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Prof. Laura Dickinson to Speak on "Law as Violence, Law as Justice: Responses to September 11," Dec. 14


Laura Dickinson, associate professor at the University of Connecticut School of Law, will deliver a talk titled "Law as Violence, Law as Justice: Responses to September 11," on Friday, December 14 at 12:30 p.m. in the Faculty Lounge. The talk is part of the Human Rights Workshop sponsored by the Schell Center for International Human Rights and is free and open to the public.

President George W. Bush's order authorizing military tribunals has yet to be implemented but is nonetheless drawing attention from the op-ed pages of the newspapers to the halls and chambers of congress.

A letter critical of the tribunals circulated among legal scholars by YLS faculty and students has received more than 700 signatures in a little over a week. (You can read a story about the drafting of the letter by following the link at the bottom of this page.)

One of the signatories of that statement, Laura Dickinson '96, an associate professor at the University of Connecticut School of Law, will provide her own analysis of the proposed tribunals when she addresses the Human Rights Workshop this Friday.

She will compare the proposed commissions with the options of using federal courts or international tribunals to try terrorism suspects. She says she believes that "internationalizing the proposed tribunals will be the most effective option . . . at least for trying those most responsible." And she argues that international tribunals are preferable for the "broader rule-of-law values they promote."

A former senior policy advisor to Harold Hongju Koh when he was assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights and labor, Dickinson also believes that international tribunals are most likely to be perceived as fair proceedings by other nations, easing the extradition of potential suspects. Furthermore, they could "establish the international nature of the crime in question," she says.