Wayne Law to host program on implications of 2009 Honduran coup

As part of its Winter 2010 Speaker Series, the Wayne State University Law School Program for International Legal Studies and the International Law Students Association will host "International Promotion of Democratic Government: The Strange Case of the 2009 Honduran Coup" at 12:15 p.m. on Feb. 24 in Room 2103 of the Law School.

The event will feature Brad Roth, Wayne State University professor of both law and political science, and Sharon Lean, WSU political science professor. Roth and Lean have both written extensively on Latin American politics and efforts to promote democracy in the region.

The event will examine the 2009 Honduran coup in which the military, with the support of the Honduran Congress and Supreme Court, deposed and exiled President Manuel Zelaya. It will review international reactions to the event and ask what those reactions tell us about international efforts to promote democracy.

"This is an absolutely fascinating topic," said Gregory Fox, director of the Program for International Legal Studies. "On the one hand the international community seeks to promote democratic government, especially in existing democracies threatened by military coups. On the other, to know whether any particular change in government is 'undemocratic' requires an analysis of the country's constitution."

He added, "Do we really want organizations like the UN deciding that countries have violated their own constitutions? Here the Honduran Supreme Court ruled that President Zelaya's ouster was constitutional. Should outsiders second-guess that ruling? The Honduran coup is really the perfect case about which to ask these kind of questions."

The event is free and open to the public. Lunch will be served.

For more information, contact Holly Hughes at (313) 577-3620 or at hhughes@wayne.edu. Parking is available in Structure #1 for $4.25 across from the law school on West Palmer Street.

Published: Mon, Feb 22, 2010