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Kolloquium “American Legal Culture”

«Attack on America: The Consequences – from a Legal Perspective – the Role of Law, Lawyers and Law Enforcement in Times of Crisis» – “9/11 – one year later – Observations and thoughts” – Winter Term 2002 / 2003

The text for the announcement of this further special seminar on the subject of “US legal culture” was as follows:

During this winter term, I will hold the now well established colloquium “On American Legal Culture” (see Prisma, May 2001, p. 19) in the form of a successor to the special event that was held last year immediately following “9/11”, and in which 30 students in their final years of study from various academic departments held a real-time discussion on the aftermath of the dramatic events of 11 September 2001. (Prisma, April 2002, p. 28-29 and HSG-Info of 6 May 2002, p. 7)

A year after this event and while US foreign policy on fighting terrorism is taking effect all over the world, this is an opportunity to look back at and understand the specifically US approach to law, law enforcement and lawyers and its effects on other national, international and supra-national legal orders when dealing with such crises.

Recent events in Bali and the possible public preparations for a war in Iraq, the trials in the Twin Towers case and the first surfacing of problems with imprisonment in Guantanamo have once again become actual objects of “participatory observation” of the processes involved in these legal events

Once again, the event is centred around encounters with and questioning of experts.

At Encounters with and questioning of experts I Dr. Bruno Lezzi, NZZ will speak on the subject of “How do the USA plan a war?” – and how this is handled by “other parties involved and affected by it?”. Christian Gehrig, a student with dramatic experience of Afghanistan will speak about “Afghanistan before and after the military intervention -observations on the ground”.

In Encounters with and questioning of experts II Prof. Dr. Albert Stahel will speak about the geopolitical position in the region, about terrorism before und after Afghanistan and about the potential effect of Iraq on the region.

In Encounters with and questioning of experts III Prof. Dr. Kurt Imhof will talk about the employment and effect of the media on 9/11 and on the employment and planned effect of the media in the preparation and carrying out of military action against Iraq. Christian Gehrig will speak about the issue of “What is the effect of communication on and in the region?” – “How does communication work in the region? – the role of the channel Al Jazeera”.

In Encounters with and questioning of experts IV Dr. Markus Diethelm, Chief Legal Officer of Swiss Re will speak about “Swiss Re after 11 September 2001 – the Twin Towers case and various projects on the insurance of terrorist risk – new challenges for the Chief Legal Officer”.

Once again, the students will draw up statements in working groups.

The event will end with a dinner at the invitation of Swiss Re which will also include guests of Swiss Re, at the Center for Global Dialogue in Rüschlikon.

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