Lest We Forget: Canada and the Laws of War

In September 2005, Canadian soldiers captured several suspected terrorists in southern Afghanistan. They immediately transferred the suspects to US custody. Given what we now know about the gross mistreatment of detainees at Abu Ghraib Prison, Bagram Air Base and Guantanamo Bay, it'’s likely that the transfers violated Canada'’s obligations under the 1949 Geneva Conventions and 1984 Torture Convention.

In this provocative talk, UBC professor Michael Byers explains how previous generations of Canadians led the struggle for international rules protecting soldiers and civilians. He argues that Canadians should still care deeply about the rules, and that recent violations must not be tolerated.

Speaker: Dr. Michael Byers

Dr. Byers is a former resident of Lethbridge and graduate of Lethbridge Collegiate Institute who holds a Canada Research Chair in Global Politics and International Law at the University of British Columbia.

Prior to July 2004, he was a tenured Professor of Law and Director of Canadian Studies at Duke University. From 1996-1999, he was a Fellow of Jesus College, Oxford University. He is a regular contributor to the London Review of Books and Globe and Mail, and is the author, most recently, of War Law: Understanding International Law and Armed Conflict (Douglas & McIntyre, 2005).

A reception will follow this presentation. Copies of Dr Byers’s latest book will be available for sale.

Moderator: Gordon Campbell

Location: Lethbridge Public Library Theatre Gallery, 810 5th Ave. S. Start time: 7:00 p.m. Admission: By donation

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