Robert Kirsch gives lecture on "The Case of Algerian Six"

On Friday, October 29, 2010, International University of Sarajevo had a pleasure to host renowned American lawyer Mr. Robert Kirsch who is well known for his representation of the "Algerian six", six Muslim men living in Bosnia and Herzegovina who had been imprisoned without charges at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba for more than 6 years. The lecture was held in the Conference Hall on the ground floor in front of many interested students and professors.

During the lecture, Mr. Kirsch presented the development of the case of Algerian Six, from their arrest in Bosnia and Herzegovina, their illegal handing over to American officials, their transfer to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and release in 2008. As Mr. Kirsch started his lecture, he asked students to think and try to answer the question "What happened?" What happened with the decision of Bosnian Supreme Court for these men to be released to freedom and not turned in to USA? How did they end in Cuba regardless of this court decision?

Mr. Kirsch then continued his talk with the legal explanation of Guantanamo Bay, adding that "Algerian six" group was amongst first ones to arrive there. After that, lecture touched the topic of trials for their release of "Algerian six" in United States. "This was the first trial of people from Guantanamo in USA. I never fought such a strong opponent. We would win the case at the court and they would change the law, so we would have to start all over again" said Mr. Kirsch adding that Bosnian government could have done much more to protect these men.

The lecture ended with Mr. Kirsch asking students if they wanted to live in the world where governments have the ability to hold people without charges.

Robert Kirsch is a partner in law firm Wilmer Hale, Boston, USA and also a partner in the firm's Regulatory and Government Affairs and Litigation/Controversy Departments. Mr. Kirsch is the chair of the Environmental Practice Group, and a member of the Government and Regulatory Litigation and Investigations and Criminal Litigation Practice Groups. He joined the firm in 1983. Mr. Kirsch represents clients involved in criminal, civil and administrative investigations and enforcement proceedings.

Mr. Kirsch visited International University of Sarajevo on the invitation of Dr. Bisera Turkovic, lecturer at IUS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and former Ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina to United States.