Selected Procedural Safeguards in Federal, Military, and International Courts
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
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Declaring it necessary to bring to justice those responsible for the terrorist attacks on the United States of September 11, 2001, President Bush signed a Military Order M.O. authorizing the trial by military commission of certain non-citizens. The order directs the Secretary of Defense to establish the procedural rules for the operation of the military commissions convened pursuant to the M.O. The Department of Defense prepared regulations providing for procedures of military commissions, but these were invalidated by the Supreme Court in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld. The Bush Administration has proposed legislation to reinstate military commissions for the trials of suspected terrorists. This report provides a brief overview of procedural rules applicable in selected historical and contemporary tribunals for the trials of war crimes suspects. The chart that follows compares selected procedural safeguards employed in criminal trials in federal criminal court with parallel protective measures in military general courts-martial, international military tribunals used after World War II, including the International Military Tribunal IMT or Nuremberg Tribunal, and the International Criminal Courts for the former Yugoslavia ICTY and Rwanda ICTR. For comparison of the Department of Defense rules for military commissions that were struck down in Hamdan to recent legislative proposals, see CRS Report RL31600, The Department of Defense Rules for Military Commissions Analysis of Procedural Rules and Comparison with Proposed Legislation and the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
- Government and Political Science
- Sociology and Law
- Humanities and History
- Military Forces and Organizations