Professor Jack Beard joined the law faculty in 2011. Before coming to Nebraska, he was a member of the faculty at the UCLA School of Law. He previously served as the Associate Deputy General Counsel (International Affairs) in the Department of Defense where he was responsible for a variety of legal matters related to arms control agreements, defense cooperation and basing agreements in the Middle East region, and programs assisting states of the former Soviet Union in dismantlement of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) and other nonproliferation activities.  These latter activities included the removal of nuclear weapons from Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine and the elimination of other WMDs and related infrastructure in those countries.  He served as the senior lawyer on numerous U.S. delegations negotiating international agreements on a wide range of U.S. military operations and activities. As a JAG officer, he served as the Chief of the International Law Section, International and Operational Law Division, Office of The Judge Advocate General. He also served on active and reserve duty as an officer in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps, where his assignments included Chief of the International Law Section, International and Operational Law Division, Office of The Judge Advocate General of the Army. He is a Lieutenant Colonel in U.S. Army JAG Corps (Retired).

Professor Beard is a Co-Director of the Space, Cyber and Telecom Law Program, teaching courses in International Cyber Security and National Security Space Law. He also teaches courses in National Security Law, Arms Control, and Human Rights & International Criminal Law. His primary research interests focus on public international law and national security law, with a particular emphasis upon space law, cyber capabilities, arms control, the law of armed conflict, and the international legal implications of modern military technologies. 

 Professor Beard is the Chairman of the Committee on the Use of Force of the American Branch of the International Law Association and serves as one of the U.S. representatives on the London-based International Law Association’s Committee on the Use of Force. He is a member of the International Institute of Space Law and is the Editor-in-Chief of the Woomera Manual on the International Law of Military Space Operations (forthcoming 2022). 


Arms Control: Problem of Law and Technology Law 760 (2 cr hr)
This course will examine the historical, political and strategic foundations of contemporary arms control and disarmament regimes and will evaluate the nature and effectiveness of supporting legal frameworks. Specific topics will include: prohibited weapons under international law; agreements banning various conventional weapons; the successes and failures of the Chemical Weapons Convention and the Biological Weapons Convention; nuclear arms limitation agreements and underlying nuclear deterrence doctrines; the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Agreement, and; future arms control initiatives related to cyber warfare, space and emerging new military technologies.

International Cyber Security: Mischief, Crime and Warfare Law 756/G (3 cr hr)
This course explores international legal issues related to emerging conflicts in cyberspace and related security and technology problems. Its primary focus is on the appropriate legal frameworks, particularly the Law of Armed Conflict, which may be applicable to hostile acts in cyberspace and compares various forms of cybercrime with state-sponsored efforts to disrupt, deny, degrade or destroy information in computer networks and systems. Related topics include an examination of the use of information as a weapon; cyber techniques and technologies; private and governmental roles in cyberspace, and; increasingly diverse military operations in cyberspace (including various forms of data exploitation, espionage and sabotage). This course is also available to online LLM students.

National Security Law Law 719 (1 cr hr)
This course examines international and U.S. law relevant to the handling of national security matters. On the domestic level, we will study the allocation of power under the Constitution between Congress and the President with respect to war powers and will assess the role of the courts as a check on the political branches in this area, particularly as it relates to ongoing efforts to fight terrorism. Domestic statutory authorities, especially the War Powers Resolution, will also be covered. To illustrate and better understand some of the challenges confronting individual liberties in time of war, several contemporary U.S. national security problems will be examined, particularly the military detention of suspected terrorists and their trial by military commissions. Other controversial U.S. national security initiatives, such as covert intelligence operations and the targeted killing of suspected terrorists (particularly by unmanned aerial vehicles), will be assessed in the context of both domestic and international law. The second half of the course focuses on international law governing the use of force, conflict management and collective security arrangements. Special attention will be given to the U.N. Charter, the doctrine of self-defense, arguments setting forth justifications for the unilateral use of force, intervention in internal conflicts, and the institutional framework for collective efforts to maintain international peace and security, including peacekeeping operations and peace enforcement actions.

National Security Space Law Law 747 (1 cr hr)
This course will address the national security and military aspects of space law and policy, including arms control, intelligence gathering, weaponization, and rules on the use of force as applied to space activities. This course is also available to online LL.M. students.

Human Rights and International Criminal Law Law 715 (3 cr hr)
This course examines the nature and scope of transnational and international criminal law and explores the relationship between human rights law and state sovereignty. Specific topics include: an introduction to human rights law; state sovereignty and extraterritorial criminal jurisdiction; immunity from jurisdiction; nationality; extradition; international criminal law, including genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes; the International Criminal Court; the ad hoc international criminal tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, and; international or hybrid criminal tribunals and special courts for other countries, including Sierra Leone, Lebanon and Kosovo.


Soft Law's Failure on the Horizon: The International Code of Conduct for Outer Space Activities,  38 University of Pennsylvania Journal of International Law 335 (2017)

Autonomous Weapons and Human Responsibilities,  45 Georgetown Journal of International Law 617 (2014)

Law and War in the Virtual Era,  103 American Journal of International Law 409 (2009)

The Nuclear Nonproliferation Regime and Nuclear Realities: Repair or Reassessment?,  101 American Society of International Law, Proceedings 438 (2007)

The Shortcomings of Indeterminacy in Arms Control Regimes: the Case of the Biological Weapons Convention,  101 American Journal of International Law 271 (2007)

The Geneva Boomerang: the Military Commissions Act of 2006 and U.S. Counterterror Operations,  101 American Journal of International Law 56 (2007)

A New Urgency about Anthrax: Recent Efforts to Prevent the Proliferation of Biological Weapons in the Former Soviet Union,  96 American Society of International Law, Proceedings 275 (2002)

America's New War on Terror: The Case for Self-Defense,  25 Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy 559 (2002)



Book Chapters

Proportionality in an Era of High Technology, in COMPLEX BATTLESPACES: THE LAW OF ARMED CONFLICT AND THE DYNAMICS OF MODERN WARFARE (Oxford University Press, 2018)

Nuclear Nonproliferation and Planetary Defence: Competing Potential Disasters, in LEGAL ASPECTS OF PLANETARY DEFENCE (Brill/Series: Studies in Space Law, Irmgard Marboe, ed.) (forthcoming, 2021)


Space Law 101: Dealing with a Competitive and Contested Domain Expert Level Masterclass, Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office of the United Kingdom (October 2020)

Military Space Operations Law: Missteps, Misconceptions and Myths about International Law as Applied to Military Space Operations “Emergent Topics in Operational and International Law” Series, Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School in Charlottesville, VA (October 2020)

The Woomera Manual on the International Law of Military Space Operations joint briefing of space industry leaders at the Information Sharing and Analysis Center (S-ICAC) in Washington, D.C. (October 2020)

Zones in Outer Space co-host of webinar on space law, U.S. Space Command/US Air Force Academy (October 2020)

Space law 101 Omaha Bar Association (August 2020)

The Woomera Manual on the International Law of Military Space Operations Address to Military Attaches and Diplomats at the Australia Defense Force Academy, Canberra, Australia (February 2020)

Planetary Defense (Efforts to Protect Earth from Future, Catastrophic Asteroid Impact): Legal Issues presented at roundtable of experts at the Tiller House of the American Society of International Law (ASIL) in Washington, D.C., together with experts from the International Institute of Space Law (October 2019)

Critical Issues in Space Law 13th Annual Galloway Space Law Symposium, Washington, D.C., Dec. 5, 2018

Above the Horizon: Developments and Challenges to National Security in Space Law and Policy Space Law Symposium, George Mason Law School, Arlington, Virginia, Nov. 26, 2018

Space Law and Rising Tensions in Space - Panelist Expert Panel at the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office of the United Kingdom, for an audience of invited UK Foreign Ministry/UK Military participants (March 2021)

From Accord back to Confrontation: The Return of the Iran Nuclear Crisis - Panelist moderator at the annual International Law Weekend of the American Branch of the International Law Association (ABILA) in New York City (October 2020)

Military Space Operations: The Danger of Cross-Domain Analogies (Air, Land, Sea and Cyberspace) - Panelist moderator at University of Nebraska Virtual Space Law Week (October 2020)

Competition and Conflict in Outer Space - Panelist 3rd Annual Alexander C. Cushing International Law Conference, the U.S. Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island (May 2020)

The Growing Risk of War in Space: What Role Will International Law Play? - Panelist moderator at the annual International Law Weekend of the American Branch of the International Law Association held at Fordham University, New York City (October 2019)

A Nuclear Arms Control Diplomacy Discussion: Is There a Practical Mechanism for Multilateral Arms Control Agreements? - Panelist 4th Annual Advanced Operational Law Conference, U.S. Strategic Command, Offutt Air Force Base (September 2019)

Defending America’s Place in Space: Future Threats and Rules - Panelist panelist at Law and Policy Workshop sponsored by the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center and the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Law and National Security, Army and Navy Club, Washington, D.C. (January 2019)

Space Law: Issues and Progress - Panelist moderated panel at the 28th Annual Review of the Field of National Security Law, American Bar Association, Washington, D.C. (November 2018)

War, Peace, and International Law on the Korean Peninsula - Panelist moderated panel at the International Law Weekend of the American Branch of the International Law Association, New York City (October 2018)

Woomera Manual on the International Law of Military Space Operations - Panelist moderated panel at the University of Nebraska 11th Annual Washington D.C. Space Law Conference, at the National Press Club, Washington, D.C. (September 2018)

The Law of Armed Conflict in Space - Panelist moderated panel at the 3rd Annual Advanced Operations Law Conference, U.S. Strategic Command, Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska (September 2018)

Cyber and Space Military Operations - Panelist Space & Cyber Seminar, Space Foundation, Colorado Springs, Colorado (January 2018)


“Cyber Security and Data Privacy Trailblazer Award,”  National Law Journal, (2015)

“Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Public Service”  (2013)

“Professor of the Year Award,”  UCLA School of Law, elected by Class of 2008

“Excellence in Teaching Award,”  awarded by Class of 2003, The Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, Washington, D.C.

“Charles Fahy Distinguished Adjunct Professor Award,”  2000 - 2001 (J.D. Program), Georgetown University Law Center



Committee Reports: U.S. Representative, International Law Association, Final Report on Aggression and the Use of Force  (2018)


LL.M. (International & Comparative Law), with distinction, 1989, Georgetown University Law Center
J.D., magna cum laude, 1983, University of Michigan Law School
Order of the Coif, 1983
B.S.F.S., magna cum laude, International Affairs/Russian, 1980, Georgetown University

Areas of Expertise


Associate Professor of Law, 2017
Assistant Professor of Law, 2011