Steven R. Ratner, the Bruno Simma Collegiate Professor of Law, came to University of Michigan Law School in 2004 from the University of Texas School of Law. His teaching and research focus on public international law and on a range of challenges facing governments and international institutions since the Cold War, including territorial disputes, counter-terrorism strategies, ethnic conflict, state and corporate duties regarding foreign investment, and accountability for human rights violations.
Professor Ratner has written and lectured extensively on the law of war, and is also interested in the intersection of international law and moral philosophy and other theoretical issues. A member of the board of editors of the American Journal of International Law from 1998 to 2008, he began his legal career as an attorney-adviser in the Office of the Legal Adviser at the U.S. State Department. In 1998-1999, he was appointed by the UN secretary-general to a three-person group of experts to consider options for bringing the Khmer Rouge to justice, and he has since advised governments, NGOs, and international organizations on a range of international law issues.
In 2008-2009, he served in the legal division of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva. Since 2009, he has served on the State Department's Advisory Committee on International Law and since 2013, he has been an adviser to the American Law Institute for the Restatement (Fourth) of the Foreign Relations Law of the United States. In 2010-2011, he was a member of the UN's three-person Panel of Experts on Accountability in Sri Lanka, which advised Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on human rights violations related to the end of the Sri Lankan civil war. He has also served as an expert on international investment law in various arbitrations.
He established and directs the Law School's externship program in Geneva. Professor Ratner holds a JD from Yale, an MA (diplôme) from the Institut Universitaire de Hautes Etudes Internationales (Geneva), and an AB from Princeton.