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Friday February 4th, 2011

Katyn: Justice Delayed or Justice Denied? Panel One – Part B

Panel Chair

Milena Sterio, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, Cleveland State University


Kenneth Ledford, PhD, Professor of History and Law, Case Western Reserve University

Prof. John Q. Barrett, St. John University School of Law

Maria Szonert-Binienda, Esq., President, Libra Institute, Inc.

Hon. Marcy Kaptur, U.S. Representative (D, OH-9)

Friday February 4, 2011, 8:30 a.m.-5:15 p.m.

Sponsored by the Frederick K. Cox International Law Center at the Case Western Reserve University School of Law

The topic of panel one is what constitutes the Katyn crime?

The Katyn massacre of 1940 involved murders at the Katyn forest and in other locations throughout the Soviet Union of over 22,000 Polish officers, prisoners of war, and members of the Polish leading elite, by a single shot to the back of each of their heads. For 50 years, this massacre was subject to a massive cover up. Initially the Soviet Union blamed the Nazis for the murders, saying that the killings took place in 1941 when the territory was in German hands. It was not until 1990 that the Russian government admitted that the executions actually took place in 1940 and were carried out by the Soviet secret police. In 1990, Russian prosecutors launched a criminal investigation into the massacre, but the case was terminated in 2004, its findings were classified as top secret, and it appeared that the tragedy would once again be subject to “historical amnesia.”

The objective of the Katyn Symposium is to bring together leading international experts in jurisprudence, international criminal law, and the Katyn crime, as well as representatives from Poland and Russia, to discuss the events in a neutral setting. A diverse group of highly qualified scholars will present Polish, Russian and third party expert views on the Katyñ murders in four panel sessions, followed by a round-table discussion.

Additional Information About Our Guests…

Milena Sterio teaches International Law and the International War Crimes seminar. She has published extensively in the areas of international law, international criminal law, and the law of the seas (piracy), and her latest articles will be published by the American University Law Review, the Fordham Journal of International Law, and the Minnesota Journal of International Law. She has lectured on these topics at various law schools in the United States, as well as larger conferences, such as the American Society of International Law Annual Meeting and the AALS Annual Meeting. Prior to becoming a law professor, Milena Sterio was an associate at the international law firm of Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP, in its New York and Paris offices, where she practiced international litigation and arbitration. She was also an adjunct professor at Cornell Law School, where she taught the International War Crimes seminar.

Milena Sterio holds a J.D., magna cum laude, from Cornell Law School, as well as a French law degree (“maitrise en droit”) from the University of Paris I-Sorbonne. Milena Sterio also holds a master’s degree in private international law (“D.E.A.”) from the University of Paris I-Sorbonne. She obtained her B.A. in French Literature and Political Science from Rutgers University, summa cum laude.

Kenneth Ledford teaches German history, European legal history, the history of European legal professions, historical methods, and the history of European Union law. His main research interests include the intersection of legal thought and middle-class formation in Germany in the 19th and 20th centuries. He is author of From General Estate to Special Interest: German Lawyers 1878-1933 (Cambridge Univ. Press), and numerous articles on the history of German law and legal professions.

Professor Ledford received his B.A. with honors in history and J. D. with honors from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, where he was a Morehead Fellow in Law, and after practicing law for four years in Richmond, Virginia, he received his M.A. and Ph.D. in modern German and European history from The Johns Hopkins University. Before coming to CWRU in 1991, he was Research Fellow at the German Historical Institute (Deutsches Historisches Institut), Washington, D.C., and taught at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies. He has been the John W. Kluge Fellow (Berlin Prize Fellow) at the American Academy in Berlin, a Fulbright Senior Research Fellow at the Free University of Berlin, a Mellon Fellow, and a Morehead Fellow in Law, and has won fellowships from the German Marshall Fund of the United States, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the German Academic Exchange Service. He is Editor of Central European History, published by the Conference Group for Central European History of the American Historical Association.

At St. John’s University in New York City, John Q. Barrett teaches constitutional law and legal history. He is the Elizabeth S. Lenna Fellow and a Board member at the Robert H. Jackson Center in Jamestown, New York. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and Harvard Law School. Professor Barrett is a renowned teacher, writer, lecturer and public commentator in the United States and internationally.

Professor Barrett is writing the biography of Justice Robert H. Jackson (1892-1954), who grew up in western New York and became a prominent regional and national lawyer in private practice, a New Dealer, Solicitor General of the United States, Attorney General of the United States, an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, the chief prosecutor at Nuremberg of the principal Nazi war criminals, and one of the finest writers, judges, leaders and lives in U.S. and world history. Professor Barrett discovered, edited and introduced Justice Jackson’s previously unknown, now acclaimed memoir That Man: An Insider’s Portrait of Franklin D. Roosevelt, which is a book about both FDR and Jackson himself. Professor Barrett’s regular “Jackson List” emails, which pertain to Justice Jackson, Nuremberg, the Supreme Court and related topics, now reach over 100,000 readers around the world.

Maria Szonert is the Founder and President of Libra Institute, Inc. She is also the President of Kresy-Siberia Foundation, USA. A law graduate of the of the University of Warsaw and Rutgers University, she worked as corporate counsel on privatization and restructuring in Eastern Europe and as a USAID capital markets specialist for Europe and Newly Independent States. Subsequently, she served as Vice President and Corporate Counsel for KeyCorp in Cleveland.

For the past decade she has been publishing extensively, drawing upon her post-graduate journalism training from the University of Warsaw. She collaborates with numerous papers, including a Polish-language cultural weekly Przegląd Polski, focusing on legal, historical and current affairs issues. She is the author of World War II Through Polish Eyes (EEM Columbia University Press 2002) and Null and Void; Poland: Case Study on Comparative Imperialism (University Press of America 2008).