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Faculty and Administration Profiles

John C. Dehn

Title/s:  Associate Professor & Faculty Director, National Security & Civil Rights Program

Office #:  Corboy 1331

Phone: 312.915.7862

Email: jdehn@luc.edu

CV Link: Dehn CV


Professor Dehn joined the Loyola faculty in the fall of 2013 after serving over 23 years in the U.S. Army.  Upon graduating from the United States Military Academy at West Point, Professor Dehn served at Fort Bragg, North Carolina as an airborne artillery and logistics officer with certifications as a parachutist, jumpmaster and aerial delivery officer.  After a successful early career that included participation in Hurricane Andrew relief and the 1994 Haiti operations, Professor Dehn was selected to attend law school at government expense.

After graduating from law school with highest honors, Professor Dehn served for over fifteen additional years as an Army judge advocate in positions ranging from chief prosecutor for a military installation to faculty member at West Point.  He also served as a military magistrate, detainee abuse prosecutor and in several other capacities. He earned two Master of Laws (LLM) degrees, one from Columbia Law School where he was a James Kent Scholar.

While at West Point, Professor Dehn taught courses in international, constitutional and military (including criminal) law, served as an honors thesis advisor, coordinated legal training for all academy programs, coached the Jean-Pictet International Humanitarian Law Competition team, and lectured in courses on the military profession.  In 2010, he was appointed the Distinguished Visiting Lecturer in American Public Policy and Practice at Hamilton College and taught a seminar on war powers. 


LLM – Columbia Law School
LLM – The Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School, U.S. Army
JD (with highest honors) – University of Oklahoma College of Law
BS – United States Military Academy, West Point, NY     

Program Areas

Criminal Law
Criminal Procedure I: Investigations
International Law
Military Law
National Security Law

Research Interests

Professor Dehn's research primarily examines the relationship of international to U.S. law in the areas of military, criminal and national security law. He is also examining developments in international law related to threats posed by non-state actors. His scholarship includes comparative and interdisciplinary work.

Professional & Community Affiliations

Member, Editorial Committee, Journal of International Criminal Justice
Editorial Board, Public Integrity

Courses Taught

Constitutional Law
Use of Force in International & Domestic Law
"Othering" in the Law of Nations
Public International Law
Humanitarian Law and Conflict
Humanitarian Law in Practice
Criminal Law
Criminal Procedure: Investigations

Selected Publications

Emerging Transnational Self-Defense Norms & Unrealized Liberal Values in BETWEEN CRIME AND WAR (2022) (Oxford University Press, Claire Finkelstein, et. al., eds.)

War is More Than a Political Question: Reestablishing Original Constitutional Norms 51 Loyola U. Chi. L.J. 485 (2019) 

Why a President Cannot Authorize the Military to Violate (Most of) the Law of War, 59 WM. & MARY L. REV. 813 (2018)

Customary International Law, the Separation of Powers, and the Choice of Law in Armed Conflicts and Wars, 102 CARDOZO L. REV. 2089 (2016)

Whither International Martial Law: Human Rights as Sword and Shield in Ineffectively Governed Territory in THE THEORETICAL BOUNDARIES OF ARMED CONFLICT AND HUMAN RIGHTS (Jens Ohlin, ed. 2016)

Targeted Killing, Human Rights and Ungoverned Spaces: Considering Territorial State Human Rights Obligations, 54 HARVARD INT’L L. J. ONLINE 84 (2013)


The Commander-in-Chief and the Necessities of War: A Conceptual Framework, 83 Temple L. Rev. 599 (2011)

Targeted Killing: The Case of Anwar Al-Aulaqi, 159 U. PA. L. REV. PENNUMBRA 175 (2011) [debate with Kevin Jon Heller]

Institutional Advocacy, Constitutional Obligations and Professional Responsibilities: Arguments for Government Lawyering Without Glasses, 110 COLUM. L. REV. SIDEBAR 73 (2010); Response to:  Trevor W. Morrison, Stare Decisis in the Office of Legal Counsel, 110 COLUM. L. REV. 1448 (2010)