CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Monday, November 7, 2005

TJ CrimProf President of NLG

CohnSan Diego –Professor Marjorie Cohn of the Thomas Jefferson School of Law here was chosen President-elect of the National Lawyers Guild at its annual convention last weekend in Portland, Oregon. Cohn served as Executive Vice President for three years, editor of the Guild Practitioner for nine years and she is co-chair of the Guild's International Committee. The National Lawyers Guild (, founded in 1937, comprises more than 6,000 members and activists in the service of the people. Its national office is headquartered in New York and it has chapters in nearly every state, as well as more than 100 law school chapters, including one at Thomas Jefferson School of Law.

Cohn will take over as president in one year and then serve a three-year term. Nine of the 59 Guild members in the Thomas Jefferson School of Law student chapter attended the Portland convention. The TJSL student chapter this year has sponsored appearances on campus by Pablo Paredes, who refused to board a Navy ship and transport Marines to Iraq; Col. Janis Karpinski, the former commander of Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq; and Santa Clara School of Law Professor Gerald Uelmen, who analyzed the Supreme Court’s new term.

Cohn, who was honored this spring with the San Diego County Bar Association’s 2005 Service to Legal Education Award, is conducting scholarly research on criminal liability for torture of prisoners in U.S. custody stemming from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Cohn’s research addresses the criminal liability of interrogators and intelligence personnel, as well as command responsibility. She is examining the obligations of the United States under the Torture Convention and the Geneva Conventions, and individual liability under federal statutes.

Cohn teaches Evidence, Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, and International Human Rights Law at Thomas Jefferson and frequently is called upon by local, national and international media to serve as a legal analyst. She also is the U.S. representative to the executive committee of the American Association of Jurists, and serves on the Roster of Experts at the Institute for Public Accuracy. Cohn is a weekly columnist for Truthout ( In addition, she was a legal observer in Iran on behalf of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers and she has participated in delegations to Cuba, China, and Yugoslavia.

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