I had the pleasure of attending the first lecture in the TUJ Lecture Series, New World Law & Order: Profile, Protest, and Social Justice, hosted by TUJ’s Beasley School of Law and the Institute of Contemporary Asian Studies located at the Temple University, Japan (TUJ) Campus.Catherine L. Pugh – Attorney, Adjunct Professor of Law, Temple University School of Law, Japan Campus.

Lecture 1, Racial Profiling Under the Color of Law, examined if racial profiling is an effective law enforcement tool, an unequivocal infringement on civil liberties, or something in between.

The panelists, F. Frederic Fouad – Attorney, Adjunct Professor of Law, TUJ School of Law; Ben Karp – ICAS Fellow at TUJ and a founder of the Eliezer Society; Catherine L. Pugh – Attorney, Adjunct Professor of Law, TUJ School of Law; and Jane Taylor – Attorney, New Zealand addressed the provocative question of race-based policing, weighing its effectiveness against concerns for public safety and individual rights.

As many of you know, “law enforcement has wide latitude in determining how to seek out, deter, and stop crime. One of the more controversial tools in the enforcement community is the use of race as a key factor for who to stop and question about the lawfulness of his or her conduct.”

Are profiling practices effective or do they criminalize race – sometimes fatally – under the appearance of keeping the peace?

The panel answered a variety of audience questions on the current state of race relations and policing within the broader context of the criminal justice system in America and to some extent, Japan.

The lecture did well in promoting interdisciplinary and international perspectives and definitely provoked constructive discussion on a societal issues that impacts those in America and abroad.

The video of the lecture is provided below. Please feel free to comment. Click here for information on future lectures in the series.