Senate Affirms Path of Antiterror Tribunals ; Tribunals Are 'A Dilution of the Standards Developed during the Last 50 Years.'- Law Prof. Elizabeth Hillman

By Mark Sappenfield writer of The Christian Science Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, November 18, 2005 | Go to article overview

Senate Affirms Path of Antiterror Tribunals ; Tribunals Are 'A Dilution of the Standards Developed during the Last 50 Years.'- Law Prof. Elizabeth Hillman


Mark Sappenfield writer of The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


In its efforts this week to bring clarity to the confusion surrounding the Bush administration's military tribunals, the US Senate might also have helped to make the controversial process a fixture of American law.

Since 9/11, President Bush has insisted that neither the country's civilian nor its military court systems are suitable to handle cases involving suspected terrorists held at Guantanamo Bay. As a result, he has used military commissions that have essentially created a third court system run by the executive branch - angering international allies and civil libertarians who worry that the trials lack the checks and balances of America's traditional courts.

In repeated decisions, the US Supreme Court has insisted that civilian courts have a role in the process. The Senate amendment passed this week, however, appears to try to split the difference - offering the federal courts limited oversight, yet confirming tribunals as a distinct legal entity in the war on terror.

It is Congress's first attempt to play its own role in shaping a legal system to the needs of prosecuting those who are defined by their disdain for the rule of law. And with no obvious end in sight to the war on terror, the decision could have long-term consequences, as a new legal process for America's new class of detainees is constructed in bits and pieces.

"You have created something that is the new normal," says William Banks, director of the Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism at Syracuse University in New York.

As of yet, the actual workings of the tribunals are an unknown: They continue to be delayed by legal wranglings. But it is already clear that these tribunals differ from those that came before in both character and content.

A century ago, or even earlier, commissions were convened to try soldiers for basic crimes not covered under military law, such as public drunkenness or brawling. In World War II, they were used to charge, try, and execute Nazi collaborators - all within the space of a few weeks.

Even before this week's action by the Senate, which would under certain conditions allow detainees to appeal commission rulings to a federal court, the commissions had taken on aspects of greater permanence. They have been a primary means for holding and charging terrorists captured in the war on terror.

Now, if the House and the president agree to the Senate's amendment, the tribunals will have the added weight of codified congressional law.

In some respects, the rules governing tribunals will be of most concern to the military community, since uniformed lawyers will run the commissions. Yet military legal experts are quick to point out that these tribunals are not part of the established military legal system: They are a separate process whose rules are shaped by the administration. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Senate Affirms Path of Antiterror Tribunals ; Tribunals Are 'A Dilution of the Standards Developed during the Last 50 Years.'- Law Prof. Elizabeth Hillman
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.