'Kill-lists and Accountability' set for Nov. 12

October 31, 2012

Who creates the “kill list?" Who approves the names on the list? How is the targeted killing executed? Who is responsible for ensuring that the strike complies with international humanitarian law obligations? When killings are conducted in secret, how can we hold government accountable? National security scholar Gregory McNeal will present “Kill-lists and Accountability” at Penn State Law and the School of International Affairs. The public is welcome to this event, which will begin at 7 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 12. Registration is requested.

The event will be held live in the Apfelbaum Family Courtroom and Auditorium, Lewis Katz Hall, 333 W. South St., Carlisle, Pa.  It will be simulcast to the Apfelbaum Courtroom, Lewis Katz Building, University Park, Pa., and webcast live at http://law.psu.edu/events/kill_lists_and_accountability online.

"As the shift from conventional combat to cyber attacks and targeted killings (often through unmanned drone strikes) accelerates, questions arise as to the applicability of the legal standards governing armed conflict developed in earlier times,” said Amy Gaudion, professor of law at Penn State, who is organizing the event. “Professor McNeal's work attempts to answer these questions, and offers recommendations for how the laws of war should apply when the tools in the combat arsenal change." McNeal's presentation is based in part on recent field research he conducted into the U.S. practice of targeted killings, and specifically the creation and execution of “kill-lists”.

McNeal researches institutions and challenges associated with global security. He is the author of the book "Saddam On Trial: Understanding and Debating the Iraqi High Tribunal." His work in progress includes an article titled "Kill-Lists and Accountability" and a book under contract with Oxford University Press focused on the investigation and prosecution of national security related crimes. An associate professor of law at Pepperdine University School of Law, he has served as assistant director of the Institute for Global Security, co-director of a transnational counterterrorism program for the Department of Justice, and an adviser to the chief prosecutor of the Department of Defense Office of Military Commissions. He is a Forbes contributor, writing a column about law, policy, and security. McNeal also has appeared on Fox News, NPR, BBC, C-SPAN, CNN, and other media outlets to discuss national security and international law. He also maintains a blog on Law and Terrorism. 

McNeal holds a juris doctor from Case Western Reserve University, a master of public administration from American University, and a bachelor of arts from Lehigh University. His doctoral work at Penn State was in public policy and administration, and he anticipates earning his doctorate in 2013. Prior to joining Pepperdine, he was a visiting assistant professor at Penn State Law.

This program is co-sponsored by the American Constitution Society, Federalist Society, International Law Society, Military Law Caucus and Penn State Journal of Law & International Affairs, an interdisciplinary journal jointly published by Penn State Law and the Penn State School of International Affairs.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated July 22, 2015