Public Lecture: Conflict of Laws and Core American Constitutional Values

YEREVAN, Armenia – On October 28, the American University of Armenia (AUA) hosted a public lecture dedicated to the conflict of laws and core American constitutional values. The talk was led by Samuel R. Simon, Adjunct Professor at Rutgers-Camden School of Law and current Visiting Professor at AUA. Mr. Simon is a member of the New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania Bars, a member of the American Law Institute and a Fellow of the European Law Institute.

The lecture delivered by the distinguished practicing attorney and professor of law addressed the various issues that arise in the United States when the constitutional right of a free press collides with a criminal defendant’s constitutional rights to a fair trial, to a fair and impartial jury, and to due process of law.

The American criminal justice system maintains that an accused criminal defendant is innocent until proven guilty at trial. To this end, the defendant enjoys a panoply of inalienable constitutional rights that the courts zealously guard at each stage of the proceedings. Similarly, every American is aware that freedom of the press — the constitutional freedom to publish without let or hindrance — is protected by the courts to the utmost possible extent. However, these rights may collide in any number of ways. During the lecture, Mr. Simon referred to many such examples when judiciary balance is required to maintain the press’s constitutional right to publish and also spoke about how it relates to the public’s right to know.

The lecture by Mr. Simon was open to all those interested in comparative law and conflict of laws issues and suggested a mechanism by which the courts may render justice in the face of collisions between fundamental constitutional and statutory rights.

Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia (AUA) is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia and affiliated with the University of California. AUA provides a global education in Armenia and the region, offering high-quality, graduate and undergraduate studies, encouraging civic engagement, and promoting public service and democratic values.

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