Hamdan v. Rumsfeld: A Conversation with Laura Poitras, Charlie Swift, and Madeline Morris

April 4, 2011Duke Law News

A panel discussion
April 4, 2011
12:15–1:15 PM
Room 3041

Sponsored by the Program in Public Law and the Duke Law chapter of the American Constitution Society

Panelists Madeline Morris, Laura Poitras, and Charlie Swift explore the consequences of the Supreme Court case Hamdan v. Rumsfeld. Madeline Morris is a leading expert on counterterrorism detention and military commissions. In 2005, Morris founded the Guantanamo Defense Clinic at Duke Law, which she directs. Laura Poitras is an Academy-Award nominated film director who has won numerous awards for her documentaries examining the consequences of post-9/11 foreign policy in the Middle East. Her documentaries include My Country, My Country (filmed in Iraq) and The Oath (filmed in Yemen). Charlie Swift, now in private practice, was a military attorney formerly assigned to the Department of Defense, Office of Military Commissions. He successfully represented Salim Hamdan, the plaintiff Guantanamo detainee in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, taking the case to the Supreme Court, which ultimately struck down the military commissions. Neil Siegel, Co-Director of Duke Law's Program in Public Law, moderates the discussion.

Professor Neil Siegel, moderator
Professor of Law and Political Science
Co-Director, Program in Public Law
Duke Law School

Madeline Morris
Professor of Law
Duke Law School

Laura Poitras
Director / Producer / Cinematographer

Charles (Charlie) Swift
Attorney / Partner
Swift & McDonald, P.S.
Seattle, WA

Laura Poitras was nominated for an Academy Award, an Independent Spirit Award, and an Emmy Award for MY COUNTRY, MY COUNTRY (2006), a documentary about the U.S. occupation of Iraq. She received a Peabody Award and was nominated for an Emmy and an Independent Spirit Award for FLAG WARS (2003; made with Linda Goode Bryant), a documentary about gentrification that premiered at the SXSW Film Festival and won the award for Best Documentary. Following MY COUNTRY, MY COUNTRY, THE OATH is Poitras’s second documentary in a trilogy titled THE NEW AMERICAN CENTURY about America post 9/11. The final film will focus on the 9/11 trials. Poitras is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a Media Arts Fellowship from the Rockefeller Foundation/Tribeca Film Institute.

Charles (Charlie) Swift retired from the U.S. Navy in 2006, where for the last 13 years he worked in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps (JAG), in addition to his service as a surface warfare officer. While in the JAG Corps, he worked principally in the area of criminal defense, earning a reputation as a premier trial attorney. Most noteworthy is his quest for justice at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, concluding with the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld. Following his military career, Charles was a visiting professor and head of the Humanitarian Law Clinic at Emory University School of Law in Atlanta, Georgia, before leaving to enter private practice in Seattle. He has been a regular contributor on the topics of military law and terrorism for national news programs including MSNBC, CNBC, CNN, NPR, and Fox News.

Other News