PUBLISHED:August 26, 2019

Duke-Virginia Foreign Relations Law Roundtable

Participants at Roundtable

Transparency, Secrecy, and Monitoring in Foreign Relations Law

Saturday, September 28, 2019
Room 3000 | ALL DAY
Duke Law School

This roundtable explored the general tradeoffs of transparency and secrecy in foreign relations law, and the ability of Congress and the courts to monitor executive branch conduct relating to foreign affairs.

The executive branch has significant constitutional authority relating to foreign relations, and Congress often delegates substantial additional discretion to the executive branch in this area. As either a supplement or alternative to direct regulation of the executive branch’s foreign relations conduct, Congress frequently imposes transparency requirements. In theory, such transparency is designed both to deter problematic conduct and to allow Congress to monitor and detect potential legal or policy problems. Full transparency is not always possible or desirable, however, and sometimes secrecy is justified. Claims about the need for secrecy, however, can be abused by the executive branch. Whether information is fully transparent or reported in secret, there are significant questions about Congress’s and the courts’ ability and incentives to monitor executive branch conduct.

Roundtable Papers

Roundtable Agenda


Curtis Bradley, Duke Law School

Elena Chachko, Harvard Law School

Ashley Deeks, University of Virginia Law School

Mary DeRosa, Georgetown Law Center

Kristen Eichensehr, UCLA Law School

Jean Galbraith, University of Pennsylvania Law School

Monica Hakimi, University of Michigan Law School

Oona Hathaway, Yale Law School

Rebecca Ingber, Boston University Law School

Andrew Keller, U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee

Martin Lederman, Georgetown Law Center

Kaeten Mistry, University of East Anglia

Jide Nzelibe, Northwestern Law School

Andrew Olson, U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee

David Pozen, Columbia Law School

Dakota Rudesill, Ohio State Law School

Rahul Sagar, New York University Law School

Sudha Setty, Western New England Law School

Ganesh Sitaraman, Vanderbilt Law School

Paul Stephan, University of Virginia Law School

Matthew Waxman, Columbia Law School