James Houck

Vice Admiral James Houck (ret.)

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Vice Admiral Houck (ret.) joined Penn State Law in 2012 and was named interim dean of the law school effective July 31, 2013. Before joining Penn State, he was the judge advocate general (JAG) of the navy, serving as the military legal counsel to the secretary of the navy and leading the 2,300 members of the JAG Corps. He also served as the Department of Defense representative for ocean policy affairs. His teaching and research focus on international law and national security law, with a particular emphasis on the law of the sea and use of force. Houck attended the US Naval Academy and received a JD from the University of Michigan and a LLM from Georgetown University. He is a member of the secretary of defense’s Independent Review Panel on Sexual Assault in the Military and the Easter Seals Command Council.

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Recent Commentary

The Opportunity Costs of Ignoring the Law of Sea Convention in the Arctic

by Vice Admiral James Houck (ret.) via Analysis
Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The paper first briefly surveys the extent to which the provisions of United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) intersect with those of US interests in the Arctic. Not surprisingly, there is extensive overlap. The paper then reviews and critiques the arguments that (UNCLOS) is irrelevant or even antithetical to achieving those. interests; it then examines the case for UNCLOS, focusing on US interests on the Arctic seafloor and arguing that those interests are extensive and that accession would...