Adjunct Senior Fellow for International and National Security Law
International law and international criminal justice; international humanitarian law and human rights law; international tribunals, including the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court; treaty law and treaties, including the U.N. Law of the Sea Convention; foreign sovereign immunity and official immunities; international and domestic law applicable to use of force and counterterrorism operations, including detention and prosecution policies; intelligence law and covert action; espionage statutes; U.S. national security organization and process; U.S. national security statutes; foreign investment in the United States, Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).
John B. Bellinger III is adjunct senior fellow for international and national security law at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). He is also a partner at Arnold & Porter LLP in Washington, DC, where he advises sovereign governments and companies on a variety of international law and U.S. national security law issues.
From 2005 to 2009, Bellinger was the legal advisor for the U.S. Department of State under Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. He led the U.S. delegation in numerous treaty negotiations and presentations to international bodies and represented the United States before the International Court of Justice in Mexico v. United States of America (Medellin) and before the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal. Before his confirmation as legal advisor, he managed Secretary Rice's Senate confirmation and codirected her State Department transition team. Bellinger served from 2001 to 2005 as senior associate counsel to the president and legal advisor to the National Security Council (NSC) at the White House, where he was the principal lawyer for the national security advisor, the NSC, and the NSC staff. He previously served as counsel for national security matters in the criminal division of the Justice Department during the Clinton administration, as special counsel to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and as special assistant to Director of Central Intelligence William H. Webster.
Bellinger is one of four U.S. members of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, which nominates judges to the International Court of Justice. He speaks and writes regularly on public international and national security law issues. His op-eds have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and International Herald Tribune. Bellinger received his AB from Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs in 1982, his JD from Harvard Law School in 1986, and an MA in foreign affairs from the University of Virginia in 1991.
Recognizing the limitations of current international systems based in The Hague, David A. Kaye provides a strategy for promoting national-level justice and accountability mechanisms to prosecute perpetrators of mass atrocity crimes.
John B. Bellinger III discusses the upcoming Supreme Court hearing of arguments in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum, which will decide whether corporations may be sued in U.S. courts for violations of international law under the Alien Tort Statute.
Detainee policy that would mandate military custody for al-Qaeda suspects captured in the United States could have a detrimental impact on U.S. counterterrorism operations, say CFR legal experts Matthew C. Waxman and John B. Bellinger III.
John B. Bellinger III testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the practical benefits that enactment of the Consular Notification Compliance Act of 2011 will have for Americans who are detained and imprisoned by other countries.
The Obama administration's recognition of the Libya's National Transitional Council as the country's legitimate government means freeing up funds for the group but also poses legal questions the State Department has to resolve.
John B. Bellinger III says President Obama should seize the opportunity presented by Republican support for increased domestic oil and gas production to urge the Senate to approve the Law of the Sea Convention.
Osama bin Laden's death is a real and symbolic blow to al-Qaeda, and its stature in the Middle East is already diminished by the pro-democracy movements in the region, but the group remains lethal. Seven CFR experts discuss.
John B. Bellinger III says that President Obama and the 112th Congress should comply with the Vienna Convention, to help ensure that Americans arrested abroad are given access to State Department officials.
The State Department will likely push for WikiLeaks' founder Julian Assange to be prosecuted under all available statutes, including the Espionage Act, says CFR's John Bellinger, who notes the recent releases harmed sources and foreign relations.
John B. Bellinger III argues that the 112th Congress must update and clarify the legal authority for U.S. military and intelligence agencies to kill and detain terrorists who threaten the United States.
John B. Bellinger III discusses the anniversary of the Geneva Conventions and argues that the United States should use its political capital to clarify the Conventions and make them applicable to modern warfare.
CFR's John Bellinger expects the U.S. Senate to approve the START nuclear arms treaty with Russia this year and urges says the Obama administration to more actively pursue other treaties, including the Law of the Sea.
John B. Bellinger III comments on a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that states immunity provided by federal law to foreign governments against lawsuits for torture and human rights does not apply to foreign government officials.
The Obama administration, at first swift to move away from Bush-era detainee practices, has found itself struggling through a political and legal thicket about where and how to try those accused of war crimes.
Director: John B. Bellinger III, Adjunct Senior Fellow for International and National Security Law December 1, 2011—Present
Meeting ⁄ New York
David Rockefeller Lecture - The International Criminal Court: A New Approach to International Relations
SpeakerFatou BensoudaProsecutor, International Criminal Court PresiderJohn B. Bellinger IIIPartner, Arnold & Porter LLP; Adjunct Senior Fellow, International and National Security Law, Council on Foreign Relations; Counsellor, American Society of International Law
September 21, 20122:45–3:00 p.m. - Reception 3:00–4:00 p.m. - Meeting
The Synthesis of Law and Politics and the Evolution of International Justice
SpeakersJohn B. Bellinger IIIAdjunct Senior Fellow, International and National Security Law, Council on Foreign Relations; Partner, Arnold & Porter LLP; Former Legal Adviser, U.S. Department of State, David J. SchefferMayer Brown/Robert A. Helman Professor of Law, and Director, Center for International Human Rights, Northwestern University School of Law; Former U.S. Ambassador at Large for War Crimes Issues, U.S. Department of State; Author, All the Missing Souls: A Personal History of the War Crimes Tribunals PresiderJeffrey ToobinStaff Writer, New Yorker; Senior Legal Analyst, CNN
January 30, 20125:30–6:00 p.m. - Reception 6:00–7:00 p.m. - Meeting
The United States and the Future of Global Governance: The Use of Force and Accountability in International Law - A U.S. Perspective
SpeakersMatthew C. WaxmanAdjunct Senior Fellow for Law and Foreign Policy, Council on Foreign Relations, John B. Bellinger IIIAdjunct Senior Fellow for International and National Security Law, Council on Foreign Relations, David J. SchefferProfessor of Law, Northwestern University ModeratorJeffrey ToobinStaff Writer, The New Yorker