Lack of Extraterritorial Jurisdiction over Civilians: A New Look at an Old Problem
JUDGE ADVOCATE GENERAL'S SCHOOL CHARLOTTESVILE VA
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This thesis examines the militarys lack of extraterritorial jurisdiction over civilians. It reviews the history of courts-martial jurisdiction over civilians, the UCMJ provisions that ostensibly grant jurisdiction, and the Supreme Court cases limiting that jurisdiction. Although this is an old problem, the thesis argues that the problem has changed as Americas international obligations to prosecute multiply and as the militarys doctrine changes from reliance on a permanent overseas presence to one of force projection. The thesis then explores how the United States can gain jurisdiction over civilians from the possibility of obtaining federal court jurisdiction over all civilians, to the more limited solution of extending courts-martial jurisdiction over civilians who are deployed on military operations overseas. In conclusion, the author recommends a partial solution based on a limited extension of courts-martial jurisdiction over civilians deployed on military operations. This limited extension of courts-martial jurisdiction will enable commanders to command the civilian component of their deployed force, and it can be supported by the constitutional war powers of the President and Congress.
- Sociology and Law
- Personnel Management and Labor Relations
- Unconventional Warfare