Press Releases and Media Advisories

Media Advisory

Monday, November 01, 2010

ATTENTION: Reporters covering law, national security, human rights

Detention, Torture, and the Legal Profession

Contact: Susan Gluss, (510) 642-6936,

This afternoon symposium will examine the core values of U.S. law at stake in anti-terrorism programs, as well as the responsibilities of lawyers, bar associations, and law students in upholding the profession’s legal and ethical standards at home and abroad.

Participants include an international investigative journalist, a leading U.S. civil liberties lawyer, and experts in professional ethics. These speakers will review the history and current status of government policies on detention, interrogation, and torture. They will discuss the roles played by government lawyers, detainee attorneys, and the legal advocacy groups that challenged U.S. security tactics.

Participants will also examine the ethical guidelines established by the American Psychological Association (APA) in response to the involvement of psychologists in cruel, inhumane, or degrading treatment at Guantanamo Bay and U.S. prisons overseas.

Berkeley Law professor Robert Cole says the event is an important forum for discussing the ethical standards that should guide U.S. policy:

“Some of the country's anti-terrorism practices are a profound challenge to the founding principles of our legal system and the rule of law. We hope to bring this challenge home to the legal and larger communities, especially to our law students; and promote the search for responsible, effective reforms.”

Thursday, Nov. 4, 3:00-5:30 p.m. followed by Q&A.

UC Berkeley School of Law, near intersection of Piedmont and Bancroft Way. Booth Auditorium.
See campus map

Mark Danner, UC Berkeley journalism professor; author, Torture and Truth and Stripping Bare the Body: Politics Violence War;
Jameel Jaffer, deputy legal director, American Civil Liberties Union;
Jean Maria Arrigo, social psychologist, member of the APA 2005 task force on ethical guidelines for psychologists in interrogations; author, “Utilitarian Argument against Torture Interrogation of Terrorists.”
Robert Cole, emeritus law professor; Berkeley Law;
Bill Roller, moderator; chair, Committee for Ethics and Professional Standards, International Association of Group Psychotherapy.

Reports of health professionals’ involvement in the interrogation of detainees taken into U.S. custody since 9/11 has sparked a national debate on the profession’s ethical obligations. For more information, visit Do No Harm: Intelligence Ethics, Health Professionals, and the Torture Debate.

This symposium is co-sponsored by Berkeley Law’s Human Rights Center, the Thelton E. Henderson Center for Social Justice, and the Miller Institute for Global Challenges and the Law in partnership with the Berkeley Group Education Foundation. The event is free and open to the media. For more details, contact Nancy Donovan at