Saturday, October 10, 2015

Who is a civilian?

Phil Cave beat me to the punch about the story about how Somali authorities have rejected criticisms that they are using military courts to try civilians.

What distinguishes Somali practice from the use of military commissions under the U.S.'s Military Commissions Act of 2009, Egypt's use of military courts, Pakistan's 21st Amendment courts, etc.? Are there neutral principles that permit us credibly to distinguish between legitimate and illegitimate uses of military courts to try persons who are neither members of the trying state's armed forces nor combatants recognized under the Third Geneva Convention?

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