Thursday, January 14, 2010

Stephan Sonnenberg Speaks at American Psychological Association

In August, 2010, HNMCP Clinical Instructor and Lecturer on Law Stephan Sonnenberg ’06 presented at two separate panels at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (APA).  The first presentation focused on the implications of the 2009 Supreme Court case Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project for conflict resolution practitioners and trainers.  Sonnenberg argued that the six to three decision, which upheld laws criminalizing the delivery of conflict resolution and human rights related training to organizations listed on the U.S. State Department’s list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations, is of substantial concern to conflict resolution practitioners involved in efforts to end violence in many of the world’s most violent hot spots.  Sonnenberg focused his remarks on how conflict resolution practitioners can avoid criminal liability in line with the court’s holding while still working effectively in the field.  He also suggested a political and legal advocacy strategy to ensure that American civil society organizations can continue to contribute constructively to the cessation of anti-civilian violence globally.

Sonnenberg’s second presentation was part of a symposium panel on the Challenge of Reconciliation During and After Mass Violence.  Focusing on the role of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in Northern Uganda, Sonnenberg discussed how narrative-based conflict analysis can help bridge the gap between peace and justice in post-conflict environments, and how international lawyers can maximize the positive impact of their work in such situations.