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ND Law hosts "What is war?"

January 1, 2007
"What Is War?" is the name and subject of a conference at the Hesburgh Center for International Studies Auditorium at the University of Notre Dame Sept. 14 and 15. The University of Notre Dame Law School, the Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, and Mershon Center for International Security Studies at Ohio State University are sponsoring the conference. It is free and open to the public.

The discussions will feature Gen. Sir Michael Rose (British Forces, retired), and Gen. William Nash (U.S.A., retired), former commanders in Bosnia, along with a distinguished roster of political scientists, international lawyers, peace researchers, war correspondents, ethicists, and historians. Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, CSC, president emeritus of Notre Dame, will be on hand for opening remarks.

The forum will address how to define war, going beyond the academic question and addressing basic human rights, including the right to life, the right to a trial, the right to own property.

"At the moment there is no clear legal line dividing the two situations," the event's Web site states. "Governments tend to deny that fighting on their territories is war, arguing instead that it is 'criminal activity,' and claiming that they have it under control. Following the Sept. 11 attacks, the United States reversed the trend, declaring war where many would see crime."

This interdisciplinary conference is an outgrowth of an International Law Association study group charged with addressing the legal challenges raised by the Bush Administration's "global war on terror."

A tentative agenda and speaker biographies are available on the event's Web site http://kroc.nd.edu/events/07meaningofwar.shtml. For more information, contact the Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, (574) 631-6970.
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