Monday Seminar: Professor Martha Davis: Legal ethics and human rights: Learning form the torture memos"
The lecture by Professor Davis will focus on the US Bar's response to the Torture Memos, framed in the larger discussion of lawyers' roles in government settings.
The "Learning" part of the title is not only whether the US bar should learn from the Torture memos, but whether other bars should learn as well.
Does failure to include human rights as a component (as opposed to criminal law, or contract law, or agency law, which are typically referenced in some way) send the implicit message that human rights law is not really law, but simply a set of values or aspirations that lawyers can work around in service of their clients?
Or would adding that language simply undermine important values of client representation -- with lawyers serving two masters.
In addition to Martha`s presentation, Gisle Kvanvig and Knut Asplund at the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights (NCHR), will highlight some of their work in relation to the topic, looking at, inter alia, how politically, exceptionalism and state of emergency reasoning in western democratic states is highly useful to authoritarian regimes such as that in Vietnam; they borrow and refer to such examples when justifying their use of force and violence, including torture.
Asbjørn Rachlew (NCHR) will reflect on Professor Davis presentation and lead the discussion.