Wednesday, January 21, 2015

At CrimProfBlog they have this posting that may be of interest to our international audience.

Peter Margulies (Roger Williams University School of Law) has posted Detained Suspected Terrorists: Trial in Military Courts or Civilian Courts? (Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, forthcoming) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
Military commissions, like detention in wartime, embody the Framers’ challenge in reconciling liberty and security. The U.S. Supreme Court has found that Congress’s war powers authorize establishment of military commissions. However, without proper constraints, military commissions pose tensions with individual rights and the Framers’ architecture of checks and balances.

Recently, the D.C. Circuit, applying a deferential plain error standard, rejected an Ex Post Facto Clause challenge to the military commission inchoate conspiracy conviction of Ali Hamza al Bahlul, a former aide to Osama bin Laden. The D.C. Circuit’s reasoning suggested that, under a less deferential de novo standard of review, inchoate conspiracy convictions for conduct prior to enactment of the Military Commissions Act of 2006 might pose problems, given the lack of recognition under international law for such charges.

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