Social Justice and Human Rights
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Noura Erakat

Noura Erakat

Noura Erakat

Assistant Professor

Legal Studies, International Area Studies, and Social Justice/Human Rights

Noura Erakat is an Assistant Professor at George Mason University where she teaches in the legal studies, international studies, and human rights/social justice studies concentrations. Her scholarly interests include humanitarian law, human rights law, refugee law, and national security law. She earned her BA and JD from Berkeley Law School and her LLM in National Security from the Georgetown University Law Center. She is a Co-Founder/Editor of Jadaliyya e-zine. Prior to beginning her appointment at GMU, Noura was a Freedman Teaching Fellow at Temple Law School and has taught International Human Rights Law and the Middle East at Georgetown University since 2009.

Upon completing law school, Noura received a New Voices Fellowship to develop a litigation unit aimed at redressing Palestinian human rights claims under the Alien Tort Statute in US federal courts. She went on to serve as Legal Counsel for a Congressional Subcommittee in the House of Representatives, chaired by Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich. In Spring 2010, Noura worked with a Lebanese human rights attorney to file habeus corpus petitions on behalf of Iraqi refugees detained by Lebanese authorities. Upon leaving Lebanon, she became the Legal Advocate for the Badil Resource Center for Palestinian Refugee and Residency Rights where she represented their claims before the Human Rights Council, human rights treaty bodies, among the UN diplomatic missions as well as among the US Administration and Congress.

Her scholarly publications include: "U.S. vs. ICRC-Customary International Humanitarian Law and Universal Jurisdiction" in the Denver Journal of International Law & Policy, “New Imminence in the Time of Obama: The Impact of Targeted Killings on the Law of Self-Defense” in the Arizona Law Review, and "Overlapping Refugee Legal Regimes: Closing the Protection Gap During Secondary Forced Displacement," in the Oxford Journal of International Refugee Law . Noura’s media appearances include MSNBC, Fox News, PBS NewsHour, BBC World Service, NPR, Democracy Now, and Al Jazeera. She has published in The Nation, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Review of Books, Huffington Post, IntlLawGrrls, The Hill, and Foreign Policy, among others. Noura is the co-editor with Mouin Rabbani of Aborted State? The UN Initiative and New Palestinian Junctures, an anthology related to the 2011 and 2012 Palestine bids for statehood at the UN.

Current Research

I am currently working on a book-length manuscript that seeks to narrate the Palestinian-Israel conflict through critical junctures involving international law. The text will highlight how relations of power have shaped the content and application of international law to both advance and blunt Israeli as well as Palestinian interests. In so doing, it will show how the law is both a site of oppression and resistance for Palestinians. The project seeks to demonstrate how the relationship between law and power has played a part in establishing the present-day status quo of the conflict, namely the death of the two-state solution, siege and chronic warfare on the Gaza Strip, as well as a seemingly impotent Palestinian leadership. As a sub-text, the book will also explain how international law is in an extension of politics and thus susceptible to change, reverence, or disregard depending on the political intervention of states and people.

Selected Publications

Whiteness as Property in Israel: Revival, Rehabilitation, and Removal, Harvard Journal of Ethnic and Racial Justice (2015)

Overlapping Refugee Legal Regimes: Closing the Protection Gap During Secondary Forced Displacement, 26 Oxford International Journal of Refugee Law 4, 581-621 (2014).

New Imminence in the Time of Obama: The Impact of Targeted Killings on the Law of Self-Defense, 56 Arizona Law Review 1 (2014) 

The United States v. the Red Cross: Customary International Humanitarian Law and Universal Jurisdiction, 41 Denver Journal of International Law & Policy 225 (2012)

It’s not wrong, it’s illegal: Situating the Gaza Blockade between International Law and the UN Response, 11 UCLA Journal of Islamic & Near Eastern Law 37 (2011-2012)

Expanded Publication List

Select Non-Peer Reviewed Articles 

Aborted State? The UN Initiative and New Palestinian Junctures, (Noura Erakat and Mouin Rabbani, Eds.), Tadween Publishing (2013)

Humanitarian Law and Operation Protective Edge: A Survey of Violations and Remedies, Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Center, (Aug. 26, 2014)

U.S. Should Stop Funding Israel, or Let Others Broker Peace, The New York Times, (Aug. 5, 2014),

Five Israeli Talking Points on Gaza Debunked, The Nation, (Jul. 25, 2014)

Israeli Operation Not About Security, USA Today, (Jul. 31, 2014),

Structural Violence on Trial: BDS and the Movement to Resist Erasure, LA Review of Books, (Mar. 16, 2014) 

Human Rights and the Rule of Law, in Palestine and Palestinians in the 21st century (Rochelle Davis and Mimi Kirk, eds.) Indiana University Press, (2013) (book chapter)

Obama’s Drone Leaks: New Imminence, Old Tactics, The Huffington Post, (Feb. 7, 2013)

The UN at ASIL: R2P and the Arab Uprisings, IntLawGrrls, (Oct. 30, 2012)

Emergency Laws, the Arab Spring, and the Struggle Against “Human Rights,” Jadaliyya, (Jul. 5, 2011),

Palestinian statehood blocked, equality struggle ahead, The Hill.com, (Aug. 24, 2011)

Palestinians remove some eggs from the American basket, Foreign Policy, (Jan. 19, 2011) 

Courses Taught

NCLC 203, Inquiry Into Action (6 cr)
NCLC 300, Law & Justice 
NCLC 362, Social Justice/Human Rights
NCLC 375, International Human Rights Law and the Middle East

Education

B.A. Integrative Studies, UC Berkeley, 2002 
J.D., Berkeley Law School, 2005 
LLM National Security Law, Georgetown University Law Center, 2012
LLM Legal Education, Temple University Law School, 2014 

Recent Presentations

Select Presentations

President’s Lecture for Women’s History Month, Cal State Fullerton, Mar. 2015
Gender and Conflict Resolution in Palestine

Chicago Center for Critical Theory, University of Chicago, Nov. 2014
Operation Protective Edge: Gaza in Context

George Mason University, New Century College, Middle East and Islamic Studies Program, and Global Programs, Oct. 2014
Operation Protective Edge: Legal and Political Implications of ICC Prosecution

UCLA Law School, 2014 CRS Annual Symposium: “Whiteness As Property:” A Twenty Year Appraisal, Oct. 2014
Whiteness As Property in Israel: Revival, Rehabilitation, and Removal

Junior International Law Scholars Association (JILSA), NY, NY, February 2013
New Imminence in the Time of Obama: The Impact of Targeted Killings on the Law of Self-Defense

Harvard International Global Law and Policy Workshop, Doha, Qatar, January 2013
The People Demand the Fall of the Oslo Regime

American Society of International Law, Mid-Year Review Forum, Athens, GA, October 2012
U.S. v. ICRC: Customary International Humanitarian Law and Universal Jurisdiction

American University Law School, International Law Review Annual Symposium, Washington, D.C., February 2012
Head of State Immunity and the Arab Spring

In the Media

Select Media Appearances 

PBS News Hour, July 2014
Debating tactics and Ethics of Warfare on Both Sides of Mideast Conflict

BBC World Service, July 2014
Israel’s Assault on the Gaza Strip

To the Point with Warren Olney (NPR), July 2013
A New Shot at Peace Talks: Will it be Different this Time?

Up With Chris Hayes (MSNBC)
Israel’s Operation Pillar of Cloud (Nov. 2012)
President Barack Obama’s visit to Israel (Mar. 2013)
Israel’s Operation Protective Edge (Jul. 2014)

Ronan Farrow Daily (MSNBC), July 2014
Mideast War Crimes?

Democracy Now
Did Obama’s Mid-East Speech Signal U.S. Shift on Israel-Palestine? (May 2011)
Debate With Senior Advisor to Israeli Ambassador on Israel’s Operation Protective Edge (July 2014)

The O’reilly Factor (FOX News), July 2006
The role of the United States in the Israeli war on Lebanon