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«Attack on America: The Consequences – from a Legal Perspective – The Role of Law, Lawyers and Law Enforcement in Times of Crisis» – Special seminar on 9/11, winter term 2001 / 2002

This special seminar started at the beginning of term, a mere three weeks after the dramatic events of 11 September 2001.

On 1 October I published the following announcement at St. Gallen University.

This winter term I shall be holding the well-established colloquium “On American Legal Culture” in the form of a special seminar on the dramatic events of 11 September 2001. For this purpose, I am looking for no more than 18-24 students in their final years of study, PhD students and assistant professors – they can be from related faculties – who are willing and interested to engage with current events – in real time – in a special way.

We will try to understand from both sides of the Atlantic the role being played by law and lawyers and the effect of the terrorist attach of 11 September on law and lawyers. This will facilitate an understanding of the specifically US approach to the use of law, including the effects of this on other national, international and supra-national legal orders in dealing with a crisis of this kind. In doing so, we will be using electronic means to inform ourselves on current affairs and will be engaging in targeted reading, assuming pre-assigned roles, about the immediate legal issues. During the whole of the term we will stay in touch with each other using emails and Lotus Notes as a virtual community. You will receive a basic pack of documentation together with an ongoing stream of materials and you will be taking in voluntary readings about US law.

The focus in this block teaching is on guided and prepared questioning of experts on the spot.

At Encounters with and questioning of experts I we will be undertaking a geo-strategic assessment of the current situation under the guidance of Prof. Dr. h.c. Martin Lendi. Afterwards, we will be hearing the opinions of a selection of three journalists at the editorial offices of NZZ. Thereafter we will be putting questions by telephone to specialized ambassadors of Switzerland: in Berlin Dr. Thomas Borer; in London Dr. Bruno Spinner and in Brussels at NATO, Dr. Anton Thalmann on their view of the significance of 9/11.

At Encounters with and questioning of experts II, we will be putting questions to Peter Arbenz, strategic advisor and author on the report of 2001 annual World Economic Forum Davos on the influence on the holding of Economic Forum 2002. In the afternoon we will be questioning the experts Prof. Dr. Kurt Spillmann, Research Department for Security Policy and Conflict Analysis at the ETH Zurich, Prof. Dr. Kurt Imhof, Sociological Institute, University of Zurich and expert on public life and society, Prof. Dr. Daniel Thürer, Institute for Public International Law, Zurich University, an expert on public international and constitutional law and Prof. Dr. Andreas Wenger, Research Department for Security Policy at the ETH Zurich, an expert in international relations.

At Encounters with and questioning of experts III we will in the morning be putting questions to Dr. Mario Corti, Chairman SAir Group, Frau Karin Anderegg Bigger, Head of the Legal Service and General Secretary and to Karl Wütrich, the airline’s administrator about the effects of 9/11 on Swissair. In the afternoon we will be putting questions in the Swiss Re Center for Global Dialogue to Dr. Bruno Porro, Chief Risk Officer, Dr. Marcel Bebié, Group Security Officer, and to Dr. Markus Diethelm, Chief Legal Officer, about the effects of 9/11 on the insurance and re-insurance sector, in particular on Swiss Re given the Twin Tower problems.

At Encounters with and questioning of experts IV in the morning in Bern we will put questions to Jack Zetkulic, Deputy Chief of Mission and Dr. Bruce Armstrong, Public Affairs Officer at the US embassy. In the afternoon we will be putting questions to the Federal Terrorism Task Force, including to Prof. Dr. Heinrich Koller, Director, Swiss Federal Office of Justice, Dr. Kurt Höchner, acting Director, Department of Public International Law, Dieter Stüssi, Leading Investigating Officer at the Swiss Federal Police and acting Head of the Federal Criminal Police, Dr. Daniel Frank, draft legislation projects, Federal Office of Justice, PD Dr. Martin Wyss, constitutional law aspects, Federal Office of Justice, Fürsprecher Rudolf Wyss and Claude Nicati, acting Chief Public Prosecutor (Bundesanwalt) on aspects of administrative and legal assistance, Dr. Urs Zulauf, Head of Legal Services, Swiss Banking Commission on questions of terrorist finance, Othmar Wyss, Seco, EVD (Swiss Federal Department of Economics), on administrative law measures and Daniel Eckmann, the delegate for communication from the Bundesrat Kaspar Villiger on issues of strategic communication by the Federal government during the crisis.

At Encounters with and questioning of experts V we hear will “statements on the intellectual situation” after 11 September by Prof. Dr. h.c. Wolfgang Schürer, Dr. Konrad Hummler, Prof. Dr. Mathias Haller and Rektor Prof. Dr. Peter Gomez. One of the students at the seminar, Christian Gehrig, will speak about “Work and experiences of a HSG student on the ground in Afghanistan – before and after 11 September”.

At the end, the various groups gave statements by way of summary and conclusion: there were statements from Group 1, Public international law and international relations, Group 2, Constitutional law of the US and its alliance partners along with relevant internal political aspects, Group 3, Internal security / anti-terrorism and relevant internal political aspects, with particular emphasis on international cooperation; Group 4, The national and international media as a “theatre of action”; Group 5, Financing of terrorism and legal measures in relevant countries with particular emphasis on international cooperation; Group 6, undertakings particularly affected, and Group 7, intellectual and theoretical assessment of the “intellectual situation “. There will be closing remarks by the lecturer.

We spent an evening together socially and had dinner at the invitation of Bank Wegelin & Co., at the restaurant Zum Goldenen Schäfli in St. Gallen.

Students of micro economics, macro economics and law took part in the seminar.

Das Seminar was written up and discussed in various student magazines, such as Prisma, April 2002, p. 28-29 and HSG-Info of 6 May 2001 p. 7.

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