Past Program

Sep 01 - Sep 06, 2007

An International Rule of Law: Balancing Security, Democracy, and Human Rights in an Age of Terrorism


Since the end of the Second World War an interlocking, comprehensive set of international conventions and treaties has sought to promote, protect, and enforce minimum standards of human decency against the threat of wartime abuses. The war on terror, however, has initiated a paradigmatic challenge to this legacy and demonstrated that democratic governments are sometimes willing to undermine fundamental human rights, democratic values, and international legal standards in the name of national security. Since the beginning of the "war on terror," the dominant political discourse has elevated security concerns to a level that risks superseding and suppressing the rule of law. Warrantless wiretapping, extraordinary rendition, military tribunals, torture, extra-jurisdictional imprisonment, and the codification of "enemy combatant" status has directly challenged the foundations of international law while potentially risking the legitimacy of democratic governmental systems.


As this new paradigm unfolds, and as modern democratic states continue to confront extremist groups and their politicized militant networks, two distinct threats have emerged. First, there is a legitimate threat to the security of governments and civilian populations that oppose these radical movements; and second, there is an internal threat to democracies that voluntarily curtail fundamental rights in the name of actionable intelligence and public safety. The question this session will ask is thus whether modern democracies are properly equipped to face this challenge, succeed in alleviating security concerns, and at the same time protect international legal conventions, fundamental rights, and minimum standards of human decency. In short, are approaches to the "war on terror" making the world safer, or more dangerous? In partnership with the International Bar Association, this session will seek to realign moderate voices on all sides of the debate, focusing on international law as a means of neutralizing radical views and creating international dialogue. Targeting lawyers, judges, military leaders, governmental representatives, journalists, and academics, this session will attempt to illuminate the challenges while seeking solutions rooted in the confluence of international law, fundamental rights, and the legitimate legal responses of modern democracies.


The fee for this session is 3,000 EURO. The fee covers the cost of the program, accommodations, and meals.


Limited scholarship funding may be available for those who are unable to pay the full fee (i.e. from developing countries or NGOs). Participants seeking scholarship assistance must submit an application for financial aid to our admissions office.


NOTE: This session may be taken for Continuing Education credit. Offered in association with the Center for International Legal Studies (CILS), this conference is recognized by the Law Society of England and Wales, the General Council of the Bar of England and Wales, and the Netherlands Bar for Continuing Professional Development Credit (CPD), the states of New York, California, and Colorado under the approved jurisdictions rule, as well as West Virginia, New Hampshire and South Carolina for Continuing Legal Education Credit (CLE). In addition, due to CILS' recognized sponsorship with the above states, lawyers from the following jurisdictions will qualify for CLE credits: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington State, Wisconsin, and Wyoming and Hong Kong. The additional fees to register for CLE credit are based EUR 20 for each accredited hour.



Rosalie Abella
Justice, Supreme Court of Canada, Ottawa
Mr. John B. Bellinger III
Partner, Arnold & Porter LLP; Former Legal Adviser to the US Department of State and National Security Council
Hans Corell
Former Legal Counsel of the United Nations, Stockholm
Tim Cowen
Commercial Director and General Council, British Telecommunications Group, London; Chair of the development board at the British Institute International and Comparative Law, London; Chair, International Association of Commercial Contract Management, Londo
Talbot D'Alemberte
Special Counsel, Litigation & Intellectual Property Practice, Huntington & Williams, Miami; former president, American Bar Association; former president, Florida State University
Mark Ellis
Executive Director, International Bar Association
Peter Goldsmith
former Attorney General, The Legal Secretariat to the Law Office, Attorney General's Chambers, London (invited)
Faten Hani
Executive Director, Dubai International Financial Centre, Dubai
Michael Hartmann
Senior Advisor and Manager, Criminal Justice Programme, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Afghanistan
Nasra Hassan
Director, United Nations Information Service, Vienna
Irka Kuleshnyk
Senior Terrorism Prevention Officer, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Vienna
Chibli Mallat
The Custodian of the Two Holy Places Visiting Professor of Islamic Legal Studies, Harvard Law School
Manfred Nowak
Research Director, Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights, Vienna, U.N. Special Rapporteur on Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment
Sandra Day O'Connor
Associate Justice (Ret.), Supreme Court of the United States
Fernando Pombo
President, International Bar Association; Chairman and Founding Partner, Gomez-Acebo & Pombo, Madrid