Conference to address drone strikes, cyber war, role of international law

On Friday 22 March, Vermont Law School will host a conference on “Reaching Critical Mass: International and U.S. Law in the Wake of Modern Exigencies.” The conference will explore issues in protecting against modern security threats while observing international law and protecting human rights.  Panelists include:

JenniferDaskalJennifer Daskal, former counsel to the Assistant Attorney General for National Security at the Department of Justice and former senior counterterrorism counsel at Human Rights Watch; author of the recent op-ed in the New York Times, Don’t Close Guantanamo.

VickiDivollVicki Divoll, former general counsel to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and former deputy legal adviser to the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center; author of the recent op-ed in the New York Times, Who Says You Can Kill Americans, Mr. President?

NazModirzadehNaz Modirzadeh, who leads the Counterterrorism and Humanitarian Engagement Project of the HLS-Brookings Project on Law and Security, Harvard Law School. Her article “The Dark Sides of Convergence: A Pro-Civilian Critique of the Extraterritorial Application of Human Rights Law in Armed Conflict,” U.S. Naval War College International Law Studies (Blue Book) Series, was awarded the Lieber Prize by the American Society of International Law.

GaborRonaAmong the additional distinguished speakers at this conference is Vermont Law School alumnus Gabor Rona, JD ’78, International Legal Director of Human Rights First.

JohnMcGinnisA keynote address will be delivered by John O. McGinnis of the Northwestern University School of Law (right), whose remarks are titled “Should International Law Be Our Law?”  For the conference schedule and full list of speakers, click here.  To register, click here.  As readers will see from the array of speakers, we anticipate robust discussion throughout the day.

The speaker list reflects the collaboration of the two student groups at Vermont Law School that partnered to organize the conference, the International Law Society (ILS) and the Federalist Society, led by conference co-chairs Molly Gray and Richard Sala. Before coming to Vermont Law School, ILS co-chair Molly Gray MollyGray(left) was Congressional Affairs adviser to the ICRC in Washington D.C.  She led field missions to Haiti, Uganda, Georgia, the Western Balkans, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Vermont Law School’s Federalist Society president Richard Sala (right) RichardSalais a Captain in the Marine Corps. His operational experience includes operations in Kosovo as a member of NATO’s Kosovo Strategic Force and a tour in Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The partnering of these two student groups in putting on this conference reflects sincere efforts to explore and understand some of the most important international legal issues today.


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