Let's Talk About the Boteros: Law, Memory, and the Torture Memos at Berkeley Law
Apr
18
12:10 PM12:10

Let's Talk About the Boteros: Law, Memory, and the Torture Memos at Berkeley Law

  • Columbia Law School, Jerome Greene Hall 107 (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

What parts of their uncomfortable associations should universities remember, and how? Around the world, institutions of higher learning are confronting what to do with symbols of their ties to slavery, colonialism, racism, and other projects antithetical to their values. For years, Berkeley Law has faced protests for its employment of Professor John Yoo, a principal author of the “Torture Memos” of the Bush Administration. The school’s exhibit of paintings by Fernando Botero of prisoner abuse by US soldiers at Abu Ghraib has communicated an institutional rebuke to the decision of the United States to rewrite the foundational norms of the rule of law in the pursuit of national security after 9/11.

However, the school is considering removing the paintings, which raises questions of memory heuristics: why the paintings are there at all, what they communicate about the past, and whether the past is worthy of commemoration. The Berkeley case offers insights into how and why debates about symbolic representations are contested moments aimed to shape institutional identity and values.

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Withholding Protection
Apr
18
12:10 PM12:10

Withholding Protection

  • Columbia Law School, Jerome Greene Hall 546 (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

In June 2018, President Trump wrote a pair of tweets en route to his golf course, calling for "no judges; no court cases" at our border and swift deportation of immigrants, essentially without due process. While immigrant advocates were quick to explain the myriad constitutional problems with this proposal, elements of Trump's dream are already a reality.

Professor Lindsay M. Harris, Assistant Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Immigration and Human Rights Clinic at the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law, will discuss how a single Customs and Border Protection officer can short-circuit the checks and balances prescribed by U.S. and international law to protect refugees from being returned to harm, and cast a long shadow over a future, meritorious asylum claim. She will examine the disastrous interplay between two "speed deportation" processes - expedited removal and reinstatement of removal - insufficient safeguards that leave refugee screening at our borders in the shadows, and the absence of judicial review. Professor Harris will also explore, as an immediate first step to implement the humanitarian protections enshrined in law, the merits and risks of using readily available technology - more specifically, the use of Body Worn Cameras by Customs and Border Protection officers conducting screenings of potential refugees at the border.

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