Washington and Lee law professors Russ Miller and Margaret Hu participated in a symposium billed as a “transatlantic dialogue on the NSA Affair amongst German and American scholars, former government officials, and commentators.” The two-day event was held at the University of Freiburg and co-sponsored by the University’s Centre for Security and Society and the German Law Journal.
Miller, who helped organize the symposium, has provided commentary on this issue since the NSA scandal broke last year and was the only American to offer testimony to a special committee of the German Parliament investigating the NSA activities. His presentation was titled “Privacy by Another Name? Deciphering the Differences in the German and American Struggle to Balance Liberty and Security.” Prof. Hu’s presentation was titled “Biometric Cyber Intelligence and Higher Order Cybersurveillance Risks.” A full listing of the symposium participants is available online.
The symposium received press coverage in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ), one of Germany’s leading daily newspapers. The FAZ coverage is available here.
Washington & Lee law professor Russell Miller’s contribution to Verfassungsblog was published on Wednesday, February 26, 2014. Verfassungsblog is a German law blog hosted by the prestigious Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin. Professor Miller’s post is titled Poor Prospects for Internationalization: Germans and Americans in Law Faculty Jenseits des Atlantiks. It is part of a series reacting to the recently published report of the German Council of Sciences and Humanities examining the current state of and future of German legal education.
German law scholar and Washington and Lee law professor Russell Miller has contributed to I-CONnect, Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law and ConstitutionMaking.org. Professor Miller’s post, titled The “Rumble in Karlsruhe”: The German Federal Constitutional Court’s Historic OMT Case was published on February 11, 2014.
The English translation of the German Federal Constitutional Court decision may be read here. Additional news coverage on the historic decision may be found from the Financial Times, Bloomberg, and Spiegel Online.
Washington and Lee law professor Russ Miller published an essay recently in the newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Germany’s version of The New York Times. Prof. Miller’s piece was coauthored with Prof. Ralf Porscher of the University of Freiburg.
In the article, Miller and Porscher examine the NSA evesdropping affair and its impact in European and American relations, with a special focus on the legal-cultural differences that help explain the different reactions to the scandal. They conclude:
Our description of these legal-cultural differences has two consequences for Europeans. First, Europeans cannot expect that mere appeals to an anticipatory, systematic right to informational self-determination will have an effect. If the Americans are to be stirred, then Europeans must be prepared to point to pragmatic consequences for transatlantic relations. The American political system is more likely to react to material disadvantages, as seems to be the case with the newly emerging calls for Congressional review and oversight of the intelligence community in response to the political damage caused by monitoring Chancellor Merkel’s phone. Second, Europeans cannot simply import their broader project of achieving legal harmonization through the European Union project into their negotiations with the Americans over this controversy. Europeans must reflect on their implicit expectation of legal harmonization when pursuing this urgent and important debate over data protection with their American partners. The differences evident between the two sides have their roots in distinct legal traditions. Understanding this distinction and not merely wishing it away will be a key to Europe’s successful engagement with the issue. Agreement, for example, might emerge around calls for the greatest possible legal commitment to transparency in the collection of data and its use. This might satisfy both the European urge for some legal structure while increasing the chances for a political check that fits better with the American approach.
The essay in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung can be found online here. An English language translation is also available here at the website for the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies.
On Oct. 16, Washington and Lee law professor Russell Miller presented in Bonn, Germany at an international program on security and the law. He will join with German and international experts to discuss key challenges of effective legal protection in regards to cyber security.
Shortly after, on Oct. 18-19, Prof. Miller will return to host the First Annual Montpelier Roundtable on Comparative Constitutional Law. He will lead a number of comparative law scholars in a discussion on Superficial Convergence. Miller co-convened this inaugural session with University of Virginia colleagues Dick Howard and Mila Versteeg.
Washington and Lee law professor Russ Miller presents this week at a special event at the Geothe Institute in Chicago. The event, sponsored by the Goethe Institute of Chicago, the international law firm Goldberg Kohn, and the Robert Bosch Foundation Alumni Association, is a round table discussion occurring just days before Germany’s federal election including scholars and diplomats on the legal framework for German democracy, the constitutional issues at stake in the election, and the politics and policies at the center of the political season.
Miller is author (with Donald Kommers) of the third edition of the book The Constitutional Jurisprudence of the Federal Republic of Germany (Duke Press 2013). He is KoRSE Fellow at the University of Freiburg, a former Fulbright Senior Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and Public International Law (Heidelberg), and an alum of the Robert Bosch Foundation Fellowship Program.
More information about the program is available at the event website.
Last month, we reported on Washington and Lee law professor Russell Miller and his KoRSE Fellowship at the University of Freiburg, where he is researching and collaborating with leading scholars on the issues of security and liberty who are based at the University of Freiburg’s Center for Civil Security as well as the program’s partners at Bucerius Law School (Hamburg), the Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law (Freiburg), and the German Federal Police Academy.
On July 10, Prof. Miller delivered a lecture at the University that was very well received and led to a full-page interview in Germany’s leading weekly news magazine ‘Der Spiegel’. The text of the interview is available online to those with a paid subscription. The lecture and interview are based on Prof. Miller’s 2008 book U.S. National Security, Intelligence and Democracy (Routledge Press). The book reflected on the 1970s Senate Select Committee that undertook an extensive investigation of U.S. national security activities. Known as the ”Church Committee” (for its Chair, Idaho Senator Frank Church), the Senate Select Committee’s reports remain one of the most detailed accountings of the American intelligence community and the reports served as the basis for reforms that now make-up the legal and oversight framework for American intelligence programs. An excerpt of Prof. Miller’s lecture, which appears as a Blog-post at the Verfassungsblog, is below:
…the intensely contemporary nature of my topic gives me pause for at least two reasons.
First, I am very well aware that news of American surveillance and espionage has stirred alarm and resentment throughout German society, sending shock waves all the way to the Kanzleramt. Personal and political relations between our countries are once again strained. With this in mind, I hope you will understand if I offer the following caveat for today’s lecture. As a simple law professor I am not in a position to speak for or defend the Obama Administration’s policies. I do have some personal and professional insight into the thinking of the President’s team, which I am happy to share with you, for whatever it is worth. And, as an American voter, I assure you that I take my democratic responsibility for the actions of my government very seriously. But these might be the limits of my ability to respond directly to and account for the developments of the last month.
Second, as a simple law professor, I must admit to having some anxiety about speaking today on a topic that can be described as “dramatic and fast-moving.” In many ways, these are the antinomies of good scholarship, which might be more properly described as “plodding and tedious.” There is a reason, I suppose, why professors play such an unimportant role in the canon of American action films. This concern requires me to offer yet another caveat for today’s lecture. I don’t intend to try to paint a full picture of the still-unfolding, frenetic developments of the last weeks. For now that is a task better left to the media, particularly the excellent journalists on both sides of the Atlantic who are doing important work in covering the story.
Prof. Miller will again address this topic at an invited lectured before the German Federal Court of Justice in Karlsruhe on July 18, hosted by the German Judicial Press Conference.