Law Symposium Will Address Whether Detention Of ‘Enemy Combatants’ Is
March 16, 2004 --
Is President Bush acting within his constitutional
authority as commander in chief in ordering the indefinite detention
designated as “enemy combatants”? This is a question
that will be considered by the U.S. Supreme Court next month in
Al Odah v. United States.
it’s a question that a panel
of experts will grapple with at the University of Virginia School
of Law on March 20 at
the annual symposium on International Law and Practice in American
Constitutionalism, sponsored by the John Bassett Moore Society
of International Law. The symposium will feature panel sessions
on the following four topics, each held in the Law School’s
Withers-Brown Hall, Room 102.
symposium’s opening session
on executive power starts at 9:15 a.m. It features Brad
Berenson, associate White House Counsel
from 2001 to 2003, who will file a brief before the Supreme
Court on behalf of Citizens for the Common Defense, arguing
traditional rule barring enemy fighters captured and held
abroad from challenging their detention in the U.S. legal
stand for the prisoners of war currently being held at Guantanamo
Bay Naval Base.
will be opposed by Stanford Law Professor Jenny Martinez,
a member of the defense team for Jose Padilla,
one of three
detainees designated as an “enemy
combatant” by the administration. Martinez, who has not been allowed
to meet with her client, challenges the enemy-combatant designation and
executive decree is “unprecedented.”
and Martinez will be joined by Ingrid Wuerth of the University
of Cincinnati and Joe
Margulies of the MacArthur Justice Center at the
Law School. Margulies is lead counsel in Rasul et al. v. Bush et al.,
a companion case to Al Odah v. United States. Wuerth will provide historical
by looking at decisions of the Supreme Court in cases that arose during
past military conflicts.
and Unusual Punishment
11 a.m. session, on cruel and unusual punishment, considers
the sharp disagreement
over whether international law should
punishment, eliminated by many developed countries, is prohibited
under international legal covenants. However, in the
United States, it remains
that U.S. standards of justice alone should determine how courts
interpret the Constitution.
Because criminal justice is an area traditionally reserved to the
states, the issue is confused even further.
panel includes Richard J. Wilson, Washington College of Law;
Carozza, Notre Dame Law School; David Sloss, St. Louis
Sandra Babcock, Mexican Death Penalty Project.
and the Separation of Powers
the national government has broad constitutional authority
relations, a thorough understanding
of the federal
is necessary to understand the role of international law
in the United States. Pressing issues include the question
of what role
courts should play
in limiting state authority when there is no clear guidance
from the political branches and how international law
the states in the future.
at 2:30 p.m., the third panel session includes Vicki Jackson,
Georgetown University Law
Center; Peter Spiro, Hofstra University;
Ed Swaine, Wharton
School, University of Pennsylvania; and Ernest Young, University
of Texas Law School.
Perspectives on International Law
final panel, held at 4:15 p.m., looks at how international
informs constitutional interpretation in other countries,
solutions to accommodating
a bicultural society, the controversial building of
a new constitutional system in Iraq, and the post World War
creation of a new
panel includes Mark Tushnet, Georgetown University
Law Center; Sujit Choudhry, faculty of law, University
Virginia; and Naoyuki Agawa, Embassy of Japan.
a full schedule of events, see: http://www.student.virginia.edu/~jbmoore
symposium is open to the public.
Ted Kiem, (434) 760-0502