News Advisory: LAWFARE!

Are America’s enemies using the law against us as a weapon of war?

News Release: Monday, August 2, 2010

Editors and reporters please note for your advance planning purposes this important two-day series of international law discussions involving noted authorities focusing on the concept of “Lawfare” one day before and including the ninth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.

EVENT: Academic symposia “LAWFARE!”
WHEN: Friday, Sept. 10, 2010 (9 a.m. until 5 p.m.) and Saturday, Sept. 11, 2010 (9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.)
LOCATION: Case Western Reserve University School of Law, Cleveland, Ohio
Professor Michael Scharf directly at Media relations representatives Marv Kropko, 216-368-6890,, or Carolyn Widdowson, 216- 368-3018,

Background information
About Lawfare!
“Our strength as a nation state will continue to be challenged by those who employ a strategy of the weak using international fora, judicial processes, and terrorism.” Department of Defense, The National Defense Strategy of the United States of America (2005).
“‘We face three major strategic challenges,’ Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said recently. ‘The Iranian nuclear program, rockets aimed at our civilians and Goldstone.’” New York Times, January 23, 2010.

Please join us for the first major academic symposia dedicated to exploring the concept of “Lawfare.”

Traditionally “Lawfare” was defined as a strategy of using — or misusing — law as a substitute for traditional military means to achieve an operational objective. But lately, commentators and governments have applied the concept to International Criminal Tribunals, the defense counsel’s tactics challenging the detention of al Qaeda suspects in Guantanamo Bay, and as indicated in the quote above to the controversial Goldstone Commission Report.

This conference will feature two-dozen leading academics, practitioners, and present and former government officials from all sides of the political spectrum, including Major General Charles Dunlap, Jr., USAF, who is credited with clarifying and defining lawfare.

Friday, Sept. 10 will feature panel discussions on “Lawfare and War Crimes Tribunals,” “Lawfare and the Israeli-Palestine Predicament,” and “Lawfare and the War on Terror.” Saturday, Sept. 11 will feature an experts meeting which will result in a report on the usefulness and appropriate application of the “lawfare concept.”

AGENDA (Friday, Sept. 10, 2010)

8:30-9 AM Registration and Coffee

9-9:15 AM Introduction
Dean Robert Rawson, Case Western Reserve University School of Law
Prof. Michael Scharf, director, Cox Center, Case Western Reserve University School of Law
Prof. Michael Kelly, president, AIDP, Creighton University School of Law

9:15-9:45 AM Historical and Semiotic Origins of “Lawfare”
Moderator: Prof. Tawia Ansah, Visiting Professor, Case Western Reserve University School of Law
Prof. Wouter Werner, VU University, Amsterdam
Prof. Susan Tiefenbrun, Thomas Jefferson School of Law

9:45-10 AM Break

10-11:15 AM Debate: Is “Lawfare” a Useful Term?
Moderator: Daniel Moulthrop, Executive Director of “The Civic Commons”; former producer/host, WCPN 90.3 FM ideastream (NPR Cleveland)
Major General Charles Dunlap, Jr., Deputy Judge Advocate General, U.S. Air Force
Prof. Paul Williams, American University, Exec. Dir., Public International Law and Policy Group
Scott Horton, Contributing Editor, Harpers Magazine, Lecturer, Columbia Law School
Prof. Leila Nadya Sadat, Washington University School of Law (St. Louis)

11:15-11:30 AM Break

11:30- 1 PM Panel – Lawfare and War Crimes Tribunals
Moderator: Prof. Michael Kelly
Hon. James Ogoola, Principal Judge, Ugandan High Court
Robert Petit, former International Prosecutor, Cambodia Tribunal, Counsel, War Crimes Section, Federal Department of Justice, Canada
Prof. David Crane, Founding Prosecutor, Special Court for Sierra Leone, Syracuse University School of Law
Prof. Jens Meierhenrich, Harvard University, author, Lawfare: The Formation and Deformation of Gacaca Jurisdictions in Rwanda
Amb. David Scheffer, Northwestern University School of Law, former U.S. Ambassador at Large for War Crimes Issues

1-2 PM Lunch

2:00-3:15 PM Panel – Lawfare and the Israeli-Palestine Predicament
Moderator: Prof. Milena Sterio, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, Cleveland State University
Prof. William Schabas, Irish Centre for Human Rights, National University of Ireland, Galway
Prof. William J. Aceves, associate dean, California Western School of Law
Prof. Laurie Blank, Emory University School of Law
Prof. Michael Newton, Vanderbilt University Law School

3:15-3:30 PM Break

3:30 PM-5 PM Roundtable Discussion – Lawfare and the War on Terror
Moderator: Prof. Jonathan Adler, Case Western Reserve University School of Law
Prof. Melissa Waters, Washington University School of Law (St. Louis)
Sandy Hodgkinson, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Detainee Affairs, U.S. Dept. of Defense
Prof. David Luban, Georgetown University Law Center
Prof. David Frakt, former Lead Defense Counsel, Military Commissions, Guantanamo Bay, Barry University School of Law
Michael Lebowitz, Prosecutor, Office of Military Commissions, Guantanamo Bay

5-5:30 PM Reception

AGENDA (Saturday, Sept. 11, 2010)

9-11:30 AM
(For conference speakers and other invited experts – open to the public and press as observers)
Experts meeting: Developing the Law of Lawfare: Parallels to Jus Ad Bellum and Jus In Bello
Chair: Elizabeth Anderson, Executive Director of the American Society of International Law

9-10 AM Initial Presentations
Prof. Orde Kitrie (Arizona State University)
Prof. Jamie Williamson (ICRC)
Capt. Greg Noone (USN)

10-11:30 AM Discussion

Posted by: Katie O'Keefe, August 2, 2010 02:07 PM | News Topics: Official Release