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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Trying Terrorism Suspects in Article III Courts

In April, I participated in a workshop convened by the ABA Standing Committee on Law and National Security on "Trying Terrorists in Article III Courts" that brought together 33 judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, other governmental counterterrorism officials, and academics to discuss both the pros and cons of using the Article III civilian courts to prosecute terrorism suspects currently detained without charges at Guantanamo and elsewhere.

One of the fruits of that workshop -- the workshop report -- was released today, and is available here. [The ABA release is here.] As the report notes,

While the workshop participants did not reach substantial agreement that the Article III system is capable of handling all terrorism trials, they did note generally that the courts have resolved past cases in a satisfactory manner. Some discussants remarked that many of the challenges facing the courts have been considered and managed in other contexts, implying that the courts need not create an entirely new procedural framework for most terrorism trials. Looking ahead, the discussants noted that legislation may not be appropriate to resolve all of the known issues and that the Article III courts may be better suited to resolve some of the issues without legislative intervention.

As Larry Solum would say, highly recommended!

Posted by Steve Vladeck on July 23, 2009 at 04:38 PM in Constitutional thoughts, Criminal Law, Current Affairs, Steve Vladeck, Teaching Law | Permalink

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