William Mitchell to host prominent human rights lawyers from Haiti

Human rights lawyers Mario Joseph and Brian Concannon will speak at an event called “Bringing Baby Doc to Justice: An Inside View” on Sunday, Feb. 20 from 7 to 9 pm at William Mitchell. The event, which is free and open to the public, will include a discussion on their roles in prosecuting former Haitian President Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier, a controversial figure who led the country from 1971–1986, when he fled the country during the midst of a popular uprising. Joseph and Concannon will also share the most recent news from Haiti and offer an inside view of human rights conditions in the country since last year’s devastating earthquake.

Joseph is one of Haiti’s most prominent human rights lawyers and the managing attorney for the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI). He is representing Duvalier’s victims. Concannon, who spent nine years in Haiti with the United Nations and the BAI, currently directs the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH) and is coordinating a team of international lawyers and law students to provide support to the case against Duvalier.

The event is sponsored by Professor Peter Erlinder, past national president of the National Lawyers Guild and director of the International Humanitarian Law Institute. It has been endorsed by the Minnesota Chapter of National Lawyers Guild, the Haiti Justice Alliance of Northfield, the Haiti Relief Carleton, and the St. Olaf Haiti Relief Efforts, which works to bring attention to the importance of legal advocacy in Haiti’s quest for sustainable development.

While there is no cost to attend, donations are warmly welcomed. Light hors d’oeuvres and beverages will be served.