Duncan B. Hollis

Laura H. Carnell Professor of Law
Co-Faculty Director, Institute for Law, Innovation & Technology
Director, LL.M. and J.D./LL.M. in Transnational Law

Duncan B. Hollis is Laura H. Carnell Professor of Law at Temple Law School and co-faculty director of Temple’s Institute for Law, Innovation & Technology (iLIT). His scholarship engages with issues of international law, interpretation, and cybersecurity, with a particular emphasis on treaties, norms, and other forms of international regulation.

Hollis is currently a non-resident Scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and an appointed member of the U.S. Department of State’s Advisory Committee on International Law. Together with Oxford University Professor Dapo Akande, he is co-convenor of the Oxford Process on International Law Protections in Cyberspace and its accompanying Compendium. Professor Hollis is also an elected member of the American Law Institute, where he served as an Adviser on its project to draft a Fourth Restatement on the Foreign Relations Law of the United States. From 2016-2020, he served as a member of the OAS’s Inter-American Juridical Committee, including as Rapporteur for projects on binding and non-binding agreements and  improving the transparency of State views on international law’s application to cyberspace. Hollis has spent time as a Senior Fellow at Melbourne Law School, a Visiting Professor at LUISS Università Guido Carli, and a Visiting Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perry World House.

Professor Hollis’s books include The Oxford Guide to Treaties (OUP, 2nd ed., 2020), the first edition of which received the 2013 ASIL Certificate of Merit for high technical craftsmanship and utility to practicing lawyers; International Law (Aspen, forthcoming 2023) (with Allen Weiner and Chimène Keitner), soon to be published in its 8th edition; and Defending Democracies: Combatting Foreign Election Interference in a Digital Age (OUP, 2021) (with Jens Ohlin). His articles have appeared in various journals and books, including the American Journal of International Law, European Journal of International Law, Texas Law Review, Southern California Law Review, Harvard Journal of International Law, Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law, and Virginia Journal of International Law.

Professor Hollis received an A.B., summa cum laude, from Bowdoin College. In 1996, he completed a joint-degree program, receiving a Masters in International Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School at Tufts University and a Juris Doctor, summa cum laude, from Boston College Law School.

Following graduation, Professor Hollis worked for the International Department of Steptoe & Johnson LLP. In 1998, Professor Hollis joined the Office of the Legal Adviser at the U.S. Department of State, where he worked until joining the Temple faculty in 2004. During his tenure at the State Department, Professor Hollis served for several years as the attorney-adviser for treaty affairs, working on legal and constitutional issues associated with the negotiation, conclusion, and implementation of U.S. treaties. Professor Hollis’s practice has included international litigation before the International Court of Justice. In particular, he served as Counsel to the United States in the provisional measures phase of the Case Concerning Avena and Other Mexican Nationals (Mexico v. United States) and contributed to the U.S. presentation in the Oil Platforms Case (Iran v. United States), with the latter role earning him the State Department’s Superior Honor Award. Today, he continues to participate in investor-state aribrations in various compacities while also advising various international organizations and consulting regularly, including advising the Microsoft Corporation on its Digital Peace agenda.


M.A.L.D., Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy (Tufts University)
J.D. (summa cum laude), Boston College Law School
A.B. (summa cum laude), Bowdoin College

Research & Teaching Areas

Areas of Expertise

Selected Publications

Publications and Media Appearances SSRN


  • Member, American Law Institute

Selected Conferences

  • Paper Presenter, China and the Strategic Construction of Cybernorms: The Process is the Product, Hoover Institution, Stanford University, Palo Alto, March 2017
  • Presenter, A Duty to Hack?, Marshall Center Program on Cyber Security, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, February 2017
  • Presenter, Constructing Norms for Global Cybersecurity, The International Law of Google: Institute for International Law and Justice Colloquium 2017, New York University School of Law, January 2017
  • Paper Presenter, Legalizing Political Commitments, Yale-Duke Foreign Relations Roundtable on the Future of International Agreements, Yale Law School, October 2016
  • Keynote Speaker, Strategic Social Construction of International Law in Cyberspace, State Practice and the Future of International Law in Cyberspace, Tallinn, Estonia, May 2016
  • Independent Expert, The Application of International Law in the Context of International Cybersecurity, UN Institute for Disarmament Research Workshop (co-sponsored by the Center for Strategic and International Studies), Geneva, Switzerland, April 2016
  • Co-Organizer (with the International Committee of the Red Cross), Autonomous Legal Reasoning: Legal and Ethical Issues in the Technologies of Conflict, Temple University School of Law, October 2015
  • Presenter, Neither Cacophony nor Concert: Minor Notes on Cybernorms, European University Institute, Florence, Italy, May 2015
  • Panelist, Confidence Building Measures, Norms of Behavior, and Public-Private Cooperation for International Security in Cyberspace, Hague Global Conference on Cyber Security, The Hague, The Netherlands, April 2015
  • Panelist, Do We Need a Red Cross for Cyberspace?, Cybersecurity for a New America: Big Ideas and New Voices, New America Foundation, Washington D.C., February 2015
  • Featured Speaker, Beyond the Law’s Flaws: Can We Ever Devise Effective Legal Regulation of Cyber Threats?, Council on Foreign Relations’ Roundtable Series on Cyberconflict and Cybersecurity, New York, NY, June 2014
  • Presenter (Plenary Panel), The Existential Function of Interpretation in International Law, Cambridge Conference on Interpretation, Cambridge University, United Kingdom, August 2013.
  • Keynote Address, The Law of Cyber Warfare: Can the Current Legal Regime Hack It? American University College of Law, Washington, D.C., November 2012.
  • Panelist, Symposium: Cybersecurity—Law, Privacy and Warfare in a Digital World, Harvard Law School, Cambridge, MA, March 2011.
  • Panelist, An e-SOS for Cyberspace, Symposium: From Cybersecurity to Cyberwar, U.S. Naval War College, Newport, RI, September 2010.
  • Chair, War and Law in Cyberspace, 104th Meeting of the American Society of International Law, Washington, D.C., March 2010.
  • Chair, Hermeneutics and Interpretation, Changing Futures? Science and International Law, ESIL-ASIL Research Forum, University of Helsinki, Finland, October 2009.
  • Paper Presenter, Unpacking the Compact Clause, Foreign Affairs Colloquium, Georgetown University Law Center, September 2009.