March 31, 2017

Symposium focuses on prosecution of terrorism, international crimes

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- A symposium hosted by the SIU School of Law will explore how the United States and international justice systems address terrorism and international crimes, and the special problems nations have prosecuting those crimes.

The law school’s Law Journal symposium, “Prosecuting Terrorism and International Crimes” is April 21, at SIU Edwardsville’s Evergreen Residence Hall. Registration is $50, and includes the program, lunch and continuing education credits.

The registration deadline is April 14. Seating is limited and early registration is encouraged. Registration information is available through SIU Carbondale’s Conference and Scheduling Services at SIU Edwardsville is also a co-sponsor.

Three panel discussions will examine definitions, developments and case studies of terrorism crimes; compare international and U.S. approaches in prosecuting these cases; and difficulties in evidence gathering.

“We look forward to bringing together experts from around the globe to discuss this important issue,” Dean Cynthia L. Fountaine said. “How the law deals with terrorism is important not only to prosecutors and judges, but also to others who care about how law can be used to make our world a safer place. SIU Law is pleased to be able to collaborate with SIUE to present this important program.”

Panelists will include two judges from Germany; faculty from the SIU School of Law; SIU Carbondale, SIU Edwardsville and University of Illinois Springfield political science faculty; and the chair of the National Intelligence University’s Defense Intelligence Agency Directorate of Operations. State Sen. Paul Schimpf, R-Waterloo, the chief American adviser to the prosecutor in Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein’s trial, will also be among the panelists.

“The symposium addresses an important topic because terrorism and other international crimes are of great and growing concern to not just the United States, but nations all across the world,” Edward Dawson, assistant professor and law journal adviser, said. “There is a perception that the problem of terrorism and related crimes are a significant issue for national governments and international systems, and there are questions about whether and how courts should be used as tools to address the problem.”

The discussion will compare the U.S. approach to those of other nations, in particular, Germany, through the expertise of the two German judges, Dawson said. The use of national courts, like those of the United States and Germany, compared with international tribunals, will also be examined.

The Southern District of Illinois Chapter of the Federal Bar Association is a co-sponsor. The symposium provides 4.5 hours of general MCLE credit.

Additional information on the symposium and the brochure are available at

The expected audience will include practicing attorneys, jurists, law students, and academic scholars with an interest in international and domestic law, Dawson said.

“We hope the symposium will accomplish a productive exchange of perspectives … and that the papers from the symposium published in the SIU Law Journal will make a useful contribution to the ongoing discussion about the definition of, approach to, and difficulties of prosecuting these types of crimes,” Dawson said.