Berkeley Law School Students Protest Professor's Work For Bush Administration

by TChris

Law students at Berkeley aren't happy that a law professor helped the Bush administration find a loophole in treaties and conventions that prohibit the abuse of prisoners.

A legal memo written by law professor John Yoo "contributed directly to the reprehensible violation of human rights in Iraq and elsewhere," according to a petition being circulated among students and faculty at Berkeley's Boalt School of Law.

Yoo drafted the memo during his service as deputy assistant attorney general for the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel.

The Jan. 9, 2002, memo co-written by Yoo ... argued that the normal laws of armed conflict didn't apply to al-Qaida and Taliban militia prisoners because they didn't belong to a state.

The student petition says that Yoo should resign if he doesn't repudiate the memo, declare his opposition to torture, and encourage the Bush administration to comply with the Geneva Conventions. Boalt's interim dean, Robert C. Berring Jr., says that Yoo's work as a lawyer outside of the school won't affect his academic position, contends that faculty members are entitled to take extreme positions, and notes that Yoo isn't the only conservative on a diverse faculty.

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