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Chimène Keitner - UC Hastings College of the Law. San Francisco, CA, US

Chimène Keitner

Alfred & Hanna Fromm Professor of International Law | UC Hastings College of the Law

San Francisco, CA, UNITED STATES



Professor Chimène Keitner is a leading authority on international law and civil litigation, and served as the 27th Counselor on International Law in the U.S. Department of State. She has authored two books and dozens of articles, essays, and book chapters on questions surrounding the relationship among law, communities, and borders, including issues of jurisdiction, extraterritoriality, foreign sovereign and foreign official immunity, and the historical understandings underpinning current practice in these areas.

Professor Keitner holds a bachelor's degree in history and literature with high honors from Harvard, a JD from Yale Law School, where she was a Paul & Daisy Soros Fellow, and a doctorate in international relations from Oxford, where she was a Rhodes Scholar.

Among other professional service, Professor Keitner has served on the Executive Council of the American Society of International Law and as Co-Chair of the ASIL International Law in Domestic Courts Interest Group. She is a member of the American Law Institute and an Adviser on the ALI's Fourth Restatement of the Foreign Relations Law of the United States.



Chimène Keitner Publication Chimène Keitner Publication



loading image Rhodes Women 40th Anniversary loading image ALI Foreign Relations Restatement Meeting loading image


The Constitution and The World | Does the Constitution Apply Abroad? DJCIL Symposium 2015 | Foreign Official Immunity & The Attribution Puzzle


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Areas of Expertise (8)


International Law and International Tribunals

International Civil Litigation

International Dispute Resolution

Foreign Relations Law

Transnational Law

Foreign Sovereign Immunity

National Security Law

Education (4)

Yale Law School: J.D., Law 2002

Oxford University, St. Antony's College: D.Phil, International Relations 2001

Oxford University. New College: M.Phil, International Relations 1998

Harvard University: A.B. (Magna Cum Laude), History & Literature 1996

Affiliations (5)

  • American Law Institute : Member (Since 2013)
  • State Bar of California : Member
  • U.S. Supreme Court Bar : Member
  • American Society of International Law
  • International Law Association

Languages (2)

  • French
  • English

Courses (4)


The law of evidence, including relevancy, hearsay, judicial notice, burden of proof, and presumptions; functions of judge and jury; competency and privileges of witnesses; principal rules of admissibility and exclusion of testimony of witnesses and documents.

International Law

Legal disputes routinely cross international borders. Twenty-first century lawyers need to know how to handle international and transnational disputes, whether they involve business transactions, trade, human rights, the environment, or the use of military force. This course will introduce students to the international legal system and provide the necessary foundation for future study and practice in international and transnational law. We will study how and by whom international law is made, interpreted, and applied; how it constrains (or fails to constrain) the behavior of nation-states, multinational corporations, and individuals; and how it interacts with domestic law, with a focus on U.S. state and federal law.

Democracy, Technology, and Security

This colloquium will provide students with the opportunity to hear from and interact with experts in the fields of national security law, cyberlaw, and social media regulation, while providing a forum for students to produce papers based on their individual research interests within these fields. We will cover topics related to Russian election interference, cross-border regulation of speech and data, and international law in cyberspace.

Civil Litigation Across Borders

This course examines various aspects of litigating disputes that cross international borders in United States courts, from multinational business disputes to human rights and terrorism cases. Subjects considered include personal and subject-matter jurisdiction in international cases, foreign sovereign immunity, the act-of-state doctrine, extraterritorial application of domestic laws, choice of forum and choice of law, service of process and taking of evidence abroad, and enforcement of foreign judgments and arbitral awards. We will pay special attention to recent U.S. Supreme Court cases in this area and discuss how the U.S. government formulates its litigation position in disputes involving potentially competing interests.