Katyal Advocates 'Institutionalized Dissent' in Global Forum
Following the speech, Katyal told The National Law Journal that he had been thinking a lot about these issues for some time.
"I wrote a 2006 Yale Law Journal article about 'Internal Separation of Powers' which was about this idea of checks and balances within the executive branch itself," he explained. "This past summer, I started writing a lot more about the subject—spurred by an op-ed I wrote in The New York Times in February about drone strike courts—in which I advocated for an internal panel. I'm writing a longer piece fleshing it out and also providing examples such as NSA surveillance and how it would work there."
The Peace Palace speech was the first of several things he wants to do.
"I accepted the invitation because it was a place to start the discussion, and with an international audience that I expected would be a bit more skeptical about the genius of America's founders than folks in the United States," he said.
"I know when I extol how America, and its system of government, is exceptional and the best on earth, I'm going to get some negative feedback in a place such as the Hague—but that's part of why I wanted to do it here. Because I want to use these examples to show how incredible our system is, and how its accommodation of dissent is one of the things that enables it to adapt to the various crises of human affairs, as Chief Justice [John] Marshall once put it in McCulloch [v. Maryland]."
And speaking at the Peace Palace, he said, "was just wonderful—it's a beautiful old building with modern parts to it—and the speakers and Dutch government were so incredible at every turn in hosting us."
The other speakers addressed such topics as stopping sexual violence in India; forgiveness: the unpopular weapon; making Afghan victims' memories and stories matter; the struggle for justice in Guatemala; why the Chinese have to be involved with international justice and international justice on trial.
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