Human Security Law Center

The Human Security Law Center was added in 2005 to William & Mary's array of well-respected programs for specialized study.

Developed in the shadow of a complex global landscape, the Human Security Law Center's core objective is creating citizen lawyers who have an appreciation for national security issues.  It pursues this goal by educating and exposing students to the interplay between national defense and the protection of civil rights.

The program is enhanced by a wide range of related courses that provide students a strong foundation in this area of study. In addition, the Human Security Law Center proudly provides a forum for healthy discussion of national security law related matters  through its Distinguished Lecture Series and through the symposia that the program co-sponsors. 

In conjunction with the Center for Legal and Court Technology, the program explores courtroom technology and advanced legal forensics to meet the growing needs of international law and alternative dispute resolution. 

For students who want to gain experience through international public interest internships, William & Mary School of Law offers summer fellowships to provide funding.

These multi-faceted aspects of the program combine to generate an academic structure for a sophisticated and practical understanding of national security law and human rights issues that face both the United States and the international community as a whole.

The director of the Human Security Law Center is Professor Nancy Combs.  Prior to joining the faculty, Professor Combs served as legal advisor at the Iran-United States Claims Tribunal in The Hague, The Netherlands. Since joining the faculty, she has written extensively on topics in international law and international criminal justice, publishing two books and dozens of articles and essays. In addition to authoring legal scholarship, Professor Combs is on the Steering Board and chairs a Working Group for the Dutch government funded project on "Rethinking Secondary Liability for International Crimes."

The student division of the Human Security Law Center enlists the help of its officers to help run and plan the events on campus. The 2020-2021 Board includes President Lily Cusack (3L), Vice President Dodi Allocca (3L), and Secretary Emi Houghton (2L).