February 15, 2010


MSU Journal of International Law to Host "War on Terror" Symposium

East Lansing, MI — International law and human rights experts will examine legal issues concerning Guantanamo prisoner detentions, torture, and their international implications in a Michigan State University Journal of International Law symposium to be held on February 18 and 19.

The symposium, entitled "Is There a War on Terror? Torture, Rendition, Guantanamo, and Obama's Preventive Detention," will feature a series of panel discussions in which distinguished scholars from across the United States and abroad will debate various facets of the theme.

The event will kick off Thursday evening with keynote speaker Michael P. Scharf, co-leader of a USAID-funded project that is working with the Ugandan government to create a special war crimes chamber and truth commission. Scharf has helped train Iraqi High Tribunal judges; served as assistant to the United Nations Cambodia Genocide Tribunal prosecutor; and was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in 2005, along with the Public International Law and Policy Group he co-founded, for his help with the prosecution of major war criminals such as Slobodan Milošević, Charles Taylor, and Saddam Hussein.

Friday's luncheon speaker will be Scott Horton, a New York attorney and life-long human rights activist who is also a contributing editor at Harper's Magazine. His article "The Guantánamo 'Suicides': A Camp Delta sergeant blows the whistle" appears in the magazine's current issue. Horton has served as counsel to Andrei Sakharov, Elena Bonner, and other activists in the former Soviet Union; co-founded the American University in Central Asia; and recently led a series of New York City Bar Association studies on human rights abuses connected with the war on terror.

According to Mark J. Kozlowski, editor-in-chief of the Journal of International Law, this year's symposium is on pace to be the most successful event the Journal has ever held. "It is sure to prove memorable and thought-provoking," he added.

"The symposium will explore the difficult and important issues raised by the war on terror, which I expect will spark vigorous debates," said Professor Bruce W. Bean, faculty advisor to the Journal of International Law.

The Journal of International Law is one of four journals edited and published entirely by students at MSU Law. For more information on the Journal and the upcoming symposium, visit

Michigan State University College of Law is a leading institution of legal education with a long history of creating practice-ready attorneys. As one of only a few private law schools affiliated with a major research university, MSU Law offers comprehensive interdisciplinary opportunities combined with a personalized legal education. After 100 years as a private and independent Law College, the affiliation with MSU has put the Law College on an upward trajectory of national and international reputation and reach. MSU Law professors are gifted teachers and distinguished scholars, its curriculum rigorous and challenging, and its facility equipped with the latest resources—all affirming MSU Law's commitment to educating 21st-century lawyers.


320B Law College Building
East Lansing, MI 48824