Detention, Interrogation, Torture and the Legal Profession

University of California, Berkeley School of Law
November 4, 2010, 3–6:30 pm

Booth Auditorium, Boalt Hall

The foundational values of our legal system are at stake in United States national security programs. This symposium seeks to promote a clear understanding of the responsibilities of lawyers, the organized bar, and law students in the context of interrogation and torture. Participants include a preeminent journalist who has investigated government programs, as well as one of the country’s leading lawyers seeking accountability for national security programs. The panelists will discuss the history and present status of government policies on interrogation and torture, the effects lawyers have had in advising the government, and the impact of lawyers who are representing detainees and challenging government programs. The symposium will consider the role and ethical standards of government lawyers. Panelists will discuss what the organized bar and law schools have done and should do to meet the profession’s obligations and its responsibilities to the American public and the international community. We will also report on what the psychological profession has done to establish ethical guidelines in response to the involvement of mental health clinicians in interrogations, torture, and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment.


  • Bill Roller, symposium moderator, Chair, Committee for Ethics and Professional Standards, International Association of Group Psychotherapy and Group Processes
  • Mark Danner, Professor of Journalism, U.C. Berkeley and James Clarke Chace Professor of Foreign Affairs, Politics and Humanities, Bard College, author of Torture and Truth and Stripping Bare the Body: Politics Violence War among other books and numerous articles on torture
  • Jameel Jaffer, Deputy Legal Director, American Civil Liberties Union and Director, ACLU Center for Democracy
  • Robert H. Cole, Professor of Law Emeritus, School of Law, U.C. Berkeley
  • Jean Maria Arrigo, PhD, social psychologist, member of the American Psychological Association 2005 task force on ethical guidelines for psychologists in interrogations


The symposium is sponsored by the Human Rights Center, the Henderson Center for Social Justice, and the Miller Institute for Global Challenges and the Law at the UC Berkeley School of Law, and the Berkeley Group Education Foundation.