2006 Archive

Boalt Hall Terrorism Conference Examines Academic Role in Post-9/11 World

Can the academy restore intellectual balance to the increasingly polarized debate on terrorism? What role do scholars play in helping policymakers identify the toughest issues we face since September 11?

A select group of leading scholars and policymakers from Boalt and the UC Berkeley community convened at the law school on September 8-9 for an in-depth look at these and other questions focused on the academy's role in addressing policy challenges presented by the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The event, Governing and Living in a Time of Terror: Law Beyond 9/11, inaugurates a long-term research initiative on law and terrorism.

The event was distinguished by the exceptional number of Boalt faculty who participated as speakers, and many who were on hand and joined the ongoing dialogue among Boalt alumni and other attendees at panels and workshop sessions throughout the conference.

"It was really an in-house meeting of faculty seeking advice from alumni on the critical issues surrounding terrorism," observed David Caron '83, C. William Maxeiner Distinguished Professor of Law and co-organizer of the conference with David Kaye '95.

"The conference is vital in that it gives practitioners and academics a chance to step back and ask what are the key questions we need to address in the coming years," said Kaye.

The program led off with a panel discussion on the landscape of law and terrorism moderated by Professor Jonathan Simon '87, associate dean of the Jurisprudence and Social Policy Program. A second discussion was moderated by Laurel Fletcher, clinical professor of law and director of the International Human Rights Law Clinic, and addressed the role academics play in our post-9/11 society.

"We need academics to be looking for the questions we haven't thought to ask," observed panelist Joan Donoghue '81, former deputy legal adviser to the U.S. State Department.

The conference concluded with a Saturday session led by Dean Christopher Edley aimed at developing an agenda for scholarship and policy. A comprehensive report identifying priorities for terrorism research is expected to be released in December.