Interrogation & Torture: Integrating Efficacy with Law & Morality

It is a unique moment in the study of interrogation and torture and in the development of international law.  Two novel and significant developments are unfolding: there is emerging scientific research into the most effective interrogation techniques; and drawing on these scientific findings, there are efforts to set standards for non-coercive interrogation and to integrate them into international law.

These advances have the potential to transform the conversation on interrogation and torture in many fields of study—psychology, neuroscience, career investigation and interrogation, philosophy, ethics, legal study and practice, and international relations—as well as to transform the current policies and practices of governments worldwide.

Symposium leaders Steven J. Barela, Mark Fallon, Gloria Gaggioli, and Jens David Ohlin are the editors of a forthcoming volume delving into these areas entitled Interrogation and Torture: Integrating Efficacy with Law and Morality to be issued in 2019 under the CERL Series in the Oxford Series in Ethics, National Security and the Rule of Law.

In closed session, five unique panels of volume contributors from multiple disciplines and countries will examine these developments and their potential outcomes and international impact. Each session is multi-disciplinary and will produce collaborative and integrated dialogue and analyses. Additional information, insights, and recommendations derived from the symposium will be incorporated into relevant volume chapters.

In addition to the closed sessions, the symposium will feature a keynote address, open to the public, by Juan E. Méndez, former UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment. Professor Méndez’s address, entitled “A Universal Protocol for Investigative Interviewing: An End to Interrogation and Torture,” will be followed by a panel discussion with Professor Méndez, Mr. Alberto Mora and Dr. Steven Xenakis. Professor Claire Finkelstein, CERL’s Director, will moderate. 

This program has been approved for 2 ethics CLE credits for Pennsylvania lawyers. CLE credit may be available in other jurisdictions as well. Attendees seeking CLE credit should bring separate payment in the amount of $80.00 ($40.00 public interest/non-profit attorneys) cash or check made payable to The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania