Professors Cleveland and Waxman, Faculty Experts on Guantanamo Bay
Columbia Law School Faculty Experts on Guantánamo Bay
Executive Order from Obama Administration Is Expected Shortly
Media Contact: Erin St. John Kelly 212-854-1787, [email protected]
Public Affairs Office, 212-854-2650 [email protected]
NEW YORK, January 20, 2009 — Columbia Law School Professors Sarah Cleveland and Matthew Waxman are available for interviews about closing Guantánamo Bay and the treatment of future terror detainees in the Obama Administration. An executive order directing the closing of the prison is expected on President Obama’s first full day in office.
Sarah Cleveland is an expert in international human and the constitutional law of foreign relations. She co-directs the Law School’s Human Rights Institute. She has testified before Congress on the relevance of international law in constitutional interpretation and has been involved in human rights litigation in U.S. courts and before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.
Cleveland is a founding member of the recently formed Detention without Trial Working Group (DWTWG), which offers counterarguments to supporters of specialized terror courts and long-term preventative detention of terrorism suspects. Members of the Working Group have met with members of the Obama transition team urging it to conduct a broad, independent review of the basis for holding the more than 200 remaining detainees, and to capitalize on the Obama administration’s international goodwill by using all diplomatic tools at the administration’s disposal to secure receiving states for most of the detainees. To see the Working Group’s “Scholars’ Statement of Principles for a New President on U.S. Detention Policy: An Agenda for Change,” click here.
Matthew Waxman has served in several national security policy positions. He has worked as a senior official at the National Security Council, Defense Department and State Department. From 2004 to 2005 he was Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Detainee Affairs, created after the Abu Ghraib prison crisis to improve U.S. military detention policy. He recently told a Congressional committee that Guantánamo should be closed. He was also Principal Deputy Director of the Secretary of State’s Policy Planning Staff from 2005 to 2007. Waxman is an adjunct senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.
In the Bush Administration, Waxman pushed for new Pentagon standards on handling terror suspects to include language from the Geneva Conventions that bars cruel and degrading treatment.
To read Waxman’s Washington Post op-ed “The Smart Way to Close Gitmo Down,” click here.
Reporters can contact set up interviews through Columbia Law School’s Public Affairs office at 212-854-2650.
Columbia Law School also has a TV and radio studio on campus equipped with IFB and ISDN lines. Reporters or producers wishing to schedule live or taped interviews can contact the Law School’s Public Affairs office at 212-854-2650.