Wednesday, September 21, 2011

ACS

William Lietzau, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Rule of Law and Detainee Policy, addresses the American Constitution Society's "9/11 at 10" symposium, marking the 10th anniversary of the tragic events of September 11, 2001.

Monday, September 12, 2011

CAAFlog and NIMJ Blog Join Forces

As of Sept. 12, 2011, the National Institute of Military Justice blog will join CAAFlog in a new blog venture, NIMJ blog CAAFlog.

We look forward to an exciting collaboration between contributors to both blogs. We also hope to inspire more interaction among our readers, who now have access to a single source of current news and commentary on military justice worldwide. We encourage you to visit NIMJ blog CAAFlog often and join us in following military justice worldwide. The NIMJ blog archive, and some of our online resources, are also available on the new site.

Please direct any questions to nimjemail@gmail.com. Thanks for your support, and we’ll see you at NIMJ blog CAAFlog!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Action at the CMCR

h/t Opinio Juris, Kevin Heller comments on, "CMCR invents the war crime of conspiracy," he begins:
Even I thought the Court of Military Commission Review couldn’t reach such an absurd conclusion. . . . The CMCR’s reasoning is, not surprisingly, a complete joke. 


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Terror Suspects to be Placed in Immediate Military Custody?

As reported by the Atlantic, included at the end of the Senate's version of the National Defense Authorization Act is a measure that would require that all terrorist suspects be placed under immediate military custody rather than being placed with civilian law enforcement agencies.

As it stands, the President can decide whether to place a terror suspect with the military or with law enforcement agencies, and the latter is often preferred because of their expertise in interrogation and intelligence gathering.

This measure was inserted by Sen. John McCain, who has criticized the use of law enforcement agencies in these situations because they allow terrorist suspects to be “lawyered up” despite the pressing need for intelligence. This measure has been criticized because it would force agencies like the FBI to suspend productive interrogations in order to hand suspects over to the military, and it would “pave the way for the military to conduct law-enforcement activities on American soil,” which contravenes the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878. Critics also say that the measure is broad enough to encompass American citizens who are suspected of terrorist offenses.

Jeh Johnson, the Pentagon's General Counsel, expressed concern about “overmilitarizing our approach to the current terrorist threat,” while Republican aids insist that the military is “better-suited” because it can “detain [terror suspects] indefinitely and interrogate them without advising [them] of the right to remain silent or giving them access to a lawyer.”

This measure will be debated late-September.


Egypt Protests the Use of Military Tribunals to Try Civilians

Several times over the past couple of months, I've written about the military council in Egypt's plans to end the use of military tribunals to try civilians. On Monday, a top general said that that “as quickly as possible” this practice will come to and end, but no firm deadline has ever been set.

Ironically, a demonstration is reportedly planned for Friday to protest the use of military tribunals, even though the council justifies the use of military tribunals as the only way to handle repeated demonstrations in the country in the absence of an independent and impartial judiciary.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Have we heard enough about David Hicks?

That's the question, with an answer, by Chris Kenny, called Close the book on Hicks's tall tales of victimhood, published in The Australian.
As Australians prepare to mark the tenth anniversay or the 9/11 attacks, we should not have to be confronted with special pleading - publicly funded at that - by David Hicks. 
Among almost 3000 casualties from Osama bin Laden's atrocity, there were 11 Australians. More than 100 have been killed in subsequent terrorist attacks in Bali, London, Saudi Arabia, India and elsewhere.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Events in Chile

From SANTIAGO, Chile AP) — A police sergeant accused of killing a teenager during Chile's social protests will face military justice despite objections Wednesday from student leaders and human rights advocates.

Military law and Commissions


The Connecticut Law Tribune has an interesting piece.


A Lesson From Mexico About Military Courts
In July, the Mexican Supreme Court decided a case that arose from the 1974 “disappearance” of a civilian by Mexican military personnel. At issue was whether those responsible could be prosecuted in a military court or whether they had to be prosecuted in the civilian courts. Following a 2009 decision of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, the Mexican court ruled in Rosendo Radilla Pacheco that human rights violations by soldiers must be tried in the regular common law courts. According to Chief Justice Juan Silva Meza, “Under no circumstances should the military tribunal operate in cases of human rights violations involving civilians.” Alberto Herrera, head of Amnesty International’s Mexican branch, cautioned, “We can transfer all the cases we want, but if civilian justice doesn’t function, none of this will amount to much.”
The Connecticut Law Tribune has an interesting piece.


A Lesson From Mexico About Military Courts
In July, the Mexican Supreme Court decided a case that arose from the 1974 “disappearance” of a civilian by Mexican military personnel. At issue was whether those responsible could be prosecuted in a military court or whether they had to be prosecuted in the civilian courts. Following a 2009 decision of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, the Mexican court ruled in Rosendo Radilla Pacheco that human rights violations by soldiers must be tried in the regular common law courts. According to Chief Justice Juan Silva Meza, “Under no circumstances should the military tribunal operate in cases of human rights violations involving civilians.” Alberto Herrera, head of Amnesty International’s Mexican branch, cautioned, “We can transfer all the cases we want, but if civilian justice doesn’t function, none of this will amount to much.”

Friday, September 2, 2011

Executive Officer of Coast Guard Cutter 'Liberty' Arrested

The preliminary hearing of Lt. J.G. Paul A. Sprenger begins today. In August, he was arraigned on charges of burglary, assault on a police officer, harassment, resisting or interfering with arrest, and criminal mischief. He is suspected of attempting to break into Tongass Towers in Ketchikan, Alaska.

Sprenger has been temporarily relieved of his duties and reassigned while the investigation is pending.

Three Marines May Face Charges Related to “Hazing” in Connection With the Suicide of a Fellow Marine

Three Marines based in Hawaii are accused of beating and taunting Harry Lew hours before be killed himself in April of this year.

These Marines allegedly forced Lew to perform “excuciating excersises in his full combat gear,” poured sand on his face, kicked him, and threatened to beat him up - all because he would fall asleep while manning a guard post. Lew's father believes that allegations of his son's poor performance on the job was just an “excuse to beat him up.”

At a hearing on Sept 8, a judge will decide whether to recommend charges.