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Law School Hosts Conference on Exceptional Courts and Military Commissions

SEPTEMBER 28, 2009—On Oct. 22-23, 2009, the University of Minnesota Law School is hosting a conference entitled "Exceptional Courts and Military Commissions: Comparative and Policy Perspectives." The conference is sponsored by the Robina Foundation, the Office of International Programs, and the Law School in conjunction with the University of Ulster's Transitional Justice Institute.

Leading U.S. and international scholars have been invited to the Law School to explore the historical and comparative aspects of due process exceptionalism—the option democracies typically resort to when they turn to special courts of various kinds.

The conference also will examine comparisons between the military tribunals authorized by the United States in the post-September 11 context and other exceptional courts used by democratic states to respond to terrorism and politically motivated violence.

In this context, conference organizers and participants hope to address some of the findings that have become available regarding the successes, failures, and limitations of special courts.

Policy discussions also will be featured, with participation of key nongovernmental organizations, including the Center for Strategic & International Studies, Human Rights First, Human Rights Watch and the International Committee of the Red Cross.

The gathering of scholars from various jurisdictions together with policymakers working in the field, as well as presentation of views from both scholarly and practical-experience perspectives, hold the promise of interesting and enlightening conversations. Proceedings will be published as an edited book.

A complete schedule and list of speakers can be found at www.law.umn.edu/ news/exceptional-courts-military-commissions-schedule.

For those who can not join us in person, this event will be webcast live via Ustream.TV: