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UM Law School To Host National Symposium On Campus Sexual Assault

photo by Peter Christian
UM Law School

The Alexander Blewitt III School of Law at the University of Montana will be hosting the 2016 Browning Symposium this Friday, September 30, with the topic ‘Sexual Assaults; Conflicts Between Campus and Courts.

Associate Professor Anthony Johnstone said the symposium comes as the result of the UM Law Review’s look at campus sexual assault.

“The symposium will be kicked off by President Royce Engstrom,” Johnstone began. “The keynote speakers will be Montana’s U.S. Attorney Michael Cotter, as well as Montana’s own Attorney General Tim Fox. Then, there will be a range of legal scholars with expertise in federal Title IX law, criminal law, due process rights of victims and suspects, as well as some First Amendment implications of some campus responses to sexual assaults.”

Johnstone said the discussions will range beyond the mere statements of fact regarding the problem of sexual assault on campus.

“More importantly, we’ll be discussing a wide range of solutions, some of which will be applicable right here in Montana, but are really intended to address the issue nationally,” he said, “as campuses all over the country are dealing with this problem.”

Johnstone said the purpose of the symposium is not as a response to the Jon Krakauer book ‘Missoula; Rape and the Justice System in a College Town‘.

“I think the students are framing the symposium as an opportunity to move forward towards solutions,” he said. “It’s not going to be focused on the past here at the University of Montana, any particular cases or controversies, it really has a forward-facing national focus on solutions that are available all over the country under both state and federal law to address all the issues that arise with sexual assault in the college setting, both to students who may be victims of sexual assault, as well as students who may be accused of sexual assault.”

Johnstone said the symposium will be open to the public, but will hold special interest for attorneys.

“It will be open to the public and free to attend, but, if there are any attorneys out there who would like some continuing education credits, they can also purchase that credit online at the law review’s website,” Johnston said.

UM’s Montana Law Review is a student-edited journal comprised of second- and third-year students that was established in 1940, making it one of the oldest law reviews west of the Mississippi.

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