, Jan. 17, 2005, at 44.

The Viability of Using Military Courts to Enforce Law in Post-war Iraq , Jurist, May 29, 2003, at


Understanding the Relationship between the Law of War and the War on Terror , 50th Annual Meeting of the Southwestern Association of Law Libraries, (Somewhere in the Gulf of Mexico), April 11, 2008.

The law of war and military commissions, Federal Bar Association, Southern District, 2007.

Panelist, Trying Enemy Combatants, International Law Weekend-West, American Branch of the International Law Association, Santa Clara University School of Law, California, February 2007.

Panelist, Addressing the Developments in the Law of Armed Conflict , Recent Issues in Military Law: a Program for Teachers, Washington College of Law, American University sponsored by the National Institute of Military Justice, Washington, D.C., November 2006.

Panelist, Conservative Bastion or Progressive Problem Solver: The Evolving Face of Military Jurisprudence and International Law , International Law Weekend, American Branch of the International Law Association, Bar Association of the City of New York, October 2006.

War Crimes, Military Accountability and Civilian Contractors, Washington College of Law, American University sponsored by War Crimes Research Office and the National Institute of Military Justice, Washington, D.C., March 2006.

Customary International Law and the Treatment of Detainees, ICRC Customary Law Study Conference, San Remo Italy, March 2006.

Lecturer, International Conference on Customary International Humanitarian Law (Canadian Red Cross, Sept. 2005).

The Changing Role of Attorneys in the Age of Terrorism , in the Age of Terrorism Where Should Attorneys Stand? (Gulfport, Fla: Stetson University College of Law, 2005). (with Charlie Rose, Peter L. Fitzgerald and Linda G. Moreno)

CV (PDF format)