Photo of Professor Michael Schmitt

Professor Michael Schmitt

BA, MA (Texas St.), MA (Naval War Coll.), JD (Texas), LL.M (Yale), D.Litt (Durham)

Professor of Public International Law

Michael Schmitt is Professor of Public International Law at Exeter Law School.  Additionally, he is the Francis Lieber Distinguished Scholar at the Lieber Institute of the United States Military Academy at West Point; a Strauss Center Distinguished Scholar and Visiting Professor at the University of Texas; and professor emeritus at the US Naval War College. Professor Schmitt is a Senior Fellow at the NATO Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence, Senior Research Associate at Hebrew University, Affiliate at Harvard's Program on International Law and Armed Conflict, and General Editor of both International Law Studies and the Lieber Studies series (OUP). Previously he was Professor of International Law at Durham University, Dean of the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies in Germany, and General Editor of the Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law. He served 20 years in the United States Air Force as a judge advocate specializing in operational and international law.   

Professor Schmitt has been an invited visiting scholar at Melbourne University, Australian National University, Yale Law School and Emory University, and has delivered the James Crawford Biennial Lecture at Adelaide Law School, Sir Ninian Stephen Lecture at Melbourne University, Hilaire McCoubrey Lecture at Hull University and the Waldemar Solf Lecture at the US Army’s Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School. He serves on many boards of institutions, learned and professional societies, and publications dealing with international law.  The author of over 160 scholarly publications, he is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts. Also a member of the Secretary of State's Advisory Committee on International Law, in 2017 he was awarded the Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana by the President of Estonia for his work in promoting cyber defence and in 2018 was named the Naval War College's Research Scholar of the year.

Research group links

Research interests

The author of over 160 books and scholarly articles, Professor Schmitt’s works on law and military affairs have been published around the world.

He has participated in many international expert working groups, including those on the Non-International Armed Conflict Manual (International Institute of Humanitarian Law); Manual on the International Law of Air and Missile Warfare (Harvard Program on Conflict Research); Direct Participation by Civilians in Hostilities (ICRC); Characterization of Conflict (Chatham House); as project director, both the Manual on the International Law Applicable to Cyber Warfare (NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence) and  "Tallinn 2.0", a follow-on project to the Tallinn Manual sponsored by the NATO CCD COE; and as a board member and editor, the Woomera Manual on the International Law of Conflict in Outer Space.

External impact and engagement

 Director, Exeter Professional Certificate, International Cyber Law for Government Officials

 Edit profile