Cornell University

SAP Speaker Series, Pakistanis in the American Court: Legalities and Consequences of Extraterritorial Applications of US Criminal Law, by Emad Ansari

Monday, April 8, 2019 at 12:15pm to 1:30pm

Uris Hall, G08

This talk focuses primarily on two cases, US v. Siddiqui, and US v. Yousef, to speak both about the chain of precedent that permits the extension of American judicial reach to criminal acts performed extraterritorially. This extension of power has implications not only for international law norms on jurisdiction but also for thinking critically about sovereignty in the context of unequal political power, indeed empire. Both the cases centered here have lasting legal and political consequences: Yousef is relied upon as precedent for increasingly-expansive prosecutions of foreign-based actors criminalized by US criminal law; Siddiqui, the defendant in the other case, has attained a significant political status of her own in Pakistan – a symbol and rallying cry for political movements that question the legitimacy of the Pakistani state on the basis of its continue support for US involvement in the region. The legal and political life of these extraterritorial interventions not only continues, even after final ruling have been made and the sentence executed, but is also shaped by this legal encounter in unintended ways.

Emad Ansari is Assistant Professor of Law at the Shaikh Ahmad Hassan School of Law at the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS). His research and teaching is on legal history, critical theory, historical violence, and human rights. Emad received his Law and Public Policy graduate degrees from Michigan Law School and the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.


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Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies, Asian Studies, South Asia Program, Government, Law School



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