Accession Number:

ADA429030

Title:

The Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act

Descriptive Note:

Master's thesis

Corporate Author:

ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2004-06-18

Pagination or Media Count:

107.0

Abstract:

The Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act MEJA is a critical statute for the future of the United States military and the American public. Its interpretation affects both national security and the rights of American citizens overseas. This statute gives the United States judicial system the ability to exercise jurisdictional control over American civilians committing felonies on foreign soil. At no time in this nations history has the United States Government exercised such potential control over its citizens abroad. This thesis analyzes this new statute to determine whether it resolves the problem of jurisdiction over civilians committing crimes overseas. The thesis also examines the constitutional issues associated with the statutes implementation and issues associated with its enforcement, given that more civilians are accompanying armed forces overseas and are not under the direct supervisory control of military commanders. This issue is particularly significant when civilians commit crimes on overseas military installations or in an operational theater. The thesis also looks at the potential implications and jurisdictional gaps in the proposed Department of Defense Instruction DoDI implementing MEJA, including its applicability and scope, policy, definitions, responsibilities, and procedures. Finally, the case of United States v. Arnt is analyzed in conjunction with the DoDI to identify possible jurisdictional gaps. Since the outcome of this case will not be determined during the time period of this thesis, most comments and opinions will be based on detailed assumptions. This case will determine the future of the MEJA and, more importantly, whether civilians will be able to escape prosecution for felonies overseas. 42 refs.

Subject Categories:

  • Sociology and Law
  • Military Forces and Organizations

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE