James Kraska

About/Bio

JAMES KRASKA is Chairman and Charles H. Stockton Professor of International Maritime Law in the Stockton Center for International Law at the U.S. Naval War College and Visiting Professor of Law and John Harvey Gregory Lecturer on World Organization at Harvard Law School. He is also Distinguished Fellow at the Law of the Sea Institute, University of California Berkeley School of Law, Senior Fellow at the Center for Oceans Law and Policy at the University of Virginia School of Law, Honorary Visiting Professor of Law at Gujarat National Law University, and a Lifetime Member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Previously he was Mary Derrickson McCurdy Visiting Scholar at Duke University and Office of the Chief of Naval Research Fellow in Naval Oceanography and National Security at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. He has written numerous scholarly articles and books, including Maritime Power and Law of the Sea (Oxford), which won the Alfred Thayer Mahan Award for Literary Achievement; Arctic Security in an Age of Climate Change (Cambridge); and The Free Sea: The American Fight for Freedom of Navigation (with Raul Pedrozo, Naval Institute). Professor Kraska served as an officer and lawyer in the U.S. Navy, where he was Director of International Negotiations on The Joint Staff.

Recently Published

Misunderstanding of International Aviation Law May be Behind Iran’s Shootdown of the U.S. Global Hawk Drone

On Thursday, June 20, the Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy (IRGCN) shot down an unarmed U.S. surveillance drone, nearly igniting open conflict between the United States and Iran. The $180 million U.S. Navy RQ-4A Global Hawk was struck by an Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGCN) surface-to-air missile launched from near Goruk, Iran. With strained relations…

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Attribution of Naval Mine Strikes in International Law

On Thursday, June 13, two ships were damaged within forty-five minutes by (current evidence suggests) limpet mines, while transiting the Gulf of Oman at the mouth of the Strait of Hormuz. The Japanese product tanker, Kokuka Courageous sustained damage from either a limpet mine or a projectile, just as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met with Iranian Supreme Leader…

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Did ITLOS Just Kill the Military Activities Exemption in Article 298?

In a May 25, 2019 interlocutory decision, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) prescribed provisional measures in the case brought by Ukraine against Russia, ordering Russia to release three Ukrainian naval vessels and 24 Ukrainian service members seized on November 25, 2018 in an incident in the Kerch Strait. During the incident last…

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