2016 Symposium

Harvard Human Rights Symposium 2016

On Wednesday, March 23rd and Thursday, March 24th The Harvard Human Rights Journal presents our Spring Symposium: “Whose Security: Must the security of some depend on the insecurity of others?” We invite you to join us in exploring a variety of questions, including: When we talk of “collective” security, whose security is being protected, and whose is being sacrificed? Is it true that maintaining the security of some requires curtailing the rights of others? Finally, how do we navigate answering these questions both as lawyers and as human beings?

The Symposium will consist of a movie screening, a keynote address, two panels, and a concluding reception. Please find the link to the Facebook event here. Below is a brief description, including the time and location, of each event.

Screening of CitizenFour

March 23, 7:00pm (WCC 1019)

Screening of CitizenFour followed by Q&A with Jesselyn Radack, Edward Snowden’s attorney and the Symposium’s keynote speaker.

The facebook event for this screening can be found here.

Keynote Address

March 24, 12:00-1:00pm, Milstein A/B

Lawrence Lessig in conversation with Jesselyn Radack, DOJ Whistleblower and Edward Snowden’s attorney

Co-Sponsored by the Women’s Law Association

Jesselyn Radack served as an ethics advisor to the Department of Justice, where she advised the FBI that information from the interrogation of an American citizen in Afghanistan without his lawyer present would be inadmissible in court. Later, when the FBI suppressed that correspondence and attempted to use the information obtained during the interrogation, Ms. Radack blew the whistle on the FBI’s actions. Ms. Radack is now an attorney to dozens of NSA and CIA whistleblowers, including Edward Snowden. She will speak about government surveillance and her own experience standing up for those whose security she believes deserves protecting, even in the face of powerful opposition.

Panel 1: Police Violence against Ethnic/Racial Minorities

March 24, 2:00-3:30pm, WCC 1015

Co-Sponsored by the Black Law Students Association (BLSA)

Comparing strategies, challenges, and lessons learned from litigation in the United States, Israel/Palestine, and Brazil in order to better understand how to break the cycle of structural insecurity in over-policed communities.

Panel Speakers:

  • Carl Williams, Staff Attorney at the ACLU Massachusetts. Mr. Williams’ work focuses on police violence in African-American communities, having represented victims of police brutality as well as Black Lives Matter activists and organizers.
  • Emily Schaeffer Omer-Man, senior counsel at the Michael Sfard Law Office and Legal Director of Yesh Din’s “Accountability Project”. Ms. Schaeffer Omer-Man has represented over 500 Palestinian victims of crimes committed by Israeli soldiers and police.
  • Fernando Delgado, Lecturer on Law and Clinical Instructor at the International Human Rights Clinic. Mr. Delgado’s work investigating, reporting and litigating police and prison abuse cases from his native Brazil has helped spur numerous local and national human rights reforms in Brazil’s criminal justice system.
  • Meena Jagannath, co-founder of the Community Justice Project, Inc. Ms. Jagannath is a movement lawyer with extensive background in international human rights, which she has used to lead delegations of victims of police violence to the United Nations as part of its Universal Periodic Review.

Moderated by Professor Tyler Giannini, Clinical Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Harvard Law School International Human Rights Clinic.

Panel 2: Critical Issues on Material Support in Refugee Law

4:00-5:30pm, WCC 1015

This panel will explore whether national security justifications for limiting refugee entrance into a country are real or a pretext, and in either instance whether they are legal and in what circumstances.

Panel Speakers:

  • Susan Akram, Director of BU Law’s International Human Rights Clinic.

  • Shannon Erwin, Co-founder and Executive Director of the Muslim Justice League

  • Chiara Cardoletti, UNHCR Deputy Regional Representative


Moderated by Professor Deborah Anker, Clinical Professor of Law and Director of the Harvard Law School Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program (HIRC)


5:30-7:00pm, Harvard Law School Pub

Please join us for a reception where you are welcome to chat with the speakers, enjoy free food and drinks to your heart’s delight, and continue discussing the issues raised throughout the day.


**FREE DRINKS AND FOOD at every event!


Many thanks to the co-sponsors of this Symposium: the Dean of Students Grant Fund, the HLS International Human Rights Clinic, Boston University’s International Law Journal, the Harvard Women’s Law Association, and the Harvard Black Law Students Association.