Closing Remarks on Boumediene Insta-Symposium

by Roger Alford

I wanted to thank all of our participants for a wonderful “insta-symposium” on Boumediene. I certainly learned a tremendous amount from our guests and greatly appreciate their willingness to participate and thoughtfully engage.

I wanted to end by addressing some of the comments expressed concerning the format of these insta-symposia, especially on the issue of diversity. In organizing this event, I took pains to find experts in the field who provided diversity in terms of viewpoint (left and right), seniority (young scholars and seasoned veterans), professional expertise (historians, advocates, military experts, foreign relations scholars), gender, race, etc. But obviously we are always open to constructive criticism. So I wanted to offer you a chance to provide your thoughts about these insta-symposia, both in terms of the format and the diversity of voices. Please vote and, if you so desire, add any additional thoughts in the comments.

Please provide your evaluation of Opinio Juris’ effort to offer “insta-symposia” of major Supreme Court cases
Yes, definitely a welcome addition.
Yes, but improve the format
Yes, but offer greater diversity of voices
No, not my cup of tea


Free polls from Pollhost.com

http://opiniojuris.org/2008/06/17/closing-remarks-on-boumediene-insta-symposium/

2 Responses

  1. For those who are suggesting that we improve the format or offer greater diversity of voices, can you be specific about your recommendations or constructive criticisms?

    Thanks.

    Roger Alford

  2. I stumbled upon Opinio Juris somewhat serendipitously, just before it initiated its Insta-Symposium on the Boumediene case. I thought the approach was simply excellent.

    As a social scientist sensitized to but not trained in problems of international law, I find that OJ fills a critical void, translating the significance of current issues for the rest of us in a timely manner. As a relative newcomer to citizen media, I also appreciate the precedent it sets with web-based platforms to harness the distributed potential of scholarly networks and resources.

    At the Complex Terrain Lab at University College London, we’re exploring similar methods and approaches for online collaboration and communication. The Boumediene Insta-Symposium appears to be an excellent example of what’s possible. Thank you. We’d like to discuss offline at some point (if you’re amenable), and draw on your lessons learned from this process in order to help build our projects.

    Recommendation: format symposia proceedings into a more easily readable document – for example into an Opinio Juris Working Paper or Collected Proceedings – and then offer it on your site as a single PDF file. This would be excellent value-added to a project that’s already of benefit, by making it easier to access, read, and reference. It would also provide the opportunity to print and disseminate it to those who prefer hard copy.

    Michael A. Innes

    University College London

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