The Roundtable Discussion brought together historians, lawyers, and judges in two separate panels to address court protection of individual liberties, particularly religious freedom in the United States. The Writ of Habeas Corpus has a long tradition in Great Britain, and it is the only part of the old Common Law system to be incorporated into the U.S. Constitution. As a court procedure, Habeas Corpus has changed dramatically from its use in the mid-nineteenth century to the present. The first panel addressed the historical context of the Mormon church and the use of Habeas Corpus in three separate trials concerning Joseph Smith. The second panel addressed the use of Habeas Corpus in the Guantanamo Bay cases in comparison to other remedies to protect individual liberties in modern times.
The event was held April 4, 2013 in the Illinois Senate Hearing Room 212 which was originally the Illinois Supreme Courtroom.