William & Mary
Nancy Combs

Nancy Combs

Ernest W. Goodrich Professor of Law, Kelly Professor of Teaching Excellence, and Director, Human Security Law Center
Degrees: Ph.D., Leiden University; Certificate, Hague Academy of International Law; J.D., University of California at Boalt Hall School of Law; B.A., University of Portland
Email: [[ncombs]]
Office phone: (757) 221-3830
Office location: Room 212
Areas of Specialization

Human Rights Law; International Criminal Law; International Law; Post-Conflict Justice; Transitional Justice

Representative Professional Activities and Achievements

Nancy Combs joined the faculty in 2004. A graduate of the University of California at Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall), Professor Combs was awarded the Thelen Marrin prize for graduating first in her class, and she served as an Articles Editor on the California Law Review. Professor Combs received her B.A., in philosophy, summa cum laude, from the University of Portland and her Ph.D. from Leiden University in December 2005. After law school, Professor Combs served as a law clerk to Judge Diarmuid O'Scannlain on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and to Justice Anthony Kennedy on the United States Supreme Court.

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 numerous articles and essays appearing in the University of Pennsylvania Law Review, the Vanderbilt Law Review, the Hastings Law Journal, the Harvard International Law Journal, and the Chicago Journal of International Law, among others. She currently serves as member of the International Expert Framework, an international working group that is developing general rules and principles of international criminal procedure.

Professor Combs is a 2009 recipient of William and Mary’s Alumni Award Fellowship Award for teaching excellence. Before attending university, Professor Combs owned and operated a chimney sweeping business.

Scholarly Publications
  • Factfinding Without Facts: The Uncertain Evidentiary Foundations of International Criminal Convictions (Cambridge U. Press 2010).
  • Guilty Pleas in International Criminal Law: Constructing a Restorative Justice Approach (Stanford U. Press 2007).
  • Deconstructing the Epistemic Challenges to Mass Atrocity Prosecutions, 75 Wash. & Lee L. Rev. ___ (forthcoming 2018). SSRN.
  • Grave Crimes and Weak Evidence: A Fact-Finding Evolution in International Criminal Law, 58 Harv. Int'l L.J. 47 (2017). SSRN.
  • Seeking Inconsistency: Advancing Pluralism in International Criminal Sentencing, 41 Yale J. Int'l L. 1 (2016). SSRN.
  • 109 Am. J. Int'l L. 697 (2015) (reviewing W. Michael Reisman & Christina Skinner, Fraudulent Evidence Before Public International Tribunals: The Dirty Stories of International Law (2014)) (book review).
  • A New Look at Fact-finding at the ICTR: Advances in Judicial Acknowledgement, 26 Crim. L.F. 387 (2015).
  • From Prosecutorial to Reparatory: A Valuable Post-Conflict Change of Focus, 36 Mich. J. Int'l L. 219 (2015). SSRN.
  • Legitimizing International Criminal Justice, 33 Mich. J. Int'l L. 321 (2012). SSRN.
  • Testimonial Deficiencies and Evidentiary Uncertainties in International Criminal Trials , 14 UCLA J. Int'l L. & Foreign Aff. 235 (2009) (solicited). SSRN.
  • International Courts and Tribunals, 41 Int'l. Law. 291 (2007) (with Lee M. Caplan et al.).
  • Procuring Guilty Pleas for International Crimes: The Limited Influence of Sentencing Discounts, 59 Vand. L. Rev. 67 (2006). SSRN.
  • International Courts and Tribunals, 39 Int'l Law. 259 (2005) (with Carl Magnus Nesser et al.).
  • Profile: Judge George H. Aldrich, 7 Int'l L.F. D. Int'l 47 (2005).
  • International Courts and Tribunals, 38 Int'l Law. 451 (2004) (with Ucheora O. Onwuamaegbu, Mark B. Rees & Jacqueline Weisman).
  • Establishing the International Court, 5 Int'l L. F. 77 (2003).
  • International Courts and Tribunals, 37 Int'l Law. 523 (2003) (with Daryl A. Mundis et al.).
  • International Decisions: Prosecutor v. Plavsic, 97 Am. J. Int'l L. 929 (2003).
  • Copping A Plea to Genocide: The Plea Bargaining of International Crimes, 151 U. Pa. L. Rev. 1 (2002). SSRN.
  • Carter, Reagan, and Khomeini: Presidential Transitions and International Law, 52 Hastings L.J. 303 (2001). SSRN.
  • Diplomatic Adjudication, 3 Chi. J. Int'l L. 267 (2001).
  • International Criminal Jurisprudence Comes of Age: The Substance and Procedure of an Emerging Discipline, 42 Harv. Int'l. L.J. 555 (2001).
  • On Children and Dual Nationality: Sabet and The Islamic Republic of Iran, 13 Leiden J. Int'l L. 173 (2000).
  • Toward a New Understanding of Abuse of Nationality in Claims Before the Iran-United States Claims Tribunal, 10 Am. Rev. Int'l Arb. 27 (1999).
  • Words Not War: A Letter from The Netherlands, Portland, Spring (1998).
  • Understanding Kaye Scholer: The Autonomous Citizen, the Managed Subject and the Role of the Lawyer, 82 Cal. L. Rev. 663 (1994) (comment). SSRN.
Book Chapters
  • The ICTR's Evidentiary System, in Elgar Companion to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) (Anne-Marie de Brouwer and Alette Smeulers, eds. forthcoming 2016).
  • Obtaining Guilty Pleas for International Crimes: Prosecutorial Difficulties, in The Prosecutor in Transnational Perspective (Erik Luna & Marianne Wade eds., Oxford U. Press 2012).
  • Regulation of Defense Counsel: An Evolution Toward Restriction and Legitimacy, in The Legacy of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (Bert Swart, Goran Sluiter & Alexander Zahar eds., Oxford U. Press 2011).
  • Evidence in International Criminal Law, in Handbook of International Criminal Law (William Schabas & Nadia Bernaz eds., Routledge Press 2010).
  • Plea Bargaining, in International Criminal Law (M. Cherif Bassiouni ed., Transnat'l Publishers 3rd ed. 2008).
  • International Courts and Tribunals, in Transnational Dispute Management (2006) (with L. M. Caplan et al.).
  • The International Criminal Court: An Analysis, in The Hague: Legal Capital of the World (Peter J. van Krieken & David McKay eds., Asser Press 2005).
  • Introduction and Summary of Awards and Decisions, Iran-United States Claims Tribunal, in 25 Yearbook on Commercial Arbitration (2000) (co-authored).

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