Prof. O’Connell Joins Thought Leaders on Terrorism, Rule of Law

Notre Dame Professor of Law Mary Ellen O’Connell serves as a panelist and moderator at a conference at Washburn University School of Law, Topeka, Kansas this week (Nov. 13-14). Titled “The Rule of Law and the Global War on Terrorism,” the conference features a distinguished lineup of faculty, practicing attorneys, non-profit leaders, military officers, and journalists.

The conference will examine legal implications of governmental actions taken in response to the attacks of September 11, 2001, and explore how to move forward as a nation with a new administration preparing to take the helm.

O’Connell will join faculty from Columbia Law School and Duke University School of Law for a panel called “Defining War and Terrorism—Redrawing Conceptual Lines,” and will serve on a panel titled “The Way Forward—Legal Choices in the Global War on Terrorism” with the directors of the Centre on International Courts and Tribunals at the University College of London and of The Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School. She will also moderate a panel discussing accountability for war crimes.

O’Connell recently published “The Power and Purpose of International Law” (Oxford University Press, August 2008). She says that international law is the neutral vehicle that can help the entire world achieve its common aims of peace, prosperity, human rights, and protection of the natural environment. “This book is a vision for how we can move forward,” says O’Connell. “Anyone concerned about torture, the world food crisis, Guantanamo Bay, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, among other international issues, will find this book encouraging.”

O’Connell joined the Notre Dame faculty as the Robert and Marion Short Professor of Law in 2005. She earned her B.A. in history, with highest honors, from Northwestern University in 1980, an MSc. in International Relations from the London School of Economics in 1981, and an LL.B., with first class honors, from Cambridge University in 1982. She earned her J.D. from Columbia University in 1985, where she was a Stone Scholar and book review editor for the Columbia Journal of Transnational Law. After graduation, she practiced with Covington & Burling in Washington, D.C. She then taught at Indiana University School of Law, Bloomington; at The Bologna Center of The Johns Hopkins University, Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Bologna, Italy; and the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany; and the University of Cincinnati College of Law.

The author of three casebooks, four edited collections, and more than sixty articles and book chapters, Professor O’Connell has been active in the American Society of International Law, the German Society of International Law, the International Institute for Humanitarian Law, and the International Law Association, where she chairs the Committee on the Use of Force.

For more information about Professor O’Connell, visit her faculty profile page.