Sean D. Murphy
- Patricia Roberts Harris Research Professor of Law
- 2000 H Street, NW
Washington, District Of Columbia 20052
Sean D. Murphy teaches, writes, and practices in the fields of public international law and U.S. foreign relations law.
Before joining the George Washington University Law School faculty in 1998, Professor Murphy served as legal counselor at the U.S. Embassy in The Hague, arguing several cases before the International Court of Justice and representing the U.S. government in matters before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. He also served as U.S. agent to the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal, arguing cases on behalf of the U.S. government and providing advice to U.S. nationals appearing before that tribunal. Between 1987 and 1995, he served in the U.S. Department of State Office of the Legal Adviser, primarily advising on matters relating to oceans and international environmental law, international claims, and international humanitarian law. Since leaving the U.S. Government, Professor Murphy has represented several countries in international courts and tribunals, including Ethiopia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Suriname, and the United States, and has served as an arbitrator in inter-State and investor-State arbitrations.
Professor Murphy has published numerous articles on international law; his article on international environmental liability won the American Journal of International Law (AJIL) 1994 Deak Prize for best scholarship by a younger author. His book Humanitarian Intervention: The United Nations in an Evolving World Order won the 1997 American Society of International Law 1997 certificate for preeminent contribution to creative scholarship. His most recent books are International Law: Cases and Materials (6th ed. 2014) (with Damrosch); Litigating War: Arbitration of Civil Injury by the Eritrea-Ethiopia Claims Commission (2013) (with Kidane and Snider); Principles of International Law (2d ed. 2012); Foreign Relations and National Security Law: Cases, Materials and Simulations (4th ed. 2011) (with Franck, Glennon, and Swaine).
In 2016, the U.N. General Assembly elected Professor Murphy to serve a second term as a Member of the U.N. International Law Commission during 2017-2021, where he serves as special rapporteur for crimes against humanity. Professor Murphy served for ten years on the AJIL Board of Editors and is a Vice-President of the American Society of International Law.
BA, Catholic University; JD, Columbia University; LLM, Cambridge University; SJD, University of Virginia