International Center for Criminal Justice

The International Center for Criminal Justice joins scholars, practitioners from the public and private sectors, and Harvard Law School students to develop and implement practicable solutions to international or global problems. Recommendations developed by the Center are distributed to legislators and government officials and followed by real efforts to influence national and international policy. Most recently, the International Center for Criminal Justice has been engaged in three initiatives in the areas of national security, drug enforcement, and corruption.

1. In wake of the September 11 attacks against the United States, the International Center for Criminal Justice and the Belfer Center at the Kennedy School of Government sought to address the most difficult obstacles to preserving national security and protecting civil liberties in the war on terrorism. Together, with financial backing from the Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism (MIPT), they hosted six days of meetings over eighteen months with senior counterterrorism experts from the United States and the United Kingdom. The legislative recommendations developed from these meetings focused on coercive interrogation, detention, military commissions, targeted killing, information collection, surveillance of religious and political meetings, racial profiling, and oversight of extraordinary measures. The recommendations were first published in 2004 by the MIPT as the Long-Term Legal Strategy Project for Preserving Security and Democratic Freedoms and then published again in 2005, with significant editorial revisions, by MIT Press as Protecting Liberty in an Age of Terror. The International Center for Criminal Justice continues to explore these issues, providing support to an Intelligence Science Board study to further understand the psychological effects of coercive interrogation; organizing a conference at the Radcliffe Institute to compare state responses to terrorism, December 7-9, 2006; and analyzing U.S. counterterrorism policy in academic articles, op-eds, and public debates (see Legal Considerations in the War on Terror and Tap Dancing: Posner-Heymann Debate).

2. The International Center for Criminal Justice together with Drug Strategies, a leading nonprofit for national drug policy, developed Keep Internet Neighborhoods Safe (NIDA: The Internet and Adolescent Non-Medical Use of Prescription Drugs) to develop proposals for reducing the illegal online sales of prescription drugs to youth. Joining them were leaders from the Weill Medical Center at Cornell University and the Treatment Research Institute at the University of Pennsylvania. Together with a diverse group of experts from the public and private sectors, Keep Internet Neighborhoods Safe developed preliminary recommendations (A Proposal for Preventing the Illegal Internet Sales of Controlled Substances to Minors) for strengthening voluntary cooperation among government agencies, banking and credit card companies, Internet Service providers, and search engines like Google and Yahoo. These recommendations were presented to key Congressional staff and senior executives from Microsoft, Verizon Online, Google, Yahoo, Earthlink, United Bank of Switzerland, Mastercard, Visa, PayPal, AT&T Internet Services, AOL, Comcast, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., U.S. Border and Customs, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, the Department of Justice, and the Department of State during a conference in July, 2006. The Keep Internet Neighborhoods Safe recommendations underwent changes based on the advice of these participants and are expected to be the subject of Senate hearings early in 2007. In the interim, Mathea Falco, President of Drug Strategies and Co-Director of Keep Internet Neighborhoods Safe testified before the House of Representatives Committee on Government Reform to discuss these efforts.

3. The International Center for Criminal Justice also explores corruption and abuse in countries emerging from conflict or repression as well as in the programs of international organizations such as the World Bank and the United Nations. Originally, these efforts were carried out in collaboration with the Kennedy School of Government's former Project on Justice in Times of Transition (PJTT). Through executive sessions, consultations with local leaders, and a working paper series Law Enforcement Intelligence in a Free Society and Legislative Oversight of the FBI in the United States), the leaders of the International Center for Criminal Justice have helped leaders in Latin America and elsewhere to develop effective intelligence and security agencies while preventing corruption and abuses of executive power. Organized by the International Center for Criminal Justice or PJTT, important roundtable discussions on intelligence and security reform have involved senior leaders in Guatemala, Peru, South Africa (Transforming the Intelligence Services:Some Reflections on the South African Experience), and Argentina (Towards a Democratic Control of Argentina's Intelligence Community.

Contact Information:
Professor Philip Heymann
James Barr Ames Professor of Law and Director, International Center for Criminal Justice