The War in Iraq: Is it Legal? (Does it Matter?)

Contact: Hayley Miller
Public Affairs Manager
(212) 854-2604
[email protected]

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-- Columbia Law School encourages discussion of opposing views on the Iraq War --

NEW YORK, NY, November 15, 2004 -- With George W. Bush newly elected for a second term as the President of the United States, issues and concerns surrounding the war in Iraq, as well as mounting pressures to withdraw troops, have never been more widely debated. In response to this national dialogue, Columbia Law School is proud to host a debate between leading legal scholars George Fletcher and Ruth Wedgwood titled The War in Iraq: Is it Legal? (Does it Matter?). The event, to be held at 6:15 p.m. on November 18, 2004 at 435 West 116th Street and Amsterdam Avenue, will be moderated by Peter Osnos, Publisher and CEO, PublicAffairs Books. Michael Doyle, Harold Brown Professor of U.S. Foreign and Security Policy at Columbia University's School of Law and School of International and Public Affairs, will serve as interlocutor.

This is the third in a series of debates spearheaded by Columbia Law Professor George Fletcher to encourage discussion of this contentious issue in the academic community. Prior debates, which attracted standing room only crowds, have pitted Prof. Fletcher against Richard Posner, Chief Judge of the United States Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, to argue The Rights and Wrongs of Going to War, and against Harvard Law School's Alan Dershowitz to address The Morality of Attacking Iraq.

George Fletcher is the Cardozo Professor of Jurisprudence at Columbia Law School. His most recent book is titled, Romantics at War: Glory and Guilt in the Age of Terrorism. His previous book, Our Secret Constitution: How Lincoln Redefined American Democracy (2001), was designated by the American Association of Publishers as the best book on law published in 2001. He has published seven other prize-winning books and recently elected a fellow in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His work on international and comparative criminal law is widely read and quoted in Continental Europe, Latin America and in the English-speaking world.

Ruth Wedgwood is the Edward B. Burling Professor of International Law and Diplomacy at the Paul Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University, in Washington, D.C. She is a member of the U.N. Human Rights Committee, the Secretary of State's Advisory Committee on International Law, the CIA Historical Review Panel, and the Defense Policy Board. Additionally, she is a member of the Board of Editors of the American Journal of International Law and the World Policy Journal, and served as co-director of studies at the Hague Academy of International Law. She has been widely published on United Nations politics and law, including the use of force and peacekeeping.

Columbia Law School, which was officially founded in 1858, is among the very top tier of law schools in the United States, and is continuing its transition from a national leader to a global leader in legal education and scholarship.