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September 11: A turning point?

* 17 March 2003 *

September 11: A turning point?

Were we witnessing a defining moment in history on 11 September 2001? And what response to such terrorism is justified?

A conference at the University of Sussex from 21-22 March entitled 'September 11: A turning point in international and domestic law?' will seek to answer such questions.

The conference is organised by Professor Harry Rajak, Dean of the School of Legal Studies, Paul Eden and Emily Haslam, both Lecturers in Law.

"We want to try and put the events of September 11 into some perspective and ask whether terrible events change legal forms," says Eden. "It looks like we've picked exactly the right time to be discussing such questions, with the timetable for war in Iraq as it is."

Experts from Europe and the USA will gather to discuss issues such as the legitimacy of the use of force in response to terrorism, the legal status of those detained at Guantanamo Bay, and what the term 'terrorism' actually means.

Amongst those speaking at the conference will be Professor Ruth Wedgwood from Yale University, who was recently appointed as an advisor to the US government by Secretary of State Donald Rumsfeld.

Professor Wedgwood will be speaking on the subject of military tribunals and the human rights of suspected terrorists. Issues around asylum policy in the UK will be discussed.

The conference is funded by the University of Sussex, the Society of Legal Scholars and the British Academy.

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