Close Menu
Michael J. Kelly, JD, LLM

The Senator Allen A. Sekt Endowed Chair in Law



School of Law
Faculty - Law
LAWC - Ahmanson Law Center - 277

Michael J. Kelly, JD, LLM

The Senator Allen A. Sekt Endowed Chair in Law


Professor Kelly coordinates the International and Comparative Law Program at Creighton University School of Law, including its nationally-ranked summer school program on international criminal law and the Holocaust in Germany: From Nuremberg to The Hague. He is past-president of the U.S. National Chapter and currently a member of the Board of Directors of L’Association International du Droit Pénal, a Paris-based society of international criminal law scholars, judges and attorneys founded in 1924 that enjoys consultative status with the United Nations. His research and teaching focuses on the fields of international and comparative law and Native American law. He is the author and co-author of seven books and over forty articles; his widely-cited work is among the top 3% downloaded from the Social Science Research Network (SSRN).

Professor Kelly's field work on genocide took him to northern Iraq where he also consulted with the Kurdish Regional Government on federalism and constitutional issues. He serves as Co-Chair with David Satola (World Bank) of the American Bar Association’s Task Force on Internet Governance, with whom he published a leading article on the European Union's "Right to Be Forgotten" as a cyber-privacy right in the Univeristy of Illinois Law Review and with whom he is currently working to develop a matrix tracking the migration of human rights from the physical world into the digital world as Internet Human Rights.  Professor Kelly is a Corresponding Editor for the American Society of International Law's flagship publication International Legal Materials, and served from 2012-2015 as a member of the President’s Advisory Committee on Global Engagement for the American Association of Law Schools (AALS).

Cuba Policy
After 60 years, American foreign policy is changing with respect to Cuba. Professor Kelly has been on the front lines of that change as an expert on the international law of expropriations. Professor Kelly wrote the grant that USAID awarded to the School of Law calling for creation of a model Cuba/U.S. bilateral property claims settlement tribunal which can be used to settle the claims of companies and citizens whose property was confiscated by the Castro regime when it came to power in 1959. Professor Kelly and the team of six law and political science faculty tasked with building this model reported their recommendations as a book on The Resolution of Outstanding Property Claims between Cuba & the United States (Creighton University Press 2007). He testified in Congress in 2010 on this issue as it relates to lifting the embargo on Cuba.
Since the President’s December 2014 announced changes on Cuba policy, Professor Kelly and Creighton faculty have taken many interviews on this subject following up on a larger article in the Boston Globe, including those from Bloomberg, the Wall Street Journal, the Miami Herald, Globe & Mail, Washington Post and Associated Press.  Their supplemental work in the area produced another book, the Cuba-U.S. Bilateral Relationship: New Pathways & Policy Choices (Oxford University Press 2019), that Professor Kelly had the opportunity to present to Pope Francis at a meeting in the Vatican in appreciation for his role in re-opening U.S.-Cuba relations in 2014.

Full text publications

Teaching Interests

  • International Law, Comparative Constitutional Law, Cyber Law, National Security Law, Native American Law

Research Focus

International Law, Cyber Law (Internet Governance), Climate Change, National Security & Foreign Relations Law, International Criminal Law, Constitutional Law, Environmental & Natural Resources Law, Native American Law






  • The Genocide of the Christian Populations in the Ottoman Empire and Its Aftermath (1908-1923)
    Kelly Michael J., Shared Intent in a Collapsing Empire 2023
  • Annotated Leading Cases of International Criminal Tribunals: The International Criminal Court 2014-2015
    Kelly Michael J., Commentary 2021
  • Annotated Leading Cases of International Criminal Tribunals: The International Criminal Court 2012-2014
    Kelly Michael J., Commentary 2020
  • The Cuba-U.S. Bilateral Relationship: New Pathways and Policy Choices
    Kelly Michael J., Introduction 2019
  • The Cuba-U.S. Bilateral Relationship: New Pathways and Policy Choices
    Kelly Michael J., U.S. property claims in Cuba 2019
  • The Cuba-U.S. Bilateral Relationship: New Pathways and Policy Choices
    Kelly Michael J., Succession versus transition 2019
  • The Cuba-U.S. Bilateral Relationship: New Pathways and Policy Choices
    Kelly Michael J., Conclusion 2019
  • Caron David D., The international law of disaster relief 2014
  • Victims of International Crimes: An Interdisciplinary Discourse
    Kelly Michael J., The status of victims under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court 2013
  • International Law in the New Age of Globalization
    Kelly Michael J., The parameters of vicarious corporate 2013
  • Borchers Patrick J., Report on the resolution of outstanding property claims between Cuba and the United States 2007


  • Kelly Michael, Human Rights Day in Ukraine 2023
  • Kelly Michael J., France may invoke NATO Article 5 in wake of Paris ISIS attacks 2015
  • Internet Human Rights 2023
  • The right to a healthy environment 2023
  • The U.S.-Cuba bilateral relationship 2019
  • Disasters and international law 2012
  • The new constitutionalism in Iraq and Kurdistan 2011
  • Legal issues concerning the trial of Adolf Eichmann 2011
  • The status of victims under the Rome Statute of the ICC 2011
  • The development of a new "lawfare" paradigm in law and policy (panel moderator) 2010
  • Corporate liability for genocide 2010
  • Property rights in the context of lifting the U.S. embargo against Cuba 2010
  • Use of the command responsibility doctrine to prosecute corporations for genocide 2010
  • Crimes against humanity treaty development process 2010
  • The historical development of Native American law 2010
  • Ukraine Symposium New ICC arrest warrants for Russian flag officers -0001
  • Time for the Arab League and EU to step up on Gaza security -0001
  • Russias illegal invasion of Ukraine & the role of international law -0001
  • U.S. evidence sharing with the ICC -0001


  • Creighton Lawyer
    Kelly Michael, Message from the Dean 2018
  • Creighton Lawyer
    Kelly Michael, Message from the Dean 2017
  • Cuban Affairs
    Witmer Richard C., A proposed property claims settlement mechanism for the United States and Cuba
    2 2007
  • Creighton University Magazine
    Mack Raneta Lawson, The war on terror 2003
  • Creighton Lawyer
    Kelly Michael J., The Milosevic prosecution and the erosion of sovereign immunity 2002


  • University of Pennsylvania Journal of Law and Social Change
    Kelly Michael, Internet human rights
    26:3 2023
  • Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law
    Kelly Michael, The role of international law in the Russia-Ukraine War
    55:1 & 2 2023
  • Creighton Law Review
    Kelly Michael J, Tribute for Associate Dean Richard McFayden
    55:2 2022
  • Marquette Law Review
    Kelly Michael J., Quiescent sovereignty of U.S. territories
    105:3 2022
  • The Cuba-U.S. bilateral relationship 2019
  • Kelly Michael J., Eichmann before Jerusalem 2016
  • Kelly Michael J., Perspective 2 2015
  • Kelly Michael J., Iranian-Kurdish relations 2015
  • Kelly Michael J., Kurdish uprising 2015
  • Kelly Michael J., Kurdish oil fields 2015
  • Kelly Michael J., Denial of the Kurdish genocide 2015
  • Kelly Michael J., Halabja gas attack 2015
  • Kelly Michael J., Hussein, Saddam 2015
  • Kelly Michael J., United States, Role of 2015
  • Kelly Michael J., Rahman, Sami Abdul 2015
  • Kelly Michael J., Rahim, Rostam Hamid 2015
  • Kelly Michael J., Monument of Halabja Martyrs 2015
  • Kelly Michael J., Kurdistan 2015
  • Kelly Michael J., Kurdish separatism 2015
  • Kelly Michael J., Kamil, Mahmud 2015
  • Kelly Michael J., Iraqi Kurdistan Front 2015
  • Kelly Michael J., Chemical genocide 2015
  • Kelly Michael J., Ahmad, Taimour Abdullah 2015
  • Kelly Michael J., Turkey 2015
  • Pace International Law Review Online Companion
    Kelly Michael, Islam & international criminal law 2010
  • Yearbook of Islamic and Middle Eastern Law
    Kelly Michael J., Islam and international criminal law
    14 2010
  • Creighton Law Review
    Borchers Patrick J., Executive summary
    41:2 2008
  • Kelly Michael J., Williams v. Lee, 1959 2008
  • Kelly Michael J., United States v. Dion, 1986 2008
  • Kelly Michael J., United States v. Sioux Nation, 1980 2008
  • Kelly Michael J., Treaty with the Cherokee, November 28, 1785 2008
  • Kelly Michael J., Supremacy clause 2008
  • Kelly Michael J., Jefferson, Thomas (1743-1826) 2008
  • Kelly Michael J., Native American Graves and Repatriation Act, 1990 2008
  • Journal of Genocide Research
    Kelly Michael J., The Anfal trial against Saddam Hussein
    9:2 2007
  • Kelly Michael J., Israel v. Hezbollah 2006
  • Kelly Michael J., Milosevic trial legacy 2006
  • Kelly Michael J., Sovereignty redux 2005
  • Kelly Michael J., Sovereign immunity for Saddam? 2005
  • Kelly Michael J., Irony of a possible ICC finding of genocide in Darfur 2005
  • Kelly Michael J., A world of paranoia 2004
  • Kelly Michael J., Reaping the whirlwind 2004
  • Kelly Michael J., Boost U.N. legitimacy by adding members to Security Council 2003
  • Kelly Michael J., Could the new International Criminal Court try Americans for war crimes in Iraq? 2003
  • Kelly Michael J., Gulf War resolution limits options 2002
  • Kelly Michael J., Bush should take his cue from the Bible 2001
  • Kelly Michael J., Anti-environment agenda surfaces 2001
  • Kelly Michael, War on culture violates rule of law 2001
  • Kelly Michael, Imperfect justice 2001
  • Kelly Michael, Kennewick Man decision is a crime against science 2000
  • Kelly Michael, Before his reburial, Kennewick Man could teach us a lot more 2000
  • Kelly Michael J., Kennewick Man still has a lot to say 2000
  • Kelly Michael J., Closure for Pinochet 2000
  • Kelly Michael J., To appeal or not to appeal, that is the question 1999