Dennis edney: The rule of law in an age of fear

October 18, 2017



On October 18th 2017, a packed audience in the Bader theatre was treated to an evening of both inspiration and reflection from the keynote address of Dennis Edney, the defense lawyer to controversial Canadian Omar Khadr. With a unique Scottish bluntness, Mr Edney’s speech recounted his experiences in defending Khadr and witnessing the practices of Guantanamo Bay in person. In discussing the current state of international liberalism and American geopolitics, as well as islamophobia, news media,  and cultures of fear, Mr Edney maintained his commitment and belief in justice above all else. Without a robust and accessible rule of law, argued Mr Edney, we cannot benefit from the protections and opportunities democracy intends to provide. Many of the questions that followed the speech expressed their appreciation to Mr Edney for tirelessly fighting against an oppressive state, and sought direction for their own difficulties in navigating an unjust society. Mr Edney often responded with resolute simplicity, imploring the audience to rely on their own character and tenacity to make their communities and the lives of others a little bit better.