20 Years of the Global War on Terror: Minnesota’s Leadership Defending the Rule of Law
A “global war on terror” was waged in response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Over these two decades, the U.S. and countries around the world have asserted exceptional powers to combat terrorism and skirt long-standing principles of democracy, human rights, and the fair administration of justice.
As we mark the 20th anniversary of 9/11, and in the context of events unfolding in Afghanistan, the Human Rights Center invites you to an online discussion reflecting on the diverse ways that Minnesota lawyers have been at the forefront of efforts to uphold the rule of law, safeguard human rights, and defend American values during the war on terror.
Amy Bergquist ‘07 coordinates advocacy at the UN and with regional human rights bodies. Focus areas include LGBTI rights, discrimination based on sexual orientation/gender identity, rights of minorities and non-citizens, and the death penalty. She collaborates with diaspora communities seeking to be more effective advocates for human rights in their countries of origin. She coordinates pro bono legal assistance to support non-governmental organizations based in Africa working on human rights and rule of law issues. She represents The Advocates on the Steering Committee of the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty. Learn more about Amy Bergquist.
Hon. Jeffrey Keyes (ret) is a retired United States Magistrate Judge in the District of Minnesota, a position he held from his appointment to the bench in 2008 until his retirement in 2016. Before joining the bench, Mr. Keyes was a shareholder in the law firm of Briggs and Morgan, P.A., for 22 years. He started his career in 1972, after graduating from the University of Michigan Law School, when he joined the Gray Plant Law Firm where he served as an associate, and then partner, until 1986. Throughout his 36 years in private practice, Mr. Keyes was a trial lawyer. Mr. Keyes had an active pro bono practice on behalf of disadvantaged clients including the representation of death row inmates and numerous immigration asylum applicants. Since retiring from the bench in April 2016, Mr. Keyes has been actively engaged as a mediator and arbitrator in a wide variety of cases including intellectual property disputes. Learn more about Jeff Keyes.
Nicole Moen is a shareholder and the co-chair of the Business Litigation Department of Fredrikson & Byron, P.A. She specializes in litigating matters in regulated industries, focusing on health care and energy. Ms. Moen has also devoted considerable time to pro bono matters, and was part of a team of Fredrikson lawyers who represented a Guantanamo detainee for several years. Learn more about Nicole Moen.
Major Todd E. Pierce, JA, USA (Ret.) retired from the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General (JAG) Corps on November 30, 2012, where he had served as Military Commissions Defense Counsel representing Guantanamo prisoners beginning in 2008. In that time, he served on defense teams representing three prisoners. He continues this representation to the present before the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals on the appellate case of al Bahlul v. U.S. He now serves on the Board of Directors of the Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy. His education includes a B.A. from St. Cloud State University (1993), J.D. from Hamline University Law School in St. Paul, MN (1996), and M.A. in Politics from The New School in New York, NY (2018). Learn more about Todd E. Pierce.
Peter Thompson practiced criminal law in Minnesota for 33 years. As an Assistant United States Attorney and Federal Public Defender, he prosecuted and defended federal criminal cases for seven years. Thereafter he tried criminal cases in private practice with Thompson, Lundquist and Sicoli, Ltd., in Minneapolis, including conducting defense in the United States v. Dr. John Najarian. Mr.Thompson’s practice included pro bono work in defending civilly disobedient defendants in protests again nuclear weapons at Honeywell, landmines at Alliant Tech, and the training of human rights violators at the Army School of the Americas in Georgia. Thompson was active with Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights regarding war crimes and human rights investigations in Bosnia, Sri Lanka, Haiti, India, Cambodia, and represented immigrants applying for political asylum in the United States. Learn more about Peter Thompson.
Keynote presentation by:
Fionnuala D. Ní Aoláin, University Regents Professor; holder of the Robina Chair in Law, Public Policy, and Society; and faculty director of the Human Rights Center at the Law School. She is concurrently a professor of law at the Queen’s University of Belfast, School of Law. In 2017, Professor Ní Aoláin was appointed by the United Nations Human Rights Council as United Nations Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism. In this capacity she works closely with states and United Nations entities to advance human rights protections in some of the most difficult contexts globally. She was re-elected by States for a further three-year term in 2020. Learn more about Fionnuala D. Ní Aoláin.
Opening remarks by:
Garry W. Jenkins is the Dean and William S. Pattee Professor of Law at the University of Minnesota Law School. Prior to assuming his post as the Law School’s 11th dean, he was associate dean for academic affairs and John C. Elam/Vorys Sater Professor of Law at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, where he was also director of the Program on Law and Leadership, a leadership education and development initiative that he co-founded. Learn more about Garry W. Jenkins.
Amanda Lyons ’09 is Executive Director of the Human Rights Center at the University of Minnesota Law School. She is a specialist in international human rights law and advocacy, and her work looks at rights-based approaches to economic, environmental, and gender justice. Amanda works with HRC faculty, researchers, staff, students, and partners to advance the Center’s wide-reaching research, teaching, advocacy, and outreach agenda. She is a Lecturer in Law, teaches courses on Poverty & Human Rights and Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Human Rights, and runs the Human Rights Field Placement experiential learning course. She is part of the Human Rights Lab/Minnesota Model, a Grand Challenges-supported research initiative. Learn more about Amanda Lyons.