Closing Guantánamo: Challenges and Opportunities for the Obama Administration


Closing Guantánamo: Challenges and Opportunities for the Obama Administration

Media Contact: Nancy Goldfarb 212-854-1584
Public Affairs Office 212-854-2650

New York, March 24, 2009 — Counterterrorism campaigns, the fate of enemy combatants, and detention policies are just a few of the controversial topics that renowned experts will discuss during the 35th Wolfgang Friedmann Conference, sponsored by the Columbia Society of International Law.
WHAT: A lively exchange of ideas on comparative common law approaches to detention and interrogation of international terrorism suspects; how best to protect both national security and individual human rights; and preventive detention policies under the common law.
WHEN: March 30, 2009, from 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. There will be three panels:
  • 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Preventive Detention Policies under the Common Law
  • 3:15 – 4:40 p.m. International Humanitarian Law and the Guantánamo Detainees
  • 4:50 – 6:30 p.m.  Closing Guantánamo – Protecting National Security and Human Rights
WHO: Leading international experts in law, human rights advocacy and foreign affairs.*
Columbia Law School Professors Peter Rosenblum, Sarah Cleveland, and Matthew Waxman will moderate.
WHERE: Columbia Law School, Jerome Greene Hall, room location TBD. Amsterdam Avenue at West 116 Street; via subway: #1 train to 116 Street (Broadway)/Columbia University.
NOTE TO MEDIA: Media wishing to attend should RSVP in advance at 212-854-1584.

*Outside speakers include:
James Crawford – Professor, Cambridge University
Steven Engel – Former Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legal Counsel
Eugene Fidell – Lecturer, Yale Law School
David Golove – Professor, NYU School of Law
Derek Jinks – Professor, University of Texas Law School
Anil Kalhan – Professor, Drexel University Earle Mack School of Law
Harold Koh – Dean, Yale Law School
Kieran McEvoy – Professor, Queen’s University, Belfast
Gabor Rona – International Legal Director, Human Rights First
Hina Shamsi – Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project
Richard Zabel and James Benjamin – Partners, Akin Gump LLP; authors of Human Rights First report on terrorism prosecutions
Sponsored by the Columbia Society of International Law, the conference is named for former Columbia Law School Professor Wolfgang Friedmann, who spoke out against the transgressions of Nazi Germany in the early 1930s.
Columbia Law School, founded in 1858, stands at the forefront of legal education and of the law in a global society. Columbia Law School joins traditional strengths in international and comparative law, constitutional law, administrative law, business law and human rights law with pioneering work in the areas of intellectual property, digital technology, sexuality and gender, criminal, and environmental law.


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