Looking Past Guantanamo: Are New Concepts Needed for Terrorist-Related Detentions?

American Student Chapter and International Law & National Security Practice Group
Start : Friday, September 19, 2008 09:30 AM
End : Friday, September 19, 2008 04:00 PM

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American University, Washington College of Law
Room 603
4801 Massachusetts Ave, NW
Washington, DC

Featured Speakers:
Claudio Grossman
Sandy Hodgkinson
Carrie Newton Lyons
Richard Wilson
Benjamin Wittes
Justin Florence
David H. Laufman
David B. Rivkin Jr.
Stephen I. Vladeck
Deborah Colson
Madeline Morris
David Remes
Daniel Marcus


This event is being co-sponsored by the American University Washington College of Law and the National Institute of Military Justice, in cooperation with the ABA Section of International Law, National Security Committee.

detaineeThe next conversation in global counter-terrorism will consider the long-term future of terrorist-related detentions. The resolution of this conversation will depend on chosen model to govern the detention. Many lawyers have argued that the United States and its allies are at war with terrorists under the laws of armed conflict. Yet others counter that terrorism is fundamentally a domestic criminal offense and should be prosecuted under the law enforcement paradigm. While substantial efforts have been made to resolve these and related disagreements by making procedural alterations in the military commissions or the proposed National Security Court, many critics argue that these modifications are unable to overcome the very same conceptual challenges that justify the changes. After more than six years of discussion, this issue remains unresolved within the legal community. This conference advances that conversation by asking whether the law enforcement and international humanitarian law models are able to theoretically address the unique characteristics of international terrorism or whether new concepts are needed.


9:30 am

10:00 am
Welcome Remarks

  • Dean Claudio Grossman, American University, Washington College of Law

10:30 am
Panel 1: Conceptual Implications of Terrorist Detentions Since 9/11

  • Sandy Hodgkinson, Deputy Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of Defense
  • Professor Carrie Newton Lyons, University of Akron School of Law
  • Moderator: Professor Richard J. Wilson, American University, Washington College of Law

11:45 am
Lunch & Book Signing

  • Benjamin Wittes, Brookings Institute and author of Law and the Long War: The Future of Justice in the Age of Terror

12:45 pm
Panel 2:  Are American Courts Creating New Concepts to Govern Terrorist-Related Detentions?

  • Justine Florence, O'Melveny & Myers 
  • David Laufman, Kelley Drye
  • David B. Rivkin, Jr., Baker Hostetler
  • Moderator: Professor Stephen Vladeck, American University, Washington College of Law

2:15 pm

2:30 pm
Panel 3:  Are New Legal Concepts Needed for Terrorist-Related Detentions?

  • Deborah Colson, Human Rights First 
  • Professor Madeline Morris, Duke Law School
  • David Remes, Covington & Burling
  • Benjamin Wittes, Brookings Institute
  • Moderator: Professor Daniel Marcus, American University, Washington College of Law

4:00 am

Registration details:

Registration is free, but required.
If CLE is requested (4.5 credits), the cost is $55.

To register, please go to

For more information, contact Office of Special Events & Continuing Legal Education,, or (202) 274-4075