September 04, 2009

Experts to Debate Fate of Guantanamo Bay and CIA Torturers on Eighth Anniversary of 9/11

On September 11, the eighth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, two dozen leading experts will debate the most important and timely issues now facing the United States in its war against terrorism.

The day-long conference, presented in a unique cross-fire format, will be held at Case Western Reserve University School of Law:

"After Guantanamo: The Way Forward"

Four Roundtables on Reconciling National Security and the Rule of Law

The discussions will occur from 8:30 a.m. until 5:15 p.m. in the Moot Courtroom (A59) at 11075 East Blvd., Cleveland. The conference is free and open to the public. A live webcast will be available.

Questions of international significance have dominated headlines since President Barack Obama signed an executive order in January banning torture and calling for the closure of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility in Cuba within a year:

  • Should the oft-criticized military commissions be reformed and re-launched?
  • Should Guantanamo detainees be transferred to the United States to enable the United States to close the much maligned detention facility in Cuba?
  • How far up the chain of command should the new special prosecutor’s investigation into CIA acts of torture go?

According to the conference organizer, Law Professor Michael Scharf, "We have assembled the world’s foremost experts to debate these questions."

Speakers include General John Altenburg (former Convening Authority for the Military Commissions); Col. Morris Davis (former Chief Prosecutor of the Military Commissions); Matthew Waxman (former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Detainee Affairs); Commander Glen Sulmasy (author of National Security Court System); Nicholas Rostow (former Chief Counsel of the NSC and member of the new Obama Task Force on Guantanamo Bay); Stahanie Farrior (former Chief Counsel of Amnesty International); Laura Olson (former Legal Adviser to the International Committee of the Red Cross); Devon Chaffee (Advocacy Counsel of Human Rights First); Marieke Wierda (International Center for Transnational Justice); and Kai Ambos (German Professor and Judge). The complete lineup appears below.

"Given its timeliness and the level of expertise we’ve assembled," says Scharf, "this event has an unparalleled potential to educate the public, re-shape the national debate, and influence U.S. policy on this incredibly important issue."


8:30 a.m. Introduction: Professor Michael P. Scharf, director, Frederick K. Cox International Law Center, Case Western Reserve University School of Law

8:45-9:30 a.m. Opening Lecture: General John D. Altenburg, Jr., Of Counsel, Greenberg Traurig; former Convening Authority, Military Commissions

9:45-11:15 a.m. Roundtable 1: A Retrospective on the Military Commissions

Moderator: Professor Robert Strassfeld, director, Institute for Global Security Law and Policy, Case Western Reserve University School of Law

  • Larry May, Ph.D., Professor of Philosophy, Vanderbilt University
  • Captain Keith Petty, U.S. Army Judge Advocate General, Department of Defense Office of Military Commissions
  • Professor Michael Newton, Vanderbilt University Law School, co-author, Enemy of the State
  • Professor Gregory McNeal, Pennsylvania State University, The Dickinson School of Law
  • Colonel (ret.) Morris D. Davis, USAF, former Chief Prosecutor, Office of Military Commissions
11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Roundtable 2: Dismantling Guantanamo: Facing the Challenges of Continued Detention and Repatriation

    Moderator: Professor Michael J. Kelly, Associate Dean, Creighton University

  • Professor Matthew Waxman, Columbia Law School
  • Nicholas Rostow, University Counsel and Vice Chancellor for Legal Affairs, State University of New York (SUNY)
  • Laura Olson, Senior Counsel, The Constitution Project, and former ICRC Legal Adviser
  • Devon Chaffee, Advocacy Counsel, Human Rights First
2 -3:30 p.m. Roundtable 3: The Appropriate Venue for Trying Terrorist Cases

Moderator: Professor Lewis Katz, director, LL.M. in U.S. and Global Legal Studies, Case Western Reserve University School of Law

  • Professor Scott L. Silliman, Duke University School of Law
  • Justin Herdman, Assistant U.S. Attorney, Cleveland
  • Professor Amos Guiora, S.J. Quinney Law School, University of Utah
  • James J. Benjamin, Jr., author, Human Rights First Report; Partner, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP
  • Captain Glenn Sulmasy, Assoc. Prof. of Law, U.S. Coast Guard Academy, author, National Security Court System
3:45-5:15 p.m. Roundtable 4: Accountability for the Torture Memos

Moderator: Daniel Moulthrop, Producer/Host, National Public Radio, Cleveland, WCPN 90.3FM

  • Jordan J. Paust, Mike and Teresa Baker Law Center Professor of International Law, University of Houston Law Center
  • Professor Stephanie Farrior, director, International & Comparative Law programs, Vermont Law School; former Chief Counsel, Amnesty International
  • Marieke Wierda, director, Prosecutions Program, International Center for Transitional Justice
  • Professor Julian Ku, Associate Dean, Hofstra University School of Law
  • Professor Cassandra Robertson, Case Western Reserve University School of Law
  • Professor Kai Ambos, Ph.D., Chair for Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Comparative Law and International Criminal Law, Faculty of Law, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Judge State Court

For more information contact Marv Kropko, 216.368.6890.

Posted by: Kimyette Finley, September 4, 2009 02:09 PM | News Topics: Conferences/Symposia, Events, Faculty, Lectures/Speakers, Provost Initiatives, School of Law, news

Case Western Reserve University is committed to the free exchange of ideas, reasoned debate and intellectual dialogue. Speakers and scholars with a diversity of opinions and perspectives are invited to the campus to provide the community with important points of view, some of which may be deemed controversial. The views and opinions of those invited to speak on the campus do not necessarily reflect the views of the university administration or any other segment of the university community.