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Symposium to Examine President�s Effect on U.S. Role in International Law and Policy

February 10, 2010 — A group of experts will examine President Obama's impact on international law and policy Friday in the University of Virginia's Caplin Pavilion during a Law School symposium.

The event, which is open to the public and sponsored by the J.B. Moore Society of International Law, will include panel discussions featuring representatives from the U.S. State Department, the International Red Cross, the Army Judge Advocate General's Legal Center and School and academia, as well as a keynote address by Sarah Cleveland, co-director of the Human Rights Institute at Columbia Law School.

"This event comes at a timely moment," said symposium director Daniel Sullivan, a third-year U.Va. law student. "President Obama just wrapped up his first year in office and there have been lots of hectic events going on in international law and policy recently."

Participants will examine the nature and implications of differences between the Bush and Obama administrations, as shown by the country's response to recent international events such as the presidential coup in Honduras, the summer elections in Iran and the destructive earthquake in Haiti.

The first panel discussion will center on the United States' relationship with the United Nations. Panelists will explore the tensions recent international events have created between the two bodies and discuss the impact that the Obama administration has had on that relationship.

The panelists include Darin E. W. Johnson, an attorney-adviser on U.N. affairs in the State Department's Office of the Legal Adviser; Mark Katz, a professor of government and politics at George Mason University; Julian Ku, a professor of law and associate dean for faculty development at Hofstra Law School; and Christopher Preble, the director of foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute. U.Va. law professor Paul Stephan will moderate.

The second panel will analyze and discuss the Obama administration's impact on the U.S. interpretation of the law of war, and what implications those changes might have for future conflicts.

The panelists include Martin de Boer, the deputy head of the International Committee of the Red Cross, D.C. Delegation; Ashley Deeks, the assistant legal adviser for political military affairs at the State Department's Office of the Legal Adviser; and David Graham, a retired colonel and the executive director of the Army Judge Advocate General's Legal Center and School. U.Va. law professor Thomas Nachbar will moderate.

Parking is unavailable for the conference. The University's bus system includes a stop at the Law School.

Symposium Schedule:

• 9:40 a.m.: Registration and coffee

• 10:15 a.m.: Opening remarks, U.Va. Law Dean Paul G. Mahoney

• 10:30 a.m.: Keynote address, Sarah Cleveland, Columbia University Human Rights Institute

• 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.: Panel discussion, "The United States and the United Nations: Where Do We Stand?"

• 12:45 p.m.: Luncheon, Stone Dining Room

• 2:15-3:15 p.m.: Panel discussion, "Rules of Engagement: The United States and the Law of War"

• 3:15 p.m.: Closing reception, Withers-Brown Hall student lounge No. 1

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