Emory Report

September 18, 2000

 Volume 53, No. 4

Law school explores truth and liability issues

By Karen Poremski

Reconciling the Irrecon-cilable: Holocaust Denial, Historical Truth, and Jewish Identity," on Nov.1­2, will explore the limits of reconciliation and feature Richard Rampton, the barrister who successfully defended Emory professor Deborah Lipstadt in a British libel suit; David Bederman and Anita Bernstein of the law school; Joel Levy of the Lauder Foundation; literary critic Stanley Fish; and Holocaust scholar Yehuda Baer. The panel will follow two lines of inquiry: questions of historical truth and its legal consequences; and the place of the Holocaust in the formation of Jewish identity.

Participants will consider what happens when historical truths hurt people. "When someone speaks a falsehood-for example, a denial of the Holocaust-a variety of responses can result," said Michael Broyde, Visiting Associate Professor of Law.

In some cases, the truth is suppressed. In others, the truth is made expensive, requiring attorneys to defend truth-speakers. In yet others (particularly in the United States), the antidote to speaking a falsehood is seen as speaking more truths. These situations bring to the forefront the intersections of history and law, the intersections between interpretations of liability and the meaning of historical events.

The event is free and open to the public. It is sponsored by the School of Law, which will provide the venue for the event; the Department of Religion; the Institute for Jewish Studies; and the Law and Religion Program. For more information, contact religion's Michael Berger at 404-727-6258 or Broyde at 404-727-7546.

-Karen Poremski

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