Brandon Gil and Brittany Nicholls: William Mitchell College of Law’s Presidents’ Student Leadership Award Recipients

Brandon Gil and Brittany Nicholls, student associates for World Without Genocide, worked to prohibit government-sanctioned torture. President Obama issued four memoranda acknowledging U.S. complicity in torture but there has been no effort to insure that this abrogation of national law cannot recur.  Brandon and Brittany developed a state-level initiative to insure that Minnesota’s licensed health care professionals would be prohibited from participating in torture anywhere in the world, with the goal to influence national policy.  They assisted in coordinating an event to support state action. The event, “Legal and Medical Impunity for Torture: From Nuremberg to California,” featured outstanding speakers:  two authors of books on torture – Dr. Steve Miles, biomedical ethicist, and Professor Marjorie Cohn, past president of the National Lawyers Guild – and Ms. Margot DeWilde, survivor of medical experiments in Auschwitz. The program brought together nearly a hundred people from the medical, legal, and human rights community to discuss policies and action.  Brandon and Brittany then drafted a bill for the Minnesota legislature, sponsored by Sen. Sandy Pappas.  Brittany subsequently spoke at a meeting attended by Sen. Pappas, directors of Minnesota’s health-care licensing boards, Dr. Miles, and Dr. Ellen Kennedy, director of World Without Genocide.   The bill was introduced and is pending further action.

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