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.
The International Court of Justice ruling on the legality of Kosovo's independence declaration creates a "moment of opportunity," says former British ambassador David Gowan, but CFR's John Bellinger cautions that it isn't likely to set a precedent for other secessionist groups.
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 controversial relationship between the United States and the International Criminal Court (ICC) is at a crossroads: After an initial period of hostility toward the ICC, the United States has in recent years pursued a policy of cautious engagement. Vijay Padmanabhan offers a backdrop of the U.S.-ICC relationship and policy recommendations for the U.S. delegation attending the Seven-Year Review Conference in May/June 2010.
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.
CFR's John B. Bellinger III, who served as legal adviser to the former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, says while President Obama has emphasized an approach to closing Guantanamo "that's deeply grounded in American values," he has left the door open to continued criticism.
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