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Conference at Illinois focuses on police activities as they relate to terrorism

Mark Reutter, Business & Law Editor


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — The University of Illinois College of Law will sponsor a conference Friday and Saturday (March 11 and 12) on the regulation of police activities aimed at fighting terrorism and other forms of international crime.

The conference includes law professors and sociologists from Europe and the United States who will assess the dramatic changes in criminal statutes, police powers and intelligence activities in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. It will be held at the Max L. Rowe Auditorium in the Law Building, 504 E. Pennsylvania Ave., Champaign.

Among other issues, the panelists will explore the “difficulties of democratic oversight of more aggressive policing techniques, the implications of new powers for transnational collaboration in fighting crime, and the feedback effect that international cooperation has upon domestic law enforcement.”

Law-enforcement initiatives that began in the 1980s and were significantly expanded after Sept. 11 “raise important questions about how the United States and Europe can respond to threats while retaining their democratic character and preserving civil liberties,” said Jacqueline E. Ross, the conference organizer and Illinois law professor.

The first day of the conference will include papers and discussions on undercover police activities in Germany, France, Israel and Italy. Gary Marx, a sociologist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will give the introductory lecture, and Cyrille Fijnaut, a law professor at the University of Tilburg in the Netherlands, will speak at lunch.

On the second day, Peter B. Maggs, an Illinois law professor, will lead the roundtable discussions on undercover policing in Ukraine with five scholars from Eastern Europe, and commentators from Illinois, the University of Chicago Law School, and other institutions.

The fee for the conference is $75.

In addition to the College of Law, the conference is sponsored by the American Society of Comparative law, and, at the U. of I., the Center for the Study of Democratic Governance, the Cross-Campus Initiative on Institutions in a Demographically Changing World, the department of sociology, the European Union Center, International Programs and Studies, and the Police Training Institute.