Debate Series

Are U.S. Drone Attacks in the “War on Terror” Lawful?  Do They Make for Sound Foreign Policy?

October 8, 2010

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[view] Event Photos
[view] Video
[view] Remarks of Mary Ellen O'Connell

Against the backdrop of recent media reports of stepped-up drone attacks in Afganistan, the Whitney R. Harris World Law Institute is hosted a public debate on these pressing policy questions.  The debate participants were Kenneth Anderson, Professor of Law at American University and a Fellow at the Brookings Institution, and Mary Ellen O’Connell, the Robert & Marion Short Professor at Notre Dame Law School; Matt Sepic from Minnesota Public Radio moderated the debate.  A reception followed immediately after the debate.  The debate, which was made live via webcast, is now available to view. 

Suggested Reading List

Below is a list of academic and non-academic articles that provide background and different perspectives on the legal and policy issues in the debate over drones.  The debate is worth 1.2 MoCLE credit hours. 

Academic Articles:
Mary Ellen O'Connell, Unlawful Killing with Combat Drones: A Case Study of Pakistan, 2004-2009
Mary Ellen O'Connell, The Choice of Law Against Terrorism
Kenneth Anderson, Targeted Killing in U.S. Counterterrorism Strategy and Law
Jordan J. Paust, Self-Defense Targetings of Non-State Actors and Permissibility of U.S. Use of Drones in Pakistan
Afsheen John Radsan and Richard W. Murphy, Due Process and Targeted Killing of Terrorists

Congressional Testimony:
Kenneth Anderson, Drones II,  Testimony Submitted to U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs, Second Hearing on Drone Warfare (April 28, 2010)
Mary Ellen O'Connell, Lawful Use of Combat Drones,  Testimony Submitted to U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs, Second Hearing on Drone Warfare (April 28, 2010)

UN Documents:
Report of the Special Rapporteur in Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions, Philip Alston; UN Human Rights Council, 28 May 2010

Popular Media Articles:
Kenneth Anderson, Predators Over Pakistan, The Weekly Standard (March 8, 2010)
Jane Mayer, The Predator War, The New Yorker (Oct. 26 2009)
Scott Horton, The Trouble With Drones, Harper’s Magazine (May 3, 2010)
William Saletan, Do Remote-Control War Pilots Get Combat Stress?, Slate (Aug 11, 2008)

Case law:
CCR and the ACLU v. OFAC
Al-Aulaqi v. Obama

Rethinking the Kyoto Protocol: Are there Legal Solutions to Global Warming and Climate Change?

November 21, 2005

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The Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is an international treaty on climate change. Countries which ratify this protocol commit to reduce their emissions of carbon dioxide and five other greenhouse gases, or engage in emissions trading if they maintain or increase emissions of these gases. The United States, although a signatory to the protocol, has neither ratified nor withdrawn from the protocol. The protocol is non-binding over the United States until ratified. 

As climate change becomes an ever-increasing problem that has been linked to frequency and severity of hurricanes in recent years, the decision by the United States not to ratify the Kyoto Protocol deserves heightened scrutiny. This panel will discuss the domestic and international implications that non-ratification has for the efficacy of international climate change policy.

The debate panelists are Anita Halvorssen - University of Denver College of Law & University of Colorado Political Science Department, J. Kevin Healy - Bryan Cave (New York), William Pizer - Resources for the Future, Jacob Werksman - Global Inclusion, Rockefeller Foundation and Douglas Williams - Saint Louis University School of Law. 

Should the United States Ratify the International Criminal Court Treaty? 

October 22, 2001

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The first debate in the Harris Institute Debate Series focused on the divisive issue of whether the United States should sign and ratify the Rome Treaty Establishing the International Criminal Court. The debate was argued by Professor Michael P. Scharf, New England School of Law, and Lee A. Casey, Esq., Baker & Hostetler LLP and was moderated by William Freivogel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. more...