Moussaoui Case Judge to Headline April 2 Law School Colloquium Focusing on Human Rights Litigation in U.S. Courts

March 19, 2009

March 19, 2009 — Leonie M. Brinkema, the judge who presided over Sept. 11 co-conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui's criminal trial, will deliver the keynote address at the 22nd Annual Sokol Colloquium on Private International Law on April 2 at the University of Virginia School of Law.

The colloquium, which this year is focusing on human rights litigation in U.S. courts, will include three panel discussions featuring leading practitioners, scholars and government officials. Brinkema, who hears cases from the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, will speak during a luncheon at 12:30 p.m. in Caplin Pavilion.

Panelists will discuss litigation based on the Alien Tort Claims Act — a centuries-old law granting U.S. courts jurisdiction in some cases for human rights abuses abroad — the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, and litigation against U.S. officials, including for alleged detainee abuse.

The Gustave Sokol Program on private international law was established in 1976 under a grant from the Gustave Sokol Fund. Colloquia bring together distinguished scholars, practitioners and government officials from the United States and abroad to discuss in detail a current topic of private international law.

Papers from the colloquium will be considered for publication by the Virginia Journal of International Law, which is a co-sponsor of the event along with the Law School and the J.B. Moore Society of International Law. The colloquium is open to the public and Virginia Continuing Legal Education credit is available. To attend, contact Donna D. Ganoe or 434-924-4746) by March 24; space is limited for the luncheon.


April 2
(All sessions at the U.Va. Law School in Withers-Brown Hall room 152)

8 a.m.    Registration & continental breakfast

8:30 a.m. Welcome by Associate Dean James Ryan, U.Va. School of Law

8:45 a.m. "The Rule of Law," Robert J. Grey Jr., past president (2004-2005), American Bar Association

9-10:30 a.m. Panel discussion: "Alien Tort Claims Act Litigation." Moderator: John K. Setear,
U.Va. School of Law. Panelists: Edwin Williamson, attorney, Sullivan & Crowell and former legal adviser, U.S. Department of State; Terry Collingsworth, managing partner, Conrad & Scherer, Washington, D.C.; Beth Stephens, professor, Rutgers School of Law-Camden.

10:30 a.m. Break

10:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Panel discussion: "Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, Anti-Terrorism Litigation." Moderator: John Norton Moore, Walter L. Brown Professor of Law, U.Va.  School of Law. Panelists: Steven R. Perles, senior attorney, Perles Law Firm; Lewis Yelin, counselor, international law, U. S. Department of State; James P. Kreindler, partner,  Kreindler & Kreindler LLP; Michael L. Martinez, Crowell & Moring; Ronald Bettauer, former deputy legal adviser, U.S. Department of State.

12:30-2 p.m. Luncheon. Keynote Speaker: Judge Leonie M. Brinkema, Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia

2:15-4:30 p.m.     Roundtable Discussion: "Litigation Against United States Officials." Moderator: Deena Hurwitz, associate professor and director of the Human Rights Program, U.Va.  School of Law. Discussants: Jordan Paust, Mike & Teresa Baker Law Center Professor, University of Houston Law Center; Katherine Gallagher, staff attorney, Center for Constitutional Rights; David B. Rivkin Jr., partner, Baker Hostetler; Elisa Massimino, CEO and executive director, Human Rights First; Steven Watt, ACLU Human Rights Project; Robert Loeb, Civil Division, U.S. Department of Justice.