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Dr. Wm. C. Peters, J.D., LL.M.

Associate Professor of Criminal Justice

Bill is an attorney, licensed in state and federal district courts with extensive criminal law experience. He litigated more than 50 felony level cases in the United States and overseas as lead counsel, serving in positions as both chief prosecutor and senior defense counsel; he has adjudicated countless pretrial hearings. He is also a former Army officer with considerable international law expertise — before joining the SUNY community he was assistant professor, course director of international law, and deputy director of the Law of Armed Conflict Center at the United States Military Academy, West Point.

Professor Peters coached undergraduate teams in 2006 and 2007 at the International Institute of Humanitarian Law in the Villa Ormond at San Remo, Italy, and for the 19th and 20th Jean-Pictet international humanitarian law competitions held near Madrid, Spain in 2007, and Bern, Switzerland in 2008. In the 1990s he deployed as legal advisor to military commands frequently, twice for UN relief missions in the Sub-Saharan failed state of Somalia.

Earlier in his career he lived in Central America, Africa, and Alaska, and was posted from upstate New York to coastal Virginia, Georgia, South Carolina, Missouri, and to a presidential escort assignment which included duty at the White House in the Carter and Reagan administrations and as a sentinel of the Honor Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

In quieter times he enjoys wilderness camping (in “the Great Alone” as Robert Service called it), tour kayaking, cross-country skiing, and antiquing with his wife upstate and across New England.


  • LL.M. in International Law, the University of Virginia School of Law
  • LL.M. in Military Law, the Judge Advocate General’s School
  • J.D. (with honors), Northern Illinois University
  • A.B. in Political Science and Russian Studies, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Teaching Areas

  • Criminal Justice Ethics, Internship Program, Constitutional Law
  • Criminal Justice in War and International Humanitarian Law
  • Criminal Law and Transnational Terrorism

Research Interests

  • The Nuremberg international military tribunal’s legacy of Law
  • Private military corporations and command responsibility in armed conflict

Published Articles and Essays

His publications include numerous peer reviewed articles and essays.

Professor Peters’ scholarship appears in such diverse venues as: The New England Journal of International and Comparative Law; Social Justice — a Journal of Crime, Conflict & World Order; Nationalities Papers; The International Bar Association’s Annual Academic Newsletter for 2008, and in law journals including the Brigham Young University Law Review; and Northern Illinois University Law Review. Recent work includes an entry in the Encyclopedia of Transitional Justice, a chapter which critically examines the adjudication of war crimes in the edited book Crimes of State Past and Present: Government Sponsored Atrocities and International Legal Responses, and an article published in the Elon Law Review.

Curriculum Vitae

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