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Law school symposium to discuss torture

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The Valparaiso University School of Law, as part of its annual symposium lecture series, is offering "Torture: Justifiable?" which focuses on whether and under what circumstances torture may be justifiable.

The Feb. 26 event begins at noon with remarks by Nathaniel Hubley, executive symposium editor; law school Dean Jay Conison; and Laura Dooley, professor of law and law review symposium adviser.

Judge Dennis Davis of the High Court of Cape Town, South Africa, will present "Torture: Historical Context;" the main symposium address will be presented by Jordan Paust, Mike and Teresa Baker Law Center Professor of International Law at the University of Houston School of Law. Paust is a noted authority on international law, human rights, terrorism, and the use of force.

A plenary session, "Conflicting Responses to Torture Techniques: International and Domestic Issues," will feature four authorities on human rights and torture: Col. Steven Kleinman, a career intelligence officer and former trainer of interrogators for the U.S. military; Dr. E. Michael Jones, editor of Culture Wars magazine and author; Rhonda Copelon, professor at City University of New York School of Law and co-founder of its International Women's Human Rights Law Clinic; and Graeme Mitchell, director of constitutional law branch of the Saskatchewan Ministry of Justice and vice chair of the National Constitutional and Human Rights Law Section of the Canadian Bar Association.

The symposium ends at 5 p.m. and a reception will follow the event. Seating is limited, free, and open to the public. Attorneys can receive 3 hours of CLE credit for $100. Since seating is limited in Wesemann Hall, 656 S. Greenwich St., everyone interested in attending must register by calling (219) 465-7829 or e-mail Joann.Campbell@valpo.edu.

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  2. Seventh Circuit Court Judge Diane Wood has stated in “The Rule of Law in Times of Stress” (2003), “that neither laws nor the procedures used to create or implement them should be secret; and . . . the laws must not be arbitrary.” According to the American Bar Association, Wood’s quote drives home this point: The rule of law also requires that people can expect predictable results from the legal system; this is what Judge Wood implies when she says that “the laws must not be arbitrary.” Predictable results mean that people who act in the same way can expect the law to treat them in the same way. If similar actions do not produce similar legal outcomes, people cannot use the law to guide their actions, and a “rule of law” does not exist.

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