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The 2017 University of Memphis Law Review Symposium, The Fragile Fortress: Judicial Independence in the 21st Century, will be held on Friday, April 7, 2017 at the University of Memphis School of Law at 1 North Front Street, Memphis, Tenn. 38103.

The ideal of judicial independence — of fair and impartial tribunals standing guard against abuses of power by the other branches of government, protecting civil liberties and serving as the "bulwark of the Constitution"— has never been easy to attain. But it could be that this ideal has been undergoing particularly stern tests in recent times. 

This year's symposium will bring together voices, insight, experience, and ideas from the bench, academy, and bar in a dialogue meant to bring renewed attention and innovative thinking to this vital issue. We invite attorneys, judges, students, and all members of the public who care about the well-being of our constitutional republic to join us for this important dialogue.

Our distinguished roster of jurists and scholars will explore a wide range of topics related to judicial independence:

  • Judge Bernice B. Donald (United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit) — The intrajudicial context of judicial independence
  • Judge Timothy J. Corrigan (United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida) — Impact of threats of violence on judges' independence
  • Senior Judge Sterling Johnson, Jr. (United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York) — Congress and judicial sentencing discretion: Feeney Amendment revisited
  • The Honorable Michael B. Mukasey, Retired Chief Judge (Southern District of New York) and former United States Attorney General — Political criticism of judges: real threat to judicial independence?
  • Judge R. David Proctor (United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama) — Judicial independence: an overview, from impeachment to court-packing
  • Chief Justice Zarela Villanueva Monge (Supreme Court of Costa Rica) — Judicial Independence and the rule of law: a hemispheric perspective
  • Professor and Dean Emeritus John DiPippa (UALR Bowen School of Law) — Can a legislative committee subpoena a sitting judge?
  • Professor Eric Kasper (University of Wisconsin Eau Claire) — When judges campaign: free speech and restrictions on fundraising
  • Professor Justin Walker (University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law) — Should judges be forced to disclose their papers upon retirement?
  • Professor Patrick Walsh (Federal Law Enforcement Training Center) — Use of secretly-acquired intelligence evidence in federal criminal proceedings

The registration page will become active within approximately one week, including CLEs (currently in process); please visit again soon.

Questions about the Symposium may be directed to Pablo J. Davis, PhD, CT, Symposium Editor, at pablo.j.davis@memphis.edu or 901-288-3018.

We look forward to seeing you!

The University of Memphis Law Review hosts its annual symposium every spring at the University of Memphis School of Law. For more information about the most recent past topics and speakers, please visit the links below. 

2016 - Urban Revitalization: The Legal Implications of Remaking a City

2015 - In re Valor: Policy and Action in Veterans Legal Aid

2014 - Juvenile Courts in Transition

2013 - Breaking the Silence: Legal Voices in the Fight Against Human Trafficking 

2012 - Cultural Competency and the Death Penalty