Prof. Guiora Edits Global Justice Book

by Marty Stolz

The modern nation-state is under attack, but interstate warfare “is a thing of the past,” as are other traditional policy and tactical approaches used to combat global instability, says S.J. Quinney College of Law Professor Amos Guiora, who has edited the pieces chosen for a newly-published book, Top Ten Global Justice Law Review Articles 2007.

This collection, published by Oxford University Press, grew out of a College of Law’s Global Justice Think Tank.

The think tank, a student group that was led last year by Richard Roberts, J.D. 2008, read about 200 articles to find those with the best writing and thought-provoking analysis, Roberts says.

Guiora made the selections without regard for the academician’s renown or credentials or for the name of the law review in which the piece originally appeared. Rather, the decisive factors for inclusion were that the pieces “must have an impact on, if not shape, the public debate on the most important issues of the day,” Guiora says.

The articles reflect the scope of global justice topics. One examines the importance of protecting “cyber infrastructure” from terrorists. Another analyzes Al Qaeda’s strengths and weaknesses, based on a view of the organization as a bureaucracy. There are also competing views about the global effects of the Bush Administration’s approach to waging war.

Reading and evaluating the articles was taxing but rewarding work, says Artemis Vamianakis, a J.D. candidate in the class of 2009.

“It is an honor,” she said, “to have Oxford University Press recognize our students, faculty, and university with this book, which deals with the hot-button issues in global justice and provides differing, unique perspectives.”

In addition to Vamianakis and Roberts, other College of Law student participants included: Christian Bjarnson, Sandra Hartman, Matthew Holmes, Pete Lattin, Emily Pettit, Josh Rupp, Virginia Tomova, Linh Tran, Guy Tshiteya, Tasha Williams, Brooke Wilkinson, Ben Whisenant, Clark Whisenant and Phil Wormdahl.

Each student read and scored dozens of articles. “As project manager,” Roberts says, “it was daunting to somehow come up with an efficient, pragmatic and fair way to evaluate the articles.”

For the book, Guiora defines “global justice” as a blend of national security, human rights law, civil liberties, the law of war, and public policy. “These topics must be addressed from an inter-disciplinary perspective,” he writes in the book’s introduction.

The book selections, fittingly, come from numerous disciplines.

Sean Condron argues that the battlefront of terrorism now includes the virtual world. “Where once our opponents relied exclusively on bombs and bullets,” Condron writes, “hostile powers and terrorists can now turn a laptop computer into a potent weapon capable of doing enormous damage.”

In “The Untold Story of Al Qaeda’s Administrative Law Dilemmas,” Mariano-Florentino Cuellar dissects declassified documents to show that Al Qaeda operates much as a state bureaucracy does, unlike its popular depictions as “flexible, adaptable, decentralized, and staffed by committed supporters with a common goal.” In fact, Cuellar shows how Al Qaeda relies on administrative procedures, akin to bureaucracies, for harnessing expertise, resolving internal conflicts and monitoring subordinates.

John Yoo, one of the writers in the collection, is a law professor at Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley. Yoo is better known, though, for his legal work between 2001 and 2003 at the U.S. Department of Justice on torture, rendition, and other issues. Yoo’s article, “The Terrorist Surveillance Program and the Constitution,” argues for strong executive authority to anticipate and respond to terrorist threats.

But Jules Lobel argues that, in foreign policy, the Bush Administration’s move away from a”clear rule” of self-defense to a putatively “preventive” policy on war and detainees has made the United States less safe and less free.

Guiora, a retired Lieutenant Colonel with the Israel Defense Forces, served in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps of the School of Military Law. He joined the faculty of the S.J. Quinney College of Law in 2007, after teaching at Case Western Reserve University School of Law, where he received his J.D.  Guiora earned his bachelor’s degree with honors at Kenyon College. At the College of Law, Guiora teaches courses on criminal law, criminal procedure, international law, global perspectives on counterterrorism, and religion and terrorism.

Vamianakis is the student leader on the Global Justice Think Tank’s effort to select 10 law review articles from 2008 for a second volume, also to be published by Oxford University Press.