Chris Jenks

Assistant Professor

Chris Jenks is Assistant Professor of Law and Director of the Criminal Justice Clinic at the SMU Dedman School of Law in Dallas, Texas. Prior to joining the law faculty at SMU, he served for twenty years in the US Army, initially as an Infantry officer in Germany, Kuwait and Bosnia, then as a Judge Advocate in the Republic of Korea and Iraq and as the chief of the Army’s international law branch in the Pentagon.


  • Debate: The role of international criminal justice in fostering compliance with international humanitarian law

    The Review invited two practitioners to share their perspectives on the concrete effects of international criminal justice on fostering compliance with international humanitarian law. Chris Jenks questions the “general deterrence” role of international criminal justice, contending that the influence of complicated and often prolonged judicial proceedings on the ultimate behaviour of military commanders and soldiers is limited. Guido Acquaviva agrees that “general deterrence”, if interpreted narrowly, is the wrong lens through which to be looking at international criminal justice. However, he disagrees that judicial decisions are not considered by military commanders, and argues that it is not the individual role of each court or tribunal that matters; rather, it is their overall contribution to an ever more comprehensive system of accountability that can ultimately foster better compliance with international humanitarian law.