General Counsel of Key National Security and Intelligence Agencies Discuss National Security Threats, Cybersecurity, Trends and High Stakes

“21st Annual Review of the Field of National Security Law” to Convene in Washington, D.C.

WASHINGTON, D.C., Nov. 23, 2011 — The _ Standing Committee on Law and National Security will host its premier conference to review the state of national security at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Washington, D.C., Dec. 1–2.

Following tradition, this year’s review will begin with a discussion of developments in national security law with executive branch general counsel responsible for national security matters, followed by a congressional update on developments in national security law.  Additional panel topics include: presidential war powers for multilateral humanitarian interventions; use of force decisions of the International Court of Justice; Uniform Code of Military Justice; secrecy; and ethical dilemmas facing lawyers practicing national security law.

Harold Hongju Koh, legal adviser, Department of State, will deliver the keynote address, “International Lawyering for the U.S. Government in an Age of Smart Power,” from 1:30 – 2:15 p.m. on Dec. 1.  Later that day, Brigadier General Mark S. Martins, Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps and chief prosecutor, Office of Military Commissions, Department of Defense, will give remarks following dinner at 7 p.m.

Jane Holl Lute, Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, will deliver keynote remarks entitled “In Whom We Trust: Citizens, Government, and the Law in Cyberspace” on Dec 2 from 1:30 – 2:15 p.m.

The following program highlights feature experts from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Central Intelligence Agency, Department of Justice, Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, as well as national security experts from around the country.

“Panel I – Executive Update on Developments in National Security Law” – The conference’s showcase program features Standing Committee on Law and National Security Chair Harvey Rishikof leading the discussion with:

  • Robert S. Litt, general counsel, Office of the Director of National Intelligence
  • Stephen W. Preston, general counsel, Central Intelligence Agency
  • Lisa Monaco, assistant attorney general for national security, Department of Justice
  • Jeh Charles Johnson, general counsel, Department of Defense
  • Ivan K. Fong, general counsel, Department of Homeland Security

Dec. 1, 8:30 – 10:30 a.m.

“Panel III – Kosovo, Libya and Presidential War Powers for Multilateral Humanitarian Interventions” – Panelists will explore how the dominant question in the law relative to U.S. war powers—when and whether the president could unilaterally deploy U.S. troops into armed conflict or other hostile situations—has evolved over time.  Looking at recent cases in Kosovo (1999) and Libya (2011), panelists will debate conflicting interpretations of the law.
Dec. 1, 2:30 – 4:15 p.m.

“Panel IV – Use of Force Decisions of the International Court of Justice: Triumph or Tragedy?”The law concerning permissible use of force is one of the most important areas of international law.  This panel, chaired by a former State Department legal adviser, will discuss recent decisions of the International Court of Justice that have undermined the important right of defense rooted in the United Nations charter, including the Nicaragua case, the Iran Oil Platforms case and the Israeli wall case.
Dec. 2, 8:30 – 10:15 a.m.

“Panel VI – Public but Classified: A System Awash in Open Secrets?” – At a time when deeply classified information about covert actions and other government information is regularly leaked to the press or disclosed by Wikileaks, many questions arise about the classification of executive orders, First Amendment rights and security implications of leaks.  This expert panel moderated by Viet D. Dinh, professor of law, Georgetown Law, will explore questions relating to classification and democratic governance.
Dec. 2, 2:15 – 4 p.m.

The on-site guide and a link to the full agenda can be found here.

There is no charge for media covering this event. For media credentialing and conference materials, or to interview speakers, please contact Alexandra Buller at -1508, .

With nearly 400,000 members, the _ is the largest voluntary professional membership organization in the world.  As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law.

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Learn More About:  National Security Law