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As Barack Obama ’91 was making criticism of Bush administration policies on terrorism a centerpiece of his campaign for the presidency in 2008, Jack Goldsmith offered a prediction: The next president, even if it were Obama, would not undo those policies. One of the key and underappreciated reasons, he wrote in a spring 2008 magazine article, was that “many controversial Bush administration policies have already been revised to satisfy congressional and judicial critics.”
On April 19, Harvard Law School's American Constitution Society sponsored “A Progressive Vision of National Security,” a lecture delivered by Former Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold ’79. The only member of the Senate to vote against the PATRIOT Act in 2001 and one of 23 to vote against the Iraq war in 2002, Feingold recently authored "While America Sleeps," a book that details his criticisms of American foreign policy since 9/11 and proposes a plan to correct the nation's course.
Gabriella Blum LL.M. ’01 S.J.D. ’03 delivered the lecture “The Fog of Victory” on April 10 to mark her appointment as the Rita E. Hauser Professor of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law at Harvard Law School.
On April 3, Brigadier General Mark Martins ’90, chief prosecutor at the Office of U.S. Military Commissions in the Department of Defense, delivered a lecture at Harvard Law School on Legitimacy and the Limits of Command in Reformed Military Commissions. The lecture was sponsored by the National Security Journal and the National Security & Law Association.
The presidency is more powerful, larger, and has more tools at its disposal than ever before, said Harvard Law School Professor Jack Goldsmith. But, he quickly added, that’s only half the story. The other half of the story—the forces that constrain presidential power—was the main topic during a March19 panel discussion of his new book “Power and Constraint: The Accountability Presidency after 9/11,” hosted by the Harvard Book Store at the Brattle Theatre in Harvard Square.
Harvard Law School commemorated the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks with a two-day conference of top-level advisers and experts to elucidate the changing legal landscape in the battle against terrorism. "Law, Security and Liberty post-9/11," was held Sept. 16 and 17, and marked the launch of the new Harvard Law School-Brookings Project on Law and Security, a joint venture of HLS and the Brookings Institution.
The Harvard Law School community commemorated the 10th anniversary of September 11th with a vigil on Sunday, September 11 at 8:30pm on Jarvis Field. Hosted by Harvard Law School Dean Martha Minow, it was a moment for students, faculty and staff to come together and reflect on the events of that day and the years that followed.
Army Brigadier General Mark Martins ’90 accepted the Medal of Freedom, the highest honor conferred by Harvard Law School, and gave the inaugural Dean’s Distinguished Lecture on April 18 at HLS.
In 2006, a series of coordinated uprisings in 74 detention centers and attacks on police stations and public buildings left 43 state officials and hundreds of civilians dead and brought São Paulo—South America’s largest city and financial capital—to a standstill. Harvard Law School’s International Human Rights Clinic and the leading Brazilian human rights group Justiça Global have now released a comprehensive study of the attacks.
In the Washington Post ‘Opinions’ section on May 5, Harvard Law School Professor Charles Fried and his son, Suffolk University Philosophy Department Chair Gregory Fried, discussed the killing of Osama bin Laden. The authors argued that torture apologists are undermining what the pair call a “great victory” for the U.S. by calling into question the circumstances under which bin Laden was felled during the firefight in his compound in Pakistan—a “risible” notion, by the authors’ standards.
HLS Lecturer on Law Juan Zarate ’97 was interviewed in the Washington Post today on national security threats after Osama bin Laden's death. From 2005 to 2009, Zarate served as the deputy assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for Combating Terrorism and was responsible for developing and implementing the U.S. Government’s counterterrorism strategy and policies related to transnational security threats.
“Liberty and justice for all” and other quintessentially American ideals must be extended to Muslim-Americans in the face of anti-Islamic rhetoric in the nation, said Democratic Congressman Keith Ellison of Minnesota, the first Muslim to be elected to the United States Congress, during an event at the Harvard Law School on March 28.
Speaking to students at a lecture sponsored by the Harvard Law School Advocates for Human Rights on March 9, Nobel Peace Prize nominee Dr. Gene Sharp discussed various elements of an effective nonviolent struggle and addressed the recent demonstrations in the Middle East in light of his research.
Daniel Ellsberg, the former military analyst responsible for leaking the Pentagon Papers in 1971, addressed a Harvard Law School audience last week in a discussion of WikiLeaks, the organization that publishes classified documents submitted by whistleblowers worldwide. Once called “the most dangerous man in America,” Ellsberg, who will turn 80 on April 7, engaged in a dialog with Scott Horton, a lecturer at Columbia Law School, about why states keep secrets and the consequences of this secrecy.
Following a vote of the Harvard Law School faculty, Gabriella Blum LL.M. '01 S.J.D. '03, a specialist in the laws of war and conflict resolution, has been promoted from assistant professor to professor of law—a tenured faculty position.
Harvard Law Professor Yochai Benkler ’94 has released an article detailing U.S. government and news media censorship of WikiLeaks after the organization released the Afghan War Diary, the Iraq War Logs, and U.S. State department diplomatic cables in 2010. Among his key conclusions: The government overstated and overreacted to the WikiLeaks documents, and the mainstream news media followed suit by engaging in self-censorship. Benkler argues further that there is no sound Constitutional basis for a criminal prosecution of WikiLeaks or its leader, Julian Assange.
The United States’ response to the 9/11 attacks has altered the legal landscape. That premise was outlined by William K. Lietzau, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Detainee Policy, in his keynote address at a conference titled “Understanding Detention and Predicting Prosecutions: Legal Challenges and Legislative Options Ten Years After 9/11.” The conference, sponsored by the National Security and Law Association, took place on February 4 at Harvard Law School and featured panel discussions focusing on prosecutions and detentions in the aftermath of 9/11.
As part of the Views from Washington lecture series at Harvard Law School, Kenneth Feinberg, the prominent lawyer with a reputation for resolving complicated claims cases, shared his experiences with law students in November. Feinberg is currently the administrator for the Gulf Coast Claims Facility, dealing with the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon disaster.
Prominent legal and political scholars explored the relationship between terrorism, diplomacy and law in a panel discussion in early October in light of “Laws, Outlaws, and Terrorists” (2010), a book written by Harvard Law School Professor Philip Heymann ’60 and Associate Professor Gabriella Blum LL.M. ’01 S.J.D. ’03.
Professor Philip Heymann ’60 and Associate Professor Gabriella Blum LL.M. ’01 S.J.D. ’03 received the 2010 Chicago-Kent College of Law/Roy C. Palmer Civil Liberties Prize for their recently published book “Laws, Outlaws, and Terrorists” (MIT Press, 2010).
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