2016 2016: Faculty to discuss legal issues surrounding drones

2016 2016: Faculty to discuss legal issues surrounding drones
Faculty to discuss legal issues surrounding drones

Massachusetts Bar Association organizes panel on the impact of drones on individual rights

The panel will also delve into the impact on privacy and humanitarian issues presented by military use of drones worldwide.

School of Law professors Hillary Farber, Frances Howell Rudko, and Associate Professor of Political Science Avery Plaw will take part in a Massachusetts Bar Association-organized panel discussion on the legal issues surrounding the use of drones, both nationally and internationally. Joining the faculty on the panel will be the president and vice president of the Association of Professional Drone Pilots, Scott Pitta and David Price.

The panel will take place this Monday, April 4, 3-5 p.m., at UMass Law (333 Faunce Corner Road, Dartmouth). The discussion will focus on legal issues posed by commercial use nationwide and the regulatory challenges, including pilot licensing and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations. The panel will also delve into the impact on privacy and humanitarian issues presented by military use of drones worldwide.

Professor Rudko teaches courses in legal history, constitutional history, constitutional law, civil rights and civil liberties, the fourteenth amendment, and international law, among others. She is a member of the Supreme Court Bar, the Massachusetts Bar, and the Bar of Arkansas. She also serves on an interdisciplinary research team which examines international targeted killings. Professor Rudko has authored and co-authored publications related to human rights, terrorism, federalism, and international law.

Professor Farber has presented at national and international forums on the constitutional issues regarding domestic use of drones and privacy. Last December, she wrote an op-ed in The Providence Journal on recent FAA registration requirements after attending a steering committee meeting for state lawmakers organized through a National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) partnership project on unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).Professor Farber has taught at UMass Law since June 2011 in the areas of criminal law, criminal procedure, evidence, and legal ethics.

Professor Plaw’s research focuses on political theory and international relations.  Dr. Plaw's book Targeting Terrorists: a License to Kill? was runner-up for the Canadian Political Science Association's Prize for Best Book of the Year in International Relations, and he has edited two collected volumes, The Metamorphosis of  War andFrontiers of Diversity: Explorations in Contemporary Pluralism. He is currently working on a book on the ethics and legality of drone warfare.

Mr. Pitta is currently a FAA Certified Airline Transport Pilot, Certified Flight Instructor, Advanced Ground Instructor, and Instrument Ground Instructor, and he is also a US Army Instructor Pilot. He also serves as an Adjunct Professor of Aviation Science at Bridgewater State University. He has logged more than 5,000 flight hours during his 20+ year career as a professional pilot and instructor. Mr. Price has served as the Dean of Aviation Sciences at Daniel Webster College and Bridgewater State University. He is a certified Advanced Ground Instructor and was honored at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics as the 2006 teacher of the Year as well as the Federal Aviation Administration's 2006 Teacher of the Year.