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Professor William C. Banks


Professor William C. Banks is an internationally recognized authority in national security law, counterterrorism, and constitutional law. Banks has helped set the parameters for the emerging field of national security law since 1987, co-authoring two leading texts in the field: National Security Law and Counterterrorism Law. In 2008, Banks was named the College of Law Board of Advisors Distinguished Professor at Syracuse University, where he has been a member of the faculty for over 30 years.

National Security Law was first published in 1990 and is now in its fifth edition. Banks and his co-authors published Counterterrorism Law in 2007 to help define the emerging field of counterterrorism law, and the second edition was published in 2012. Banks is also the author of numerous other books, book chapters and articles including Constitutional Law: Structure and Rights in Our Federal System (6th ed. 2011), Combating Terrorism (with Mitchel Wallerstein and Renee de Nevers), New Battlefields/Old Laws: Critical Debates from the Hague to Convention to Asymmetric Warfare, “Legal Sanctuaries and Predator Strikes in the War on Terror,” “Programmatic Surveillance and FISA – Of Needles in Haystacks,” and “Providing ‘Supplemental Security’ – The Insurrection Act and the Military Role in Responding to Domestic Crises.”

Banks has been quoted extensively in the media, including in the New York Times, Washington Post, Christian Science Monitor, Los Angeles Times, Associate Press, TIME Magazine, and on National Public Radio, as well on camera with appearances on CNN, MSNBC, CBS, C-SPAN, and other networks. Banks has testified before Congress on several occasions, most recently on the subject of targeting suspected terrorists with unmanned aerial vehicles. In addition to teaching national security law, counterterrorism law, and constitutional law, Banks lectures extensively on these and other national and international security and constitutional law-related topics around the globe. Banks' current research interests include the domestic role of the military, international terrorism, emergency powers, war powers, and emergency preparedness and response.

A graduate of the University of Nebraska (B.A. 1971) and the University of Denver (J.D. 1974, M.S., Law & Society 1982), Banks joined the faculty of the Syracuse University College of Law in 1978. Since 1998, he also has been a Professor of Public Administration in SU's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. He was named the Laura J. and L. Douglas Meredith Professor for Teaching Excellence in 1998, a College of Law Board of Advisors Professor in 2005, and he became the founding director of the Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism at Syracuse University in 2003. He also served as Special Counsel to the United States Senate Judiciary Committee in 1994. Banks worked with the committee on the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Stephen G. Breyer. He currently serves as a member of the InfraGard National Members Alliance Board of Advisors, the Advisory Council for the Perpetual Peace Project, and the Executive Board of the International Counter-Terrorism Academic Community (ICTAC). He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of National Security Law & Policy (JNSL&P).