In "The Torture Lawyers" published at 51 Harv. Int'l L.J. 193 (2010) and available in Scholarship@Cornell Law, Cornell Law Professor Jens Ohlin examines the use of the justified necessity and excused necessity defenses by government agents who engaged in acts of what many consider to be torture during the Bush Administration. Professor Ohlin then discusses why Bush Administration attorneys who advocated the use of torture and may be considered accomplices in torture cannot successfully use these same defenses under the "flow-down" theory. To counter the objection that attorneys cannot be prosecuted simply for giving advice, Professor Ohlin examines two cases from the Nuremberg trials:

  • Prosecutor v. Altstoetter et al. (the Justice Case), in which members of the German Justice Ministry were charged with giving legal effect to Nazi statutes and decrees that stripped the right to due process of law from many groups and individuals throughout Germany and German-controlled territories.
  • United States v. von Weizsaecker et al. (the Ministries Case), in which members of Nazi ministries, including the Foreign Policy Office, were charged with war crimes stemming from their advisement of Nazi leaders regarding the deportation of Jews to concentration camps and other actions.

For other work by Professor Ohlin, see his faculty publications page. I recommend the following:


Cynthia Bowman Unmarried Couples, Law, & Public PolicyIn honor of Cornell Law School Professor Cynthia Grant Bowman's new book, Unmarried Couples, Law, and Public Policy, today we are highlighting a few of her other publications. In addition to a degree in law, Professor Bowman earned a Ph.D in political science, and she brings an interdisciplinary approach to her analysis of topics such as family law and feminist jurisprudence.

Professor Bowman studied the relationship between law and cohabitation--and especially its impact on low-income women--for many years before writing this book:

For more of Professor Bowman's writings, see her faculty publications page and the Scholarship@Cornell Law online repository.

Professor lecturing at podiumThe Law Library developed Scholarship@Cornell Law (S@CL) to provide an online repository for faculty publications and working papers. S@CL has expanded and now includes many other interesting collections to explore. So here are three reasons to click on the link on the Law Library home page to visit S@CL:

  1. Did I mention faculty scholarship? You can browse through papers submitted by year or search by author and see just what your professors have been up to. The collection includes published articles and working papers.
  2. Check out the Centers and Programs link. Find out about ongoing programs like the Death Penalty Project and the Avon Global Center for Women and Justice (just click on International Comparative Programs to find the Avon Global Center).
  3. Conferences, Lectures and Workshops gives you a chance to “attend” some of the interesting programs that have been held in the law school in years past. This collection lets you see what was discussed in the comfort of your own room.

We have other collections worth visiting, but hopefully these three highlights will pique your interest in the scholarship happening at Cornell Law School.

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