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Prisoner Abuse, Human Rights are Topic of Debate

April 5, 2006 — What techniques should military personnel use when trying to extract information from enemy combatants or terrorist suspects? Is obtaining questionable information worth compromising fundamental democratic values? Does the president have the authority to circumvent the law during an undeclared war? These and other hotly contested issues will be debated Tuesday, April 11, at the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law.

The 22nd Annual Jefferson B. Fordham Debate will tackle the topic, “Be It Resolved: That the United States should lead the world in respecting human dignity and preventing prisoner abuse even when the president may be justified in exercising emergency executive power” at 7 p.m. in the college’s Sutherland Moot Courtroom. The event is free, and the public is invited to attend.

Panelists include:

  • David R. Levine
    Attorney, Brigadier General Army Reserve (ret.), instructor on war interrogation and military law, Sixth Army Intelligence School

  • Jordan J. Paust
    Mike and Teresa Baker Coll Professor, University of Houston Law Center

  • Michael D. Ramsey
    Professor, University of San Diego School of Law

  • Atoosa Koutosh, M.D.
    Pediatrician, Redwood Health Center
    Volunteer, Utah Health and Human Rights Project

The moderator will be Erika George, associate professor of law.

The debate honors Jefferson B. Fordham, a giant in American legal education, who was a professor at the college and dean of the University of Pennsylvania Law School.