May 24, 2024  
2017 - 2018 Graduate Catalog 
2017 - 2018 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

LAW 529 - The Military Commissions

Fall 2 Paul Hutter

President George W. Bush’s November 13, 2001 Order creating Military Commissions to prosecute those accused of committing acts of terror and who harbor them created a firestorm of legal activity. That activity is ongoing, albeit at a much slower pace than during the period from 2002 - 2014. This activity forms a critically important foundation for apprehending, detaining and trying stateless actors and those who fought in a status that was previously ill defined by international law. The course’s discussions will engage the students concerning the balance between due process, fundamental fairness and society’s interests in the goals of criminal law, e.g., safety, deterrence, retribution and punishment. This course will explore the underpinnings of the November 13 Order through the issuances from the Office of Legal Counsel in the Department of Justice that gave rise to the Order, the activities of lawyers in the Department of Defense and the White House prior to and following the Order’s issuance, and the precedential cases relied upon to create the Order. Students will contrast trial of terrorists in Federal Courts with trial by Military Commissions and opine on the necessity for a legal process that does not include the protections afforded by Article III of the U.S. Constitution. Grades will be based on a final paper. Students may not enroll in this course if they are currently enrolled in, or successfully completed, LAW 543, Terrorism and the Law.