Wade Auditorium (Room 136)
1 North Front Street
Memphis, TN 38103
- Eric G. Osborne - Associate, Andrews Kurth Kenyon LLP, M.Div. Princeton Theological Seminary (2007) , J.D. Stanford University Law School (2010)
In the summer of 2015, the Federalist Society lost a great friend with the passing of Professor Michael W. Lewis. Professor Lewis was a veteran, a scholar, and a loving father and husband. His specialties were in the areas of the law of armed conflict and International Humanitarian Law. Last year, the Mike Lewis Memorial Teleforum focused on the U.S. Department of Defense Law of War Manual. This year, our experts will discuss the White House Report on the Use of Force.
In December 2016, the Obama Administration released a comprehensive report on the "legal and policy frameworks" governing the use of military force. The report sets forth the Obama Administration's view of the domestic and international legal bases for military operations against terrorist groups; the law of armed conflict and targeting in those operations; detention; civilian casualties; interrogation; and other related issues. This Teleforum will analyze the document's description of the applicable law, but will also consider why the Obama Administration chose to release this unusual document at this point and what effect (if any) it will have on policy and practice going forward.
For months, Syrian and Russian warplanes have bombed Aleppo, killing and wounding residents. Russian officials have referred to the siege as “diplomacy backed by force.” The US Ambassador to the UN has called it “barbarism.” The US and France have called for a War Crimes investigation, but any meaningful action at the UN has been blocked by Russia’s place on the Security Council. In this Teleforum, two distinguished professors with extensive practical experience examined the status of the siege under the Law of Armed Conflict and International Humanitarian Law.
After much prodding from human rights advocates and congressional committees, Secretary of State John Kerry announced that the Obama administration considers ISIS guilty of "genocide." Why did it take them so long? The Obama administration may believe the rationale that Christian purges are mitigated by the ISIS offer of historic jizya (dhimmi tax) compliance from religious objectors. But field reports reveal that, under ISIS, the jizya option has been categorically rejected. What does the genocide designation do for targeted religious groups? Does it matter that particular religious groups are described by this designation? Should we now expect a very different policy in the Middle East?