AALS Symposium: Violence Against Women

Symposium programs allow for in-depth scholarly exploration of topics of academic interest at the AALS Annual Meeting. For the upcoming conference, the AALS Program Committee has selected a program on the topic of violence against women. Four panels will consider pressing issues related to rape, anticipatory self-defense, and punishment. Each panel will reserve substantial time for question and answer sessions with the panelists in order to encourage meaningful discussions on this important topic.
This will be the third annual AALS Symposium. The program will be held on Saturday, January 9, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Arnold H. Loewy, Texas Tech University School of Law, has organized this year’s Symposium on Violence Against Women. “This program brings together scholars from all over the country to discuss a variety of issues surrounding violence against women,” Professor Loewy explained. “Not only is the topic extraordinarily timely, but the resolution of some of the issues is not intuitively obvious and have engendered considerable debate. That debate will continue on such issues as how easy or difficult should it be to obtain a rape conviction, when can a woman in fear of her life kill her abuser even if his threat is not imminent, and how severely should we punish violence against women.”
Papers from the symposium will be published in the Texas Tech Law Review. The program follows up on nine previous conferences on criminal law organized by Texas Tech University School of Law.
Details of the Violence Against Women Symposium, including the names of speakers and moderators for each session, are listed below.


Two morning sessions will cover aspects and issues concerning the crime of rape.
Session One
The Economics of Rape
Deborah W. Denno, Fordham University School of Law
Five Myths of Rape Law Reform
Janet C. Hoeffel, Tulane University School of Law
Affirmative Consent Statutes
Mary G. Leary, The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law
The Hollow Hope of Affirmative Consent Statutes
Jonathan Witmer-Rich, Cleveland State University, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law
Session Two
Same-Sex Rape
I. Bennett Capers, Brooklyn Law School
Inter-Racial Rape
Aya Gruber, University of Colorado School of Law
The End of All Resistance
Alice G. Ristroph, Seton Hall University School of Law
Moderator: Tracy Hresko Pearl, Texas Tech University School of Law

Anticipatory Self-Defense

This session will cover the extent to which a threatened victim of battery can use force for self-defense when the threat of force is not imminent.
Legal Ethics and Self-Defense
Brooks R. Holland, Gonzaga University School of Law
Anticipatory Self-Defense for Battered Spouses: Some Cautionary Tales from the Stand Your Ground Experience in Florida
Joseph E. Kennedy, University of North Carolina School of Law
Misunderstanding Time and Confrontation in Battered Women’s Self Defense Cases
Martha Mahoney, University of Miami School of Law
Creative Avoidance of the Imminence Requirement in the Use of Deadly Defensive Force Against Domestic Batterers
Richard H. McAdams, The University of Chicago, The Law School
Moderator: Meghan J. Ryan, Southern Methodist University, Dedman School of Law


This session will focus on what degree of punishment is appropriate for the crimes of assault and rape.
Alternative Responses to the Responsible Party in Campus Sexual Assaults Cases
Donna K. Coker, University of Miami School of Law
Rethinking Rape: Will Increasing Jury Power Bring More Reporting and More Prosecution
Tamara Rice Lave, University of Miami School of Law
Punishing Violence Against Women: Seeking the Right Balance
Arnold H. Loewy, Texas Tech University School of Law
Rape in a Rehabilitative State
Joy Radice, University of Tennessee College of Law
Moderator: William Berry, University of Mississippi School of Law