Headshot of Rebecca Loren Crootof

Rebecca Crootof

Assistant Professor of Law

Curriculum Vitae

  • Profile

    Rebecca Crootof is an Assistant Professor of Law. Dr. Crootof's primary areas of research include technology law, international law, and torts; her written work explores questions stemming from the iterative relationship between law and technology, often in light of social changes sparked by increasingly autonomous systems, artificial intelligence, cyberspace, robotics, and the Internet of Things. She is interested in the various ways both domestic and international legal regimes respond to and shape technological development, particularly in the armed conflict context.


    Dr. Crootof earned a B.A. cum laude in English with a minor in Mathematics at Pomona College; a J.D. at Yale Law School; and a PhD at Yale Law School, where she graduated in the first class of PhDs in law awarded in the United States. Her dissertation, Keeping Pace: New Technology and the Evolution of International Law, discusses how technology fosters change in the international legal order, both by creating a need for new regulations and by altering how sources of international governance develop and interact. She has published with the Cornell Law Review, the Duke Law Review, the Pennsylvania Law Review, the Harvard National Security Journal, the Yale Journal of International Law, and the Yale Law Journal; and written for Slate, Lawfare, and Just Security.


    Dr. Crootof served as a law clerk for the late Judge Mark R. Kravitz of the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut and for Judge John M. Walker, Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. She consults for the Institute for Defense Analyses and is a member of the New York Bar, the Equal Rights Center's Board of Directors, the Center for New American Security's Task Force on Artificial Intelligence and National Security, and the Permanent Mission of the Principality of Liechtenstein to the United Nations' Council of Advisers on the Application of the Rome Statute to Cyberwarfare.


    She enjoys skiing, hiking, and reading science fiction "for work."

    • Presentations

      Presenter, "Artificial Intelligence, Autonomous Weapon Systems, and Accidents in War," DILEMA Lecture Series, Asser Institute (December 2020)


      Panelist, "Responsible Artificial Intelligence in Defense: Legitimacy and the Use of LAWS," Responsible Artificial Intelligence in Defense: Legitimacy and the Use of LAWS , Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation (December 2020)


      Panelist, "The Growing Use of Artificial Intelligence by Government in Courts and Agencies ," The Growing Use of Artificial Intelligence by Government in Courts and Agencies , Silicon Flatirons, University of Colorado Law School (December 2020)


      Presenter, "Structuring Techlaw," Harvard Yale Stanford Junior Faculty Forum 2020 , Stanford Law School (August 2020)


      Workshop Participant, "Artificial Intelligence and International Stability," Center for New American Security & Perry World House (July 2020)


      Presenter, "The Cost of Accidents in Armed Conflict," National Security Junior Scholars Workshop, University of Florida School of Law (July 2020)


      Workshop Participant, "Applying International Law in Cyberspace: Protections and Prevention," Oxford Institute for Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict (June 2020)


      Workshop Presenter, "Autonomous Weapon Systems," Expert Discussion, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (June 2020)


      Presenter, "Structuring Techlaw," Privacy Scholars Law Conference, Georgetown Law School (June 2020)


      Presenter, "The Cost of Accidents in Armed Conflict," AI Regulation Colloquium, McGill University School of Law (June 2020)


      Workshop Presenter, "Draft Principles for Munitions and Weapons Systems with Autonomous Functionalities," Center for a New American Security (May 2020)


      Workshop Presenter, "Technology Alliance Initiative Inaugural Workshops," Center for a New American Security (May 2020)


      "Structuring Techlaw," AI and Justice in 2035, Program on Understanding Law, Science, and Evidence (PULSE), UCLA Law School (February 2020)


      Presenter, "War Torts," U.S.-China Seminar on International Cooperation in Artificial Intelligence, Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue & Yale Law School Paul Tsai China Center (December 2019)


      Guest Lecturer, "Killer Robots Today," AI & the Law: Science Fact and Science Fiction, University of Michigan Law School (November 2019)


      Guest Lecturer, "New Technologies and the Law of Armed Conflict," International Law, International Arbitration, University of Richmond School of Law (November 2019)


      Panelist, "Human Dignity, Agency & Algorithmic Bias," Fordham Intellectual Property, Media, & Entertainment Law Journal Symposium, Fordham Law School (October 2019)


      Presenter, "War Torts: Accountability for Autonomous Weapon Systems," Digital Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Colloquium, Fordham Law School (October 2019)


      Panelist, "State and Local Privacy - Bans and Regulation," The Near Future of U.S. Privacy Law, University of Colorado Law School (September 2019)

    • Memberships

      Annual Meeting Program Committee Member, American Society of International Law


      Editorial Board Member, Journal of National Security Law and Policy (2019 - present)


      Council of Advisers on the Application of the Rome Statute to Cyberwarfare, Permanent Mission of the Principality of Liechtenstein to the United Nations (2019 - present)


      Member of the Task Force on AI and National Security, Center for a New American Security (2018 - present)


      Associate Editor on AI and Law, Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research (2017 - present)


      Board of Directors, Equal Rights Center (2016 - present)


      Alumni Admissions Volunteer, Pomona College (2003 - present)

    • Bar Admissions

      New York

    • Professional Experience

      Affiliate Fellow (2019 - present)
      Information Society Project, Yale Law School, New Haven, CT


      Assistant Professor (2019 - present)
      University of Richmond School of Law, Richmond, VA


      Legal and Ethical Consultant (2018 - present)
      Institute for Defense Analyses, Joint Advanced Warfighting Division, Alexandria, VA


      Executive Director (2016 - 2019)
      Information Society Project, Yale Law School, New Haven, CT


      Research Scholar and Lecturer in Law (2016 - 2019)
      Yale Law School, New Haven, CT


      Part-Time Acting Instructor (2015 - 2016)
      Yale Law School, New Haven, CT


      Clerk to the Hon. John M. Walker Jr. (2012 - 2013)
      U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, New Haven, CT


      Clerk to the Hon. Mark Kravitz (2011 - 2012)
      U.S. District Court, District of Connecticut, New Haven, CT

  • Publications
    Journal Articles

    Structuring Techlaw, 34 Harvard Journal of Law & Technology (with BJ Ard) (2021).

    "Cyborg Justice" and the Risk of Technological-Legal Lock-In, 119 Columbia Law Review Forum 233 (2019).

    Autonomous Weapon Systems and the Limits of Analogy, 9 Harvard National Security Journal 51 (2018).

    A Meaningful Floor for "Meaningful Human Control", 30 Temple International & Comparative Law Journal 53 (2016).

    Change Without Consent: How Customary International Law Modifies Treaties, 41 Yale Journal of International Law 237 (2016).

    Consent is Not Enough: Why States Must Respect the Intensity Threshold in Transnational Conflict, 165 University of Pennsylvania Law Review 1 (with Oona Hathaway) (2016).

    War Torts: Accountability for Autonomous Weapons, 164 University of Pennsylvania Law Review 1347 (2016).

    War, Responsibility, and Killer Robots, 40 North Carolina Journal of International Law and Commercial Regulation 909 (2015).

    The Killer Robots Are Here: Legal and Policy Implications, 36 Cardozo Law Review 1837 (2015).

    Constitutional Convergence and Customary International Law, 54 Harvard International Law Journal Online 195 (2013).

    The Law of Cyber-Attack, 100 California Law Review 817 (with Oona Hathaway) (2012).

    Judicious Influence: Non-Self-Executing Treaties and the Charming Betsy Canon, 120 Yale Law Journal 1784 (2011).

    Book Chapters

    Jurisprudential Space Junk: Treaties and New Technology, in Resolving Conflicts in the Law: Essays in Honour of Lea Brilmayer (Brill Nijhoff) (Chiara Giorgetti et al., eds.) (2019).

    Regulating New Weapons Technology, in The Impact of Emerging Technologies on the Law of Armed Conflict (Oxford University Press) (Eric Jensen et al., eds.) (2019).

    The Varied Law of Autonomous Weapon Systems, in Autonomous Systems: Issues for Defence Policymakers (NATO Communications and Information Agency) (Andrew Williams et al., eds.) (2015).

    Blog Posts

    The Case for "Technology Law", (Nebraska Governance & Technology Center) (with BJ Ard) (December 2020).

    Accountability for the Internet of Torts, Law and Political Economy Blog (July 2018).

    Introducing the Internet of Torts, Law and Political Economy Blog (July 2018).

    The Law of Consent-Based Interventions, Just Security (October 2016).

    Weapon, Combatant, Child, Animal: They’re All Insufficient Analogies for Autonomous Weapon Systems, Just Security (September 2016).

    Autonomous Weapons Systems and Proportionality , Völkerrechtsblog (April 2015).

    Additional Publications

    The Malicious Use of Artificial Intelligence: Forecasting, Prevention, and Mitigation (with Miles Brundage) (2018).

    Fighting Fake News: Workshop Report (with Sandra Baron) (2017).

  • In the News