Tenured and Tenure-Track Faculty
Anna Spain

Associate Professor of Law
International Law, International Dispute Resolution, International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, U.S. National Security and Foreign Policy and Mediation

University of Colorado Law School
442 Wolf Law Building
401 UCB
Boulder, CO  80309
Office: 442
Phone: (303) 492-6204
E-mail: anna.spain@colorado.edu

Curriculum Vitae:  View (PDF format)

Personal Link:


Educational Background:
J.D.   Harvard Law School   2004  
B.A.   Denison University   1999   magna cum laude

Anna Spain joined the faculty as an Associate Professor in 2009 and was awarded tenure in 2015. She teaches courses in international law, mediation and legal ethics and advises the student groups for international law and alternative dispute resolution. 

Professor Spain's research focuses on issues of global cooperation and conflict through the fields of international law, international dispute resolution and national security law. Her work also focuses on the intersection between law and decisionmaking. Her 2014 article on The U.N. Security Council's Duty to Decide received the American Society of International Law's 2014 Francis Lieber Prize. Professor Spain remains actively involved in a variety of international arbitration and international mediation matters.

Before joining CU Law, Professor Spain was the Deputy Director of the UCLA Burkle Center for International Relations and a Lecturer at UCLA Law School. She previously practiced international law as an Attorney-Adviser at the U.S. Department of State Office of the Legal Adviser where she received two Meritorious Honor Awards for her work representing the U.S. before the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal in The Hague and as a delegate to the United Nations Compensation Commission in Geneva. Professor Spain also has policy experience working on climate change at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and on international trade agreements at the Office of the United States Trade Representative. Professor Spain is a professional mediator with over 20 years experience specializing in work-place disputes and identity-based conflict.  

Professor Spain is a graduate of Harvard Law School where she served as an executive editor of the Harvard Human Rights Journal and was a recipient of the Heyman Fellowship, the Irving R. Kaufman Fellowship and the Reginald F. Lewis Fellowship. She earned her B.A. magna cum laude at Denison University in environmental studies with a concentration in economics and clerked for the Honorable Judge Raymond Finch in the U.S. District Court of the U.S. Virgin Islands. She is a member of the American Bar Association, American Society of International Law, Council on Foreign Relations (former Term Member) and Mediators Beyond Borders (Founding Member and former Board Member).


Deciding to Intervene, 51 Houston Law Review 847 (2014) (Competitively selected by the American Society of International Law for the "New Voices" panel at the 106th Annual Meeting, March 2012).
The U.N. Security Council's Duty to Decide, 4 Harvard National Security Journal 320 (2013) (awarded the American Society of International Law's 2014 Francis Lieber Prize for outstanding scholarship in the field of the law of armed conflict by a younger author).
Beyond Adjudication: Resolving International Resource Disputes in an Era of Climate Change, 30 Stanford Environmental Law Journal 343 (2011). (Competitively selected by the American Society of International Law for presentation at the 3rd Four Societies Conference, Awaji, Japan 2010).
Examining the International Judicial Function: International Courts as Dispute Resolvers, 34 Loyola of Los Angeles International and Comparative Law Review 5 (2011) (symposium issue).
Integration Matters: Rethinking the Architecture of International Dispute Resolution, 32 University of Pennsylvania Journal of International Law 1 (2010). Reprinted in International Dispute Resolution: Cases and Materials, Mary Ellen O'Connell, Carolina Academic Press (2012).
Using International Dispute Resolution to Address the Compliance Question in International Law, 40 Georgetown Journal of International Law 807 (2009).

Book Chapters

African Women Leaders and the Advancement of Peacebuilding in International Law in BLACK WOMEN AND INTERNATIONAL LAW: Deliberate Interactions, Movements and Actions (Jeremy Levitt ed., Cambridge University Press, 2015).
International Dispute Resolution in an Era of Globalization in International Law in the New Age of Globalization (Andrew Byrnes, Mika Hayashi, Chris Michaelsen eds., Martinus Nijhoff Press, 2013).

Other Publications

Judges, Diplomats and Peacebuilders: Evaluating International Dispute Resolution as a System in ASIL PROCEEDINGS OF THE 108TH ANNUAL MEETING 271-273 (2015).
Book Review, Diplomatic and Judicial Means of Dispute Settlement (Laurence Boisson de Chazournes, Marcelo G. Kohen, and Jorge E. Vinúales eds.), 108 American Journal of International Law 140 (2014).
Sovereignty and the Promotion of Peace in International Law in ASIL PROCEEDINGS OF THE 106TH ANNUAL MEETING 78-80 (2013).
Guest Blogger, IntlLawGrrls, http://intlawgrrls.blogspot.com/ (2010-present).
Who's Going to Copenhagen?: The Rise of Civil Society in International Treaty-Making, ASIL Insights (2009).
The Many Pathways of International Law in ASIL Careers in International Law: A Guide to Career Paths and Internships in International Law (2009-2010 Edition).

Selected Press, Media & Publicity

Anna Spain International Peace through Mediation | The Doug Noll Show | Thursday, May 28, 2015
Brief of Amici Curiae International Law Professors in Support of Reversal | Chevron Corp. v. Donziger, No. 14-826(L) | Tuesday, July 8, 2014
Growing Spats Between Countries Leads To Need For More Cross-Border Lawyers | International Business Times | Friday, August 3, 2012


Fall 2015 Legal Ethics and Professionalism LAWS 6103-002
Fall 2015 US Natl Sec Foreign Rel LAWS 8611-001
Spring 2015 Legal Ethics and Professionalism LAWS 6103-001
Spring 2015 Mediation LAWS 7439-001
Fall 2014 International Dispute Resolution LAWS 7310-001
Spring 2014 Legal Ethics and Professionalism LAWS 6103-001
Spring 2014 International Dispute Resolution LAWS 7310-001
Spring 2013 International Human Rights Law LAWS 7440-001